Sunday Links for April 24, 2011

Barbara Hambly is multi-talented; she can write good mysteries as well as interesting fantasy, historical fiction bringing a period to life and science fiction bringing a world to life. She’s had a long and varied career, and she talks about it all in this interview.

There are more awards being announced in genre fiction these days than you can possibly keep up with. The International Thriller Writers has announced the the nominees for The Big Thrill Awards Winners will be announced at ThrillerFest in New York on July 9, 2011 . You know what that means: a new list to take to the library with me.

The Hugo nominees were announced just in time to be included in this blog post. The overlap with the Nebula nominees is always interesting to me; three of the five novellas and novelettes are duplicates, for instance, but there’s only one repeat in the short story category. Is this evidence that writers and fans see things much the same way, or that they have completely different criteria? And what’s the overlap, given that most writers would also consider themselves fans? Winners will be announced at WorldCon in Reno, Nevada, on August 20, 2011.

Here’s an award I’ve not heard of before: the Parsec Award. Nominees for this award, granted to the best podcasts of the year in various categories, are listed here.

‘Twere ever thus: genre writers continue to claim that they are solegitimate, and to protest their treatment in such venues as the BBC. The BBC responds, Who, us? We celebrate you guys! Yeah, and the Easter bunny brought me a nice big basket full of goodies. I wish those who don’t read SF/F/H could just say, “Yes, interesting work, but not my thing” instead of feeling required to sneer at the genres.

Here’s some really good news: Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds magazine is making a return. It should debut in print and online in September/October 2011, and expects to operate, at least initially, on a quarterly schedule. I’m looking forward to this return of the venerable magazine, which published some of the most cutting edge fiction to be found in its initial run, especially during the 1960s.

George R.R. Martin can’t seem to catch a break. Just when he should be riding high on the strength of the HBO adaptation of A Game of Thrones, the New Yorker runs an article detailing his fans’ displeasure with his seemingly relaxed writing schedule. There is much discontent with the fact that it’s been six years since the last book in A Song of Ice and Fire was published, and it will not be assuaged, even by Neil Gaiman’s famous explanation that “George R.R. Martin is not your bitch.” In fact, some folks are so angry that they’ve rebutted the New Yorker article with some pretty angry, nasty words. Me, I just hope Martin manages to finish the series in his lifetime, but I think he’s allowed to take as long as he needs to write something remarkable. I’d rather wait and have something amazing than get schlock at regular intervals.

Speaking of HBO’s “A Game of Thrones,” the latest argument on the web is about whether the series is racist. It never once occurred to me while watching last week’s episode (I haven’t gotten around to this week’s, but it’s recorded and ready to go) that someone might so perceive it; I thought the villains were nicely divided among the races. But not everyone agrees.

How do writers make it through all the rejections until they finally see publication? Many have years and years of nothing but little slips of paper coming in the mail saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Then they start to get rejection slips that have little handwritten notes saying things like, “This is getting there, but….” And then, for the intrepid few who keep on writing, success! If they’re lucky. It takes willful blindness to get through the process, but for those who live to write, one accepts it and moves forward. Of course, not everyone is cut out to be a writer.

Harry Potter fans have turned to philanthropy in large numbers, and they’re doing some real good. I wonder if J.K. Rowling ever thought she’d have such a big effect on the world? Not just books published, not just books that sold in huge numbers, but books that are inspiring people to do good. What an accomplishment!