I’m that lucky. I get pushback when I call it luck, and yes, it also takes hard work and dedication. Luck comes in when your story manages to say the right things, at the right time, to readers who understand and care. Lovely when that comes together, but it can’t be aimed at. I don’t take it for granted.
I have lots of experience both winning and losing awards, and being a finalist is a huge win.
The Nebula Awards are voted on by the members of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association, and awarded at the Nebula Conference, which runs May 12-14. This year, there will be both an in-person event and a virtual conference, supplemented by virtual events throughout the year. I’ll be in Anaheim for the in-person conference this year, barring unforeseen events, and hope to see you there, too!
SFWA does a heathen ton of nigh-invisible, amazing work that benefits all writers. The organization has, by the way, recently streamlined their membership qualification requirements, so hey writers, why not join?
UPDATE: Tonight is opening night! Alyx and I will be there tonight (March 7), Thursday, March 9, and on closing night, Saturday, March 18.
DRESSED AS PEOPLE, the play I wrote with award-winning Science Fiction and Fantasy writers Amal El-Mohtar and A.M. Dellamonica, will be live in Toronto at Red Sandcastle Theatre from March 7 to 18. Three very different characters, superbly performed by brilliant actor Margo MacDonald.
Tickets are available now — book early! Tix on Tuesdays are only $20. Prebooked tix are $30, or you can buy at the door for $40.
Want to know more? Dressed As People was created in 2021, deep in pandemic-time. It premiered at the Ottawa Fringe via streaming on-demand, and won the Best Solo Performance Award and the Audience Choice Award!
Margo MacDonald is a superbly talented actor and producer, who has worked all over the world. Don’t miss this chance to see her live!
Thursday, August 11 at 6PM Central/7PM Eastern (virtual event)
New Orleans bookstore Tubby and Coos hosts a virtual event with Nicola Griffith and me, on Thursday, August 11 at 6PM Central/7PM Eastern (to attend, you must register here).
Nicola has just published the superb queer Arthurian book SPEAR. We have thoughts about historical fantasy and probably will gab like wildfire. It’ll be fun!! (And if you haven’t read SPEAR yet, get it in your eyes.)
Friday, August 12 at 6PM Mountain time, 8PM Eastern (virtual panel)
Colorado bookstore Old Firehouse Books has Alix E. Harrow, Rachel Swirsky, and me at their Summer SpecFic Panel. All info is here — the event will stream to the bookstore via Facebook.
Saturday, August 13, at 3 PM Eastern Live launch at Bakka Phoenix Books in Toronto
Want a signed, personalized copy of HIGH TIMES IN THE LOW PARLIAMENT, but aren’t in Toronto or prefer to avoid strange germs (which is totally understandable!)? Order from Bakka Phoenix and I will sign it! In the instruction field, just let them know who the book should be dedicated to.
September 1 to 5 WorldCon in Chicago
The schedule isn’t finalized, but I’ll definitely be doing a kaffeeclatch, a signing, and a reading, along with several panels. See you there, I hope!
October 14 to 16 Can-Con in Ottawa
Ottawa’s Can-Con is one of my favorite conventions, attended (and organized!) by so many of my favorite people. I’ll definitely be there. You should be, too!
November 11 to 13 GoH at WindyCon
Alyx and I are excited to be Guests of Honor at WindyCon, in Lombard, IL. Come and hang out with us there this November!
Exciting news! Amal El-Mohtar, A.M. Dellamonica, and I wrote a play together: DRESSED AS PEOPLE, performed by multi-award winning actor Margo MacDonald. You can stream it on demand during the Ottawa Fringe Festival, June 17 to 27. Tickets are $15 (Canadian) for this world premiere.
DRESSED AS PEOPLE A Triptych of Uncanny Abduction
Skinless by Kelly Robson The Shape of My Teeth by Amal El-Mohtar Repositioning by A.M. Dellamonica Performed by Margo MacDonald Directed by Mary Ellis Music by SIESKI
A school haunted by troubled children, an encounter with the unknown on open waters, the mysterious disappearance of a friend. Three characters, three time periods, three tales of abduction and the intrusion of the uncanny into the lives of those who are taken, those who do the taking, and those who are left behind.
What can I tell you about DRESSED AS PEOPLE that isn’t a spoiler? All three pieces are about supernatural abductions. Mine, Skinless, is emphatically horror. British playwright Alan Bennett is one of my heroes, and I tried to bring to the script something of his trademark whiplash effect. So watch out.
I can’t tell you anything about Amal’s piece The Shape of My Teeth, except it’s gorgeous and chilling. And A.M. Dellamonica’s piece Repositioning is probably my favorite of anything they’ve ever written – it’s hilarious and heartbreaking. All three pieces pack a powerful emotional punch. Audiences will be blown away.
WHAT A TEAM!
Margo MacDonald is a superb performer, so charismatic and charming (and scary!). I got to sit in on rehearsals alongside director Mary Ellis, and seeing them bring my words to life was something new and thrilling. As writers, we’re used to working alone. Collaborating live and in person (or rather, in pixel) with a pair of highly skilled professionals who care about the meaning and emotion behind every single word? It was like being able to hang on the shoulder and mind-meld with a passionate reader, over and over again, and feel the shape my story made in their brains. Wow.
Superb young songwriter and singer SIESKI is at this moment working on original music for the show. Legendary drag king Titus Androgynous has been supporting the company as Associate Producer, and we also have support from wonderful graphic designer K.
We will probably be having a special event for the premiere, so stay tuned for more info. Subscribe to the Perry Riposte newsletter (here in the right column) to get all the info when it’s hot!
Closed captioning and a sensory-friendly transcript of the show will be available to viewers.
In this year of our weirdness, with reality bending all around us, it’s actually difficult to remember what was done and when. I don’t think I’m alone in that!
So here it is in pixels — four short stories, three of them available to read for free online, and the other in a spectacular illustrated anthology. I’m proud of them all. If you read and liked them enough to nominate them for any award, I would be honored.
2018 was a massive year. If fate gives me another year like this, I’ll be very lucky indeed. Here’s the rundown:
My first book (novella) came out
It’s a book, but it’s not a novel–it’s a novella! Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach came out in March, and the audiobook arrived in September. People like it, and of course it’s eligible for award nomination, should you be so inclined. (But always vote your heart.)
In March, my first book Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach hit bookstores.
How do you encompass something as huge as having your first book published? Impossible — it’s too big. Which is why this post is so late. I just couldn’t face the challenge of summing up something that enormous. So I won’t try. Here are some of the best bits:
Of course I did. Several times. In one instance, I was sitting on the couch with all my author copies piled in my lap, drinking a huge glass of rye and bawling my eyes out. Seriously.
I lost some copies. Here’s what will happen to your first book: You’ll be so excited, you’ll show it to people — and they’ll think you’re giving it to them. One of the first people I showed my book to was my favorite barista. She thought I was giving it to her and grabbed it. I couldn’t ask for it back, because she was so happy and excited. Bye bye book!
My book launch was transcendent.
We held it at Toronto’s famous Bakka Phoenix Books. I made not one but two different carrot cakes. Tons of people came. We sold 70 copies. It was the best day of my life.
“Rich, nuanced characters, deeply compelling story, and a powerfully conceived world make Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach one of the best novellas of recent times, one of the highlight books of 2018, and something to look for on awards ballots come 2019.”
“Robson creates a nuanced take on how time travel can be used in science fiction beyond the typical ‘prevent event from happening’ trope. Time travel is treated thoughtfully here, with rules and consequences that enrich the novel to the last page.”
Publishing is a waiting game. I’ve only been waiting for about a year since signing the contract for Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, so I really shouldn’t complain. Most writers wait two years or more for their books to come out with a major publisher. Still, it feels like forever.
But now it’s nearly here! Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach hits on March 13. Reviews have been very positive and the book has a lot of buzz. Here’s two recent review quotes:
Robson, who has garnered major award nominations in a career of only a few years, builds both her future and ancient worlds with convincing detail for such a short novel, populating them with characters who are believable and engrossing, even when they have tentacles. It’s likely to be one of the most impressive debut novels of the year.
My Lesbian Gothic Horror novelette “A Human Stain” is up for a Nebula Award! How cool is that? I was a Nebula finalist in 2015, and it was a heck of a heady experience. Now I get to do it again! Whoop!
March is filled with STUFF. Here’s what I have on the go:
Intersection Comedy Show
I’m participating in the Intersection Improv Comedy Show on Wednesday, March 7. I’m going to be telling three of my most embarrassing moments, and then the troupe will make hay with my story.
Wednesday, March 7 at 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM
The Social Capital Theatre
154 Danforth Ave – Second Floor
International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts
I’ll be in Orlando at ICFA March 16-17, reading on Saturday at 4PM. ICFA is an academic conference that a lot of writers feel very romantic about because it’s so low pressure. Basically you just hang out with your friends. Alyx and I went last year and absolutely loved it.
Lesbian gothic horror “A Human Stain” at Tor.com At Locus, Paula Guran said, “…this spellbinding gothic novelette’s graceful writing and superlative atmosphere of dread alone are more than enough to commend it.” (10,000 words)
Far future SF “We Who Live in the Heart” at Clarkesworld Gardner Dozois said, “The worldbuilding
here is fascinating, as is the intricately
worked-out detail of how the living ‘‘submarines’’
function and how it would be possible,
to some degree at least, to control them, but the
human relationships among the crew are equally
complicated and equally compelling. By the end,
the story has generated a great deal of suspense…” (15,000 words)
I definitely think of myself as someone who writes short, not long, but these pieces pack a lot of story into the wordcount.
Also, both stories happen to feature lesbians. I didn’t plan that, but it’s kind of awesome.
Usually, I don’t do a recommendations post. I just tweet about good stories throughout the year, and add my recommendations to the SFWA Suggested Reading lists.
However, I’m compelled to super-push two works. First, Annalee Newitz’s novel Autonomous, because it’s just freaking spectacular (AND a lot of fun). I loved it so much. It’s got my vote for best novel of the year.
Second, please read and nominate K.M. Szpara’s terrific novelette “Small Changes over Long Periods of Time.” This is brave, bravura work and deserves to be recognized as one of the best stories of the year.