ellenkushner: (Default)
Thanks to the divine Paul Cornell, I am reminded that nominations for the 2014 Hugo Awards are now open, and that it is not shameful to let others know that one has eligible work.

And so we present for your consideration the unabridged audiobook of THE FALL OF THE KINGS for
Best Dramatic Presentation “Long Form” (more than 90 minutes)

Rules for who is eligible to nominate for the Hugos are here.  You can nominate for the Hugo Awards (if you've an attending or supporting member of this year's, last year's or next year's Worldcon) here.  More info (including fact that deadline is March 31st) here.

ETA: Bo Bolander reminds us: "If you attended LoneStarCon last year, you can vote on the Hugos/Campbell this year. It's that easy!"

Creator/Writer:  Ellen Kushner & Delia Sherman
Studio: SueMedia/Neil Gaiman Presents

Produced by SueMedia & Ellen Kushner, narrated by Ellen Kushner (co-author with Delia Sherman), the audiobook features original music by Nathanael Tronerud composed for the Riverside Series, book by book, this book being the culmination.  Using our new "Illuminated" audiobook technique, SueMedia also creates original sound effects throughout, and we invited a host of wonderful actors to bring some of the dialogue to life - including the great Simon Jones (the original Arthur Dent in Hitchiker's Guide!), audio award-winners Katherine Kellgren, Nick Jones, Robert Fass . . . and Neil Gaiman as The Wizard in the Dreams!

Read more about it and listen to sample clips here.

I would point out the the first book in the series, Swordspoint, won an Audie Award in 2012, so we're selling quality goods here. And that, ehrm, very very few people actually nominate and vote in the Hugos, so every vote genuinely counts!

Thank you.

Full Size Cover Image by Tom Canty )
ellenkushner: (Bryn Mawr: Writing)
I am back at the Undisclosed Location (housesitting for friends in Western Mass.) where I so happily wrote large chunks of The Privilege of the Sword. I am blissfully happy - and doing as little Social Networking (or even email) as possible, while I work on New Novel. I am a Creature of Extremes.

However, I need your help:

A teenage girl in my Riverside city. She is very tall, thin, and has reddish hair. Spending her "sub-Deb[utante]" year with the other noble girls, learning to be a young lady. They give her an unflattering nickname (eta) mostly referring to her height - (though, as you know, mean girls will seize on anything to augment that). I can only think of "Beanpole" - do you have anything better, either from personal experience or a cleverer mind? (I know that Delia, who was the tallest girl in her class, was called "String" - but that was partly from her name, Cordelia = Cordie = String. My girl's name is Jessica.)

ETA: Also, taunts for tall people (like the one Kat Langrish added in Comments: "How's the weather up there?")


And if you were so taunted, I hope you've lived to laugh in all their faces!
ellenkushner: (Default)
 I am nearly out of my beloved Pickwick Tea:  I speak of the one-bag-makes-a-whole-pot* variety, particularly in the Meloen and the Mango flavours.  They make the World's Best Iced Tea in summer.

If you're coming to NYC or the U.S., I'd happily pay you to transport some.  You can take it out of the box (though the box is pretty cute!) and stick it in a plastic bag in the corner of your luggage.  It won't hurt a bit!

I'll also be at WFC in Toronto in November - if the heat breaks soon, I think I can hold out with my current stash til then....

Thanks in advance for even considering this!

ETA:  Gee, Ellen; welcome to the 21st century!  Where you can get stuff from other countries . . . ONLINE!  blush, blush - who knew a common little Dutch grocery item that of course no one but me knows about in all of the U.S. is actually available for $2.99??????!  Um. You.  Thanks for the links.  Looks like you can get everything but Melon here - including a very nice Cherry, and of course the Mango:  See?  Aren't the little square boxes with pictures of fruit on them just darling?  

Thank you, LJ Shoppers!

*As matociquala 
once learned to her peril!
ellenkushner: (Audiobook Swordspoint)
 Yes, this week my FaceBook Page is all about Fencing!  Especially Women's Fencing!


Because Audible.com has thrown up an ad there for the new The Privilege of the Sword (TPOTS) audiobook, and I want to see it!

It is one of those things that pops up in response to your interests - and my liaison there (She Who is Known as Neil's Representative on Earth) rather cleverly thought that while the Olympics were on, we could bag a lot of eyeballs from Women's Fencing Enthusiasts, and bring them over to Riverside.  But in order to see the ad pop up myself, I must mention mittens fencing. And so must all my friends!!!  In comments on my page, I guess - and maybe even, as one person suggested, on their own?  ("Try getting your friends to mention women's fencing as well.. that sometimes helps direct the ads.") 

We are having a lot of fun in the Comments.  And I am learning all sorts of things about people's pasts with swords - Who knew Jane Yolen was a fencer in college? that Tiffany Trent does Chinese straightsword? that Lucy Sussex's student is "writing a book on a C17th French woman fencer and opera singer. Also burnt down a nunnery."  ?

Come join us - it's a great lark!  (FYI:  I am happy to accept pretty much anyone as a FB friend. Feel free to drop me a message letting me know who you are - but it's not a requirement anymore.)

In other news: I have a new computer.  And I fell down a manhole in Lowell.  But I am, as you can see, all right.*  

*I will write it up later today, as it's not the sort of thing that happens often - and, yes, I was thinking as I sat nursing my pride and my wounds, "I can use this!"  So don't want to forget.  A brief spasm of concern for the fact that latest research shows if you've experienced a traumatic incident you're supposed to think of fluffy puppies & like that, rather than to dwell on it . . . But so far my dreams have been benign and my bruises are healing, so I think that's all right.  One of the nice things about having a short attention span.
ellenkushner: (Witches of LUBLIN)
Again this year, we are offering "The Witches of Lublin" free to radio stations as a holiday special for Passover in April (or International Women's Month for March)!  And we need your help to get us on the air.

The Witches of Lublin is a feminist-shtetl-magic-realist musical audio drama written by my friends Elizabeth Schwartz, Yale Strom and me, with music by Yale.  It was directed & produced by SueMedia (the same folks I then went on to do the Swordspoint audiobook with for Neil Gaiman Presents!). It stars, well, some stars:  Tovah Feldshuh plays the magical matriarch; Simon Jones (Hitchikers' Guide...) is the villainous Count, and our very own Neil Gaiman is the Romantic Lead!

Your local public radio station has been sent info about this... But their in-box is stuffed with promo materials. What they really listen to is Letters from their Listeners.

So here is a sample letter you can send to your local public radio station.  

Right above it is a link to find contact info for your local station.

You might - erherm! - also like to know (and mention to them) that

Yes, in addition to our 2 Audie nominations, an Earphone Award and "Top 10 Best Full Cast Audio Drama" from Audiofile Magazine . . .

The Witches of Lublin has won a 2012 Wilbur Award (Single Program: Radio) from the lovely folks at the Religion Communicators' Council -- AND a Gracie for Best Director (go, Sue Zizza!) from the  Alliance for Women in Media Foundation!  (Yes, it is named for Gracie Allen!)

On behalf of the whole team, my thanks in advance for anything you can do to bring us back to thousands of listeners for a free hour of unique musical audio drama.

You can listen to the first 10 minutes of our show here . . . and you can order your own copy of the CD (up for an Audie for Best Design!) here . . . or download it from Audible here.

It was a thrill to produce & premiere this show last year; you can follow our process, hear interviews, read historical notes, etc.,  with my witches of lublin tag here.

ellenkushner: (WelcBORDERTOWN)
'Tis the Season for all the 2011 Award Nominations - and we* are just thrilled to find ourselves up for these, for our revival of the classic Bordertown series - for a new audience.  If you could possibly spare a few moments, your vote could count a lot:

• Teenreads.com, in association with the Children’s Book Council (CBC) and Every Child a Reader (ECAR) has announced their 2012 Teen Choice Book of the Year Nominees – and we’re nominated! Voting closes on February 15. The 5 titles that receive the most votes will serve as finalists for the CBC’s 2012 Teen Choice Book of the Year. So please head over here and vote your faves - we hope Welcome to Bordertown will be one of them!

Welcome to Bordertown made the Locus Online Recommended Reading List under Best Anthology!  Which should be enough for anyone - but it also puts us on the docket for the Locus Awards Ballot.  You don't need to be a Locus subscriber to vote: 

The fine thing about all this is that the ballots are broad - you have a chance to see and vote for lots of other nominees in many other categories (coughcough like Delia Sherman's The Freedom Maze in Locus' Best Young Adult Books)  - and to get recommendations for fabulous stuff you may even not have read!

*That would be my co-editor, Holly Black ( [livejournal.com profile] blackholly ), B'town series creator (and my co-author on the title story) Terri Windling, and the whole collection of Authors for Welcome to Bordertown!  Plus our husbands, wives, and dogs. And cats. The cats are thrilled, too; they're just better at hiding it.
ellenkushner: (gargoyle close)
So there you are: Staring at your Nebula (or Hugo or WFC) Nomination Ballot, and wondering, "What the hell is a novelette, anyway? And have I read any this year?  And, most importantly:  Have my friends written any that I should be nominating if I only knew their exact word length?"

I understand.  We've all been there.

And I am here to help.

On the Nebula Ballot, a novelette is defined as "a story of at least 7,500 words but less than 17,500 words." Such as, for instance (and I speak here only of stories that happened to have been published in 2011, making them eligible for a Nebula Nomination which can only be done by an Active member of SFWA and must be submitted before Feb. 15th),

* "The Duke of Riverside" by Ellen Kushner  (8,000 hard-won words, and my editor nearly killed me 'cause she wanted it SHORT!)

Or what about those troubling novellas?  Again, the Neb Ballot (which has recently imposed the draconian rule that "Works may not be nominated by their authors, editors, publishers, or agents") comes to the rescue with: "A story of at least 17,500 words but less than 40,000 words."  Such as, for example:

* "Welcome to Bordertown" by Terri Windling & Ellen Kushner (23,000 words - but, hey, there were two of us!)

Get the idea?  

It's a win/win situation. You nominate me and my friends, and we never tell anyone that you couldn't remember what the hell a novelette was.


Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation: For dramatic works such as motion pictures, television, Internet, radio, audio, and stage productions (Also on Nebula Ballot)

Why run with the herd, nominating all those films & TV shows that everyone else has seen, too?  Why not nominate something different this year - like a musical-feminist-shtetl-klezmer-magicrealist audio drama (starring Tovah Feldshuh, Simon Jones & Neil Gaiman)?  I speak, of course, of
The Witches of Lublin.  
SFWA members can get a link to hear the whole show, and to see other nominated dramatic work, here.

(And everyone else:  You can get the special extended 2-hour Witches download here on Audible.com)

ETA:  So don't be shy, folks!  Be sure to ask for the word count when asking friends and colleagues what they published in 2011!

We'll all be glad you did.


ellenkushner: (Joan of Arc)
. . . . And NOT in a GOOD way.

Have returned home from Cleveland to my laptop, to find that on my laptop I am having sudden ghastly trouble with Apple 3.6 Mail: it seems to have updated itself somehow without warning, and now refuses to *send* anything.  As in, the "Send" glyph is dark, and unresponsive, and even the pulldown menu MESSAGE>SEND is greyed out.  I'm receiving just fine.  

I've also got the mail working fine on my iPhone & iPad - I think it did some kind of stealth upgrade when I started with the new iPad last week, since that's when it started making dear little whooshing noises when it sent mail.  But I was having no trouble with it then.  I turned it off Friday, and turned it on this afternoon, and the Mail told me there were exciting new things I could do. (I can now think of a few exciting new things I can think of for it to do . . . but never mind.)

I have OSX 10.5.8.

I am not clever at any of this, so unless you know a quick & obvious fix, please don't leave elaborate suggestions here which I won't understand.  Instead, please Comment here with a time that I can IM or phone you. Thank you.

BONUS POINTS:  So I added some new Apps to the iPad (under my brother Philip's tutelage), and they are all trying automatically to load themselves onto my iPhone without even being asked.  I bet there's a button I can push for that (to make it not happen, I mean).  Isn't there?
ellenkushner: (TEA)
If you've been wondering what to bring me on your next trip back from Japan - may I suggest a red clay teapot?  Kind of like this one, but without the dorky painting?   Over there, they are very cheap.  We had one I loved, but I broke it.  (Note:  Tile kitchen floors are charming, but bid farewell to anything you drop on one.)  I've been looking everywhere here for one, from the Japanese Mall in New Jersey to various online places - but apparantly they are just too commonplace to bother importing.  

Ours was a bit more lowslung - and smallish, so that it held just 2 cups of tea, which is perfect for 2 people, as the technique is to pour out each pot before refilling it.

Just sayin'.

P.S.  Of course I'll pay you back!  I'm shameless, but I'm not that shameless.
ellenkushner: (Thomas the Rhymer)
Assured one of my anxious Hollins students that there are web pages that briefly & clearly tell historical/fantasy writers how long it takes to get places on horseback or by carriage (and how it all works).

Am I right?
ellenkushner: (LUBLIN witches)
Many thanks to wonderful you in Rochester, NY, who wrote to your local station WXXI to let them know about  our new audio drama, The Witches of Lublin!  The program director there hadn't known about the program - and thanks to your letter, she's now asking about airing the show in April!

My producer is laughing at me because I'm surprised that this really works.  But it does!  So please, contact your local station to get The Witches of Lublin on your air - or at least, on the program director's wavelength!   My last post has explanation, links & a sample letter to stations.

ellenkushner: (Witches of LUBLIN)
The Witches of Lublin:  a new musical audio drama written by Ellen Kushner, Yale Strom (who's also our music director & composer & violinist) & Elizabeth Schwartz!  Long in the making, and now recorded and preparing for release to public radio stations nationwide as a
free Spring Holiday Passover radio special!
We're in Post Production right now with gifted, hardworking producer/director Sue Zizza, who is merrily editing the trax we recorded in November with our all-star cast including:
Tovah Feldshuh (Yentl; Golda's Balcony; Kissing Jessica Stein)
Simon Jones (Brideshead Revisited; The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy)
Barbara Rosenblat (Anne Frank Remembered; The Secret Garden; virtually every great audiobook you've ever heard)
Neil Gaiman (some writer guy with a nice voice) . . . and more!

Art by Ilene Winn-Lederer (also illustrator for for my children's book, The Golden Dreydl, a super-nice person and incredibly versatile, talented artist!).  This art will also be the CD cover for a 2-CD set that we're producing, consisting of the entire 59-minute audio drama, plus 11 new tracks of music from the show!  We'll let you know when it's available.  Meanwhile:

"Can I hear The Witches of Lublin on my beloved local public radio station this April?"

I hear you cry.

The answer is:


First, your local station needs to know that the show exists, and that their listeners want to hear it on their air.  So here's what you must do*:

• Go to this handy listing of NPR stations
• Type in your Zip Code
• Click through ("more info") to your local station's homepage
• Find "Contact Us" there, and
• send a note along these lines:

*Sample Letter to Stations* )

It really will make a difference - so on behalf of our talented team of musicians, actors, writers & producers, I thank you in advance.  This is about the time stations are nailing down April programming, so it's just the right time for you to step in and help make it possible for everyone in your community to get to enjoy The Witches of Lublin.  There's lots more info on our website, including full cast bios, plot synopsis, music sample, and more to come!

* Obviously, if you already  know how to contact your station, you can jump this bit about how to find yours!
ellenkushner: (Bordertown)
After 3 days of intense & furious editing of everyone else's Bordertown stories, I am now working on my own. My character is a grad student in cultural anthropology, who had the bright idea of going to B'town to do field work among the elves (or Truebloods, as they call themselves).  Ideally he'd go right into the Realm, but of course no human can pass the Border into there.  It is known that elves living in B'town themselves cannot speak of certain details about their home (in [livejournal.com profile] coffeeem  's wonderful new story, this is referred to as "the Silencing") - but my guy is sure a Trained Anthropologist can ask the questions right and get real answers.

He is, unfortunately, wrong.....

But never mind that for now.  My question:  What is his Research Topic for his thesis?  (I thought of "Kinship Systems amongst the Elves" - but then I'd have to write about Kinship systems, which was my least favorite class for the 2 yrs I did anthro as an undergrad).  And how long would be reasonable for him to take doing fieldwork before he was expected to write it?

Also:  this story takes place ca. 1998.  Was there a fashionable area of research then?  He's basically a fantasy geek who wants an excuse to go meet elves - but needs to impress his thesis advisor (so "kinship systems" would be hilariously apt, as it's dry as dust - but then I'd have to write about it - see above.)
ellenkushner: (Default)
I've just hit SEND - heaven help us!

* * *

Dear Welfords,

I hope this is the strangest request you ever receive from a guest - but not the most inconvenient!

I'm the friend of Elizabeth-Jane Baldry's, with whom we were visiting in Devon when she declared that we'd be fools not to stay at Gwydir Castle while we were ambling about in Wales this week. My partner, Delia Sherman, and I are both writers, and as she is doing a story set in a haunted manor house (involving Sherlock Holmes and some automatons for a "steam-punk" anthology), we figured it was fate, and are delighted to be staying with you tomorrow night.

To my dismay, I've just gotten page proofs from my editor for a story, and he wants a very quick turnaround. (Editor is in Australia, publisher's in San Francisco - and I am currently on a Welsh sheep farm!)

It's a complex piece, and I'd much prefer to be able to go over it in printed-out hard copy. I attach a PDF of the entire work, since that's what he sent, but not that my story is ONLY pages 279 - 290 of the ms. If there were any way for you to print out just those 12 pages for me to go over when we reach the castle, I'd be terrifically grateful. As Judy's also an author, I'm hoping this will all make sense to her.

That said, I know it's a madly busy weekend for you there. If you can't manage, I'll understand completely. I'll still be able to see the text on my laptop screen here, so I'm sure it will be fine. Apologies in advance for being such a bother!

Many thanks,
ellenkushner: (EK:  Twelfth Night)
Need to buy iPhones before leave for Worldcon on Thursday (long story). AT&T requires 2-yr service contract if we buy theirs - but if we BUY YOUR USED iPHONE (because you just upgraded, you techdog, you), thus "providing our own equipment," they'll give us a month-by-month contract.

Sweet? Or not?

I am but a babe in these woods.
ellenkushner: (IAF)
Bet you never thought you'd hear that, did you?

But the Interstitial Arts Foundation is trying to diagnose a problem we're having with donations on Click & Pledge. As you probably know, we're running a big "Crowdfund" drive to fund our next anthology, Interfictions 2. A fabulous person in Australia has been unable to make her donation online at C&P, and we think it might be the slowness of her connection: "the hang comes at the point where credit card data would be processed through a high-bit security filter."

Our trouble-shooter suggests we attempt to replicate the experiment, and asks: Do we know of anyone else with a reeeeaaallly sllllooooww connection who would try a small donation as a backup test?

While I hate to wish a bad connection on anyone, in this case I'm hoping one of you might fit the bill & be willing to give it a whirl. CLICK HERE TO HELP SPONSOR INTERFICTIONS2

And this is clearly a good time to remind you that donors of $375 or more sent by June 30 will have their names printed on the Sponsors page of the actual book! (After that, we'll try, but depends on the printer's schedule.) REally, though, any donation, large or small, is tremendously important to us. A few tax-deductible $$ thrown our way goes a long way to support interstitial fiction!

(Yes, we have access to PayPal, but for reasons I try not to understand, we prefer not to use it.)
ellenkushner: (IAF)
. . . but when has life not been exciting around here?

Delia worked incredibly hard with co-editor Christopher Barzak all winter to choose stories for the next Interfictions anthology of interstitial fiction (Interfictions 2), and to do all the administrative tasks necessary to get authors their contracts, etc. They also wrote personal rejection letters to almost everyone, sometimes with suggestions. A lot of good stories got read. Then I got to work on the Fundraising aspects - joined by an increasingly merry band of colleagues & volunteers doing everything from writing a pitch letter that will knock yer sox off ("Buy a Story - Get a Book!") to forming a Dream Team for the Auction, spearheaded by last year's auction mad dreamer/doer, K. Tempest Bradford.

The Auction.

I can't even begin to express its wonders, and how much fun it will be. I leave that to [livejournal.com profile] talkstowolves, whose page about the IAF Auction is just one of the prettiest things I've ever seen.

Go look!
ellenkushner: (Default)
Some things you just can't believe.

Like the big set of (12?) cheapie French drinking glasses I bought myself at a box store when I moved to Boston for I'm sure less than $25 - now the factory's gone out of biz (after, what, 100 years?) and they've become Collectable! Just when Delia was pointing out that we've broken nearly all the 12-oz glasses over the years..... Amusing details on all this here and here and these folks point out that "the original Picardie glass pattern favored by European bistros was one of our best selling glassware patterns until Bormioli retired it and replaced it with Picardie Bar." Argh! It Will Not Do.

I have found a new set of 6 on eBay for a ridiculous sum, and am about to punch in my PayPal - but right now, must run out to Vital to see a friend's show. Meanwhile, this ray of hope: According to one chat room about 6 months ago, Duralex Picardie glasses are still "at many Cost Plus World Market stores --- but you'll have to go to your local store and check. While there is a picture of them... on their Website, they aren't available on line. However, for the time being they are in stock in the stores at a reasonable price"
I know Saturday is a big shopping day. IF you have a World Market store near you and IF you're heading out there.... Well... We have plenty of the small ones; what I need is the tall ones that holds 12 oz. They are approximately 4. 3/4 inches in height and 3. 1/2 inches in diameter at the drinking rim. ADDED: Oh, boy! They're there, all right: the mighty [livejournal.com profile] just_ann_now found me a bunch by her in Virginia. I forgot to explain that NYC has no Cost Plus World Market stores. I'm shameless, but not evil. Anyway, I now officially love her forever. You all should go and see if they have them by you - they're great!

From one site: "According to Wikipedia (French) the word Duralex comes from the Latin maxim dura lex sed lex (The Law is hard but it is The Law)."

Ain't it the truth.
ellenkushner: (Simon van Alphen by Nicolaes Maes)
Hey! The Kevin Kline Cyrano de Bergarac that I saw (and posted about) last year on Broadway is on PBS "Great Performances" tonight at 8:00!

Aha, thinks I, I'll have plenty of time to figure out how to record via my new DVD player/recorder...

Oh, ha. No f*in' way. The words of the Manual, they are as the Hindu Greek to me - or rather, the things it does when I ask it to obey the manual are just plain silly, and not at all to the point.

So if anyone else manages to capture it, I would be much obliged to you for a copy. [ADDED: My tech god, Mr E-- M--, is doing so even as I type. Let's hope his works! - He was kind enough to point out to me that the reason the Input Cable thingie was coming up blank was because there is, indeed, no cable put in to my DVD yet. Ha. I'm not as dumb as I look.]

If you read my old post, you'll see why: it does seem like a Sign from the New Year, showing up as it does this very week, to sit down and get started on the thing. You may be sure I will consult your many helpful comments of 12/8/07 as I do so.

I'm so happy that lots of people got to see it because of my post (useful, for once!) - and that more technosavvy (or better-endowed) than I will look it up and record the 2 a.m./repeat broadcasts...)! Enjoy - and let me know what you thought.
ellenkushner: (Madame de Jurjewicz)
I've been invited to donate something to a romance & thriller author Brenda Novak's 5th Online Auction to Benefit Diabetes Research (I like her already: it's always disgruntling to be told an auction is to benefit a disease).

I don't see any reason not to. My question for you is: What shall I offer? A signed book or two is easy. But which one? Thomas the Rhymer won some kind of romance award, I think - as did TPOTS, come to that. But mailing things is such a nuisance. (No, really. I'm awful about mailing.) It would be so much easier simply to airily offer to auction off the chance to have lunch with me here in NYC. So easy: all I have to do is show up, and someone else picks up the bill. But would anyone bid? Would such an offer appear arrogant? or New York Centric? (and would I really rather sit through lunch with a random total stranger than go to the post office...?)

I guess my other question for you is: has anyone else donated something to this auction? or bid in the past?

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