Something pretty incredible just happened.
My novella, “The Regular,” which was originally published in Upgraded, edited by Neil Clarke, has been nominated for a Nebula Award! (You can read the novella for free thanks to Neil Clarke here). This is a huge honor, and I’m super pleased to be in the company of my fellow nominees (congrats to them!):
- We Are All Completely Fine, Daryl Gregory (Tachyon)
- Yesterday’s Kin, Nancy Kress (Tachyon)
- “The Regular,” Ken Liu (Upgraded)
- “The Mothers of Voorhisville,” Mary Rickert (Tor.com 4/30/14)
- Calendrical Regression, Lawrence Schoen (NobleFusion)
- “Grand Jeté (The Great Leap),” Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Summer ’14)
In addition, The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin, has been nominated for a Nebula in the novel category. I translated this novel, and I understand that this is only the second translated novel in the history of the Nebulas to be nominated (the previous one was Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities). It is a huge honor for me to have had the chance to work on the translation of this novel, and I’m really pleased for Liu Cixin, Liz Gorinsky, my editor, Tor Books, and all my beta readers who helped me in the process. Congrats, Da Liu! And congrats to the other novel nominees as well.
- The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Tor)
- Trial by Fire, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
- Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
- The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (Tor)
- Coming Home, Jack McDevitt (Ace)
- Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer (FSG Originals; Fourth Estate; HarperCollins Canada)
Congrats to all the nominees on the list in other categories. You’re all amazing and it’s a pleasure to see so many friends and fresh voices on the list this year.
Full announcement can be seen on the SFWA web site.
Every awards season, I do one post to recommend other people’s stories and list out my own eligible work. You can find this year’s iteration here.
It’s important for everyone to recommend stories they enjoyed; it’s the best way to make sure good work is recognized. It’s also important for writers to promote their own work; it’s the only way for others to find out what they’ve done.
So, I have a collection of short stories coming out in French later this year called La Ménagerie de papier from Éditions du Bélial’. They’ve just shown me the cover by Aurélien Police, and it is beautiful. Take a look!
I’ll be at Boskone (February 14) at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. My panels are listed below. If you’re going, I hope to see you there!
Continue reading Boskone
My first book launch (in English)!
On November 11, my translation of Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem, the first volume of a hard scifi trilogy, is officially released by Tor Books.
The book launch is garnering quite a bit of media attention. The New York Times has a write-up about it, as does the Wall Street Journal.
And Liu Cixin himself talks about the “big idea” behind the series over on John Scalzi’s blog.
You can now order the book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online or local book stores.
And you should, because it is awesome.
Over the first weekend of November, I was in Beijing to attend the Xingyun Awards—one of the highest honors for Chinese-language science fiction. Besides honoring the best works of the past year at a gathering of writers and fans, it was also an opportunity for everyone to celebrate the release of the English edition of The Three-Body Problem. As the translator, I was invited to share in the joy. Guokr, which handled the logistics and organization, did a phenomenal job. Ji Shaoting and Yu Chunzi—basically the con runners—produced a seamless show and made me feel completely welcome.
It was an unforgettable experience.
Though I’ve literally been working with Liu Cixin on translating his scifi masterpiece for years, this was the first time I got to meet him in person. Nicknamed “Da Liu” (“Big Liu”) by his fans, Liu Cixin is a warm, unassuming man who exudes grace and wisdom. As the most prominent and popular scifi writer in China, Da Liu was mobbed by fans the entire weekend, many of them having traveled from other cities to see him. However, though Da Liu was stopped constantly as he tried to move from panel to panel and the long lines kept him far past his designated signing time, he always addressed each fan politely and tried his best to fulfill their autograph requests. When he spoke on panels, he was thoughtful and funny, and his answers were imaginative and insightful, delighting audiences who hung on his every word. Determined to nurture the Chinese science fiction community, Da Liu also devoted a great deal of energy over the weekend to support the work of younger writers (including mine).
I’d like to think all of us can aspire to such standards of behavior when we achieve success.
Besides meeting Da Liu, I had a weekend packed with amazing memories. I had the best time. The. Best. Time.
Some highlights (“some” because the full list would be way too long):
- Having my first meal in Beijing in a greasy roadside dive noodle shop with a bunch of writers in a cloud of cigarette smoke—quite a way to get over jet lag.
- Catching up with old friends and meeting new friends—many of them writers, critics, and publishing professionals I’d only corresponded with in the past. Also, learning lots of slang expressions.
- Launching my second Chinese short story collection; seeing the cover for my third Chinese collection revealed; getting my Galaxy Award from Assistant Chief Editor Yang of Science Fiction World; signing books, lots of books.
- Having Da Liu hand me a Xingyun Award for special contribution to Chinese SF on stage—they totally surprised me and I almost cried. I think I managed to mumble some words of thanks, hopefully in Chinese.
- Seeing my friend Bao Shu win his first Xingyun Gold Award for his fantastic novel, Ruins of Time. I’m hoping to see an English edition soon (meanwhile, you can catch a novella of his, “What Has Passed Shall in Kinder Light Appear,” in next year’s March/April F&SF, translated by me).
- Going out at midnight with others to do shots of erguotou (“Chinese vodka”) until we were kicked out by the restaurant owner … This was research. Yes, research. If you read TTBP you’ll see I’m being 100% honest here.
- Above all, meeting all the enthusiastic fans and interacting with them. Their passion and joy were infectious and the energy level was incredible.
I’m very much looking forward to getting the chance to go again next year.
I went to visit Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania last month to meet the students who were turning my short story, “The Perfect Match,” into a play. It was neat to see how the actors interpreted my characters, and it gave me a chance to see these characters in a new light.
I also got a chance to visit a few classes, share meals with some students, and talk to them about a scifi future (I told them about my visions of the robot apocalypse, since you know I’m such an optimistic guy).
It was a blast. Mercersburg Academy has a beautiful campus with excellent facilities, and the students impressed me with their maturity and insightful questions about my story. We ended up chatting about notions of privacy, and whether members of the younger generation really do have different ideas about online personas and privacy than older people.
I’m grateful that my hosts, Julie and Matt Maurer, gave me this opportunity for a visit. And I’m even more grateful for the hard work the students put into this production. I hope to see a recording of the production soon.
You know what these are?
Research for Book 2 of the Dandelion Dynasty. If you know what these are, you’ll have a hint of what’s coming. I hope you have as much fun reading this as I’ve been having writing it.
And yes, the shocks do hurt.
Copyedits for The Grace of Kings are done!
The final MS is 800 pages long and weighs in at 7 lbs.
Many thanks to the copyeditor and my editor for wrestling this thing into shape.