Ask Me Anything, Agent, and a Nebula Nomination
Hey everyone, lots of news today. I promise that this was not coordinated, just a ton of things happening at once.
I have an AMA on r/Fantasy
An AMA is short for “Ask Me Anything” and it’s an informal Q&A in a somewhat-moderated environment. I have one happening today! Please come by and ask me a question so that I am not completely lonely.
Traditionally AMAs are accompanied by a giveaway, so five random participants will get a copy of a book or something like that. As I don’t have any books to give away, I instead will be offering ominous prophecies to anyone who wants one (while my supply lasts.) So if an ominous prophecy appeals to you, or if you just have some question about writing you’ve wanted to ask me, head on over and ask.
I’ve signed with an agent
I have signed a representation agreement with Lauren Bajek at Liza Dawson! Lauren is a new agent but has a ton of experience as an assistant and I really like her vision and style. She’s also familiar with my work more broadly than just my submission novel, which is fantastic.
Hopefully this will herald being able to publish novels, novellas, short story collections, and more.
Just Enough Rain nominated for a Nebula Award
Just Enough Rain, my Jewish mysticism romantic comedy, was nominated for a Nebula Award for best Novelette. I am very happy about this!
Just Enough Rain is an incredibly personal story for me. It has a very unusual structure (I’ve described it as “rambling story your kooky relative tells at Passover, complete with divergences into Talmud”) and it struggled a lot to find a publisher. I’m so glad that LaShawn Wanak and everyone else at Giganotosaurus were willing to take a risk on it, and I’m so glad that it found an appreciative audience.
I am also deeply indebted to my classmates at the 2019 Odyssey Writing Workshop, who offered useful, precise, and unflinching feedback on the story’s first draft. Without their necessary, thoughtful critique, Just Enough Rain would not be the story that it is. I am also indebted to the story’s expert consultants (Alistair Zarazoga, Rabbi Naomi Steinberg, and Lia Swope Mitchell, PhD) and to Fae Garet, who provided the story with its excellent title.
A few thoughts about award nominations, now that the Nebula nominations are out
One of the things I’ve said about award nominations many times, but never I think in public, is that I’m always frustrated by the “best” in award titles, and that it helps me to think of it as “a good” instead of “best.” So, being nominated for the Nebula Award for “a good novelette.”
This is still true after a story of mine has been nominated for an award. Just Enough Rain is a great novelette! You should read it. But the fact of the matter is that there are an extraordinary number of great novelettes and short stories this year (I know because I’ve been reading them!), any six of which would have made an excellent Nebula shortlist. The shortlist as it is only represents a small fraction of the best stories published in 2021 (as it does every year, because there are only six slots on the shortlist.)
The difference between a good story that makes the final ballot and a good story is about a huge number of factors that aren’t directly about how good a story it is (including ineffable things like “luck” and “the zeitgeist”). If you’re going to read the nominated stories (and I encourage you to read them!) consider also reading some of the other stories published last year (here’s some of my recommendations: 1 2). There’s some really excellent work in there: stories that will move you or make you think or open your eyes or hurt your heart in just the right way.