« choose an author

Lizard Brain is a shared blog about Science Fiction and Fantasy from Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.

A few thoughts on losing the Hugo

09.04.12
by Daniel Abraham

I am back home after Worldcon.  It was a great weekend.  I am very glad I went, and I’m very glad to be home.  There are a lot of people who are very dear to me who I got to see and spend time with, and some conversations that may, I think, shape some largish part of my day-to-day life for years to come.

As you’ll have heard by now, Jo Walton’s love letter to fandom Among Others won the best novel Hugo, beating out Embassytown which beat out Leviathan Wakes.  I wanted to say a couple words about that.

First:  I am and have been a squeeing Jo Walton fan ever since I read Farthing.  I read Among Others aloud to my Darling Wife, and I think it’s a lovely book.  When Jo won the award, I couldn’t stop grinning for her.  Hell, I’m still smiling about it now.

Second:  I am proud and delighted to be mentioned in the same breath with the other authors who were on the ballot, and in the angry grumbling about how close the nomination count was.  (Leviathan Wakes squeaked on.  I mean *squeaked*.)

Third: This is all fun, and none of it matters.  No one who loved Embassytown should love it less because it got a few less votes than Among Others.  No one who admires Charlie Stross is going to turn away from him because he was a couple nominating votes shy of the short-list this time.

Literary awards are a beautiful kind of nonsense, and I was delighted to be swept up in that dream for a little while, and I’m delighted to wake back up from it.  I love my community with all its little triumphs and its occasional hilarious failures of grace.  I love all the folks who are grumpy because we didn’t win, and I love all the folks who were grumpy that we were nominated in the first place.  I am delighted for Jo and for all the other winners.  I appreciate all the time and attention that people have put into this lovely little event, and who will again next year as well.  Really, it was a delight to come and play.

But now I am home.  I have deadlines and bills and dishes, and this part?  It’s actually the part that I love.

Thank you all for being part of this.  I will be a bit scarce for the next couple of weeks, playing catch-up and all.  And I hope to have more news soon.

7 Comments

A Worldcon Clarification

08.20.12
by Daniel Abraham

Because it came up elsewhere:

Yes, I am only appearing on one panel at Worldcon.  No, it is not because I was unwilling to do more.  If you check out how much I’m doing at Bubonicon this weekend, you’ll see it’s much more than one panel.

I ain’t saying success won’t spoil me, just that I’m holding out for more success before I get all spoilt.  :)

1 Comment

Caliban Speaks!

08.15.12
by Daniel Abraham

Which is to say Audible.com has Caliban’s War as an audiobook releasing today, complete with Jefferson May.

12 Comments

Valente, von Trier, and Obstructions

08.14.12
by Daniel Abraham

So it happened like this.  A few years back I was at Walter Jon Williams’ Rio Hondo Workshop with Catherynne Valente.  Now I’d just read her Orphan’s Tales books, and had been delighted and blown away.  Structurally there were (and are) some of the prettiest, most elegant books I’ve ever seen.  Reading them was like watching some gorgeous clockwork move through a predetermined and unpredictable course.  I’m a hard sell for books these days, but I loved those.  Working with her at the workshop was a real treat.

“Out of limitations comes creativity.” — Debbie Allen

In the course of the week, she brought up a film I hadn’t heard of before.  The Five Obstructions.  It’s a documentary of sorts by Lars von Trier.

So yeah.  Lars vor Trier.  Lemme tell you about me and Lars von Trier.  The first time I came across him, I was living on Staten Island and working in Manhattan.  The Angelika is this wonderful little movie house on the edge of Soho, and it showed films that weren’t on anyplace else.  My fiance at the time (not my wife now — long story) and I went there to see something called The Kingdom.  I knew pretty much nothing about it.  It turned out to be four episodes of a Danish miniseries directed by this fella named Lars von Trier.  It was grim and it was horrific and it was funny as hell.  The production looked like it had been done with no money, and the editing jerked and jumped.  The special effects were minimalist and surprisingly effective.  I loved it, and declared myself a lifelong von Trier fan.

It took Lars years to talk me out of that, but he managed.  I sat through Breaking the Waves, which I almost couldn’t watch because of the Blair Witch-level of unsteady camerawork.  I watch Zentropa, which I tried hard to love and managed almost up to the end.  I read his Dogme95 manifesto and wasn’t particularly impressed.  When Dancer in the Dark came out . . . honestly, I just didn’t have it in me.  The films he’s done since, I’ve just taken a pass on.  Antichrist.  Melancholia.  Nah, man.  I’m done.

Except The Five Obstructions.  Because it’s freaking brilliant.

Continue reading ›

7 Comments

Another Terrible Idea in Free Verse

08.10.12
by Daniel Abraham

The attacks are inevitable

and insure its survival

whatever the paperwork shows

whatever the paperwork shows.

 

Below all the mudslinging lies a real divide

We’re falling behind

whatever the paperwork shows

whatever the paperwork shows.

 

Half-truths and weak arguments

whatever the paperwork shows

what the numbers show

whatever the paperwork shows.

Four Pinocchios.

 

(All phrases in the above doggerel are taken directly from a Fareed Zakaria article and remixed, mostly as an in-joke with a former editor of mine.  Continue walking, citizen.  There’s nothing to see here.)

0 Comments

Where in the World is Daniel Abraham?

08.10.12
by Daniel Abraham

I’m going to be at Bubonicon in Albuquerque and Worldcon in Chicago by the end of the month.  If any of y’all are in the vicinity, here’s what it looks like:

BUBONICON:

Friday, August 24:

7:30 PM  55 Minutes with Daniel Abraham (Reading)

9:30 PM  PUMP UP THE VOLUME: WRITING BIG SCIENCE FICTION: D Abraham, M Cassutt, B Sanderson, WJ Williams. Moderator: S.M. Stirling

Saturday, August 25:

10 AM Panel # 8 – THE BUCKET LIST OF BOOKS FOR BEGINNERS
D Abraham, S Gwylan, S Krinard, J Saberhagen. Moderator: C. Willis

3 PM Panel #15 – ADAPTATION: FROM EXISTING STORY TO FILM SCRIPT/GRAPHIC NOVEL D Abraham, M Cassutt, S Phillips, M Snodgrass. Moderator: I. Tregillis

Sunday, August 26

10 AM Panel #18 – WHAT’S SPACE OPERA, DOC? THE FAT LADY’S NOT DONE SINGING S Broom, LJ Mixon, M Snodgrass, WJ Williams. Moderator: D. Abraham

Bubonicon also sports a mass autographing and an extra signing just for George and Brandon.

WORLDCON:

Saturday, September 1

3 PM Autographing session

Sunday, September 2

10 AM Clarion Call (Panel)

There was going to be a reading, but it was scheduled Monday morning about half an hour after I’m due at Midway airport, but if y’all are hanging out at the airport, I’d be happy to tell you a story.

So upshot?  If you’d like to see me on stage talking with some of the most brilliant minds in the industry, come to Bubonicon.  If you’d like to hang out with me at a bar or coffee shop, come to Worldcon.

0 Comments

Graveyard Child

08.09.12
by Daniel Abraham

Psst.  Want to see the new MLN Hanover cover art?

Continue reading ›

26 Comments

New Clarkesworld article up

08.01.12
by Daniel Abraham

“There’s a puzzle I don’t know the answer to, but the more I look around for it, the more I see it. Most of the time, it’s amusing. Sometimes it scares the crap out of me.

So, funny story. Back in 1998, I was at Clarion West. One of my classmates turned in a story about a woman who worked from home, writing up recipes for the local newspaper. The essential problem in the story was that the protagonist’s dog kept digging up space-time wormholes. It was a light, comic piece, and one I remember fondly. But we were there for a workshop, and critics have to criticize. We came together for the morning critique, and our comments were very consistent. We all loved the wormhole dog, but no one was willing to believe in a woman supporting herself writing recipes.”

The whole thing’s up at Clarkesworld.

1 Comment

Readercon!

07.09.12
by Daniel Abraham

Going to Readercon? So will I!

The Short List of What Daniel’s Up To (quoted from the Readercon program guide, which also has all the cool stuff that I’m not personally doing, and is worth looking over, right?):

THURSDAY:

All the cool kids will be there. Oh, and we will too…

9:00 PM G Why Is Realistic Fiction Useful? Daniel Abraham, Nathan Ballingrud, Grant C. Carrington, Liz Gorinsky (leader), Alexander Jablokov. In a 2011 blog post, Harry Connolly wrote, “If I want to understand the horrors of war, the pain of divorce, the disappointment of seeing a business fail, I don’t need to read fiction. There’s non-fiction on that very subject…. So forget about justifying the utility of fantasy. How do people justify the utility of realism?” Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried distinguishes between “story truth” and “happening truth”; O’Brien feels that fictionalizing some aspects of his own experience makes them more universal. On the other hand, reality TV, Photoshop, and CGI have proven how blurry the line between fiction and non-fiction can be. How do we tease out these distinctions, and what is realistic fiction’s place in the literary landscape?

FRIDAY 11:00 AM   RI   How We Wrote the Expanse Series. Daniel Abraham, Ty Franck. Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, who collaborate under the name James S. A. Corey, discuss the writing of their mammoth space opera series.

Continue reading ›

13 Comments

Sword and Laser: Leviathan Wakes Book Club

07.07.12
by Daniel Abraham

Sword and Laser

9 Comments