October 17, 2013
I just got word that my story “Seven Tips to Enjoy Your Time in the Unreal Forest” has sold to Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show!
I’m hugely excited about this for several reasons. First, I was working on another long, discouraging streak of rejections. Second, IGMS is one of the best markets in the field. Just in the past year, it has published work by such top-notch writers as Eric James Stone, Ken Liu, Nancy Fulda, Matthew Rotundo, Rahul Kanakia, Beth Cato, and many many others. It’s great to be in company like that. Third, I really believe in this story, but it’s not heavy on genre elements, so I wasn’t sure it would sell even though it’s gotten a lot of positive feedback. I’m very happy editor Edmund Schubert was willing to take a chance on it.
Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, IGMS is a SFWA-qualified market. This is my third sale to a qualifying market, which means I am eligible to join the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. By rule, the real writers have to let me in the clubhouse!
Incidentally, “Seven Tips” is the story I will be reading at MileHiCon this weekend, and I’m bringing cookies, so if you’re in town come check it out.
October 16, 2013
I will be at Mile Hi Con 45 here in Denver all this weekend, October 18-20, 2013. In addition to wannabes like me, there will be amazing people like Paolo Bacigalupi, Seanan McGuire, and Catherynne M. Valente. Here is my schedule:
Friday, 8:00 p.m. If I Had the Franchise, The Reboot I’d Make. Tim Anderson (M), Tonee Bagley, Karen Bjorn, Van Aaron Hughes, Alan L. Lickiss
Saturday, 4:00 p.m. Top 10 Fantasy Films. Jesse Bullington, Van Aaron Hughes (M), Chaz Kemp, Carrie Vaughn, Connie Willis
Sunday, 1:00 p.m. Patent-ly Ridiculous. Arlen Feldman (M), Van Aaron Hughes, Thea Hutcheson, Stace Johnson, Rebecca Lickiss
Sunday, 3:00 p.m. Author Reading. Aaron M. Ritchey & Van Aaron Hughes
Yes, you read that right. I personally will be moderating a panel with folks like Connie Willis, Carrie Vaughn and Jess Bullington. Do I get some coolness by association?
Hope to see you there!
Apologies for not posting anything here in recent months. I even neglected to mention a very nice review of my story “The Long View” by Mark Watson at Best SF. Mark reviewed all the stories in the March/April 2013 issue of F&SF. Discussing my piece “The Long View,” he called it “Excellent SF” and praised the story’s viewpoint and characterization. His review of the issue concluded:
Wowza, an issue bulging with 10 stories, with pretty much something for everyone. Van Aaron Hughes and Albert E. Cowdrey being my picks.
Thanks for that, Mark!
April 21, 2013
I neglected to mention over here that Bracket #5 of the Fantastic Reviews Battle of the Books was won by Keith Brooke’s Harmony (published in the UK under the title alt.human). Congratulations to Keith Brooke, who becomes our fifth winner, joining Elizabeth Bear, James Renner, Ian Tregillis, and Paolo Bacigalupi.
Also, my full review of Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear, the winner of the very first Battle of the Books, is up at Fantastic Reviews. New Fantastic Reviewer Patty has also posted a review of God’s War by Kameron Hurley.
Finally, at the Fantastic Reviews Blog, I have made a Story Recommendation of the Week for “The Visited” by Anaea Lay, while Patty was kind enough to post a Story Recommendation of the Week for my story “The Long View.”
A lot of cool stuff to check out!
April 3, 2013
The Book of the Week from my collection is the first American paperback edition of The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien. This is the Ace “pirated” edition. Read more about it, and about why so much of this book is omitted from the animated Lord of the Rings films, at the Fantastic Reviews Blog.
February 26, 2013
Reviews for the March/April 2013 issue of F&SF are starting to come in, and Chuck Rothman at Tangent Online was exceedingly kind in discussing my story “The Long View,” concluding:
Van Aaron Hughes has written a powerful work of tragedy with an ending whose sadness stayed with me.
Thanks, Chuck! Lois Tilton was not quite so kind over at Locus Online (“Unfortunately, the story is all recitation and never comes to life.”), but she has been tough on a lot of terrific writers, so I can certainly live with that.
February 25, 2013
The March/April 2013 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction has been spotted in the wild (specifically, at the newsstand of my favorite place to shop for new books, The Tattered Cover in Denver). This issue contains my story “The Long View,” alongside stories by such major authors as Naomi Kritzer, Sean McMullen, Deborah J. Ross (aka Deborah Wheeler), Albert E. Cowdrey (who has two stories in this issue, one under a pseudonym), among others. On a sad note, two of the authors in this issue passed away before seeing their stories appear in print — rest in peace, Mark Bourne and Steven Utley.
F&SF is one of the three most important print magazines for science fiction and fantasy, along with Analog and Asimov’s. While “The Long View” is my seventh published story, it marks my first appearance in one of the big three magazines, so a very special occasion to me.
“The Long View” is a science fiction piece, set on the first insterstellar spaceship. The story begins:
What makes a person decide to desert everyone she knows and leave the whole world behind?
My name is Emzara Ghali-Gordon, and the first time I did it was easy.
If you happen to get a chance to read “The Long View,” by all means let me know what you think. Even if you don’t like it, I’m excited just to know that people are reading something I wrote.
February 18, 2013
I forgot to mention here that last week, over at the Fantastic Reviews Blog, I announced the winner of the belated Fall 2012 Battle of the Books: The Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi. (Go here for the full bracket of the Fall 2012 Battle of the Books.)
Congratulations to Paolo Bacigalupi, who joins Elizabeth Bear, James Renner and Ian Tregillis as FR Battle of the Books champions. The Drowned Cities is YA science fiction that has plenty to offer for adult readers as well.
With the Fall 2012 bracket decided, I next turn my attention to Battle of the Books #5. Here is the bracket for that Battle. I will try to continue to post a decision every other day, as we continue to work through our backlog.
February 11, 2013
Stupefying Stories has put together a FREE e-anthology of stories by new authors currently eligible for the Campbell Award, the 2013 Campbellian Pre-Reading Anthology. It includes reprints of my stories “The Dualist” (my Writers of the Future Contest winner), “Random Fire” (originally published at Abyss & Apex), and “The Burbles” (an odd little Bizarro flash piece originally published at The Dream People). It also includes stories from over 40 up-and-coming writers, including multiple other Writers of the Future winners, several friends of mine, and a whole lot of talented people (most of whom are irritatingly younger and better looking than me). It’s a great resource if you’re interested in nominating for the Campbell Award, and plenty of terrific reading even if you’re not. Click here for a free download in both ePub and Mobi formats, if you’d like to check it out.
January 10, 2013
Over at the Fantastic Reviews Blog, Amy has announced the winner of the Summer 2012 Battle of the Books: The Coldest War by Ian Tregillis. (Go here for the full bracket of the Summer 2012 Battle of the Books.)
Congratulations to Ian Tregillis, who joins Elizabeth Bear and James Renner as FR Battle of the Books champions. From Amy’s description, it sounds like The Coldest War is a very original alternate history fantasy, well worth checking out.
With this bracket decided, I step back into the judge’s role for the belated Fall 2012 Battle of the Books. Here is the bracket for that Battle. To get us caught up, I will be posting a decision every other day as long as I can keep it up.