Posts Tagged ‘review’

SFWA Volunteer Opportunity – Nebula Website Editor

SFWA is creating a new, updated website for the Nebula Awards and is looking for a SFWA member to partner with the professional web designer they’ve hired to do the heavy lifting.

Estimated Time Required: 10-30 hours per month, (Variable depending on time of year. Heaviest commitment: March, April, and May)

Job Description:
1. Advise the Board on the nebulaawards.com web presence, set priorities for nebulaawards.com consistent with the overall goal of promoting the Nebula and Norton Awards, the nominees, the winners, the Awards weekend, SFWA anthologies, and through them all, the genres of science fiction and fantasy. Assist in recruiting, training, and coordinating volunteers as needed.

2. Review existing Nebula-related and other genre promotional material and its organization to remove extraneous and confusing material and create an organizational map that is easily navigable and makes relevant material easily discoverable.

3. Suggest, gather, organize, and provide content to the Nebula webmaster, including interviews, opinion essays, images, and bios/essays from Nebula and Norton Award winners.

4. Serve as liaison between the sfwa.org webmaster, Nebula webmaster, Bulletin and NAR editors, Executive Director, and SFWA members.

5. Create press releases regarding important Nebula website updates and work with media representatives as necessary to publicize the website.

Benefits: Extensive networking, connection with the redesign of a high-profile website suitable for resume mention, and increased visibility in SFWA.

Skills required: A high level of organization, ability to lead a team, editing and document management experience, experience with content management systems, blogs, and making video/audio material web accessible. Any level of SFWA membership

If you are interested, send a brief introductory letter to sfwavolunteer@gmail.com

Blurbs and context

When we get reviewed in the theater, there’s always a moment of scanning the review looking for the pull quote. We’ve got to have something we can plaster on brochure’s and flyers. It is always tempting to pull something out of context like pulling, “Amazing!” out of “It’s amazing that anyone came back after intermission.” (Completely fictional example.)

In the writing arena, I quote reviews and mentions here, and yeah, usually focus on the juicy stuff. For instance,

Gardner Dozois talked about his picks for the Nebula short story categories, saying:

My vote would go to Andy Duncan’s “Unique Chicken Goes in Reverse,” … My next choice, I guess, would be “For Solo Cello, op. 12,” by Mary Robinette Kowal … followed by “Titanium Mike Saves the Day,” by David D. Levine…

Woot! Gardner Dozois puts me in the number two position! Except… if you read the whole quote.

This is the weakest of the categories.

My vote would go to Andy Duncan’s “Unique Chicken Goes in Reverse,” although it’s not even really a fantasy let alone SF–what it is is an Andy Duncan story, who’s a genre to himself, much like Howard Waldrop. Since Duncan is popular with the membership, it might have a chance, although it did appear in an expensive hardcover anthology from a small press.

Not much else here I’m really enthusiastic about. My next choice, I guess, would be “For Solo Cello, op. 12,” by Mary Robinette Kowal, which is SF (but which is probably unlikely to win), followed by …

Ow. Gardner Dozois says, “Not really enthusiastic!” and “Unlikely to win!”

Ah, context… Think I can put that on a poster?

Horror World Reviews Gratia Placenti

Horror World Reviews covered Gratia Placenti, from Apex Digest, with what has to be the best review of any project of which I’ve had the pleasure to be a part.

The final story in the book, Mary Robinette Kowal’s Tomorrow And Tomorrow is yet another strong tale, concerning both a mother’s love and a husband’s hate. It is also a timely look at the idea of class systems and those who come from elsewhere; where, though being well educated and even well respected in their places or countries of origin, are forced to take menial jobs and face constant ridicule to survive in their new environment.

The review closes with this line, “Certainly one of 2007’s best anthology titles, it receives my highest recommendation.”

Preliminary good news

A draft of the preliminary Nebula ballot is up for review in the SFWA members area. For Solo Cello, op. 12 is on there with six other stories. I literally squealed. Not just a squee, a full-out squeal of delight.

Once they post the official preliminary ballot, I’ll share it here, because a couple of my favorites have made it as well. I’m tremendously excited for the authors and want to see them make it to the final ballot.

I am so, very, very excited and pleased today.

HorrorScope: Editorial: Horror in 2007

Okay… maybe there are better ways than Chaucer’d Dr. Seuss to start out the New Year, but not by much.

HorrorScope did a review of Horror in 2007

To see out the death of 2007, HorrorScope assembled a team of experts within the field of horror and dark fantasy to compile an experts’ choice recommended reading list.

If you click through and scroll down to “International authors to watch in 2008,” somehow, my name wound up on the list. This is funny because I don’t think of myself as a horror writer. I know I write it sometimes, but I have a different picture in my head of myself. One with less blood and pain.

Still, I’m awfully flattered and pleased.

Grasping for the Wind Reviews The Pirate Issue

Grasping for the Wind has a review of the Shimmer Pirate Issue.

The highlight for me was, of course, this:

The illustrations throughout this issue were very well done. They had detail and connected very well with the stories. The cover was appropriate and appealing, with a simple graphic design that grabbed the eye without shouting too loud. Inside, the layout was excellent, the stories very readable and the binding solid (it had a graphic novel sort of binding). It was held easier in the hand than a mass market paperback, and each story is just the right length to get you through lunch at the office.

Way to go James and Jeremy Owen, to whom we owe all the art.

Dark Scribe Magazine Reviews Gratia Placenti

The first review of the Gratia Placenti anthology is out.
Dark Scribe Magazine gives us a very favorable notice

Concluding the anthology is Mary Robinette Kowal’s futuristic “Tomorrow and Tomorrow”, the tale of Tuyet, a cleaning woman working on a space station hoping to earn enough money to buy her ailing son a new set of lungs. A tale of the desperate things people do for the sake of others, this story presents a sympathetic character who is sucked into a murder plot after the fact, and is too deeply involved by the time she realizes it to change the outcome. With more than just her own life at stake, Tuyet is tragically doomed by either path she takes.

Preview of Golden Compass

A director friend of ours had tickets to a preview of the Golden Compass and invited Rob and me to a small screening. The production design on the show is gorgeous, with air ships that will make the most hardened steampunker swoon. The costumes are stunning throughout. The whole cast turns in really strong performances, particularly Dakota Blue, playing Lyra, who seems to spend most of the movie acting to CGI. I always believed that she was looking at something real.

The pacing is really atrocious and the movie skips from one action scene to the next. I do not remember the book feeling so full of lucky coincidences. This really felt like “And Lyra gets into trouble! Look! Someone saves her in the nick of time! And Lyra gets into trouble! Look! etc!!!”

I was sad. But I’ll still go see the second one, hoping that they get a handle on the pacing next time. It’s still worth seeing, mind you, because it is very, very pretty.

The rest of my complaints are spoilers.

Rag and Bone

The show that I’ve been working on most recently is at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and called Rag and Bone, written by Noah Haidle and directed by Sam Gold.

I watched a preview last night and am delighted to let you know that the hearts I made and the twenty tiny ladders make total sense within the context of the play.

Check out their blurb.

Jeff and George, mourning the death of their mother, struggle to make ends meet at the family ladder store, which George also utilizes as a front for the black market sale of human hearts, hearts bought and sold for people who either feel nothing or too damn much!

Previews Begin: November 14
Special Preview Benefit: November 19
For benefit information and tickets, click this link
Opening Night: November 20
Runs through December 16
Wed – Sat at 8pm, Sun at 5pm
For tickets, call 212-868-4444 or click this link

Locus reviews Talebones #35

Patrick Swenson, erstwhile editor of Talebones, points to the latest issue of Locus.

Two further Summer issues from the small press: both from magazines distinguished both by longevity and attractiveness. Talebones’ 35th issue has perhaps slightly more of a horror focus than usual–at any rate, my favorite story is a clever horror piece, Mary Robinette Kowal’s ‘Death Comes But Twice,’ in which a man finds a way to be revived from death, hopefully to live forever–but there is a terrible catch.

Willamette Week reviews Cinderella

Bizarre. I designed these puppets years ago and evidentally they are being used in a remount now. Willamette Week reviewed the production and had this to say about my work.

The puppets, designed by Mary Robinette Kowall [sic] ((Oddly, I only ran across this because, for the first time, I ran a search on a common misspelling of my name. The review was posted today.)) , are detailed, lifelike and sometimes capable of expressing quite nuanced emotions.

Dr. Who review

The September 2007 Doctor Who magazine reviews Short Trips: Destination Prague which includes my story, “Suspension and Disbelief.”

The highlights:

For this latest Short Trips anthology the editor, Steven Savlie, has roped in an experienced group of writers to create a more self-consciously literary collection than usual, one that suggests voguish, city-themed short story compilations rather than the esoteric, sci-fi themes of past Short Trip collections. As a result, and by locating all of the stories in Prague of the past, present and future as opposed to the rather wider canvases of other Short Trips, Destination Prague succeeds in feeling quite different from its predecessors, with a consistency of quality and stylishness that has not always been evident.

There are some very fine entries here. The opening story Midnight in the Cafe of the Black Madonna with its alien elephant trying to prevent genocide, sets the bar high, while the funny Dogs of War, spooky Spoilsport and haunting Suspension and Disbelief stand out.

I thought I couldn’t get any more tickled about this sale, but, yowza! my story is “haunting” and among those that “stand out.”

And yes, after hearing a rumor that my story was mentioned, I did troop down to the closest book store and pick up a copy of the magazine. I mean, Doctor Who!