It’s awards season and the judges of the 2017 Philip K. Dick Award and the Philadelphia SF Society, along with the Philip K. Dick Trust, have released the first major ballot of the year. The nominated works for the 2017 Philip K. Dick Award for ‘distinguished science fiction published in paperback original form in the United States during the previous calendar year’ are:
First prize and any special citations will be announced on Friday, April 14, 2017 at Norwescon 40 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport, SeaTac, Washington.
At midnight tonight Barrack Obama will end his term as the 44th President of the United States. He is, in my opinion, unquestionably the greatest president of my lifetime. I have no real memory of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency. I do recall Richard Nixon’s fall from grace, which I consider the most damaging thing done to the office. Ford and Carter are a blur. Reagan was a cartoon nightmare, and then there was Bush 1, Bush 2, and Bubba Clinton with all of his flaws. Obama has been relentlessly intelligent, classy and, damn it, presidential. He is a wonderful orator, and seems smart and decent and all you could hope for in a world leader. It’s been incredible to be alive for his presidency.
But, when midnight strikes and we begin our march towards the dead of night, Donald J. Trump will assume office as the 45th president. For all that there are many, many things surrounding his presidency that are deeply concerning – even from here in Australia – it’s probably fair to say the most stressful thing about it right now is the unknown. No one really knows what he will do, how we will attempt to do it, or what affect it will have. I confess that I am deeply pessimistic. I feel that he will leave the US and its allies fundamentally worse off than how he now finds it. I think people I care about, and many people I’ll never meet, will suffer as a result of his ascending to office, and that Australia’s economy will likely suffer too. We shall see. I earnestly hope I’m wrong.
In the meantime, strictly by coincidence, my own first act of the Trump Presidency will be to go to the Perth Arena on Sunday evening and watch Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band live in concert for just the seventh time. I’m pretty excited about. How about you? What will you be doing?
Friday morning. Up at 4.30am and out for a 5km walk before breakfast and heading in to work. Construction on the nearby freeway continues to make the local neighbourhood foreign and noisier. No coffee with mum this morning, because she has to get ready for some tests, so instead coffee and bagel at Max while reading a new novella submission for Tor.com. Copyedits bounced on to one writer, while making plans for more edits and getting ready to send out invitations for a new book project.
With three Bruce Springsteen shows coming up this week (Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday), all with Stephen and one with him and Jessica, the week ahead looks full. Exciting even! It’s also Marianne and my eighteenth wedding anniversary on Tuesday, so we’ll be out for dinner that night. What else? A Fringe show tonight with M (Jewish-ish), and some other commitments ahead. May even spend some time with mum setting up her new phone.
With the week ahead away from the day job include editing and writer invites, holiday planning(!), and more. Busy times. Oh and I should be reading.
As promised, the wonderful Ellen Klages reads from her forthcoming book Passing Strange. The short reading starts about halfway into a story about two women living in San Francisco in 1940 and what happens to them. Our sincere thanks to Ellen for taking the time to record the reading. Passing Strange is due out on January 24.
© 2017 Ellen Klages. All rights reserved.
And we’re back! The bar has been re-stocked, the carpets have been steam cleaned, and we’re ready to go. For the first podcast of 2017, long time friend of the podcast Ellen Klages joins us to discuss her wonderful new book, Passing Strange.
Described by the publisher like this:
San Francisco in 1940 is a haven for the unconventional. Tourists flock to the cities within the city: the Magic City of the World’s Fair on an island created of artifice and illusion; the forbidden city of Chinatown, a separate, alien world of exotic food and nightclubs that offer “authentic” experiences, straight from the pages of the pulps; and the twilight world of forbidden love, where outcasts from conventional society can meet.
Six women find their lives as tangled with each other’s as they are with the city they call home. They discover love and danger on the borders where magic, science, and art intersect.
Inspired by the pulps, film noir, and screwball comedy, Passing Strange is a story as unusual and complex as San Francisco itself from World Fantasy Award winning author Ellen Klages.
Passing Strange is due out January 24, but you can pre-order it now.
As always, we’d like to thank Ellen Klages for joining us and hope you enjoy the episode. We should be back next week with new episode, and regularly through till Worldcon in August.
© 2017 Coode Street Productions & Gary K. Wolfe. Please do not copy or reuse without permission.