Who’s going to write me a short fiction tracking app?

I asked that question on Twitter, and got a couple of “I/someone I know is working on that!” Which I was glad to see.

I also got some folks saying they keep a spreadsheet on Google Docs, and/or pointing me to wikis or spreadsheets keeping track of award-eligible fiction for this year. And those things are awesome! But not what I want, not exactly.

So, this is the thing. When you make up your mind to be a Hugo nominator (or Nebula, for that matter), you read (one hopes) a lot of fiction. There’s quite a lot of short fiction out there. And January rolls around and nominations open up and you say, “Right, what did I read this year that I want to nominate?” But maybe you don’t recall what you read earlier in the year (you have, maybe, an impression that it was actually the year before and so not eligible) or things slip your mind and later noms close and you go “Oh, yeah, “Aliens Ate My Ant Farm” was super awesome and I forgot about it, but I’d have nommed it if I’d remembered….”

Folks who are using spreadsheets, or Evernote, or whatever, are making sure that doesn’t happen to them come nominations time. And I think that’s great, but I also think a lot of people won’t do that, for one reason or another. Yes, it seems like a very small initial setup, but things happen and maybe spreadsheets aren’t that easy for you to navigate or whatever. And I would love to make it as easy as possible for people to nominate for the various short fiction categories. I would love to have more participation in those categories.

What I think would be super awesome would be an app that would, say, give you a button to put in your browser–like Pinterest, say. And in fact, what I’d like is something like Pinterest, only that doesn’t require large (or any) images. Something that lets you click a button and bookmark a story, add tags and notes, and then go in and look at your list of bookmarked stories.

The ability to show (or not) your list of bookmarked stories to others would be an extra. Something that would count words, and tell you what category a piece might be eligible in, would be really, really nice.

Someone pointed out that what I wanted was essentially Pinboard. And I think they’re right, except Pinboard costs. Now, it doesn’t cost much, but even that little bit might be a barrier, and my hope is for something that would make it super easy for folks to keep track of their short fiction reading specifically in order to look back at the end of the year and think about award noms.

All this is to say–someone write us that app! And in the meantime–do y’all know about Pinboard? Maybe think about starting a spreadsheet or setting up some tags in Evernote?

And there’s a great list of award eligible work here, check it out.

Editing to add–on twitter someone suggested that Instapaper would do the trick nicely. I’ve never used it, and will poke around a bit and see what it’s like.

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.


Free Short Fiction by Annie Bellet

For no particular reason, except perhaps to namedrop and let everyone know that I knew Annie Bellet way back when, I present to you a story I bought and published in 2012 while I was still editor of GigaNotoSaurus: “On Higher Ground.”

One moment there was snow beneath Kayi’s skis, the next just sky. Her wingsuit snapped in the sudden wind as she dropped off the south face of Annapurna. Her eyes watered despite her mask and the pressure shift of falling thousands of feet in seconds popped her ears with a painful squeak.


Kayi angled her body, tucking her poles in along the line of fabric between her arm and torso and angling her skis up, fighting the air that wanted to push them down and twist her legs up. The land beneath her was black, rust, and white; snow and stone blurring into one as she gained speed. Proximity flying, going so close to the steep slope that she could almost touch the snow, was dangerous. Doing it with ski equipment on was even crazier.


If you’re not familiar with GNS, it’s a webzine I founded to publish longer short fiction. I still own it, but it is now edited by the fabulous Rashida Smith. One new story monthly, check it out!

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.


On Slates

There’s a sort-of conversation happening on Twitter this morning, sparked I think by Elizabeth Bear’s post at Charlie Stross’s blog.

First off, I deplore slates. In the context of the Hugos, they are an asshole move. Just don’t slate.

Second off, I am saying unequivocally that I do not agree to be on anyone’s slate, do not approve of my inclusion in any slate, and anyone who slates a work of mine is thereby demonstrating their extra-strong motivation to be seen as an asshole.

Now, there’s some concern that assholes making up a slate for next year would deliberately include the work of people they hate, in order to force those people to withdraw any nominations they might get. This might be a genuine concern for some writers. It is not one of mine.

Look, let’s be real. I was largely an unknown writer when Ancillary Justice swept the awards last year. It made the Hugo ballot because quite a lot of voters thought it was worthy of the award, and for no other reason. This year, well, look at the nominations stats. At first there was a single, non-slated work in the novel category, before withdrawals started. It was Ancillary Sword. So even with a second book in a trilogy being less thrillingly new, I had enough readers want to nominate my book that the slate could not stop it.

If (this is a huge “if” and not something I am depending on in any way) IF I were so fortunate as to find that Mercy was nominated for the Hugo, I’m pretty damn sure it wouldn’t be because of any slate. I know for certain that I have a lot of readers who not only enjoy my work but think it’s award-worthy. I have no need to decline a nomination that I know pretty well came from my fans. Or, you know, what Bear said:

First of all, I’m going to state up front that I will never willingly participate in a slate. If I learn that I have been included on a slate, I will ask to be removed, and I will bring as much force to bear on that issue as I legally can.
Additionally, I’m going to rely on the discretion of readers and fans of goodwill, who I think are pretty smart people. If you see my name on a slate, please assume that it’s being done by ruiners to punish me, and that whoever put it there has ignored my requests to remove it. I have nothing but contempt for that kind of behavior, and I’m frankly not going to do anything to please them at all.
My colleagues, of course, are free to deal with the situation as they see fit, up to and including refusing nominations. As for me, well—while I reserve the right to turn down an award nomination at my discretion, I’m not about to be forced into it by the action of trolls and reavers. I expect my readers to be able to make up their own minds about my work, and decide for themselves if it’s worthy of an award or not, and vote accordingly in a fair and sportsfanlike fashion.

I’ll add that I, personally, would find it hilarious to see certain parties suddenly declare they love my books. I would laugh and laugh and laugh. After all the noise made about how the Ancillary books are nothing but message fic and somehow lacking in spaceships and adventure (seriously?) and my readers only pretend to like them because social justice points or whatever, blah blah the writing is crap, blah blah Affirmative Action blah pronouns blah messagefic blah blah–after all that, now they’re going to turn around and with a straight face declare that Mercy is actually deserving of the field’s highest honor and everybody nom it?

Hilarious. And I already get a good laugh out of the no adventure or spaceships thing, and the affirmative action thing–really, you’re just making yourself look ridiculous when you say stuff like that, you might as well put on a clown nose–so it would just be whipped cream on top of that comedy sundae.

Other folks will make other decisions, and that’s as it should be. But I strongly suspect any attempt at “punitive slating” will backfire spectacularly. I mean, it’s not like it wouldn’t be absolutely transparent what they’re doing.

And I think the conversation about “but it would be hypocritical not to withdraw because you’ve said you hate slates!” betrays a somewhat un-nuanced approach to such things. I find it a bit concern-trolly, in fact, though I don’t doubt some of the people saying it are entirely sincere, I’m just talking about my impression of it. But honestly, if you’re not a concern-troll, maybe spend some more time thinking about how things actually stand before you keep going on about how disastrous it would be if assholes slated my work next year.

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.

Pre-Order Bonus–Chapters 2 & 3 of Ancillary Mercy

Maybe you noticed a little while ago that this website was unreachable? Yeah, that’s because Orbit sent out a newsletter email letting subscribers know that if they’d pre-ordered Ancillary Mercy, they could fill out this form and get Chapters 2 & 3.

And the website was promptly overwhelmed. Y’all are the best! No, seriously. But I put up the Clockpunk Studios signal and because they’re so super awesome, they fixed things up. I will probably be beefing up my hosting plan sometime in the near future, but for now things should work okay.

Anyhow. The important part of this is–if you’ve pre-ordered Ancillary Mercy, you can read Chapters 2 & 3 by filling out this form.

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.

Current Mood

Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do.

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.


Get a jump on reading Ancillary Mercy

Regular readers already know about the “sign up for my newsletter, get Chapter One of Ancillary Mercy now” thing. But just in case, I’m going to post about it again. Lots of people at my reading Sunday, and at my signing, didn’t know about it. So.

Basically, if you sign up you’ll get emails maybe three or four times a year with information like upcoming releases, opportunities for pre-order goodies, or appearance dates.

And if you subscribe to it now, you’ll get access to all of Chapter 1 of Ancillary Mercy. Like, today.

So if that sounds good to you, enter your email below, and if everything works the way it should, that’ll end up with Chapter 1 being sent to the email you give.


Sometime soon–maybe the next week or two–you’ll be able to present proof of your having pre-ordered Ancillary Mercy and get (within a day or so, I understand) access to Chapters Two and Three! As soon as that form goes live I will blog about it here, so watch this space!

In the meantime, a few people have already read those first three chapters. Four lucky people at my reading in Spokane went home with pages. I hope they enjoyed them!

Also, if you’ve been following me on Tumblr, you know I had some swag made up. I gave out lots of it at Sasquan, so much that I actually ran myself out of Translator Dlique pins. I have ordered another batch. I plan to give them out in person over the next two months, and after October I’ll go back to listing Awn Elming pins, along with the Translator pins, in my Etsy store. The temp tattoos–they’re silver, there are two, one says “Justice of Toren” and the other says “One Esk 19”–are small enough that they’ll fit in a SASE, and I have a lot of them. So if you want some (and/or maybe if you want an autographed bookplate) send me a SASE with a note telling me you want tattoos (or a bookplate, or whatever) and I’ll pop a few in your envelope and drop it in the mail for you. (Address at the link–scroll down beneath the contact form.)

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.


I can’t believe I left this out of the Hugos post, because it was definitely the apex of coolness, and it was on my list of things to mention but that’s how roundup and summary posts always go, I miss something.

Here was the moment of utter coolness for Saturday night: the Best Novel award was presented by an ACTUAL ASTRONAUT in ACTUAL SPACE on the ISS.

Which means that my name–and the title of my book–was uttered IN SPACE by an ACTUAL ASTRONAUT. On the ISS.

Even my fifteen-year-old was visibly impressed. And that is not an everyday occurrence.

I’ll just be here the rest of the day whispering “spaaaaaaace.”

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.

2015 Hugos

There are a lot of things I could say on this topic. I won’t say all of them.

I’ll start here: Thanks so very much to all the people I ran into over the weekend who either told me they were rooting for Ancillary Sword, or told me they were sorry it didn’t win. I love you all.

But the fact is, it never was going to win. If it seemed even briefly as though it might this year, it was because of this year’s…unusual aspects. Had the final ballot been what it ought to have been, I think ideas about AS winning would have been pretty easily dismissable. I find this pretty ironic, actually.

I knew from the start that a lot of voters were going to be thinking that I already got mine last year. And you know what? They’re right. Last year, my book did not just win a couple of awards. It stomped all over Award City making Godzilla roars as bullets bounced off its chest. That’s enough Win to last me for quite a while, and I am entirely happy to see other books and other writers get the acclaim and attention they deserve. The nomination was my win–I knew that going in, and was perfectly happy with that.

So I went to the Hugos as a nominee, with all the validation that brings, but also without any nervousness or suspense, so I could actually enjoy all of that validation. And it was awesome.

Yeah, there were some skunks at that picnic. The voters gave their very clear opinion of those skunks. And Mithras willing, E Pluribus Hugo will pass for the second time next year and in 2017 we’ll be back to ballots that are full of works the voters love. That will doubtless include some skunk favorites, but that’s as it should be. I just don’t think anyone should be able to make the Hugo ballot nothing but their own choices.

I thought the ceremony itself was great, very entertaining, and the results just all around excellent. Three Body is a fabulous winner, absolutely deserving, and I couldn’t be more happy for Cixin Liu. And Ken Liu, but I got a chance to congratulate Ken in person.

If you care about the Hugos–not everyone does, and that’s cool–remember that you can have a voice. Read, talk about the works you love, and why you love them. Nominate the ones you love best. If you’re a new Hugo voter–welcome! Please nominate next year, and let others know that they, too can nominate and vote. It’s fun! Although, you know, I may just have a voting kink.

Anyway. I had a great time at the Hugos!

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.

Back from Worldcon!

So, it’s been an epic weekend. Friday morning the 15-year-old and I packed up and boarded a plane bound for Spokane. It was his first Worldcon, and he got a badge ribbon saying so.

I want to say first up that at least from my angle, the folks running the convention did a great job. I know a lot of hard work goes into putting on a con, even a small one, and this was not small. The people who do that hard work are all volunteers, and this year that work was particularly thankless, and so I want to give them props. Thanks, everyone who worked to make Sasquan so much fun!

The 15-year-old and I got in Friday afternoon, dropped our things in the hotel room, and went straight to the convention center to badge up. Ran almost straight away into S. Hutson Blount, who I had not seen for ages and was thinking maybe I wouldn’t have a chance to talk to because of schedules, so that was awesome! Ran next into the Escape Artists crew, which made me super happy.

The only panel I actually attended (that I wasn’t actually, you know, a panelist for) was on writing for video games. The 15-year-old is into video games and occasionally has thoughts of actually making one, so I figured he might like that. Plus, Scalzi was on his list of people he thought it would be awesome to meet, and was on the panel, so I figured I could kill two birds with one stone and fix the kid up.

He did have a good time at the panel, and after we went back and had room service supper, and he decided to skip the rest of the evening’s events, which were, basically, three different meetups that I really wanted to attend that were happening nearly all at the same time.

Which was probably smart, because some time that afternoon a wind had kicked up and blown a shitload of smoke into town. There were health alerts telling us that everyone should stay indoors if we possibly could because the air was super unhealthy for everyone. I heard smoke alarms were going off some places inside the convention center, it was so bad. So of course I walked the half mile from the hotel–or what would have been a half mile if I hadn’t gotten turned around and had to consult Google for instructions on how to get unlost. This would normally have been fine–I actually don’t mind getting mildly lost in new places, I often see cool things, and Spokane actually has some pretty neat buildings, and a nice river-side park with sculptures and really it’s a nice place to walk. Only, you know, it’s better when the atmosphere is actually breatheable. I spent the rest of the weekend with a sore throat and a mild cough.

Had a great time at the meetups, though! It was great seeing people from Launchpad, and to talk to folks at the EA meetup, and of course to get a chance to hang with Clarion West peeps.

Saturday I had a panel on C.J. Cherryh–got a chance to meet Jack Campbell, who was also on the panel, which pleased me, since I’d read the first couple Lost Fleet books and enjoyed them–and Jo Walton said everything I wanted to say about how awesome Cherryh is and more. I also had a panel on the New Space Opera, which was a lot of fun, and well-moderated by Rich Horton. I also got a chance to tour the dealers room with the 15-year-old, who got himself a nifty t-shirt and a personalized button (“These things never have my name on them,” complained the child named after King Arthur’s nephew (sorry, kid, totally my fault) and the person at the booth said, “We do them custom, it’ll take just a couple minutes!”). We also got presents for Mr. Leckie and the 18-year-old, so that was excellent.

Saturday evening I will talk about in another post.

Sunday was signing–the line did not stop the entire hour, which was pretty validating, let me tell you–and I gave away lots of pins and lanyards and even temporary tattoos. Yes, I went completely around the bend but it was so fun. Same at my reading, where I gave out swag, read the opening of Chapter 1 of Ancillary Mercy, answered great questions from the audience, and raffled off four printouts of the first three chapters of Mercy.

And the writers workshop, which was me and Anaea Lay and Jillian Redfern and Lori White and three hopeful (and quite promising!) writers who were brave enough to show us their novel chapters. I enjoyed that a lot.

And then, finally (because we’d been trying to meet up all weekend) dinner with Ellen Klages. And Vonda McIntyre. (Me, sitting there going “Be cool, Ann, be cool.”) I considered finding parties and hanging out more, but I’d been going non-stop pretty much all weekend and it was time to collapse.

And now I’m home! And tired, but happy, because I had a blast. Thanks again to all the folks who worked so hard to make Sasquan happen! And everybody else–I’ll see you in KC!

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.


Ancillary Mercy 17

“That part of the Lord of the Radch has reason to be extremely angry with you,” Seivarden pointed out, for Ship.

You probably saw this the other day, but in case you didn’t: Want the whole chapter? Enter your email below to sign up for my newsletter and you’ll get access to all of Chapter 1. (The newsletter, such as it is, will likely be pretty infrequent, just the occasional announcement, things like new book releases and such.)

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.


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