Tag Archives: writers of the future

Here, Have Some Fiction:

“Cyberplant” is out in issue numero sixteen of Galaxy’s Edge. This one is near and dear to my heart because I wrote it after taking a bucket-list trip with my mom to Peru, where I fell in love with the country. It’s also the story I wrote for the 24hr challenge during the WotF workshop week.

Excerpt:

The sun hardly shines in Lima, and never in October. Maybe it’s because Mama Cocha is jealous of the sun god, Inti. Maybe it’s because she is enamored of Ilyap’a, and his clouds give her comfort.

Either way, Mother Sea rules. It is her city. The other gods have kingdoms of their own.

My pilgrimage was to Inti’s domain: Machu Picchu.

The flight from Miami lasted six hours. The two other passengers in my row asked for new seat assignments. No one wanted to sit next to the giant of a man with passionflower leaves growing out of his ears and red wires circling his head like a turban. If it hadn’t been for the sick baby across the aisle, maybe I could have stretched out and slept. It would have been the first time in forty-eight hours.

A deep numbness clutched my limbs and my chest—not just a lack of physical sensation, but a deadening of emotion. I thought sleep might restore some semblance of feeling to my body, if not my person. But no go.

From the Lima airport I took a taxi into the city proper. We skirted along the ocean, mirroring the undulation of the cliffs. Surfers paddled out into the meager waves, and a briny stench permeated the air.

The taxi driver dropped me at a bus station where I could get a ride to Cusco. He shot me a scowl when I tipped him. Because of my implants, he thought I could afford more.

The journey from the coast to south-central Peru took fifteen hours, with only the briefest of pit stops. Suddenly my plane ride didn’t look so bad. Sleep was still elusive, and an elderly man from Puno grilled me the whole way. He asked me why my skin was green, and if my palm-scanners could fry his brain, and if it were true that all cyberplants believe rainbows have feelings.

I did not know the Spanish word for chlorophyll, or how to explain to a non-believer that rainbows not only have feelings, they are each Cuichu. If nothing else, I was able to communicate that my scanners would have zero effect on his brain.

Thankfully he was polite enough not to ask about my pilgrimage, or my family.

Click to keep reading: http://www.galaxysedge.com/n4.htm

 

~Marina

Advertisements
Tagged , , , ,

Two New Releases

 
Hi everyone!  Hope your holiday season was very cheery and not too cold.

The first release announcement is for Galaxy’s Edge issue 6.  It contains my quirky little story, “Imma Gonna Finish You Off,” alongside work by my WotF classmates, Tina Gower and Brian Trent.  I think it’s worth checking out the issue just for the chance to read the reprint of Kij Johnson’s “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss.”

The second announcement is for the IGMS Big Book of SF Novelettes. Featuring stories by award-winning authors including Orson Scott Card, Wayne Wightman, Aliette de Bodard, Eric James Stone, Mary Robinette Kowal, Stephen Kotowych, Jackie oGamber, Greg Siewert, Jamie Todd Rubin, Brad Torgersen… and me. 

Check ’em out!

~Marina

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Congrats WotF Vol. 30 Winners!

Now that all of the writer winners have been announced, I just want to send my congratulations.  You will have a fantastic time during the workshop week.  I highly encourage you all to get to know each other a bit before you go, so that you can form a stronger bond once you arrive.  Last year, we all banded together, and as a result have formed a wonderful support group.  Your fellow winners are your peers and colleagues.  The connections you form today will be essential for tomorrow.

If any of the winners have not yet done so, please consider joining the Writers of the Future forum (this goes for illustrators as well!)–it’s a great place to chat with your fellow entrants.

And for those of you still entering the contest–don’t give up!  Keep writing, keep submitting, and keep growing.

~Marina

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

LoneStarCon 3 and the Five Minute Rule

So, my plan was to do a LoneStarCon 3 overview today, but alas, I feel I am too late. There are already a ton of rehashes all across the web focusing on everything from the lack of a YA Hugo , to the overall older vibe (google it and take your pick), to how it stacks up against other cons.

There are even some nice blogs that cover who met whom and who did what. (What, you say I’m only linking to Lou Anders’ post because I’m in it? Not so, not so!)

What could I possibly bring to the table when we’ve already got an embarrassment of riches (ie. blog posts)?

I’m here to give you the one thing I learned at Worldcon that trumps everything else: the five minute rule.

What is that, you ask? Is it like the five second rule? Er, no.

The five minute rule relates to a paranormal phenomenon that can only be experienced when a large number of people you want to meet are all gathered in close proximity for long periods of time. Here’s the theory:

Whenever you are about to leave a social area of the con–say you’re sleepy and want to call it a night–wait five minutes. If you do, someone interesting will inevitably make an appearance and talk to you.

The first time it happened we (a group of us from the Writers of the Future forum hung out a good chunk of the time) were at the hotel bar just as it closed. The staff were ‘encouraging’ us to leave, and we thought it best to comply. However, we lagged, and the lady taking out the garbage bins kind of barreled through the crowd–inevitably pushing us (literally) into Lou Anders from Pyr. He was great to meet. I had attended several of his panels that day, and ended up going to several more. We ran into each other on other occasions during the con, and each time was a pleasure.

The second time I encountered the phenomenon, the group of people I was with had just decided to head to bed, but as it was nearing two (or was it three?) in the morning, we were all moving rather slowly. Within five minutes, an editor form Orbit (who shall remain unnamed, as it seems this is one of her favorite con games) came and sat at our table (led there by a friend). She immediately asked us all to pitch our books, and was kind enough to critique our attempts. If we’d left when we’d decided to, we would have missed out.

It happened again and again throughout the con. We wanted to leave, but we lingered, and ran into Joshua Bilmes. We wanted to leave, but lingered, and ran into Kim Stanley Robinson. We wanted to leave, but decided we better wait five minutes because, geez, the correlation between us deciding to leave and interesting people showing up was just getting weird…

So, anyway, that’s my unique Worldcon observation: when you think it’s time to go, wait five minutes. You never know who might make an appearance.

All kidding aside, Worldcon is primarily about people–meeting new people, and reconnecting with colleagues you already know. That’s why it’s essential to hang around after hours, and if you’re an introvert like me, to step out of your comfort zone for a while.

Do you have a unique Worldcon observation? If so, let me know in the comments!

~Marina

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

WotF Awards Vid

Hi all!

Below is a video clip from the Vol. 29 Writers and Illustrators of the Future awards ceremony. It contains an introduction to my story, the wonderfully quirky dance choreographed for it, my thank you speech and Tiffany England’s thank you speech. Enjoy, get inspired, and enter the contest!

~Marina

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Book Signing 7/13/13!

Writers of the Future Vol. 29 is out!  And I will be signing copies from 2:00-4:00pm this Saturday (the 13th) at the Barnes & Noble on N. College Ave. in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  

If you are in the area I hope to see you there. You can ask me about the contest, about writing, about science fiction–about basically anything you’d like. Or you can just get a crisp new book and a neat-o signature if you’re not up for chatting. Either way, I’ll appreciate you stopping by!

WOF-29-Bookcover

~Marina

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Writers of the Future Workshop Week and Gala, Part 4, Post Gala

The day after the gala we did a few interviews and had a PR workshop given to us by John Goodwin of Galaxy press. In it we were taught some basics on how to present yourself on camera (be polite, smile, don’t wear white because it wreaks havoc with the lighting), and how to create pithy summaries of our stories. We were each teamed up with a partner to work through some practice questions. Kodiak Julian (author of Holy Days, for which Aldo Katayanagi’s illustration won the IotF gold award) and I practiced together.

Later that day we were treated to a live audio play of one of Hubbard’s short stories. The performance was quite wonderful, and I personally found it a treat.

After that we had a pizza party with our guests and the remaining Judges.

Tuesday was the day we all said good bye, but not before Writers of the Future: The Musical was in full swing. We’d discovered just a few nights before that our group was quite musically inclined. Shannon Peavey (author of Scavengers) treated us to some beautiful a cappella opera, and Alex Wilson sang a quite rousing version of the “Gummy Bears” theme song.

And then we went our separate ways. I stayed in LA for a few more days on a mini vacation with my husband and my dad, which was fun. Highlights included Universal Studios and the Tesla dealer.

And that wraps up my WotF experience. As always, if there are any questions, I am happy to answer them!

~Marina

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Writers of the Future Workshop Week and Gala, Part 3

Here is a links to Part 2 (which contians a link to Part 1).

So, on Wednesday I typed up the following and posted it to WordPress.  Or, at least, I thought I did.  I was surprised to log in today (in order to moderate a comment) and find that there was no Part 3.  Either WordPress glitched on me, or somehow I navigated away from the page before actually hitting publish.  Luckily I save all of my lengthy posts in word docs.   I apologize for not catching the mistake sooner!

So, Sunday was Gala day.  We had a nice breakfast at the hotel in the morning, and then all the ladies were rushed off for hair and makeup (the guys got a couple of hours of down time, I believe.  Which is a fair trade off, since they did have to suffer through tux fittings earlier in the week).

Our beautification was done by cosmetology students, which had its pros and cons.  As we artists and writers were new to our perspective industries and had been learning all week, I liked the idea of furthering education in yet another field.  However, having students instead of pros do the work had its issues.  The woman who did my hair was very nice, but insisted on curling it.  I tried to explain that it would not work (I slept in curlers for my wedding and my hair was perfectly straight six hours after taking them out), but she went for it anyway.  As a result, when I finally made it on stage that night (I was the last writer to give my thank-yous), my hair simply looked like I’d failed to comb it.  And I’d made the mistake of telling my makeup artists that I usually wear smokey-purple eye shadow.  All she heard was purple, apparently, because man, my eyelids were puuuuurpppple.

Other ladies had much more luck–and others, much worse.  But, overall, despite our hits and misses, we all looked quite fantastic once we slipped into our gowns and jewelry.

My husband, father, brother, and step-mom had all flown in for the awards.  It was fantastic to see them all, if it was only for a few minutes.  I’ve been to several awards events with my husband, and at all of them the awards recipients were given specific times to take pictures with their guests.  Not so at the WotF gala.  We winners were rushed from one thing to the next, pictures here, interviews there, but never with our significant others.  The only time I got to spend with my husband was a few minutes on the red carpet out front, and at dinner (I would recommend future winners take dinner time to break out the cameras).  I got to see the rest of my family even less, as they were understandably not invited to the dinner.

The event itself was magnificent.  Beautiful sets, fantastic guest speakers, and wonderful dancers.  A special vignette was preformed for a few of the stories, and I was so glad mine was chosen.  (ETA: one positive point to the mis-post is that I can now share with you the gala clip that includes the dance done for my story, Master Belladino’s Mask.  My speach is in there too, but you can ignore that.)

Everyone’s speeches went well–even when they didn’t go as planned.  Alex Wilson (author of Vestigial Girl) ended up thanking two wives (though he insists he really only has the one).  I was introduced by none other than Larry Niven, who was quite shy and very nice.

After the ceremony we were all whisked away to the signing (this is when most award events afford the recipients some time for pictures with family).  We were seated in a circle emulating book order, which had me between Brian Trent (whose work opens the anthology), and Andrea Stewart (whose story, Dreameater, comes right before mine at the end).

It was a whirlwind event, with everyone in attendance coming by to get their copies of the anthology and calendars signed.

David Wolverton’s son, who had been in a coma for the entire workshop week, woke up for the first time that night, right before the gala started.   It was perfectly serendipitous.

After the signing I got to see my family for a few minutes, to thank them briefly and give hugs before we were once again rushed back to the hotel for an after party–which Joni Labaqui graciously hosted.  Though I don’t remember the exact time, it was pretty late at this point.  Mike Resnick hung out with us for a while, and though I had to tear myself a way relatively ‘early,’ I know many of the winners stayed up until 4am or so.

And that, my friends, was the gala.

There will indeed be a Part 4, as though the awards event was on Sunday, the workshop week wasn’t officially over until Tuesday.

~Marina

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Writers of the Future Workshop Week and Gala, Part 2

Here’s the link to Part 1 if you missed it.

And jumping right into part 2:

Once we turned in our twenty-four hour stories, we got to have some fun (not that whipping out a story, isn’t fun).  We formally met our illustrators and saw their work for the first time.

Down stairs in the ASI building, prints of the story illustrations had been nicely framed and set up on easels in a semi-circle.  The illustrators stood off to the side so that we writers wouldn’t have any indication of who had done what.  Then we had to guess which illustration belonged to our story.  This was nerve wracking for the lot of us– the writers were worried that we wouldn’t be able to recognize which illustration was ours (and that we would thus insult the illustrator), while the illustrators were worried their work might be too different from the writers vision (and that we in turn would be insulted).

I was immediately drawn to the illustration done by Tiffany England.  I made a beeline for it as we came in through the doors.  I thought, This is mine.  I’m pretty sure it’s minePlease, can it be mine?  But I hadn’t even looked at any of the other illustrations yet, so I had to pry myself away and make the rounds.  All of the illustrations were beautiful (Among the notable included the piece done for Marilyn Guttrige’s story, The Ghost Wife of Arlington), but yep, the first one I had been drawn to was the illustration for my story.

After, we writers returned to our seats for some lectures by judges and past winners alike.  It was great to learn about different people’s processes (I think Kevin J. Anderson’s method of writing-by-tape-recorder is the most unique) and publishing experiences.

The next day (day five) we took a field trip to Bang Printing’s facilities to learn about how books get made, to see Writers of the Future Vol. 29 being printed, and to get our first copies.  Christopher Reynaga (author of The Grande Complication) came home with a special find: an un-cut copy with the pages still long and uneven.   The tour was an amazing experience, not just because we got to see the book in all its many stages, but because we did it as a group–authors and illustrators together.  My favorite workshop-week picture was taken here, as a group of us marveled at an un-cut copy of the book (It can be seen here).

After our tour at the printers, we writers went back to do our critique session (while the artists got to play it cool at Disney studios, I might add).  The crits were followed by more guest speakers, including the editor-in-chief of Locus mag (Eric Cline, author of Gonna Reach Out and Grab Ya, had a spirited discussion with her about the pros and cons of self publishing).

That night we had a big group dinner with all of the attending judges and winners, writers and illustrators alike.

Saturday (day six) then consisted of even more wisdom from the pros.  The professional interactions at the workshop, I’d venture to guess, are something newer writers would be hard pressed to get anywhere else.  Sure, you might run into many of the judges at conventions and hear from them on panels, but at WotF they’re there for you, not you and the thousands of other con-goers, just you and your fellow winners.  You could get in-depth education by taking a workshop (many of the judges provide workshops), but that wouldn’t give you such a wide range of people to hear from.

On Saturday we also went to the Ebel theater to do a dry run of the awards ceremony (we all took turns getting on stage and saying whatever came to mind so that the sound crew could make the adjustments needed).  After that we had a brief session with John Goodwin in which he discussed speeches and showed us some examples from previous years, just so that we’d all be comfortable and prepared.  Then we jotted down our thank-you speeches and spent some time practicing (of course, very few of the real speeches ended up much like the practice ones–except for Brian Trent’s (author of War Hero), which included a list of at least 20 names spewed forth in one breath).

The gala really deserves its own post, so I guess I’ll reserve that tale for next week.

Again, if you’ve got any questions, I’m here to answer them!

~Marina

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Good News!

Part two of the WotF workshop overview will be up next week.

This week I wanted to crow a little, if you’ll indulge me.

First off, I sold a story to Mike Resnick over at Galaxy’s Edge after a minor (but really needed) rewrite.  I’m super excited about this, as it’s my fourth professional-rate sale.

Secondly, my story “Sojourn for Ephah” won second place in the InterGalactic Medicine Show readers’ poll!  To get positive feedback from editors is great, but this is the first time I’ve been able to see what kind of an impact my work has had on readers.  I’m extremely pleased that the story was so well received.

Well, that’s it, just a batch of good news.  All in all, April’s been a pretty good month.

~Marina

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: