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|Friday, May 24th, 2013|
|Thursday, May 23rd, 2013|
|Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013|
|Madison! I’m at A Room Of One’s Own TOMORROW, 4pm! Note the Time!
I’ll be doing a rare afternoon tour appearance tomorrow in Madison because at 6pm, A Room of One’s Own welcomes the Guests of Honor at Wiscon, the (completely fantastic) science fiction and fantasy convention. So if you’re coming at 4 o’clock to Room of One’s Own to see me, stick around afterward for the GoHs, which include last year’s Nebula and Hugo Award winner, Jo Walton. And if you’re coming at 6pm to see the guests of honor, why not come out a little bit early to see me? It’ll be more speculative fiction writers than you can shake the proverbial stick at.
So remember, Madison: Tomorrow (Thursday, May 23), A Room Of One’s Own, 4pm. Don’t be late! See you there.
|Amazon’s Kindle Worlds: Instant Thoughts
The Twitters are abuzz today about Amazon’s new “Kindle Worlds” program, in which people are allowed to write and then sell through Amazon their fan fiction for certain properties owned by Alloy Entertainment, including Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars, with more licenses expected soon. I’ve had a quick look at the program on Amazon’s site, and I have a couple of immediate thoughts on it. Be aware that these thoughts are very preliminary, i.e., I reserve the right to have possibly contradictory thoughts about the program later, when I think (and read) about it more. Also note that these are my personal thoughts and do not reflect the positions or policies of SFWA, of which I am (still but not for much longer) president.
1. The main knock on fan fiction from the rights-holders point of view — i.e., people are using their characters and situations in ways that probably violate copyright — is apparently not at all a problem here, since Alloy Entertainment is on board for allowing people to write what they want (within specific guidelines — more on that in a bit). Since that’s the case, there’s probably a technical argument here about whether this is precisely “fan fiction” or if it’s actually media tie-in writing done with intentionally low bars to participation (the true answer, I suspect, is that it’s both). Either way, if Alloy Entertainment’s on board, everything’s on the level, so why not.
2. So, on one hand it offers people who write fan fiction a chance to get paid for their writing in a way that doesn’t make the rightsholders angry, which is nice for the fan ficcers. On the other hand, as a writer, there are a number of things about the deal Amazon/Alloy are offering that raise red flags for me. Number one among these is this bit:
“We will also give the World Licensor a license to use your new elements and incorporate them into other works without further compensation to you.”
i.e., that really cool creative idea you put in your story, or that awesome new character you made? If Alloy Entertainment likes it, they can take it and use it for their own purposes without paying you — which is to say they make money off your idea, lots of money, even, and all you get is the knowledge they liked your idea.
Essentially, this means that all the work in the Kindle Worlds arena is a work for hire that Alloy (and whomever else signs on) can mine with impunity. This is a very good deal for Alloy, et al — they’re getting story ideas! Free! — and less of a good deal for the actual writers themselves. I mean, the official media tie-in writers and script writers are doing work for hire, too, but they get advances and\or at least WGA minimum scale for their work.
Another red flag:
“Amazon Publishing will acquire all rights to your new stories, including global publication rights, for the term of copyright.”
Which is to say, once Amazon has it, they have the right to do anything they want with it, including possibly using it in anthologies or selling it other languages, etc, without paying the author anything else for it, ever. Again, an excellent deal for Amazon; a less than excellent deal for the actual writer.
Note that on its page Amazon makes a show of saying that the writer owns the copyright on the original things that are copyrightable, but inasmuch as Amazon also acquires all rights for the length of the copyright and Alloy is given the right to exploit the new elements without further compensation, this show about you keeping your copyright appears to be just that: show.
The argument here could be, well, you know, people who were writing fan fiction weren’t getting paid or had rights to these characters and worlds anyway, so only getting paid for their work once is still better than what they would have gotten before. And that’s not an entirely bad argument on one level. But on another level, there’s a difference between writing fan fiction because you love the world and the characters on a personal level, and Amazon and Alloy actively exploiting that love for their corporate gain and throwing you a few coins for your trouble. So this should be an interesting argument for people to have in the real world.
3. If this sort of thing takes off, I’m interested to see what effect it will have on the media tie-in market, and on the professional writers who work in it. Obviously it has the potential to greatly shift how things are done. If you are a corporate rights holder, for example, would you bother with seeking out pro writers any more, and paying them advances and royalties and all of that business? Or would you just open up the gates to paid fan fiction, which you don’t have to pay anything for and yet still have total control over the commercial exploitation thereof? Again, this is interesting stuff to consider, and if I were a pro writer who primarily worked in media tie-in markets, I would have some real concerns.
4. This won’t spell the end of unauthorized fan fic, and I’m very sure of that. For one thing, the Kindle Worlds program says it won’t accept “pornography” which means all that slash out there will still be on the outside of the program (Edit: to note not all slash is porn, although I wonder if Amazon won’t simply default it as such); likewise crossover fan fic, so those “Vampire Diaries meet Dr Who” stories will be left out in the cold. And besides that, there will be people who a) have no interest in making money and/or b) don’t write well enough to be accepted into the Kindle Worlds program (there does seem that there will be some attempt at quality control, or at least, someone has to go through the stuff to make sure there’s nothing that’s contractually forbidden). So if this was an attempt to squash fan fic through other means, it’s doomed to failure. But I don’t suspect that’s the point.
5. Speaking as a writer, I wouldn’t do something like this; I don’t generally like writing in other people’s worlds in any event (and when I do, I go public domain — see Fuzzy Nation) and I don’t like the terms that are on offer here. And of course I have my own things to write. Likewise, I would caution anyone looking at this to be aware that overall this is not anywhere close to what I would call a good deal. Finally, on a philosophical level, I suspect this is yet another attempt in a series of long-term attempts to fundamentally change the landscape for purchasing and controlling the work of writers in such a manner that ultimately limits how writers are compensated for their work, which ultimately is not to the benefit of the writer. This will have far-reaching consequences that none of us really understand yet.
The thing that can be said for it is that it’s a better deal than you would otherwise get for writing fan fiction, i.e., no deal at all and possibly having to deal with a cranky rightsholder angry that you kids are playing in their yard. Is that enough for you? That’s on you to decide.
|The Big Idea: Rhiannon Held
Readers often have default expectations when it comes to their reading — default expectations that we call “tropes.” But where do you go as a writer when the tropes don’t take you where your characters need to be? It’s a question that Rhiannon Held explores today as she writes about her new novel, Tarnished.
Tarnished is the second book in my series, and if I had to articulate an over-arcing big idea for the whole series, it’s that I love to explore emotional truths tied to situations that don’t come up in typical urban fantasy tropes. In the first book, Silver, those non-trope situations were born from the religion and culture that I created for my werewolves. In Tarnished, I decided I wanted to find the emotional resonance in non-trope leadership strategies, and romantic relationships.
At the end of Silver my two main characters, Andrew and Silver, were poised to challenge for leadership of the largest werewolf pack in North America. In the typical urban fantasy trope as I’ve encountered it, usually the protagonist’s resistance to being Grand Supernatural Poobah begins as internal: she wouldn’t be any good at it! No one would accept her! Then, when she agrees, the resistance switches to being external: the rock golems won’t listen to a meat bag! The shapeshifters won’t listen to anyone banging a golem!
But once they’ve set aside their initial internal objections, would protagonists really automatically be totally committed to leading? Obviously they have to learn how to win everyone over, but would the protagonists really be completely awesome at leading once everyone’s behind them? Book 1 ended with Andrew and Silver’s decision to try to lead, and I decided that Book 2 needed to explore exactly what it would take to get there. Do they have the self-confidence to do it? Is that self-confidence strong enough to withstand everyone else’s doubt? Can they make hard decisions and keep their cool when people question those decisions? Can they admit they were wrong when they make mistakes? Can they delegate and trust others to get things done?
And can they lead, as opposed to just shouting louder than everyone else? Often werewolf alphas are portrayed as being all about physical strength, or if not physical strength, at least strength of emotional bullying. Andrew is somewhat slight in stature and slow from previous injuries; Silver can’t shift and can’t use her left arm. If they want to win the alphaship, they have do something other than shout loudest and punch hardest: they have to court allies, they have to coax people, they have to lead by example. I really wanted to showcase different leadership strategies, because while stories are often about the underdog beating the muscle-bound alpha, the underdog too often uses mystical punching powers that beat the alpha’s physical punching abilities. Why does punching have to be the measure of success?
Tarnished also introduces a new POV: Susan. She’s human and has a child with John, the Seattle alpha. She also has her moments of going toe-to-toe in fights with stronger, faster werewolves, but with her I also wanted to explore a different kind of romantic relationship. In Book 1, Andrew and Silver were somewhat typical of urban fantasies: they met, they were attracted to each other, obstacles kept them apart, but they got together in the end. In Book 2, I show them working as a functioning, loving team, so the romantic tension switches over to Susan and John.
Whether in books, movies, or television, I’ve always wanted more opportunities to cheer a couple on to working out their problems. That’s what gets you through life, after all—not giving up after the first big fight. Work through the fight and the relationship often ends up stronger on the other side. Of course, that’s not to say that life isn’t also filled with truly irreconcilable differences or people who are assholes. Staying to try desperately to change things in those situations can make everyone miserable. The way I think of it is that you want to preserve and care for a precious connection between two people, rather than upholding some ideal of not splitting up for moral reasons even if you have no connection left at all.
The trouble is that in fiction, the relationships being “worked on” are usually only based on irreconcilable differences or assholery. In that case, of course you’re cheering for the couple to break up! That way, one can get with the other hot, passionate love interest introduced in this book who is clearly so much better for him or her. Or else you’re rolling your eyes while waiting for the couple who’s off-again every book to provide cheap romantic tension to get their laughable miscommunication straightened out so they can be on-again.
Susan and John are already together. They have a child. They love each other, but their relationship is on the rocks because John lets himself be ashamed of her and misguidedly tries to protect her by keeping her out of the werewolf world. That’s something that can be worked out—I hope it’s something the readers want to see worked out!—because why should love be sacrificed to social expectations? But reconciliation is something they both have to work hard to achieve.
Hopefully playing with non-trope situations can help knock aside a few of the most annoying tropes as well. If my characters can remind readers that natural charisma doesn’t mean you’re born knowing exactly how to lead; people who aren’t hot, single twenty-somethings fall in love; and protecting your love by keeping them in ignorance of the supernatural world is forgetting they’re a consenting adult… so much the better!
Tarnished: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s
Read an excerpt. Visit the author’s site. Follow her on Twitter.
|Tuesday, May 21st, 2013|
|Monday, May 20th, 2013|
|Volunteer Needs at WisCon 37!
As WisCon approaches, we still have some open volunteer shifts that we are hoping to fill before the convention starts. These opportunities will allow you to meet new people, explore interests, possibly add new skills, and help make the convention the best it can be!
A/V could use three people to help with set-up and during special events: the Tiptree Auction on Saturday and GoH speeches on Sunday, plus one other person to help when needed.
On Friday night, we need one or more people to head the First WisCon Dinner, an informal meet and greet for people attending the convention for the first time and anyone else interested. The group meets outside the Wisconsin ballroom after the first panels end 5:15-5:30 and heads to a local restaurant for dinner together.
Access could use some help with blue-taping in the mornings during the convention and before special events.
The Tiptree Auction still needs runners for during the bidding.
The Tiptree Bake Sale could use help on Saturday after the sale with breakdown from 3-4 pm and some extra hands during their busy time from 11:30 am-2 pm.
Sign-out on is looking for a couple more volunteers on Monday from 10-30 until the end.
Registration has shifts open on Saturday and Sunday.
The ConSuite has openings throughout the convention, please check in at the ConSuite to sign up for open shifts.
Childcare also often needs help, you can stop by during open hours to see if and when they need help.
We will have additional and emergency needs posted on the volunteer board near registration beginning Friday morning, If you are arriving on Thursday or early Friday and want to help with set-up, you can stop by registration or the volunteer board to see how you can help.
All volunteers receive a special commemorative thank you gift. If you volunteer six or more hours during the convention, you are eligible for a $20 refund on your membership fee as funds allow.
If you can help us out, or for more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Seattle! Come See Me TODAY, 7pm, University Temple United Methodist Church!
That’s right, Seattleites — as you read this I am lurking about your town, preparing for my event tonight, May 20, at 7pm at the University Temple United Methodist Church — which, in case you don’t know, is located at 1415 NE 43rd St in Seattle.
What will I do there? Read! And talk! And sign books! And maybe play a ukulele if someone brings one! Who knows! What I do know is that it will be fun fun fun. And also, fun.
Please note: This is a ticketed event, and you can get tickets one of two ways:
1. Buy tickets for $5 at the door (cheap!)
2. Buy The Human Division from University Bookstore and get the ticket free with your purchase. Since I will be signing books at the event, this is probably the best possible way to go for this particular (I will sign your other books of course).
I always have an insanely good time in Seattle and I’m looking forward to more of the same tonight. Hope to see you there!
|Star Trek science
I've seen a couple of people complain about the new Trek movies not being very scientific, which led me to write the following in a comment thread. Figured I might as well turn it into a blog post.
I think a lot of Trek fans misremember the degree of scientific accuracy in the original series. I was really really annoyed by the Red Matter business in ST09, but I had to admit it was no worse than a hundred other sciencey things from all of the Trek series. Scientific accuracy has never really been a goal of Star Trek.
The first seven broadcast episodes of TOS (which I recently rewatched and took notes on) included, among other things:
- A telepathic creature that can shapeshift and can near-instantly suck all of the salt out of a human body.
- A beam weapon (phaser) that can cause people to fall unconscious, without causing them any lasting harm, but can also be set to kill them or even vaporize them. It can also cut through bulkheads.
- A truth serum.
- A warp drive.
- Sound in space.
- Aliens who look basically like humans.
- Force fields.
- At least two different kinds of basically omnipotent people who can use mind power to do things like teleporting themselves and others (apparently across interstellar distances), creating solid objects (such as gravestones) out of thin air, and using (essentially) Force lightning to attack people.
- Interspecies reproduction.
- The galaxy having an “edge” and weird things happening when you get too close to it. Also, sitting at the edge of the galaxy and seeing stars ahead of them.
- Artificial gravity.
- A planet that's getting smaller and less massive by the minute, so they keep having to fly closer to it to remain the same distance above the surface.
- Stuff based on polywater. (Which, to be fair, at the time was believed to be real science.)
- Suddenly going backwards in time. “Since the formula worked, we can go back in time, to any planet, any era.”
- A transporter accident splitting Kirk into Good Kirk and Bad Kirk.
- A way to briefly pinch someone's shoulder/neck that causes them to immediately fall unconscious.
- An asteroid belt in apparently interstellar space.
- A ship's computer that can detect lies by listening to people speak.
- A pill that causes women to look beautiful: “the Venus drug.” According to one of the characters, the drug gives you more of whatever you have: Men get more muscular and aggressive, women more rounded (or maybe he said curved?) and feminine.
- Sentient androids, the ability to create exact-looking android duplicates of a person, and the ability to transfer a human's “soul” into an android. (Though arguably the person who said the soul thing was deluded, and it was really “only” the person's memories and such that got transferred.)
And so on.
It's not that all of those things are scientifically implausible; I can imagine that some of them might be feasible with less-than-magic-level tech. It's more that I don't feel like Trek ever took the science seriously as science. That wasn't what they cared about; they set out to make (iIrc) Wagon Train in space. TOS was, imo, primarily an adventure series with science fiction trappings, and some investigation of philosophical/moral/political issues that gave it some depth.
This isn't really a criticism. There's a long tradition of popular adventurey science fiction that doesn't especially care about scientific accuracy. But it does mean that I think criticisms of Abrams on grounds of scientific implausibility are failing to take into account the history of the show.
|The Big Idea: Madeleine Robins
Anyone who reads fairy tales knows that things happen in the tales for seemingly no reason at all. But just because there’s no reason in then doesn’t mean something interesting can’t happen when reason is added to them. Just ask Madeleine Robins, who mined a classic fairy tale when imagining Sold for Endless Rue.
It started with a conversation. Or rather, an idea about a conversation.
When my kids were small we read a picture book of Rapunzel, gorgeously illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. You know: pregnant wife craves rampion, sends husband out to get it; he steals it from the garden of a witch, who catches him and demands his unborn child in return. The witch locks the child in a tower, where the girl grows her hair long enough for a passing prince to climb up. Merriment ensues.
Zelinsky’s art sets the story in an early Renaissance could-be-Italy, and the central spread, chock full of drama, is of the witch taking the baby. There’s a rumpled bed with the mother, post-partum, lying exhausted among the sheets. There’s the young husband, sitting with his head in his hands, horrified at what he’s given away. And there’s the black clad sorceress, a classic old hag, stealing from the room with the newborn babe in her arms.
Well, that musta been a hell of a conversation. Imagine the husband coming home: Honey, I got you your vegetables, but there’s a catch: the witch gets the kid. What would his wife say to him? And why does the witch want the baby? In fairy tales motivations don’t matter: the witch wants the baby because she’s a witch. But I am contrary and difficult and I want a real motive for taking that child. Sold for Endless Rue is, among other things, my attempt to do that.
As happens with these sorts of bolt-from-the blue notions, it sat around gathering dust-bunnies and stray factoids while I wrote other things. I began cursorily reading up on daily life in the Renaissance, thinking of ways to rehabilitate the witch. Maybe she’s a midwife? At least that would give her a reason to be in the room when the baby was born. But why take the kid?
I had nuthin.
And then I stumbled across a factoid that rewrote my whole idea of the middle ages and, by the way, this story. The first medical school in Europe, the Scuola Medicina Salernitana, not only had women as students, but women instructors. One of the most famous, Trotula di Ruggiero (immortalized in the Jack and Jill rhyme as “old Dame Trot”), specialized in women’s medicine–what we’d call OB/GYN. Her texts on the subject were in use for centuries. Dame Trot was not a damsel or a peasant. She was a professional woman. How cool is that?
One of my secret vices: I love medical history, medical mysteries, medical technology. Now I had an excuse to research the Scuola and dig deeper into medical theory of the time. Boy, did they have theories. Most of them are scary-laughable, but some of them were solidly sensible (for instance, the Scuola recommended a moderate diet, clean living, and lots of sleep). Pretty quickly it was clear to me my witch wasn’t a witch but a doctor, and that her reason for taking the baby was rooted somehow in her ambition.
I hate the sort of historical fiction where the heroine is a 21st century soul in a 13th century houppelande. Unless you show me why that character is an outlier from her own culture, you lose me. How would a peasant girl even think of becoming a physician, a profession overwhelmingly male, occupied by those wealthy enough to have the education required to enter the Scuola? Where would she get, for lack of a better word, the balls?
Then, among the dust-bunnies and factoids I’d been collecting, I got this image of a child running up a hill, trying to escape someone very scary who is as determined to catch her and beat her to death as she is to escape. She reaches the top of the hill and is stopped cold by her first sight of the sea, stretching out from the bay of Salerno. It overwhelms her with its vastness and strangeness, the sight of the city spilling down into the harbor, the newness of things she’d never imagined. And then she hears the sound of her pursuer and runs again.
That’s where Laura’s story begins. Everything she is comes from one moment when even terror can’t stop her curiosity, and when determination is all that keeps her alive. That’s how she can go against the grain of her time and place.
There are things Laura loses in gaining what she wants. There are people she loses. Just like now, devoting yourself to your profession can have very personal cost. Taking that baby, in Laura’s mind, evens old scores.
But of course, taking the baby is only half the story. Babies, even babies raised in the towers of academe, grow up, and make plans of their own…
Sold For Endless Rue: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s
Read an excerpt. Visit the author’s blog. Follow her on Twitter.
|Sunday, May 19th, 2013|
|Nebula Award Winners!
The winners are in bold. Also noted: The Norton and Bradbury awards, as well as the Solstice and the Kevin J. O’Donnell Service to SFWA Award.
- 2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
- Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (DAW; Gollancz ’13)
- Ironskin, Tina Connolly (Tor)
- The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
- The Drowning Girl, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc)
- Glamour in Glass, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
- After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, Nancy Kress (Tachyon)
- On a Red Station, Drifting, Aliette de Bodard (Immersion Press)
- “The Stars Do Not Lie,” Jay Lake (Asimov’s 10-11/12)
- “All the Flavors,” Ken Liu (GigaNotoSaurus 2/1/12)
- “Katabasis,” Robert Reed (F&SF 11-12/12)
- “Barry’s Tale,” Lawrence M. Schoen (Buffalito Buffet)
- “Close Encounters,” Andy Duncan (The Pottawatomie Giant & Other Stories)
- “The Pyre of New Day,” Catherine Asaro (The Mammoth Books of SF Wars)
- “The Waves,” Ken Liu (Asimov’s 12/12)
- “The Finite Canvas,” Brit Mandelo (Tor.com 12/5/12)
- “Swift, Brutal Retaliation,” Meghan McCarron (Tor.com 1/4/12)
- “Portrait of Lisane da Patagnia,” Rachel Swirsky (Tor.com 8/22/12)
- “Fade to White,” Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld 8/12)
- “Immersion,” Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld 6/12)
- “Robot,” Helena Bell (Clarkesworld 9/12)
- “Fragmentation, or Ten Thousand Goodbyes,” Tom Crosshill (Clarkesworld 4/12)
- “Nanny’s Day,” Leah Cypess (Asimov’s 3/12)
- “Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream,” Maria Dahvana Headley (Lightspeed 7/12)
- “The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species,” Ken Liu (Lightspeed8/12)
- “Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain,” Cat Rambo (Near + Far)
Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
- Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin (director), Benh Zeitlin and Lucy Abilar (writers), (Journeyman/Cinereach/Court 13/Fox Searchlight)
- The Avengers, Joss Whedon (director) and Joss Whedon and Zak Penn (writers), (Marvel/Disney)
- The Cabin in the Woods, Drew Goddard (director), Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard (writers) (Mutant Enemy/Lionsgate)
- The Hunger Games, Gary Ross (director), Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins, and Billy Ray (writers), (Lionsgate)
- John Carter, Andrew Stanton (director), Michael Chabon, Mark Andrews, and Andrew Stanton (writers), (Disney)
- Looper, Rian Johnson (director), Rian Johnson (writer), (FilmDistrict/TriStar)
Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book
- Fair Coin, E.C. Myers (Pyr)
- Iron Hearted Violet, Kelly Barnhill (Little, Brown)
- Black Heart, Holly Black (McElderry; Gollancz)
- Above, Leah Bobet (Levine)
- The Diviners, Libba Bray (Little, Brown; Atom)
- Vessel, Sarah Beth Durst (S&S/McElderry)
- Seraphina, Rachel Hartman (Random House; Doubleday UK)
- Enchanted, Alethea Kontis (Harcourt)
- Every Day, David Levithan (Knopf)
- Summer of the Mariposas, Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Tu Books)
- Railsea, China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan)
- Above World, Jenn Reese (Candlewick)
Solstice Awards were awarded to editor Ginjer Buchanan and astronomer and entertainer Carl Sagan, the latter of which was accepted by his son Nick Sagan.
The Kevin O’Donnell Jr. Service Award was awarded to Michael Payne.
(The list above borrowed from this Tor.com posting. You may also see results on SFWA’s own site.)
Also, of course, we formally invested Gene Wolfe with the title of Grand Master. He was gracious and touching in his speech, which is of course no surprise at all.
I am delighted to say that my final Nebula Award ceremony as president went along swimmingly, with Robert Silverberg as our emcee. I got to introduced Bob and give him some good-natured ribbing; he got up and dropped a house on me, which may go down as one of the highlights of my time as SFWA President. If you ever get a chance to get zinged by Grand Master Silverberg, I highly recommend it.
Congratulations to the winners, commiserations to the other most worthy nominees, and many thanks to the volunteers and other who made the Nebula Ceremony, and indeed the entire Nebula Weekend, possible. It was a great time. As a fan, I was thrilled. As the President of SFWA, I was relieved.