Carbide Tipped Pens is now available in trade paperback, with a great cover blurb from The Washington Post: “A dynamic interplay between human psychology and technological advancement while also delivering thrilling plots.”
Image Credit: Do-Ming Lum
My short story “Crimson Sky”, which appeared in the July/August 2014 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, has won the 2015 Prix Aurora Award in the category of Best Short Fiction English. Canada’s national award for excellence in science fiction and fantasy, this year’s Auroras were presented yesterday at SFContario 6 / Canvention 35 in a ceremony hosted by Hugo and Aurora winning author Peter Watts.
While I am delighted that my story has been honored, I am also disappointed that there were not three more Auroras in the Short Fiction category for my friends Suzanne Church, Tony Pi and Derwin Mak (“Mecha-Jesus” deserved an award just for the title!). Thank you so much to the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association, the Aurora voters, and Trevor Quachri for recruiting me into the Analog MAFIA.
Here is the complete list of 2015 Prix Aurora Award winners. Congratulations to everyone!
Best English Novel: A Play of Shadow by Julie E. Czerneda (DAW Books)
Best English YA Novel (Tie): Lockstep by Karl Schroeder (Tor Books) and Out of This World by Charles de Lint (Razorbill Canada)
Best English Short Fiction: “Crimson Sky” by Eric Choi, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, July/August 2014
Best English Poem/Song: “A Hex, With Bees” by Tony Pi, Wrestling With Gods: Tesseracts Eighteen (EDGE)
Best English Graphic Novel: It Never Rains by Kari Maaren, Webcomic
Best English Related Work: On Spec, Published by the Copper Pig Writers’ Society
Best Artist: Dan O’Driscoll, Covers for Bundoran Press and On Spec magazine
Best Fan Publication: Speculating Canada, Edited by Derek Newman-Stille
Best Fan Music: Kari Maaren, YouTube channel
Best Fan Organizational: Sandra Kasturi, Chair, Chiaroscuro Reading Series Toronto
Best Fan Related Work: Derek Newman-Stille, Speculating Canada on Trent Radio 92.7 FM
With the Toronto Blue Jays winning the American League East division championship, I will shamelessly jump on the bandwagon by announcing the sale of my story “Most Valuable Player”, about a washed up baseball star who unexpectedly finds redemption in mathematics, to Analog Science Fiction and Fact. “MVP” is a companion piece to Ben Bova’s “Old Timer’s Game”, which appeared in our anthology Carbide Tipped Pens (Tor). This is my second sale to Analog, preceded by the Mars themed “Crimson Sky” in the July/August 2014 issue, which is a finalist for this year’s Prix Aurora Award in the category of Best Short Fiction English. Thank you Trevor Quachri…and go Jays go!
Visual Voice Lab in Montréal presents its Space Mission Workshop Series, a trio of weekend workshops in the month of July that allows participants to engage contemporary art practices and foster a deeper understanding of science-based art. The workshop themes include astronomical art, extraterrestrial architecture and science fiction writing.
These workshops are open to anyone, and no prerequisite knowledge of art or science is necessary. A selection of images and texts created during the summer workshop series will be included in a dedicated ebook at the beginning of fall 2015.
The workshops will be held in the historic Belgo Building in downtown Montréal. Places are limited as the workshop groups are being kept small in order to maximize discussion, creativity, experimentation and play.
Price for each individual Space Mission workshop: $195 CAD
Special discount price for all three Space Mission workshops: $495 CAD
In this workshop, participants will learn about astronomy, the Moon and lunar cartography, and then create a piece of artwork that establishes a link between science and art through visual storytelling. This workshop will be conducted in “franglais”. [Details]
Workshop Dates: Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12, 2015
Exhibition Dates: Tuesday, July 14 to Friday, July 17, 2015
Registration: $195 CAD [Order]
In this workshop, participants will define a space mission and consider the necessary programmatic and human factors in order to develop a conceptual design for a space habitat. This workshop will be conducted in English. [Details]
Workshop Dates: Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19, 2015
Exhibition Dates: Thursday, July 23 to Saturday, August 1, 2015
Registration: $195 CAD [Order]
In this workshop, participants will learn the fundamentals of science fiction writing including how to set up a story, develop the characters, plan the plot, write the first draft and edit their work, plus tips on how to get published. This workshop will be conducted in English. [Details]
Workshop Dates: Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26, 2015
Registration: $195 CAD [Order]
All three workshops – Moon Mission, Designing New Worlds, and Science Fiction Writing – for a special price of $495 CAD. [Order]
My short story “Crimson Sky”, which appeared in the July/August 2014 issue of Analog, is a finalist for this year’s Prix Aurora Award in the category of Best Short Fiction – English. The Aurora is the Canadian national award for excellence in science fiction and fantasy. Thank you to everyone who nominated, and congratulations also to Derwin Mak, Suzanne Church, Tony Pi, Peter Watts, Tanya Huff, Julie Czerneda, Karl Schroeder, Edward Willett, Charlene Challenger, Helen Marshall, Hayden Trenholm, Yvonne and Lloyd Penney, Sandra Kasturi, Derek Künsken, Farrell McGovern, Matt Moore, Marie Bilodeau, Alana Otis Wood, Paul Roberts, Steve Fahnestalk and all of the other finalists. Voting begins June 1st and closes October 17th, and the voters package will be available at that time to members of CSFFA (Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association). Membership is open to all Canadian citizens and landed immigrants, and you can sign up to participate in the Aurora Awards.
My interview on The Skiffy and Fanty Show is now online. The episode was originally recorded at Loncon 3 back on August 15th, 2014. It’s a little noisy because we were standing near the runway of London City Airport, but the plane spotter geek in me was up to the challenge (my hosts found me “informative and fascinating”, at least in this regard). A big thank you to Shaun Duke, Paul Weimer and Julia Rios for a truly fun late summer chat in London. Enjoy the episode!
I will be having a one-on-one conversation with Jeff Beeler about Carbide Tipped Pens at GenreCon 2015 this Saturday, May 2nd at 1:00pm. We will be talking about the origin and creation of this new anthology of hard science fiction, how Ben Bova and I came up with the idea, found a publisher and the authors, obtained the stories, and put them together to create the collection. GenreCon will be held at the Sarnia Public Library, located at 124 Christina Street South in Sarnia, Ontario. Here is my full programming schedule:
10:00am – How Books Get Published
What is the way books are created and how can you access it to get the books you want to read or write in print or electronically?
Sandra Kasturi (moderator), Sylvia Hubbard, Brett Savory, Dennis Collins, Monica Royal, Eric Choi
11:00am – Meet and Greet
1:00pm – Carbide Tipped Pens
A conversation with Eric Choi about the origin and creation of this new anthology of hard science fiction he created with Ben Bova, how they came up with the idea, found a publisher and the authors, obtained the stories, and put them together to create the collection.
Jeff Beeler (moderator), Eric Choi
2:00pm – The Weird and the Wonderful
The attraction of reading and writing science fiction, fantasy, mystery and horror.
Sandra Kastury (moderator), Brett Savory, Dennis Collins, Monica Royal, Eric Choi
Carbide Tipped Pens continues to garner positive reviews.
Nancy Hightower in the Washington Post says: “The strongest stories, by Liu Cixin, Aliette de Bodard and David DeGraff, explore a dynamic interplay between human psychology and technological advancement while also delivering thrilling plots.”
Alex Good in the Toronto Star writes: “As the stories in this new collection, edited by Choi and SF master Ben Bova, indicate, hard SF can go down many different roads. And the point is never just the science and engineering itself, but rather what people do with it, or what it does to them.”
The book is also a Bakka Phoenix recommendation.