Posts Tagged ‘hugo’


I– that’s a… I have a– Last night, my short story



It is really hard to wrap my head around having a Hugo. I mean… It’s a HUGO!


“For Want of a Nail” is a Hugo nominee!

I am very, very pleased to announce that my short story, “For Want of a Nail” is on the Hugo ballot this year. I got to sit in the crowd at Norwescon and watch the Hugo nominations be announced, live.  This was a lot of fun. Especially when my name went up on the screen with the story. Heavens!

The other short story nominees are:

‘‘Ponies”, Kij Johnson ( 11/17/10)
‘‘For Want of a Nail”, Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s 9/10)
‘‘Amaryllis”, Carrie Vaughn (Lightspeed 6/10)
‘‘The Things”, Peter Watts (Clarkesworld 1/10)

This story originally appeared in the September  2010 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction. To celebrate, we’d like to offer you the story.

Edited to add: There is also an electronic version with bonus features, if you are interested. Details here.

Continue reading ›

My 2009 publications

As you know, the Hugo nomination period is open.  I thought I’d post a list of my stories published in 2009.  Just a reminder, I recused myself from SFWA Nebula eligibility this year, so none of these are Nebula eligible.

I’ve bolded my favorites. If the story title has a link, you can read the story online.

Short Story

The Conciousness Problem — Asimov’s, August 2009

At the Edge of Dying — Clockwork Phoenix 2: More Tales of Beauty and Strangeness

Jaiden’s Weaver Diamonds in the Sky (February, 2009)

Ginger Stuyvesant and the Case of the Haunted Nursery — Talebones #38

Prayer at Dark RiverInnsmouth Free Press


First Flight —

Body Language — Intergalactic Medicine Show #15

WorldCon Wrapup

I arrived home from WorldCon last night, absolutely beat.  The convention was a great deal of fun, but the highlight for me is summed up in this photo.

Presenting David Anthony Durham with the Campbell TiaraThat’s me, at the Hugo Ceremony, presenting David Anthony Durham with the Campbell Tiara.  He wore it the rest of the evening and looks darn good in it.  I’m very happy for him.

The only downside to the whole thing is that there aren’t five tiaras. The field was very strong this year, and if you haven’t already, check out the other Campbell nominees.

The rest of the ceremony was pretty darn cool, too.  I was particularly happy to see Weird Tales when the Semi-prozine category because I think the work that Stephen H. Segal has done to reimagine the magazine has been incredible. It’s not simply the design, but the entire way he’s approaching packaging the magazine. Very smart and clearly it paid off.

In case you hadn’t noticed, I did not walk away with the short story Hugo for “Evil Robot Monkey.” Since I totally expected Ted Chiang to take it, this is not a surprise. What was surprising is that ERM had the most nominations.  That surprised the heck out of me.

I also need to give a shout-out to Kate Baker, who not only rescued me from the hotel of doom, but also turns out to be a fantastic roommate.  We hung all weekend and had more fun than I can tell you about.

Lordy, I’m sure there’s more, because it didn’t seem like I ever stopped moving.

The Campbell Tiara

Campbell TiaraI’m in Montreal where I will hand over the Campbell Tiara to the newest winner of the Campbell Award for Best New Writer.  I’m seriously looking forward to it.  This year had a really strong field with David Anthony Durham, Aliette de Bodard, Tony Pi, Felix Gilman, and Gord Sellar.

Any of them would look good in the tiara.

When Jay Lake and Elizabeth Bear came up with the idea for the tiara, it was to raise public awareness of the award.  This only works if people recognize the tiara and what it means.

Which means wearing it.

Not that this is particularly onerous, since it’s pretty.  I joke about how I wore it to all “State Occasions” but the truth is, I’ve worn it at every con I’ve been to this year.  I’ll have it on at WorldCon. I’m a little bit uncomfortable with that, because the spotlight should be on the nominees and this feels like I’m begging people to pay attention to me.  But here’s the thing… you know the Hugo Rocket pin?  You see that and if you’re at WorldCon, you immediately what it means because it’s entered the public consciousness.  The same should be true of the Campbell Tiara.  Which means wearing it.

So that when I pass it to the new winner, even if you don’t attend the Hugo Ceremony, you’ll know that the person in the tiara is this year’s recipient of the Campbell Award for Best New Writer.  That’s the whole point of having it. Plus it’s pretty.

WorldCon 2009 schedule

I’m heading up to Montreal for Anticipation, the 2009 WorldCon. Here is my convention schedule.


Twitter, Facebook, My Space: Social Media and Writing
14:00, P-513B
What’s all the buzz about the new social media? Writing short-short-short stories on Twitter??? Good grief! Is this networking or a new way to write? Can tweets and Facebook updates be about more than what you ate?
James Strauss, Jenny Rae Rappaport, Mary Robinette Kowal, Walter Jon Williams, John Picacio


The Campbell Awards (Not a Hugo, Honest!)
17:00, P-511A
Jay Lake and other previous winners explain why you should read and vote.
Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake, Mary Robinette Kowal, Wen Spencer


SF and the Arts
10:00, P-524A
There is a wide variety of art in the genre that has nothing to do with paper or a computer….
Elaine Isaak, Frank Roger, Leigh Adams, Mary Robinette Kowal, Stephen H. Segal, Jill Eastlake

13:00, D-Vitre
Writing Workshop S
Critique session for previously submitted manuscripts
Jay Lake, Mary Robinette Kowal

15:30, P-513C
Puppetry Demonstration

Beginning with an overview of puppetry, we’ll talk about how it relates to SF. I’m planning on bringing some rehearsal puppets to let people try.

19:00, P-513B
Radio Theater – “The Cold Equations”

Two-time Aurora nominee Joe Mahoney directs a reading of his sf audio adaptation originally broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: Tom Godwin’s “The Cold Equations.”
Joe Mahoney, Mary Robinette Kowal


9:00, Outdoors
Stroll With The Stars

A gentle, friendly 1 mile stroll with some of your favorite Authors, Artists & Editors. Leaving daily 9AM, from the Riopelle Fountain outside the Palais (corner of Ave Viger & Rue de Bleury), returning before 10AM.
Farah Mendlesohn, Lou Anders, Mary Robinette Kowal, Paul Cornell, Stu Segal, John Picacio, Felix Gilman

11:00, P-522A
Author Reading
Readings by me, Tony Pi, Daniel Duguay and Frank Roger. I’m planning to read “Evil Robot Monkey” and either something from Shades of Milk and Honey or Scenting the Dark. There are advantages to having a story that’s only 970 words long.

20:00, Location: P-517ABC
Hugo Awards

No description needed. I’ll have a pretty dress.


10:00, P-513C
Characterization Workshop for Costumers

Good costumes are better costumes when they have a character behind them. Use characterization to bring your costuming to the next level. Give your original design a backstory and personality. Our panel will discuss ideas and show you how.
Mary Robinette Kowal, Toni Lay

11:00, P-521A

A chance to ask those burning questions.

The truth about John Scalzi

The concom at ConQuest 40 were looking for a bio of John Scalzi but wanted something a little more detailed and accurate than the standard wikipedia one.  They asked me if I’d assist, given my long-standing friendship with him, and write one for them with some behind the scenes details for the program book.  In the interests of making this information available to the wider public, here is a brief biography with never before told facts.

Every word of it is completely true.

John Scalzi, Campbell-award winning author, has been thrilling fans with his writing since he began as is evidenced by his Hugo award for fan writing. This amazing victory can best be summed up in the reaction of his mother-in-law, who often weeps at the thought of his writing and what it means to her daughter.

But where did this phenomenal talent come from? Born in California on May 10, 1869, Professor Scalzi’s life followed normal patterns for a child of his time. Although he demonstrated an early facility for language in the forged notes he created to get out of the entirety of third year, his true skills did not become apparent until his parents sent him to an exclusive boarding school in the Catskills. This location would become ironically apt later in his life.

Brother Francis Gerard later commented in his memoirs that “Young Scalzi had the worst hand-writing we had ever seen. It was impossible to test him because no one could read his writing, and yet curiously, his forgeries were impeccable. So we set him to copying, hoping that he would learn to write his own words as well as he could write other’s.”

Taking the command to “copy the good book” rather more liberally than his instructors intended, Scalzi picked out what he called, “the only good book in the school library,” Starship Troopers. Not content with merely copying the original text, Scalzi began the project that led to his receiving the 1985 Hugo for Best Fan Art — The Complete Illuminated Works of Robert A. Heinlein. Rendered on vellum with ink ground from a mixture of boa-boa berry and dark coffee, these lovingly drawn works represent nearly a lifetime of work. The sheets of vellum measure on average 24″ by 17″ inches and have an estimated $5000 worth of gold leaf and powdered cobalt spanning the collection.  Exhibited at the Smithsonian, MOMA and the Vatican, they have brought universal acclaim from old fans and new alike.

In 2004, Scalzi was awarded a fellowship at Yale for his work on the Illuminated Manuscripts.  The pressure of teaching interfered with his continuing efforts so he moved with his wife Krissy, to rural Ohio.  There he began working with private students on the fine art of illumination.

While taking a break from his students, Professor Scalzi happened to witness one of his neighbors working on the neighboring ranch, herding his flock of cats. The job was overwhelming the man, so Scalzi stepped in and discovered that these highly trained animals were bored with their role.  He introduced them to the notion of illuminating manuscripts which they took to, as if they were born to it. He’s since begun work on a new illuminated manuscript collaborating with the cat, Ghlaghghee .  They selected the material together by the simple means of Professor Scalzi spreading his books around until Ghlaghghee chose one to sit on — The Collected Works of Francis Bacon.

One of the interesting side effects of having a story nominated for a Hugo is that everyone and their cousin posts reviews of them. So, I haven’t been linking to them because it would just get silly.  One popped up on my feedreader today from Best Science Fiction Stories.

I haven’t run across this site before, but I like the way it’s laid out. It gives a non-spoiler summary, plus trivia about the author, where to find the story and says “if you like this then you’ll like…”

Anyway, I thought it was a nifty site and worth pointing out.

Escape Pod » EP196: Evil Robot Monkey

My short story “Evil Robot Monkey,” read by Stephen Eley, appears on Escape Pod today as part of their yearly podcast of Hugo nominees. It first appeared in the Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, vol. 2 edited by George Mann.

Sliding his hands over the clay, Sly relished the moisture oozing around his fingers. The clay matted down the hair on the back of his hands making them look almost human. He turned the potter’s wheel with his prehensile feet as he shaped the vase. Pinching the clay between his fingers he lifted the wall of the vase, spinning it higher.

Someone banged on the window of his pen. Sly jumped and then screamed as the vase collapsed under its own weight. He spun and hurled it at the picture window like feces. The clay spattered against the Plexiglas, sliding down the window.

via Escape Pod » EP196: Evil Robot Monkey.

Adventures in Reading: Hugo Award Nominee: “Evil Robot Monkey”

It always makes me happy when Joe Sherry over at Adventures in Reading reviews one of my stories.  He manages to cover the whole thing without any spoilers, which is pretty amazing for a 970 word story.

“Evil Robot Monkey” is a heartbreaking and surprising story. The title might suggest a little robot monkey being destructive and nasty, but Mary Kowal tells a different and unexpected story. The titular monkey is introduced working a potter’s wheel, making a vase. Then…

via Adventures in Reading: Hugo Award Nominee: “Evil Robot Monkey”.

Evil Robot Monkey

I have three version of Evil Robot Monkey to offer for your consideration as one of the Hugo nominees for Short Story.  It was originally published in the Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, vol. 2 edited by George Mann.

You may download a pdf of “Evil Robot Monkey“, illustrated by me. I do layout the way other people doodle and made this while I was waiting for the announcement to go live.

Or you could listen to me read it. Six minutes of science-fiction.

Evil Robot Monkey, by Mary Robinette Kowal

Edited to add: Andrew Neely very kindly converted the audio to an M4B (iTunes audiobook) version.

Or, you can skip after the cut and read the story right here.

Continue reading ›

“Evil Robot Monkey” has been nominated for a Hugo!

Here’s another post that you’re reading days and days after I write it.

Short form:

My story, “Evil Robot Monkey” has been nominated for a Hugo!



Jodi and I had a show last Thursday night and went out afterwards with his sweetie, Sam, to hang and celebrate that it went pretty darn well. About 10:30, I pulled out my G1 to check the time and it was open to email.

The top message had the subject line, “Contact: Hugo Nomination.”

Jodi and Sam ceased to exist for a moment (Sorry, fellows) and I opened the email. As I read it, a grin spread across my face and I looked up, totally cutting Sam off. “Gentlemen, I’ve just been nominated for a Hugo.”

None of us could shriek but they were as appropriately enthusiastic as a girl could wish. I know we talked about other things afterwards, but my head was totally wrapped up in HUGO!

Holy cow! My story. A Hugo nominee!!!!

And I have to keep it a secret. Do you have any idea how painful it is to hang out with SF folks when you’re holding in something like this? I’m distracting myself by shopping for a dress. I think that’s reasonable, don’t you?

2008 Fiction wrap up

Antiticaption, the 2009 Hugos held in Montreal, has opened the doors for Hugo nominations today, so I thought I’d mention which of my stories came out in 2008.

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(“Evil Robot Monkey” will be appearing in both Rich Horton’s Science Fiction Best of the Year and Gardner Dozois’s The Year’s Best Science-Fiction)

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I’d also like to point out that the Campbell nominations are open as well.  Receiving this award at the Hugos last year was one of the most amazing experiences and I’m looking forward to passing the tiara on to the next recipient.

Please swing by the Campbell award page to look at the eligible authors.  In particular, allow me to point out that Jon Armstrong and David Anthony Durham are eligible again this year for the award.  They were both nominated last year and I’ve had the pleasure of not only meeting both gentlemen but also reading their work. Good stuff, folks.