Archive for March, 2011

World Fantasy Awards Advocacy: Send in Books and Other Material!

Jeff VanderMeer • March 1st, 2011 • Culture

UPDATE: The administrator of the awards has sent a corrected address for one of the judges:

Sacha Mamczak
Heyne Verlag
Verlagsgruppe Random House
Bayerstrs. 71-73,
D-80335, München
Germany
++49-89-4136-3127

The World Fantasy Award judges have finally been announced, and I’ve got the list along with the other relevant details from the press release below the cut. The judges pick three of the five finalists in each category—sometimes more if the judges can’t come to agreement or find more material they all agree is worthy in a particular category—with the other two being voted in by attendees of the prior year’s World Fantasy Convention as well as, I believe, those who bought supporting memberships.

As the internet and other factors have begun to open up the richness of world fantasy to the Anglo world, I’ve increasingly questioned the “World” in the World Fantasy Award, but here’s the simple truth: the judges cannot consider material they do not receive. So the simplest form of advocacy for non-center-genre stories, books, and publishers from anywhere in the world, published in English, is to make sure this material gets in front of the judges. (Also, the World Fantasy Award has been very open to indie presses.)

Having served on the judging panel before, I personally feel it’s more effective to have your editor or publisher submit a novel, anthology, magazine, or story collection but I don’t believe anything in the rules stops an individual writer from doing so.

As for magazines and sites that publish fiction electronically, the editors of same might not want to assume the judges will automatically see online material. iI may be best for an editor to send print-outs of relevant material with the URL of the site, unless some other arrangement is satisfactory to the judges—by now they may have some protocols in place with regard to this issue. But, believe it or not, piles of paper can be convincing arguments to read stuff.

Certain books and magazines you can be sure are already being sent. For example, F&SF, any of the anthologies by major editors in the field, and, I believe, material from Strange Horizons, along with many more. (Anyone with additional insight, feel free to chime in.)

There’s plenty of time, since I find it doubtful the judges will even start communicating and talking about any books or stories for another couple of weeks, based on my own experience, at least. You’ll also be doing the judges a favor. I remember how excruciating it was on a tight budget to have to buy some books that weren’t sent, to make sure we considered them, or the time spent tracking down copies of things that could’ve gone toward reading. We were also surprised that some editors couldn’t be bothered to send work in; hopefully, that’s changed.

One last note…if you think you’re deserving of the lifetime achievement award and want to put yourself forward or have your editor to do…don’t do it. You will just look like a complete egotistical jerk and will have five judges thinking the word “ass” whenever they see your picture. (We had a couple of situations like that the year I was a judge.)

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FOGCon Schedule, March 11-13: Ann & Jeff VanderMeer

Jeff VanderMeer • March 1st, 2011 • News

fogcon

As you may know, Ann and I are honored guests at FOGCon in San Francisco, along with the awesome Pat Murphy. The con is being held March 11-13 and we hope to see many of you there. Check out their facebook page as well. Our schedule is below. Note the coffee shop gig, which still has some slots available.

Ann will have the new issue of Weird Tales with her, and I will be celebrating the release of my nonfiction collection Monstrous Creatures.

For those who don’t make it to FOGCon, we will be appearing at the SF in SF event March 14.

SCHEDULE

Friday 2:00-4:00 PM–First Drink Book Heads
Ann and I will endeavor to be in the hotel bar for anyone who just wants to say hi and shoot the breeze.

Friday 4:30-5:45 PM—Last Drink Bird Head
Ann, Jeff, and (hopefully) Rina WeismanA discussion of the Last Drink Bird Head awards given by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer for service and activism in the science fiction community. What are these awards? Who nominates? Who selects? What’s the idea behind them? (We’ll also talk about charity efforts in the field generally.)

Friday 8:00-9:15 PM—The Monster In Speculative Literature
M: Ann VanderMeer, Nabil Hijazi, Rachel Silber, Karen Williams
Sometimes a monster is the villain, increasingly the monster is the hero(ine). Why do readers identify with the monster now, or perhaps they always have? What makes a monster monstrous?

Friday 9:30-10:45 PM—How To Destroy Your City And Enjoy The Wreckage
Madeleine Robins, Pat Murphy, Jeff VanderMeer, Gary Kloster, Elwin Cotman
The ruins of Southern California in Tim Powers’ *Dinner at Deviant’s Palace*; the artistic mutations of San Francisco in Pat Murphy’s *The City Not Long After* [er, and don't forget Ambergris...]—what fun can we have with the wreckage of a city? What is left over after the apocalypse, and what begins after it? Consider the ruined city months, years, centuries later: What threats and promises will the crumbling metropolis of the past offer to the survivors?

Saturday, 11am to 12:30 PM—Books and Coffee at Contraband Coffee (off-site)
Jeff and Ann VanderMeer talk about keeping a healthy Booklife, care and feeding of your Monstrous Creature, and creating a really Weird Tale. Bring thick skin, curiosity and a viewpoint to Contraband Coffee. Guaranteed seating for 15, standing room for more. (Only a few seated slots available–more info onRaw Dog’s facebook page; email them to reserve at [email protected] .)

Saturday, 1:30-2:45 PM—VanderMeer Honored Guest Panel
The VanderMeers: Interrogation With Eye Candy: Dr. Lambshead, Steampunk, Weird Tales, Imaginary Animals, and You: Join Weird Tales editor and Hugo Award winner Ann VanderMeer and her World Fantasy Award winning husband, writer and editor Jeff VanderMeer as they take you on a whirlwind visual exclusive inside look at a cornucopia of exciting new projects, from The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, featuring work by Mike Mignola and Greg Broadmore, to the Steampunk Bible coffee table book, from the rejuvenated Weird Tales to the insanely entertaining Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals. (This includes new stuff even if you’ve seen us do a powerpoint before.) FEATURING: Infamous self-Q&A, with questions NOT vetted ahead of time…

Saturday, 3:00-4:00 PM—Autograph session in the dealer’s room.
Afterwards, we will hang out at the Raw Dog table for awhile.

Saturday 9pm until the wee hours
-Con suite party
-Raw Dog Screaming Press Book Party (including launch of Monstrous Creatures)

Sunday 10:30-11:45—Jeff VanderMeer Reading
(Trust me, I will not be reading for an hour and fifteen minutes. But I will probably read from my new novel Borne and also tell an anecdote or two and take questions. Ann will also be there.)