Monthly Archive: March 2013

Finalist Fantasy II

bsfslogoMy dreary Monday was interrupted by the exciting news that Fair Coin was selected as a finalist for the 2013 Compton Crook Award! Named for author Compton Crook (the pseudonym of Stephen Tall), since 1983 this award has been presented by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS) to the best first novel of the year in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Past winners include T.C. McCarthy’s Germline (2012), Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl (2010), and Naomi Novik’s His Majesty’s Dragon (2007).

It’s an honor to be considered for the same award as all those talented writers and to share this year’s shortlist with Heather Anastasiu, Myke Cole, Jay Kristoff, and Jeff Salyards. Though I can’t find a list of finalists from previous years, I’m pretty happy to see a good range of fantasy and science fiction here, including three young adult titles. The BCFS membership will continue to read nominees and vote through April, and the award will be presented to the winner at Balticon in May.

And I’m still bouncing over the Andre Norton nomination… If you’re a member of SFWA, don’t forget to cast your votes by Saturday, March 30! Most of the Norton-nominated books are free in the Nebula Voter Packet, including Fair Coin, so you still have time to catch up! Right now I’m reading through as much of the Nebula-nominated short fiction as I can before the deadline.

I’ve also been meaning to mention that you have until April 15, 2013 to cast your ballots for the Locus Award. Anyone can vote for the Locus Awards, with no special membership or subscription requirements, so I’ll hope you’ll take a moment to do so. You’ll notice that Fair Coin is not listed among the fantastic YA Books or First Novels on the ballot, but you can write in up to five books you want to vote for.

And that’s all I’ve got on awards for now… :) Thanks to everyone who has read, considered, and nominated Fair Coin. I’m thrilled to get every bit of recognition because I know how hard it is to for a debut novel to be noticed, especially with so many excellent books being published every year. I hope you’ve enjoyed it!

2013 Teen Author Festival!

It’s here! This week is the annual Teen Author Festival in NYC, consisting of author panels, readings, signings, and performances. I’m thrilled to be participating in one panel this year, on a topic I know a little something about:

“Alternate World vs. Imaginary World”:
Of these authors, some have written stories involving alternate or parallel versions of our world, some have made up imaginary worlds for their characters, and still others have written books that do each.  We’ll discuss the decision to either connect the world of a book to our world, or to take it out of the historical context of our world.  How do these strategies help in telling story and developing character?  Is one easier than the other? Is the stepping off point always reality, or can it sometimes be another fictional world? With authors:

Sarah Beth Durst
Jeff Hirsch
Emmy Laybourne
Lauren Miller
E. C. Myers (that’s me!)
Diana Peterfreund
Mary Thompson
Chris Shoemaker

Friday, March 22, 2013 | 4:40 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

New York Public Library
Steven A. Schwarzman Building (the one with the lions)
Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street
Bergen Forum, 2nd Floor

While I won’t be in this year’s big group signing at Books of Wonder on Sunday, the store still has signed copies of Quantum Coin, so just ask if you don’t see it on the shelves. And if you’re hoping to get something signed or just say hi or want a bookmark or some gummi bears (really!), I’ll be lurking around the Festival from Thursday to Saturday, either attending panels and events or writing in the beautiful Rose Main Reading Room. I hope you’ll drop by!

The full Festival schedule is below and you also can join the Facebook page for the latest information:


alternate wednesday: the time traveler’s watch


We always pay a lot of attention to the mechanisms of time travel–a DeLorean, the Millenium Shortcut, slingshotting around the sun at warp speed–but every time traveler has another important tool: a watch.  Sometimes it’s just there for symbolism, like the paradoxical pocket watch in Somewhere in Time, but often it serves a more practical purpose, what it was made for–to keep track of time.

martyClocks are everywhere in Back to the Future, and Marty McFly’s digital watch is more than just a gag; there’s a reason that the poster shows him checking his watch: being in the right place at exactly the right time is a major plot point. Recently, another timepiece caught my eye in one of my favorite science fiction shows, Fringe.

Without spoiling the surprising twists the series takes, in its final season, there’s a certain amount of time travel involved. In episode seven of season five, “Five-Twenty-Ten”, Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) needs to pay very careful attention to the time at which specific events take place… and I really liked the watch he used. (I have no idea how you keep that synced while jumping around in time, but whatever.)


I figured it would be tricky finding it since the brand name was blacked out for the episode, but naturally, someone else on the internet had already identified it. Thanks, internet! (It turns out that identifying watches worn by celebrities is a hobby for some people.) Ultimately, I learned it’s a Fossil Relic watch, model ZR15552… which is no longer in production. Darn! But hey, there’s eBay. Thanks again, internet! In short, I now own a little piece of Fringe history and I’m prepared for my next temporal displacement.


I’m really gonna miss that show.

Watches almost seem like anachronisms today, with many people just using their cell phones to tell the time. Do you still wear one? Have you ever bought something because you saw it in a TV show or film?

think younger

hugo-logo*climbs onto soapbox* *teeters*

I don’t usually get on soapboxes. I have poor balance and I don’t like it when everyone looks at me like that… Yeah, like that. But I just noticed that the deadline for voting for the Hugo Awards is approaching–March 10th!

If you attended Worldcon last year or have a membership for this or next year’s Worldcon, you are eligible to vote for the Hugo Awards. Please do! The good news is that even if you can’t make it to the convention, anyone can buy a non-attending membership for $60 which will let them vote for the awards, but I don’t actually know who does that.

Anyway, I love books for children. Probably 90% of my leisure reading consists of middle grade and young adult books. I write young adult books. So I was very pleased when I heard last year that there was a proposal to add a new award category for Best Children’s/Young Adult Book.

And I was shocked when it was voted down.