The Nebula Awards Weekend: Unexpected Lessons

Nebula Award LogoToday I have two mini-reviews up of Nebula nominated novels.  I had the great pleasure of meeting both of these authors, and they were incredibly gracious to me.  Tina Connolly was only able to meet with me for a few minutes, but she did so having come straight off a plane.  I don’t think she even had time to check into her room, and she still acted as though she had nothing she’d rather do than tell me about her next book.  Her Ironskin trilogy will eventually include Copperhead, which is about Jane’s sister, and an untitled book about Dorie, the child Jane is asked to be governess to in Ironskin.  In that future book, we’ll meet Dorie as an adult, and I can’t wait.

Mary Robinette Kowal talked to me about her work, and the timeless appeal of Jane Austen, for over an hour.  She hopes to eventually have five books in her Glamourist Histories series.  Her book, Without A Summer came out in April.  Mary said that she likes the idea that you don’t stop having adventures just because you get married, or because of age.  She’d like to return to her series some time in the future and write about Jane and Vincent as a middle-aged couple, and then someday write about them as an elderly couple.

I expected that everyone at the Nebulas would be brilliant, but I hadn’t expected that everyone would be so nice.  There is a strong culture among this group of writers of mentoring and challenging and arguing with and promoting each other.  I had expected to leave that weekend feeling challenged and inspired to write, and I sure did.  But I also felt challenged and inspired to be a better friend and colleague.  I hope someday that I will be that person who knows the ropes – and when I am, I hope I’ll remember to be as gracious a mentor to that year’s rookie as this year’s writers were to me.