Asimov’s Readers’ poll.

asimovs-cover-jan-2016Asimov’s Science Fiction hold reader polls each year – where readers get the chance to vote for their favorite story from the past year’s issues.

I’m honored that my story “Crimson Birds of Small Miracles” is a finalist in the short story category. Amazed really.

The full list of finalists, in all categories is on the Asimov’s website.

The story is also a finalist in New Zealand’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards, so I’m doubly honored.

And, triply cool is that the fabulous cover image by artist Maurizio Manzieri for the story is also a finalist in the Asimov’s Awards. I’ll be releasing the story later in the year as a standalone ebook, with an alternative illustration that Maurizio has graciously licensed to me.

Exciting times. Fingers crossed.

___________

As a bonus, most of the stories are available for a limited time to read online for free at the site.

Low Arc to appear in The Jim Baen Memorial Award: The First Decade

jbmassc-coverMy story “Low Arc”, which won the 2014 Jim Baen Memorial Award, will appear among other winning and place-getting stories in a new volume due this autumn.

The Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest is an annual award, run as an association between the National Space Society, and Baen Books. Winners attend the International Space Development Conference, including an awards dinner for the presentation.

The contest is administrated by Nebula Award Nominee William Ledbetter. He’s edited this volume. Thanks Bill.

The contest asks contestants to “write a short story of no more than 8,000 words, that shows the near future (no more than about 50-60 years out) of manned space exploration”. My own story is an adventure piece, set on the moon in the near future. One of the times where I’ve gone for hard sci-fi.

This is my first pro anthology appearance, and I’m honoured to be among such company.

“A Better Sense of Direction” by Mjke Wood
“Letting Go” by David Walton
“Cathedral” by Mike Barretta
“Space Hero” by Patrick Lundrigan
“That Undiscovered Country” by Nancy Fulda
“Taking the High Road” by R.P.L. Johnson
“The Lamplighter Legacy” by Patrick O’Sullivan
“Low Arc” by Sean Monaghan
“We Fly” by K.B. Rylander
“Dear Ammi” by Aimee Ogden
“Citizen-Astronaut” by David D. Levine
“Gemini XVII” by Brad R. Torgersen
“Scramble” by Martin L. Shoemaker
“Balance” by Marina J. Lostetter
“To Lose the Stars” by Jennifer Brozek
“Cylinders” by Ronald D Ferguson

The cover is by the esteemed Bob Eggleton. Bob published a thumbnail of the cover minus the text on facebook, which is kind of cool.

jbmassc cover without text

Sir Julius Vogel Award nominations open.

smFront-v5The Sir Julius Vogel Awards are New Zealand’s science fiction awards. Presented annually at the convention in June.

The ceremony brings out the cream of the New Zealand science fiction scene – too many to list here, but I’d include Lee Murray and Octavia Cade, both of whom won awards in categories for which I was a finalist last year.

I am eligible once again, though this time just in the short story category.

I had the a few stories published during 2015 which are eligible and some of which are available as free reads.

Scour in New Myths (click to read for free)
Penny of Tharsis Montes in Amazing Stories (click to read for free)
The Bubbcat in Cirsova Issue 4
The Root Bridges of Haemae in Aurealis
Wakers in Asimov’s
Go For The Dome in Perihelion (click to read for free)
Ink for a Verbal Contract in Ad Astra (click to read for free)

I’d also like to do a shout out for a couple of others here – Lee Murray for her novel Into The Mist, and Octavia Cade for her novella Eating Science with Ghosts – Asimov’s October/November 2016. If I am fortunate enough to be nominated this year, at least it it won’t be up against these two, since they’re different categories (then again, they may have placed stories I haven’t spotted yet).

Previous winner AJ Fitwater also has some eligible stories, listed on her website there – a nice tale in Shimmer – “An Atlas in Sgraffito Style”.

Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray deserve an editors’ nomination for At The Edge, their Science Fiction / Fantasy / Horror anthology. This also includes AC Buchanan’s story And Still the Forests Grow though we are Gone.

Nominations are open at the SFFANZ site, through until March 31st. Good luck to everyone.

My current story in Asimov’s – “Crimson Birds of Small Miracles” is not eligible, since it’s in the January issue. The story will be eligible for the 2018 awards.

Aurealis Award Eludes me

aurealis awards Last night’s Aurealis Award Winners have been announced. Unfortunately I could not be in Brisbane for the ceremony. My congratulations to all the winners. Well done.

I missed out on the “Best Novella” award. That went to Garth Nix. Congratulations and a hearty handshake to Garth.

Of course, being up against someone who’s a New York Times Best-Selling Author, I was philosophical about my chances. Garth’s writing is spectacular, all over the board, and I’m sure he’s doing things I can’t even fathom. My learning will continue.

Now I keep my fingers crossed for June’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards (kind of New Zealand’s equivalent to the Aurealis. Double the chances there with two nominations. I’m sure the competition will be as strong. At least I will be attending the ceremony at Au Contraire this time.

James White Award Longlist

james white award logo

My story “The Old Fighting Goose” made it to the recently announced James White Award Longlist. I can mention this now because the blind judging has been completed and the story didn’t get on the shortlist. With over 350 entries, I’m pleased to have at least reached the last 22.

Best of luck to the finalists for the winners’ announcement at the BSFA Awards Ceremony in Manchester over Easter.

This is the last time I’m allowed to enter. From the rules: “The James White Award Short Story Competition is open only to non-professional writers.” The award is an annual contest and with a forthcoming publication this August I will qualify for professional status and lose eligibility for next year. Still it has been fun entering each year.

Now, editors, watch out. “The Old Fighting Goose” will be landing in your inbox soon.

Sir Julius Vogel Awards Finalist

smFront-v5A few posts back I mentioned the possibility that a couple of my stories: “The Molenstraat Music Festival” in Asimov’s, and “The Harpsichord Elf” in Capricious could make it onto the ballot for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards – New Zealand’s Science Fiction awards.

Well, the stories made it. “Molenstraat” in the novella category, and “Elf” in the short story category. As you can imagine, I’m pretty excited about this. And I thank all of those who offered to put in their votes to help me make the ballot – Dane, Daniel, Andi, Dr Bob, Jen, Jane (if I’ve left you out I apologise: let me know and I’ll fix it). I do appreciate it.

Thank you so much.

So now I need to figure out getting to the ceremony at Au Contraire in Wellington in June. That’s a little more straightforward than Brisbane 🙂

Sir Julius Vogel Awards ballot

smFront-v5There is the vague possibility of my getting onto the ballot for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards – New Zealand’s Science Fiction awards for a couple of stories: The Molenstraat Music Festival in Asimov’s, and The Harpsichord Elf in Capricious. The process works by the stories with the most nominations go on the ballot.

So, if any of you happen to have read either or both of the stories (and I’m happy to send you copies if you haven’t :-/ ), and you have a moment, email the details to

sjv_awards@sffanz.org.nz

asking to nominate the story (one story per email).The nominations close on February 28th (which will be the 27th, American friends living across the dateline).

Award website:http://www.sffanz.org.nz/sjv/sjvAwards.shtml

Details to send:
Title: The Molenstraat Music Festival
Author: Sean Monaghan
Category: Novelette or Novella
Published: Septmeber 2015
Published in: Asimov’s science fiction
Full details here: http://www.asimovs.com
Category: Professional awards
Science fiction
Nominated by [your contact details]

Title: The Harpsichord Elf
Author: Sean Monaghan
Category: Short Story
Published: 2015
Published in: Capricious
Full details here: http://www.capricioussf.org/2015/09/issue-1-available-now/
Category: Professional awards
Science Fiction
Nominated by [your contact details]

Thank you so much.

Finalist in the Writers of the Future Contest

I’m a finalist in the Writers of the Future contest. There’s a press release about the current finalists, and that’s my name right there amongst them. Me. Wow. I’m feeling stunned by the news. There is still that next big hurdle – to actually win one of the prizes (and I’m not holding my breath; so often I have been “the bridesmaid and never the bride”) – but it feels very encouraging. It’s as if I’m on the right track. Kind of like how excited I was to get a personal rejection from Asimov’s. It wasn’t an acceptance, but I got a sense of having jumped up a notch.

If I don’t win one of the top prizes, I’ll enter again, and keep entering until I’m no longer eligible* Writing fiction at this level has been a long time goal and it’s good to see that I’m going in the right direction.

In other news, my current total word count for the year is just about to hit the quarter million mark. 249,224. I’m coming to the end of this round of tutoring, which does slow the writing a little. My regular daily goal is 1000 words (you can see I average more), but during tutoring that’s slowed to an average of just under 300 (lowest day: 132, but I did get through a bunch of marking). You know what, though? Today, even with tutoring, I’m going to do at least 776 words and hit that quarter million word milestone.

Best of luck to the other finalists. (and thanks for your message, Martin).

*From the rules: the Contest is open only to those who have not professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium. Professional publication is deemed to be payment, and at least 5,000 copies, or 5,000 hits. Despite my string of publications, I only have one at that professional level – a children’s radio story broadcast in New Zealand many years ago. Believe me, I’m working hard at getting more and, while I’d love to win Writers of the Future, I’d love to become ineligible too.