Mother of all award ceremonies

(Yes, I am going to beat that pun into a dead mixed metaphor.)

This week I returned from Continuum 15, where I had the usual fabulous time of attending and presenting on panels, and hanging out in the bar with friends. The undeniable highlight, however, was Mother of Invention taking out three awards:

  • the Norma K. Hemming Award for excellence in the exploration of themes of race, gender, sexuality, class or disability in speculative fiction (long work category, jointly with Sam Hawke’s City of Lies)
  • the Ditmar Award for Best Collected Work
  • our amazing cover artist Likhain took home the Ditmar Award for Best Artwork for the cover

My brilliant co-editor Tansy Rayner Roberts also won Best Novella or Novelette for the very lovely Cabaret of Monsters, so it was a great night all round.

As far as the convention itself went, I live tweeted: Lyrical and Poetic speculative fiction; Kate Elliott’s presentation on Narrative Structure and Expectations; Ken Liu’s guest of honour interview, conducted by Likhain; and Polyamory in Speculative Fiction.

I can’t find a livetweet of the Linguistic Worldbuilding panel I moderated, but A.C. Buchanan and Adeline Teoh both kindly recorded the philosophy and ethics of personhood panel I spoke on, entitled Who Am We.

As usual, Cat Sparks’ photos capture some of the magic.

As if that weren’t enough excitement, my bioethical thriller “Best For Baby” is out in the most recent issue of GlitterShip. (Kindle version is here, and podcast to come).

I did not win a Woollahra Digital Literary Award, but I enjoyed the ceremony and its aftermath, and was pleased that Stephen Pham, who judged my category, mentioned “The Day Girl” to highlight the importance of podcast fiction for accessibility.

Next on the horizon is Conflux and GenreCon, plus some unannounced projects, and, of course, writing. I recently hit 50,000 words (and halfway) in my novel, and I always have more shorts in the mix. Phew, I think that might be it!

What am we? Identity and SFF

What is it like to be a non-human person? What is it like to be a machine? A collective? A planet, even? What is it like to come back from the dead, or to be beamed to another planet? Would I still be me? If my wolf-self kills someone, then is my human-self morally responsible? Such questions figure prominently in SFF. Does SFF answer them well? Does it answer them in a respectful way? Is SFF shaped by certain cultural assumptions, and is that a bad thing?

Participants: Josh Melican (moderator), J.S. Breukelaar, Rivqa Rafael, Sam Kiss.

Linguistic Worldbuilding

If you’re reading a novel set in Ancient Greece, do you cringe when you see Latin? If your universe never had the Norse gods, how do you name the days of the week? What if your stone-age setting predates metalwork? Is this important detail, or pedantic nitpicking? Let’s talk about the opportunities and restrictions in letting your setting guide your language!

Participants: Adeline Teoh, Kathryn A, Paula Boer, Rivqa Rafael (moderator).