Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Archive for February, 2014

2013 Nebula Nominee: The Red: First Light

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Cover for The Red: First Light; digital painting by Dallas Nagata WhiteToday, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) announced the nominees for the 2013 Nebula Awards, to be presented in 2014. I don’t mind saying that I was a bit stunned but very pleased to learn that the The Red: First Light was on the novel shortlist.

Thank you to everyone who took time out to read the novel and recommend it to others, and who helped to get the word out! This was the first science fiction novel I wrote in over ten years. Given that span of time, it was really gratifying to know that readers were still interested in my work.

I haven’t done the research, but the consensus on twitter is that this is the first self-published novel to make the Nebula shortlist, which is kind of interesting. If you’d like to know why I chose to self-publish, here’s a post from last fall.

For SFWA members who’d like to read TRFL, ebook copies are available in the forum.

Congratulations to all the other 2013 Nebula nominees. To see the complete list, visit Locus Online.

The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2014 Edition

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Cover for The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2014, edited by Rich HortonRich Horton is the editor of The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy. The 2013 edition included my Analog story “Nahiku West.” I’m very pleased to announce that “Out In The Dark,” a sequel to “Nahiku West,” will be included in the 2014 edition.

“Out In The Dark” is just one of thirty-five stories. Visit SF Signal for the full table of contents.

Writing to Request

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Goddesses & Other Stories by Linda NagataI think of myself as a very independent writer. An idea will occur to me, I’ll play with it, work at it, expand on it, and if things go well, it will grow into a story. But fiction doesn’t have to occur all in isolation. Sometimes a request for a specific sort of story can be the inspiration to push past our own creative limits.

The first time I was asked to write a story to request was in the late nineties. Back then I was young and cocky, significant money was involved, and the project was unique, so I agreed. The assignment was to write a story with a positive, near-future setting. I talked over the details with the editors, took notes on all the technological and societal elements they wanted to see included, warned them that stories set in utopian milieus tend to be a bit dull, and set about it. The result was a decent novella. That project never reached publication, but I didn’t mourn because I’d been well paid and got all the rights back. I rewrote the novella, stripping out all the parts that were there only because the editors wanted them, and I ended up with an edgier story that I retitled “Goddesses.” It sold to Ellen Datlow for publication in, and went on to win a Nebula Award.

Here’s the takeaway: I would never have written this story on my own — it had nothing to do with anything else I was writing at the time — but once pointed in a specific direction, I was able to move beyond my own ingrained limits, and write a story of a kind that was new for me.

The Best Horror of the Year Volume Six

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Nightmare Magazine, September 2013Okay, I don’t really write horror…do I?

Nevertheless, I’m pleased and honored to say that my story “Halfway Home” has been included in The Best Horror of the Year Volume Six, edited by Ellen Datlow.

“Halfway Home” was originally published in Nightmare Magazine, September 2013, edited by John Joseph Adams. Find it here.

I also want to say — again — that the only reason I wrote this story is because one of my most supportive readers chided me at the end of 2012 for not meeting my goal of writing four short stories during the year. He helpfully pointed out that I still had four days before the end of the year. Who could step back from a challenge like that? So I wrote the story.

Thanks, Willy!

Here’s a link to the full table of contents.

Constitutional Questions

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Writer and attorney Nancy Jane Moore just finished a beta read of The Red: Trials. She says it got her thinking about constitutions, resulting in a new entry for the series of legal posts she’s been writing at Book View Café.

Here’s an excerpt from Legal Fictions: Worshipping the Constitution:

Under monarchies, soldiers pledge their loyalty to the king, but in a democracy the loyalty is to the law. And no one – not even the president – is above the law. This makes for good principles and good fiction.

It also means that the U.S. Constitution has almost religious status for soldiers, not to mention for a lot of lawyers. In the legal profession, constitutional law is considered an elite area of practice. When the Supreme Court says something is “unconstitutional,” it implies that the law in question betrays something fundamental in our country.

Yet a constitution is only a set of rules that detail how we’re going to run the country. While it defines the ground rules of society, it’s not scripture*.

Find the complete post here.

Story Raves

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Tis award season in the writing world, and while I don’t read nearly as much fiction as I’d like — I am a slow reader — I do like to share the novels and stories that I’ve especially enjoyed. Here are three impressive pieces of short fiction:

OLD MARS, edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois“The Wreck of the Mars Adventure” by David D. Levine
This is a novelette published last fall in the anthology Old Mars, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. The idea behind the anthology is a return to the fantastical, early days of science fiction, and David does this with no-holds-barred. “Mars Adventure” is a fantasy — it involves a 19th-century airship voyage between the planets in a solar system where there is breathable atmosphere everywhere. The setup reminds me a little of Karl Schroeder’s world of Virga, but “Mars Adventure” is a different sort of story, fun, swashbuckling, and very clever. For SFWA members, reading copies are available in the forum.

“In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind” by Sarah Pinsker
As you can gather from the title, this is a more serious story, a tale of human relations and the secrets we keep from one another. Published by Strange Horizons, it’s available to read online.

“The Schrödinger War” by D. Thomas Minton
This is a war story: a quantum tale of battles fought and re-fought, and fought again. I thought it was very well done and I’ve been surprised and perturbed by how little notice it’s gotten. So go check it out! Published by Lightspeed, it’s available to read online.

Locus Recommended Reading

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Cover for The Red: First Light; digital painting by Dallas Nagata WhiteThe Locus Recommended Reading List was posted yesterday, and I’m very pleased to report that The Red: First Light was included as one of only twenty science fiction novels.

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that The Red: First Light is an indie-published novel. Many venues will not even consider reviewing a novel unless it’s from a traditional publisher. Ironically, it was only some of the bigger review venues that paid attention to TRFL — specifically, Russell Letson at Locus and Stefan Raets at, as well as UK reviewer Paul Kincaid. At any rate, I’m very grateful to the staff at Locus for including The Red: First Light on their list.
And also…

Among the many Locus recommended short stories is my Nightmare Magazine story “Halfway Home.” If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, you can find it online here.