January 10th, 2007


Nebula Preliminary Ballot for 2006 Announced

Well, now that's it's been announced over at SF Signal, it's official.

SFWA has posted the 2006 Preliminary Nebula Awards Ballot, and I am delighted to announce that my novella "Sanctuary" (Analog, September 2005) has made it onto the ballot.

But there's more. Only four novellas made it onto the preliminary ballot, and the preliminary ballot is usually whittled down to the top five choices. Since there's only four novellas on the ballot, all four of them will make it to the final ballot...which means that I can state categorically that I am now a three-time Nebula nominee.

Congratulations are also due to James Patrick Kelly, paulmelko, and shunn, who are also on the same ballot. The four of us will presumably be joined by a fifth novella chosen by the jury for the final ballot. Good luck to us all.

Discovering Podcasts

As those of you who read gnomi's journal might recall, recently I had a medical procedure that laid me up for a day or two.

Because I wasn't going to be in the mood to read during those days, Nomi and I decided it was time to join the iPod generation. We had resisted buying iPods for these past five years, primarily because we didn't see any need to own them. (I define "need" here in the way that we discovered we "needed" cell phones. They went from being a luxury item that didn't seem necessary to something that we now rely on daily. Lots of technology is like that; before you acquire it, you have no idea why you would want it; afterwards, you wonder how you lived without it. But I digress.)

So now that I have an iPod, I decided to explore a world that heretofore I had mostly ignored: podcasting.

I have discovered the joy of podcasts. Forget music; I'm loading my iPod with podcasts, and whiling away the empty minutes with content. (It's amazing how much more productive I'm becoming at work when I have something for my ears to do.)

Here's a list of the podcasts I have started subscribing to:

60-Second Science
A Way With Words
Adventures in SciFi Publishing
Ask Lev
Comic News Insider
Escape Pod
Futurismic Audio
Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
Levinson news clips
Light On Light Through
New Scientist Podcast
NPR: On Words with John Ciardi
NPR: Sunday Puzzle
NPR: Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
Science Friday -- Making Science Radioactive
Science Talk: The Podcast of Scientific American
Slice of Scifi -- Science Fiction TV & Movie News, Interviews, & more
The 9th -- A Heroes Podcast
The Babylon Podcast
The Survival Guide to Writing Fantasy

I considered making each of those titles a link to the podcast, but then realized that would take me too long. So if you're interested in tracking down any of those podcasts, I'd suggest searching on Google or in the iTunes store. Chances are you'll find them.

You may have noticed that the podcasts I started with lean heavily towards some of my usual interests -- science fiction, writing, words, puzzles, and comic books. What I did find interesting is that three of the podcasts listed -- Ask Lev, Levinson news clips, and Light On Light Through -- are all recorded by my old friend Paul Levinson. Paul's a professor of communications at Fordham University, a science fiction writer, and a former president of SFWA, and he always has interesting things to share. I got in touch with him to tell him that I've started listening to his podcasts, and he asked if he could interview me for a future episode of Light on Light Through. So I'll be speaking to him tonight, and making my own haphazard way into the podosphere. (If "podosphere" is even a word.)

Now, even though I'm subscribing to a lot of podcasts, and am unlikely to ever have time to listen to them all, my iPod is still hungry for content. So if anyone out there has a favorite podcast or twelve that you'd like to recommend, do let me know.