The Nebula Awards Weekend: Smart People, Good Books, Bacon Donuts

Nebula Award LogoOnce again it’s that time of year where I rave about the Nebula Awards Weekend, hosted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

When I attended the weekend last year, I can truly say that it was a life-changing experience.  Not because of the events or the panels, although they were lovely.  This is a professional convention as opposed to a fan convention, and while the panels were fascinating they weren’t the reason that people were there.  The weekend was life-changing because of how people treated me, not because of any particular thing that I did.

A  year ago, I was already writing but I wasn’t sure how far I would be able to chase this crazy dream.  Last year the authors at the Nebula Awards showered me with so much validation that within twelve months I had started this blog, published one book, and submitted a second to my publisher.  Last year I was so nervous that I was seriously afraid that I might throw up on someone’s shoes and this year I was on a panel.  The assumption people have about me at this event is that I am a peer, and that writing is something that I can do and that I should do.  This assumption shaped my assumptions for myself, just as the work of authors I met reminded me that in order to be a writer, you have to actually sit down and write.

So what’s the weekend like?  Here’s a few highlights:

  • At the Nebula Awards Ceremony, Toastmaster Ellen Klages made us all laugh with her Scary Ham story and made us all cry by reminding us that we are each other’s tribe.
  • At the forensics science panel, we were all reminded that really, you just never should go into a kitchen.  Kitchens are scary.
  • I was able to interview Sofia Samatar, Nicola Griffith, Bennett Madison, and Helene Wecker, all of whom had brilliant things to say, of course.
  • Samuel “Chip” Delaney smiled upon us like a gay, black Santa Claus.
  • Charlie Jane Anders hosted Writers With Drinks and made up elaborate, fictional biographies.  Now we all want one.  I truly feel that if you were to offer me a Hugo, a Nebula, an Oscar, a Grammy, or a bio written by Charlie Jane, I would choose the bio.  No question.
  • At Writers With Drinks, I stayed up until midnight to hear a tattooed woman dressed in black read poetry about horror films beneath this weird tentacle lamp and I leaned over to Helene Wecker and whispered, “I feel so hip!”  Because I’m not, not at all.  The poetry, by the way, was disturbing and moving and haunting and was written and read by Daphne Gottlieb.
  • I missed the bar tending robot this year, although it was in attendance.  However, I did not miss the bacon donuts from Psycho Donuts.  WOW.
  • I sat on a panel about Young Adult fiction with Bennett Madison, Cynthia Felice, Erin Hoffman, and Ysabeau Wilce.  There are few plus sides to having Imposter Syndrome, but one is that when something like that happens, you feel like Cinderella at the ball.
  • I signed my ebook!  I was a signing author at the book signing!  Number of people I signed the book for…one.  Still a fun, fun time.
  • After a year of Internet drama about inclusion in SFWA (the cover of infamy, The Insect Army, etc), it was especially moving to see that the Grand Master this year was a gay black man (Samuel R. Delany) and the fiction winners were all women, including two women of color.  The world is changing, y’all.  As Ellen Klages said, “Keep trying, men!  Someday, if you work hard enough, you can make it!  you may have to publish under  female pseudonym at first, but you can succeed!”

And the Nebula Winners Are (with links!)

Nebula Award LogoThe Banquet is over and we are all taking off in different directions to different things, most of them involving alcohol. Here’s a list of Nebula Nominees and winners.  If I reviewed the book or film, you can click on the blue link to find my review either here at Geek Girl in Love or at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.

Best Novel:  Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

The other nominees were:

We All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Hild, by Nicola Griffith

The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker

The Red:  First Light by Linda Nagata

A Stranger in Olondria, by Sofia Samatar

Best Novella: The Weight of the Sunrise” by Vylar Kaftan

The other nominees were:

“Wakulla Springs” by Andy Duncan and Ellen Klages

“Annabel Lee” by Nancy Kress

“Burning Girls” by Veronia Schanoes

“Trial of the Century” by Lawrence M. Schoen

“Six-Gun Snow White” by Cathrynn M. Valente

 Best Novelette:  “The Waiting Stars” by Aliette deBodard

The other nominees were:

“Paranormal Romance” by Christopher Barzak

“They Shall Salt the Earth With Seeds of Glass” by Alaya Dawn Johnson

“Pearl Rehabilitative Colony for Ungrateful Daughters” by Henry Lien

“The Litigation Master and the Monkey King” by Ken Liu

“In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind” by Sarah Pinsker

Best Short Story:  “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” by Rachel Swirsky

The other nominees were:

“The Sounds of Old Earth” by Matthew Kressel

“Selkie Stories Are For Losers” by Sofia Samatar

“Selected Program Notes From the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer” by Kanneth Schneyer

“Alive, Alive Oh” by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley

The Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy:  Sister Mine, by Nalo Hopkinson

Other Nominees:

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, by Holly Black

When We Wake, by Karen Healey

The Summer Prince, by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Hero, by Alethea Kontis

September Girls, by Bennett Madison

A Corner of White, by Jaclyn Moriarty

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation:  Gravity

Other nominees:

Doctor Who:  “The Day of the Doctor”

Europa Report


Pacific Rim

The Hunger Games:  Catching Fire

I’ll be writing more about the Nebula Awards Weekend on Monday after I’ve gotten home and hey, maybe had some sleep.  I’ve been inspired and challenged and seen some friends form last year and made some new ones.  Being in the company of brilliant, kind, funny writers makes me so happy and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

It’s Convention Season – Who’s With Me?

Logo of SDCCIt’s convention season, and I’m all over the place!  If any of you are attending conventions in California, watch for me here:

Nebula Awards Weekend

San Jose, CA

May 16 – 18




Santa Clara, CA

May 23 – 26

San Diego Comic Con

San Diego, CA

July 24 – 27

I’m be wearing the Geek Girl In Love Book Cape:

Dress up cape with book covers attached

The Geek Girl In Love Cape. Not recommend for use in flight or in combat.

Or my Jane Austen Steampunk costume:

This costume has been considerably altered since I first wore it thanks to my  mom , who not only sews but also owns a hot glue gun!

This costume has been considerably altered since it’s maiden voyage pictured here, thanks to my mom , who not only sews but also owns a hot glue gun!


It would be great to meet some followers of Geek Girl In Love, so say hi if you are at any of these inventions!  To get us all in the mood, here’s a fun video about cosplay.  This video gives me a happy, goofy grin!  Gotta start gluing gears on things, people!