Tag: sfwa

SFWA Bulletin for Summer 2011

I received in the mail today the SFWA Bulletin for Summer 2011 and this one is packed with a number of important articles. Among the ones that I particularly enjoyed:

  • Barry Malzberg and Mike Resnick’s Dialogue LIV, “What Have you Done for Me Lately?” which talks about traditional publishing versus e-book publishing through an outlet like Amazon and asks some tough questions of publishers.
  • Tobias Buckell has an excellent article on “Novel Advances” which summarizes some of the surveys that he has done on the subject.
  • Steven H Silver has an excellent article on the Nebula Awards called “The Lucite Credential”

And there are interesting items by all of the Nebula nominees on their respective pieces. A particularly good issue of the magazine, well worth checking out.

SFWA elections

I voted in my first ever SFWA election today. The Presidential, Vice-Presidential and Secretary positions were running unopposed and regardless, I would have voted for John Scalzi, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Robert J. Howe anyway. I think all three have done an excellent job improving SFWA in several noticeable way since they have taken office.

The vote is done via paper ballots and perhaps in the future the election could be done electronically (we are, after all, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America). Regardless, I’m glad I had the opportunity to vote this time, if for no other reason than to acknowledge the good work done by John, Mary and Bob.

The SFWA Author and Editors Reception

I wrapped up my Monday evening by attending my first Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America annual author and editor reception at Planet Hollywood in Times Square.  I’d invited my brother-in-law, Jason, to the event and in a rather ironic twist, he–the copy editor who makes commercials–walked away with an agent’s card.  But I didn’t come away empty handed either…

The event was held upstairs in an area segregated from the rest of the restaurant.  It was crowded and loud when I arrived and it stayed that way they whole time I was there.  Checking in, I finally got to meet Steven H. Silver in person.  We’d been LiveJournal friends for years and it was great to finally meet him in the flesh.  (He’s edited a couple of books collecting the short fiction of Lester Del Rey, that are just terrific.)  There was an open bar and Jason and I made our way there so that I could obtain some liquid courage: there were people in the room who were science fiction heroes of mine, to say nothing of other writers who I’ve admired for a very long time.  I’m still getting used to the idea that I am a Real Writer, and as I’ve said before, my philosophy is “fan first, writer second“.  I was a little nervous but a bottle of New Castle helped.

I found Stan Schmidt and he took me and Jay Werkheiser around and introduced us as “two of his newest Analog authors,” which made me smile.  He introduced us that way to Joe Haldeman.  Joe-freakin’-Haldeman: author of The Forever War, and “The Hemingway Hoax” and The Accidental Time Machine.  I was so glad I got to meet Joe in person.  Stan also introduced us to his agent, as well as Sheila Williams, editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction.  Later, Stan, Jay and I found a table in the “quiet” room and sat with Carl Frederick and Ian Randal Strock, and talked more shop.  It was absolutely wonderful.

I got to chat for a few minutes with Mary Robinette Kowal, who I’d first met in person back at Readercon in July.  She had to have been the most elegantly dressed person attending the event, and I was so glad I got to talk to her again.  I also got to chat with Bill Shunn, whose writing I’ve admired since I first read “Two Paths in the Forest Toulemonde” in Science Fiction Age back in 1994, and who I met briefly at Balticon in 2007.  I introduced Jason to Bill since they used to share a neighborhood in Queens.  There were a few other people that I wanted to to say hello to, but I ran into two problems: first, it was so crowded that I simply couldn’t find them; and second, I was exhausted and I needed to be up at 3:30am the next morning in order to drive the family back home.

I made a final round, saying goodbye to the people that I’d seen, and thanking Stan again for lunch and for showing me such a good time at the reception, and then Jason and I headed home.

I dozed off Monday night floating on a cloud.

To NYC for Real Writer Stuff

This weekend, we’ll be taking the new car up to New York so that I can do Writerly Things there on Monday.  As an added bonus, we’ll get to visit with some family on the way, and while we’re there. On Monday, I have a full day of writerly events on my calendar.

First, I’m having lunch with an editor–the first time I’ve done that.  I was somewhat nervous about this until I learned there would be a few other writers joining us.  Later in the day, I’m attending a dinner with fellow Codexians who will be in town.  Also very much looking forward to meeting them in person.

Finally, Monday evening,  I’ll be attending the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America‘s annual authors and editors reception at Planet Hollywood and I’m very excited to attend for a number of reasons:

  1. I’ll get to see some people I’ve only met once or twice before
  2. I’ll get to meet in-person people I’ve met online
  3. I’ll get to see some people whom I admire greatly, but whom I have never met before
  4. As a newly anointed “Active” member, I can establish the franchise
  5. I imagine the drinks are pretty good

I’m looking forward to meeting people within the genre that I’ve never met before, and maybe, just maybe, getting a feel for what it is like to be a Real Writer.  I’m very excited about the whole thing.

I’m dragging my brother-in-law, Jason, with me since he’s a fan of the genre, but also because in his line of work, I imagine he attends many events like this and he can be counted on to make sure I don’ t do anything outlandish.  Also, he can help me navigate my way back to his house when it is all over, which is a good thing.  I may be too overawed to be trusted to do it alone.

A full report is coming next week, when it is all over.  (Although I can’t promise I won’t issue forth a few tweets while I’m there.)

Creative Commons

I’ve been skeptical of Creative Commons for some time. I’d heard a lot about it. For those who don’t know, it’s a kind of alternate model for copyright, making use of existing copyright law, but providing a means for a creator to license certain rights explicitly, while not exempting them from licensing other rights separately. (Or so that is now how I understand it.)

Cory Doctorow has been one of the more vocal proponents of Creative Commons and argues that it helps actual book sales when you license some of your work under Creative Commons and make it freely available to the general public for noncommercial uses.

When the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) recently came out with a set of copyright recommendations, they recognized Creative Commons in their list of recommendations. It got me thinking I should learn more about it. So this morning I read up on it and I was impressed with the amount of thought put into it. I can’t say that I completely understand it yet. However, being someone who has always admired the concept behind “open source” software, Creative Commons is looking increasingly interesting to me. I need to learn more about it.


I got my first issue of the SFWA Forum in the mail today. This is a kind of extended newsletter that discussing the ongoing business of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. I read through it and in many ways, it is utterly fascinating. Even though much of it is reports on various business meeting, votes, and minutes, receiving it made me feel like part of “cool kids” club. I realize this is both snobbish and perverse, but I can’t help myself. All this is pretty darn exciting to me!