Spring has finally made its way to Seattle, and at Clarion West we’re busy getting ready for the Six-Week Workshop. This year’s class has been announced, with students hailing from all across the United States and all over the world. We’re looking forward to meeting the class of 2015 and welcoming them into our community.
If you would like to help support the workshop this summer, we will once again be running the Clarion West Write-a-thon concurrently with the Six-Week Workshop. The Write-a-thon is our yearly fundraiser that helps us keep Clarion West strong now and into the future. More information will be available in the coming months.
We have a few more One-Day Workshops left this spring: Muse Management and Production in the Story Factory with Ken Scholes on April 19; Flash Fiction with Cat Rambo on May 3; and the newly announced Point of View workshop with Paul Park on May 24. Join us in Seattle’s University District for these workshops—they promise to be excellent!
We have a new feature in this edition of the Alumni News: an interview with one of our alumni, Tina Connolly. You can find the interview below, and be on the lookout for more interviews in coming months.
As always, Clarion West wants to hear from you. You can send your news, both professional and personal, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Seventh Week
The Seventh Week, Clarion West’s newsletter, is now available to download from our site. In this issue, you’ll find:
- an interview with writer Cat Rambo
- an update on the 6-Week Workshop from Workshop Administrator Neile Graham and Workshop Administrator Huw Evans
- an introduction from the new chair of the Clarion West board, Vicki Saunders
- a guide to convention-going from writer Cynthia Ward
Find this edition as well as our archives on the Seventh Week page.
On May 20th, join MIT Enterprise Forum Northwest for a deep exploration of the fascinating intersection between science fiction and reality.
The evening begins with a fireside chat featuring Jason Pontin, publisher of MIT Technology Review’s special science fiction edition, Twelve Tomorrows. Along with award-winning authors and visionaries Greg Bear and Nancy Kress, Jason will explore science fiction’s awe-inspiring vision of the future and its impact on reality. Following will be a brief talk from prominent University of Washington scientist, Paul Yager, who credits science fiction with influencing his work. The evening will conclude with a presentation by Microsoft’s Chief Research Office, Rick Rashid, about executing the vision and turning science fiction into reality.
Craig L. Gidney’s (CW ’96) book, Skin Deep Magic, is a finalist in the Lambda Literary Awards in the SF/Horror/Fantasy category. Congratulations!
Fabio Fernandes (CW ’13) has had his story “Eleven Stations” accepted for publication in the tribute anthology “Stories for Chip,” edited by Bill Campbell and Nisi Shaw (CW ’92), due for July.
N. Lee Wood (CW ‘85) has a short story called “Scapegoats” in Ellen Datlow’s Nightmare Carnival anthology, which has been getting good reviews. Lee is currently teaching undergraduate level Creative Writing at the University of Massey in New Zealand while working on her PhD in Creative Writing from the same university, as well as writing a historical novel.
Julie Steinbacher (CW ‘14) had a story come out in Escape Pod’s Artemis Rising special in February, called “Chimeras.”
Julie McGalliard’s (CW ’06) first novel, Waking Up Naked in Strange Places, will be published by Per Aspera in April 2015.
David Herter’s (CW ‘90) short story “Islands Off the Coast of Capitola, 1978,” will appear at Tor.com in July. He’s completing Fiery Angels, sequel to Cold Heavens, currently making the rounds via agent Matt Bialer. He’s also writing a fantasy/horror novella set deep in Seattle’s history, called “Standard Records & Hi Fi.”
Alyc Helms (CW ’12) has a story out now in Beneath Ceaseless Skies called “A Screech of Gulls.” It appears both as text and a podcast, and can be read and listened to at the Beneath Ceaseless Skies site.
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction published an interview with Henry Lien (CW ’12) discussing “Bilingual,” his story in the March/April issue. He discusses how something that happened on the plane ride up to Clarion West made him write this story; the complexities of writing a story in tweets; how dolphins see with their teeth; why a middle-aged gay man with a receding hairline felt compelled to channel a teenage girl; how his friends offered their baby to be raised with dolphins; and how the ghost of his dead partner compelled him to write this story.
S. Hutson Blount (CW ’05) has a new book out called Aetheria. “Aetheria Peregrine set out for a career as a merchant spacer—a career cut short in a whirlwind of events. Caught up in the tumult of planetary empires set against each other, she must by turns become a pirate, doctor, ice miner, drug dealer, vagabond, mystic, spy, secret policewoman, pilgrim, fugitive, heiress, scholar, and diplomat.”
Shannon Peavey’s (CW ’13) thought-birds story “A Beautiful Memory” is out at Apex Magazine. “On Thursday, a windsor-knotted businessman paid Anna three times her normal asking price for a quartet of thought-birds. She normally sold two at a time because their growth was so slow. But he insisted. A bird of each flavor: contentment, melancholy, joy, fury.”
Marlee Jane Ward (CW ‘14) will have her story “Clara’s” published in the anthology Hear Me Roar in June.
Robert Guffey (CW ’96) has a new book out called Chamelo. “A mesmerizing mix of Charles Bukowski, Hunter S. Thompson, and Philip K. Dick, Chameleo is a true account of what happened in a seedy Southern California town when an enthusiastic and unrepentant heroin addict named Dion Fuller sheltered a U.S. Marine who’d stolen night vision goggles and perhaps a few top secret files from a nearby military base.”
Rhiannon Rasmussen (CW ’14) has a story out in Sockdolager called “Charge! Love Heart!.”
Interview with Tina Connolly (CW ’06)
AN: What are you working on now?
TC: So, my first YA book, Seriously Wicked (a lighthearted book about a high school girl who lives with a seriously wicked witch) is coming out May 5th from Tor Teen. (It has been SO MUCH FUN to do.) Anyway, I’m working on the sequel to that now. The witch always has crazy schemes to take over the world, so it’s been fun plotting out her next set of evil plans.
AN: What superpower would you most like to have?
TC: I would pick flying. Also maybe invisibility, because I don’t want a lot of people pointing at me while I’m flying.
AN: What’s your favorite part of writing? Least favorite?
TC: My least favorite part of writing is getting started on the blank page. Conversely, my most favorite part is revising. I love fiddling at a sentence level, and I even love restructuring and moving big pieces around (even when I’m sure that THIS time, it’s not going to work.) There’s a whole swath in between those two extremes that’s totally fine where I at least have something to work with. But when there’s nooooottthing at all…ugh.
AN: What do you do when you need inspiration?
TC: Take a walk. I do all my best plotting while pushing the baby toddler to the library and back.
AN: What one piece of advice would you give to the members of the incoming Clarion West class?
TC: Know your physical limits and make peace with them. You literally cannot go on every outing, be at every conversation. Sometimes you just need to sleep.
Tina Connolly is the Nebula-nominated author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books. Her next book, Seriously Wicked, comes out May 5th from Tor Teen. Her stories have appeared in Women Destroy SF, Lightspeed, Tor.com, Strange Horizons, and more. Her narrations have appeared in audiobooks and podcasts including Podcastle, Pseudopod, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and more. She runs the Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake.
Carol Severance (CW ’84) passed away on February 19th, 2015. She was the author of The Island Warrior trilogy and the Compton Crook Award winning Reefsong. She did anthropological fieldwork in the remote coral atolls of Micronesia and eventually settled in Hawaii. She is survived by husband Craig, daughter Linina Pfeffer, son Maui, brothers Dick and Alex Wilcox, sister Mary Gibbons and two grandchildren.
This is one of those times of year where things only appear quiet here at Clarion West. Like ducks, our feet are furiously paddling under the surface: working on selecting the Class of 2015, putting on One-Day Workshops and an upcoming special event, and putting together the Summer Reading Series and the annual Write-a-thon.
We have a few more Spring One-Day Workshops coming up: an encore of the sold-out Muse Management and Production in the Story Factory workshop with Ken Scholes on April 19, Flash Fiction with Cat Rambo on May 3, and the newly announced Point of View workshop with Paul Park on May 24. Space is limited, so if you want to sign up, now’s the time!
Awards and Nominations
The Nebula Award nominations have been released. Congratulations to all of the nominees, and especially these Clarion West alumni:
- Ann Leckie (CW ’05), nominated for Best Novel for Ancillary Sword
- Rachel Swirsky (CW ’05), nominated for Best Novella for “Grand Jeté (The Great Leap)”
- Usman T. Malik (CW ’13), nominated for Best Short Story for “The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family”
The Horror Writers Association has announced the final ballot for the Bram Stoker Awards. Congratulations to Usman T. Malik (CW ’13), nominated in the Short Fiction category for “The Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family,” and to Helen Marshall (CW ’12), nominated in the Fiction Collection category for Gifts for the One Who Comes After.
Ian McHugh (CW ’06) has been nominated for the Aurealis Award in the Best Collection category for his book Angel Dust.
“Bilingual,” by Henry Lien (CW ‘15), appears in the March/April 2015 issue of the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. The story is about a teenage girl who figures out a way to save the dolphins in Taiji, Japan from being slaughtered by the thousands every year, by teaching them a meme to spread and warn each other with. It is told in the format of a Twitter feed. This was Henry’s week five Clarion West story, workshopped under Kelly Link and Gavin Grant. The story was inspired by Henry’s viewing of the Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove” on the plane up to Clarion West in 2012. After seeing the documentary, he resolved to write something during the coming six weeks that would help be a voice for the dolphins.
SF Signal featured an article on the women of Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s (CW ’73) Liaden Universe in February.
J. Y. Yang’s (CW ’13) story “Tiger Baby” was reviewed at Tor.com in February.
Curtis C Chen (CW ‘14) has had his story “It’s Machine Code” published in Unlikely Story #11: The Journal of Unlikely Cryptography.
Lambda Literary interviewed Craig Gidney (CW ’96) about his new book and diversity in the speculative fiction field.
Alisa Alering (CW ‘11) has had her story “The Island of White Houses” appear on Drabblecast. The story was originally published in Heather Shaw & Tim Pratt’s Flytrap #11.
Julie Steinbacher’s (CW ’14) story “Inter-Exo” appears in Terraform. (Please note that the link contains nudity.)
Indra Das (CW ’12) has his story “The Supplicant” in Blink.
Curtis C. Chen recently visited the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico with his wife DeeAnn—that’s the telescope in the background of the picture. (And it looks lovely and warm there!)
Looking for news from past months? You can find it at the Alumni News Archive.
Send us your news
If you’ve attended Clarion West, we want to hear all about your accomplishments! Alumni news will be posted on this site on a monthly basis. We’re interested in:
- Book releases
- Sales and publications
- Awards and nominations
- Teaching engagements
- Births, deaths, marriages, and all sorts of other life passages
Don’t be shy – this is your chance to let everyone know what’s happening! Send your news to email@example.com, and be sure to include your class year in your email. Deadline for the monthly news is the first of the month. Any news received after the beginning of the month will go into the next month’s Alumni News.
Looking for news from past months? You can find it at the Alumni News Archive.