2021 award eligibility post

It’s that time of the year again. You know, the one when 22,000 people a day test covid-positive in a 10-million country that does not do enough testing and where far too many people remain (and worse, want to remain) unvaccinated —

Oh, wait – that too, but it’s the time of the year for award eligibility posts. Right. Somewhat more enjoyable.

I spent most of the year working on Life Beyond Us – first getting everything ready together with my co-editors Lucas K. Law and Susan Forest, soliciting authors, preparing and leading the Kickstarter campaign… Then came the open submissions period and 250 stories to read, two to pick, and as the deadline for stories approaches, there’s more editing to do. Which is all leading to the question: Wait, how the heck did I only publish a single piece of new fiction this year?!

My futuristic steampunk novella “Aeronauts of Aura” (finally) appeared in Ares Magazine earlier this year, after several years’ waiting.

I did also publish a translation: “An Instance” by Mlok 5, published in Clarkesworld. Go read the story if you haven’t yet, seriously. You might never look at your search engine the same way again. It’s brilliant.

Apart from that, my AI story “Goal Invariance Under Radical Self-Modification” was reprinted in European Science Fiction #1: Knowing the Neighbours (ed. Francesco Verso). I wrote two articles for Clarkesworld, on the trouble with identifying potential alien life and on life under high pressure. One more, about habitability of worlds orbiting red dwarfs, will likely yet appear there. Plus my short piece about Czech speculative fiction is going to appear in Rachel Cordasco’s ambitious volume Out of This World.

I did a number of interviews, mostly in Czech, but this one is in English. I also created a simple board game addition to this outreach comics about the geomagnetic field.

I have also just signed two contracts, one for new fiction and one for a reprint, for two extremely interesting international SFF projects – coming in 2022.

Most of all, I hope for the next year to be more bearable for everyone; for the pandemic to be finally contained worldwide; for more action to be taken in making sure our future is not a bleak one… Personally, SFF-wise, it’s going to be the publication year of Life Beyond Us – yay! Looking forward to that immensely. More news soon…

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