Ellen Klages and I will discuss her new book Passing Strange at Powell’s Cedar Hills in Beaverton, Oregon tonight (Monday 2/27) at 7pm!
Also, at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle this weekend, I will be appearing on panel “Kicking Ass in a Corset: An Homage to Fearless Ladies in Fantasy!” with Kristen Britain, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Marie Brennan! Friday 3/3 at 5:15pm in WSCC 603 with autographing to follow.
Hope to see you there!
Today is my fifty-sixth birthday.
As most of you know, I had a really sucky 2016. In addition to the problems all of us had with that hell-hole of a year, I had my beloved wife Kate’s illness and death and some other (not unrelated) personal crises that made me very glad to see it go. So at the beginning of this year I decided that 2017 would be my “Year of Yes.”
Yes to fun and excitement. Yes to opportunity and adventure. Yes to new experiences. Yes to love and sex.
It’s going well so far. Here’s an example: a Facebook post about where to find a new belt led in remarkably short order to a decision to visit Siena, Italy after the Worldcon for the Palio di Siena. I’ve been doing a lot of other travel on a rather spur-of-the-moment basis, and, closer to home, spending time with friends old and new and seeing a lot of theatre.
Now, I’m not going all Jim Carrey here. I’m still exercising judgement, and I’m still saying “no” some things, including avocados, olives, and cilantro (sorry, avocado fans). But before I say “no,” I do try to take a moment to consider whether this is still something I don’t want to do. Sometimes I do change my mind — for example, I had guacamole on my arepas the other day, and they were delicious. (Still hate raw avocado, though.)
“Yes” is not without its costs. For one thing, saying “yes” to some things inevitably means “no” to others. My trip to Siena means that I will be on the other side of the world for the August 21 solar eclipse — which will likely be the only solar eclipse within driving distance of my home in my lifetime. “Yes” has also put me in situations that push my boundaries, and in some cases have really frightened me. But all human activities have risks, and I’m determined to face them with mindfulness and learn from the experience.
I hope that you will join me in my Year of Yes. Let’s not let the bastards wear us down.
Very, very pleased to report that Arabella of Mars, my first novel, has received the following substantial honors:
- Nominated for SFWA’s
Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book, which is awarded along with the Nebula awards but is not-a-Nebula™. The award will be presented at the SFWA Nebula Conference on May 20 in Pittsburgh. This award is voted on by the members of SFWA; voting opens on March 1.
- Nominated for the Leslie Bradshaw Award for Young Adult Literature, which is part of the Oregon Book Awards. The award will be presented at the Oregon Book Awards Ceremony on April 24 in Portland. This is a juried award (the judge for this category is Malinda Lo) but anyone can vote in the Readers Choice Awards.
- Listed as one of the recommended First Novels on the Locus Recommended Reading List, which also acts as the long list for the Locus Awards. The Locus Awards will be presented at the Locus Awards Weekend on June 25 in Seattle. The Locus Awards are decided by popular vote, and you can vote here.
Thank you very much to everyone who nominated, recommended, or talked up my book, and please do vote for it if you can!
Thank you to everyone who came out for Kate’s memorial gathering last weekend! And special thanks to Mark Niemann-Ross, who made all the arrangements, and to everyone who pitched in and set up the tables and chairs when we were let into the building after the event was supposed to start. I’m sorry that I didn’t get to spend very much time talking with any one person, but there were lots of good reminiscences and conversation and some people hung around for visits and meals in the following days.
Here are some photos from the event. All are by Alex Wright, except for the last one which is by Karen Schaffer.
So here it is awards season, and I suppose I ought to summarize what I published in 2016. By comparison with previous years it is a very short list, only two items, but I’m exceptionally proud of both of them.
My first novel, Arabella of Mars, was published in 2016 to considerable acclaim:
- “Embedded in the chaos of clockwork and space adventure, Arabella is a delightful heroine with more than enough fortitude to traverse the solar system. A fanciful romp through a cosmic 1812, Hugo Award-winning Levine’s first novel is a treat for steampunk fantasy fans. Debut of the Month.” — Library Journal, starred review
- “Arabella is a fully realized character, daring and willing to risk everything to protect the brother she loves and the legacy that her father has left them. Her wits and cleverness save the ship and crew more than once in this rousing swashbuckler.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
- “Excellent, entertaining, humorous scenarios make up Levine’s latest. His storytelling will keep readers turning the pages with its slight edginess, light-hearted tone and clear, crisp dialogue. Arabella is strong, sassy and clever, and her journey, as she makes her way back to Mars on an airship, makes this story an engaging read.” — RT Book Reviews, four-star review
Thank you for your consideration.
An informal memorial gathering to remember and celebrate the life of Kate Yule will be held on January 28, 2017, from 2pm to 5pm, at the Fulton Park Community Center in Portland, Oregon. Bring your memories, photographs, knitted objects, and stories of Kate.
We will be providing hors d’oeuvres from Chef Naoko. It’s really important that you RSVP, and do so as soon as possible — January 22 at the latest — so we know how much food to order. Please RSVP here: http://evite.me/CvqND1nn1M
If you are coming in from out of town, we’ve set up a 15% discount at the Embassy Suites Portland Downtown (the BentoCon hotel). Use the hotel website, or call 800-643-7892, and use group code “DLM” and reserve before January 21 to get the discounted rate.
Anyone who knew and loved Kate is welcome to attend; please feel free to forward this invitation to anyone we might have missed.
Short fiction words written: 8,335
Notes, outline, and synopsis words written: 50,057
Blog words written: 13,501
Total words written: 145,628
Novel words edited out: 8,049
Net words written: 137,579
New stories written: 1
Short fiction submissions sent: 1
Responses received: 1
Acceptances: 1 (pro)
Other sales: 6 (3 reprint, 3 translation)
Short stories published: 6 (1 pro, 2 reprint, 2 translation, 1 audio)
Nebula nominations: 1
Other award nominations: 1
Awards won: 0
Novels completed: 1
Novel submissions: 1
Novels published: 1
Happy new year!
There will be an informal memorial gathering to remember and celebrate the life of Kate Yule on January 28, 2017, from 2pm to 5pm, at the Fulton Park Community Center, 68 SW Miles St., Portland, OR 97219 (http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/64917). We will be providing more details and requesting RSVPs soon, but I wanted to let you know as soon as the date was nailed down. Anyone who knew and loved Kate is welcome to attend.
I’m doing okay, mostly. I’m still dealing with grief but I no longer feel like I’m carrying the shattered pieces of myself around in my hands. I’m keeping busy, spending time with friends, traveling (at the moment I’m at the airport, heading for a few days in San Diego with friends who have a condo there, and I also have travel plans for Christmas and New Year’s), and seeing a counselor. I am lonely but not alone. Thank you all for your help and support over the last two very difficult years.
NOVEMBER 18 • FRIDAY
3:00-4:00pm: Steampunk! Explain It! Salon C (LL1)
Stephen Couchman (m), Ann Gimpel, David Levine, Rhiannon Louve
How much Steam is required in Steampunk? Is alternative history a must? Is it fantasy, or SF, and/or a lifestyle?
NOVEMBER 19 • SATURDAY
10:00-10:30am: David Levine Reading Hawthorne (2)
I will be reading from Arabella and the Battle of Venus!
11:00am-12:00pm: First Page Idol Douglas Fir (3)
Curtis Chen (m), Annie Bellet, David Levine, Doug Odell
Submit the first page of your novel to our talented author panelists, and listen to them read aloud that first page (keeping the writer’s identity anonymous) and give thoughtful reactions. E-mail your first page submission (please omit the author name) to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2:00-3:00pm Finding Diverse Voices & Characters in SF/F Salon C (LL1)
Jeffrey Cook, David Levine, Deborah Ross, Caroline M. Yoachim
Diversity in the physical, ethnic, cultural, sexual identity, and socioeconomic backgrounds of characters and writers of speculative fiction has become more important to readers and writers in recent years. Where do we go to find these characters and authors? Who are the writers (no matter their background) who are penning accurate and authentic experience? Do we find these books in the SF/F sections or do we need to look to other areas of the bookstore or library?
4:00-5:00pm The Davids discuss how to research alternate history: Mining real history for good fiction Douglas Fir (3)
David Levine (m), David Boop, David Dvorkin, David Weber
What are the methods and sources for researching an alternate history story? Where do you find the information you need to sell your twisting of history to readers?
NOVEMBER 20 • SUNDAY
11:00am-12:00pm Feedback Workshop Douglas Fir (3)
David Levine (m), Curtis Chen, Richard A. Lovett, Susan Matthews, David Weber
A hands-on workshop on how to apply the feedback you get from readers, editors, writer’s workshops, critique groups, etc. Bring your questions, manuscripts, critiques, etc.