This is for the upcoming Trade paper edition of Jumper which is being released in conjunction with Exo.
Disclaimer: I am the current president of SFWA (the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.) The below is a mixture of my opinion and some statements about the official policies of SFWA. I will bold those things that are SFWA policy.
Recently a member of SFWA resigned and gave as their reasons that they were being slandered and libeled by leaders and members of SFWA who were also engaged in an “organized attempts to harass my readers and hurt my sales figures.” He subsequently posted this letter on his website.
The writer in question is a successful author of over a dozen SF & Fantasy novels and has previously been nominated for the Nebula Award. The fact that I’d never heard of them before receiving their resignation email says far more about me and the scope of my reading in the field than it does about them. There are 1800 members of the organization after all, but I would like to point out that this also means that neither I nor any other officer or director of this organization has been slandering, libeling, or organizing against that person–I would certainly have heard about it. When asked for specifics, the author replied that it would be unprofessional to name those who had.
In researching this I have seen some critical historical posts by both members and non-members responding to statements made by the author. Without passing judgment on the nature of the author’s posts I would like to make the following points:
1. The only place where the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America makes an effort to monitor and control what members and non-members say or write is within the official publications and venues of the organization itself and then only to the extent that the language does or does not support the goals and purposes of the organization. These venues include, among others, The SFWA Bulletin, the SFWA website, our meetings, official communications to the membership, and our online member discussion boards. They certainly do not include members’ own websites, their fiction, their conversations, pieces published in non-sfwa publications, and any other private and public space.*
2. It is the position of SFWA that language within our official channels and publications which marginalizes and/or alienates any portion of our membership does not support the goals and purposes of the organization.
3. I don’t see this as a particularly onerous or oppressive policy as this simply boils down to treating all our members with respect in our official channels of communication. While it is my belief that the vast majority of our members would not intentionally disparage their fellows based on irrelevant factors like gender identity, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual preference, or ableness, they certainly are not constrained from doing so in a host of non-SFWA venues.
4. Just as SFWA doesn’t control what members and non-members say in non-SFWA spaces, it also doesn’t control what members and non-members say in response to members’ public comments, statements, essays, and blog posts. When persons say things in public that others find objectionable, it is likely they will receive criticism and objections. There is an odd misconception among some that Freedom of Speech includes freedom from the consequences of one’s speech and freedom from commentary on what one has said.
5. There also seems to be an oddly misplaced tendency to look at SFWA’s recent efforts to moderate language in its own channels as somehow being responsible for public criticism of various individual’s public statements and positions. I submit, though, that if one is somehow threatened by the organization’s requirements that we treat fellow members with respect within our official channels, then the problem is someplace other than with SFWA.
*Board investigation of harassment complaints may take public statements into consideration, but this is extremely rare.
Jumper is one of the eBooks in the bundle, but even better, there’s these:
Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black
The Happiest Days of Our Lives by Wil Wheaton
Zombies Versus Unicorns – An Anthology edited by Holly Black & Justine Larbalestier.
‘Pay more than the average and you’ll also receive:
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw!
As a special exclusive, pay $15 or more and you’ll also get Homeland by Cory Doctorow (narrated by Wil Wheaton) in audiobook format!
(Everything is DRM free and here will be more books unlocked TOMORROW!)
So, for the last five weeks I’ve been working with screenwriters Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds, The Sarah Conner Chronicles), Rich Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle), and Shane Salerno (Savages, Armageddon, and Salinger), and the big guy himself, James Cameron, on the next three Avatar movies. I will be writing 4 novels based on the original movie and the next three movies. I have been granted what I feel is extraordinary access and I have nothing but praise for everyone involved.
signed: Cinderella at the Ball.
ps. Some people have expressed concern about my Jumper and 7th Sigma universes but I feel confident that I will be able to continue with those in the same period.
Full press release below.
Aug 21st, 2013 by steve
I will be in San Antonio a week from today for the WorldCon. You can see my schedule at their site. Or you can click on the pic to get the entire pocket program in pdf form.
So, this is my third day as SFWA president and it is already becoming apparent that this is a post I’ll need to point to over and over again.
I am the writer Steven Gould.
I am also the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy writers of America.
Yes we are one person but we have two functions. To keep those two functions separate I would like communications to be separate, too.
If you are contacting me to ask a question about my books, my writing, or even that set of 5 chickens that live outside my office, contact me here, on Twitter ( @stevengould ) on facebook and with my “writerly” email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are contacting me because you want to ask a question about SFWA, my role as president, a recent action I took as president, a future action you would like me to take as president, a really angry feeling you wish to express to me either because I did (or did not do) something or somebody in SFWA did (or did not do) something, please contact me through the SFWA discussion forums or my official SFWA email: email@example.com .
I may occasionally point to things related to SFWA from social media and I may occasionally say things on this blog about SFWA, but it won’t be often and when I do, I will be turning comments off because the SFWA conversations really need to happen over at sfwa.org.
Thanks for understanding.
Unless you didn’t.
But it still doesn’t change things.
Yep, comments are off.
At the Nebula Award Weekend in San Jose, I presented the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy. This was what I said:
A reading from the sacred texts of my people. As you are brought
to remembrance, recite them with me.
The island of Gont, a single mountain that lifts its peak a mile
above the storm-racked Northeast Sea, is a land famous for
Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to
say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.
In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
There was a hand in the darkness and it held a knife.
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of
the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded
All children, except one, grow up.
It was a dark and stormy night.
You see, I had this spacesuit.
It was a pleasure to burn.
In fairy tales, witches always wear silly black hats and black
cloaks, and they ride on broomsticks. But this is not a fairy-tale.
This is about REAL WITCHES.
The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone.
The nominees for the 2012 Andre Norton Award for Young Adult
Science Fiction and Fantasy are:
Iron Hearted Violet, Kelly Barnhill (Little, Brown)
Black Heart, Holly Black (S&S/McElderry; Gollancz)
Above, Leah Bobet (Levine)
The Diviners, Libba Bray (Little, Brown; Atom)
Vessel, Sarah Beth Durst (S&S/McElderry)
Seraphina, Rachel Hartman (Random House Children’s Books; Doubleday UK)
Enchanted, Alethea Kontis (Harcourt)
Every Day, David Levithan (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Summer of the Mariposas, Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Tu Books)
Railsea, China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan)
Fair Coin, E.C. Myers (Pyr)
Above World, Jenn Reese (Candlewick)
And the award goes to…
Fair Coin by E.C. Myers
San Jose Hilton, San Jose, California
May 16-19, 2013 (Mass Autographing Open to Public May 17, 5:30-7:30 pm.)
I’ve got a brief signing tomorrow at the PageOne Bookstore Booth at the Southwest Book Fiesta being held in the Southeast Hall of the Albuquerque Convention Center.
Here’s the schedule for the PageOne Table
- 11:00 am FIESTA PROGRAM – Christine Barber
- 12:30 pm SIGNING – Walter Jon Williams
- 1:30 pm SIGNING – Melinda Snodgrass (Phillipa Bornikova)
- 2:00 pm FIESTA PROGRAM – Land of Enchantment Romance Authors
- 2:30 pm SIGNING – Steven Gould
- 3:30 pm SIGNING – Darynda Jones & Gabi Stevens
- 4:30-5:30 pm SIGNING – Jacquelyn Frank
If you follow writing in general and SF and Fantasy in particular, you may have already heard that I have been elected the 27th president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. I take office the first of July as John Scalzi steps down from the office after three years at the job. Previous presidents:
- Damon Knight (1965–1967)
- Robert Silverberg (1967–1968)
- Alan E. Nourse (1968–1969)
- Gordon R. Dickson (1969–1971)
- James E. Gunn (1971–1972)
- Poul Anderson (1972–1973)
- Jerry Pournelle (1973–1974)
- Frederik Pohl (1974–1976)
- Andrew J. Offutt (1976–1978)
- Jack Williamson (1978–1980)
- Norman Spinrad (1980–1982)
- Marta Randall (1982–1984)
- Charles Sheffield (1984–1986)
- Jane Yolen (1986–1988)
- Greg Bear (1988–1990)
- Ben Bova (1990–1992)
- Joe Haldeman (1992–1994)
- Barbara Hambly (1994–1996)
- Michael Capobianco (1996–1998)
- Robert J. Sawyer (1998)
- Paul Levinson (1998–2001)
- Norman Spinrad (2001–2002)
- Sharon Lee (2002–2003)
- Catherine Asaro (2003–2005)
- Robin Wayne Bailey (2005–2007)
- Michael Capobianco (2007–2008)
- Russell Davis (2008–2010)
- John Scalzi (2010-2013)
Most of these people are heroes of mine. Eight of them are Damon Knight Memorial Grandmasters (including Damon, though it was just called the Grandmaster when he received it.) Inevitably, seven of the past-presidents are dead–the first, Alan E. Nourse in 1992, the most recent, andrew j. offut, just nine days ago. Several of them are really good friends. I first served as Regional Director for SFWA when Jane Yolen was president and if I can be half as gracious and effective as she was, I will consider my time in office to be successful.
As you may have noticed, I don’t post here very often, though I will be trying to improve that. Most of my effort, right now, is devoted to finishing my book Exo before I take office. I have been told that serving as president will seriously slow my writing output. I am going to do my best to make that a lie. I’ve written more in the last three months than in the year before it, so we’ll see.
Wish me luck.
Various posts on the news of my election:
Gaslight Gathering, San Diego’s steampunk and victoriana convention. Jay Lake will be the convention Guest of Honor this year (May 3-5) and we are holding an auction to help him with his fight against cancer. We would very much appreciate any item(s) for the auction that you might be willing to donate (e.g. autographed books, galleys, etc.). We are also asking for your help in getting the word out to anyone you think might be willing to donate – authors, artists, editors.
Please send any donations to
Jay Lake Auction
c/o Val and Ron Ontell
4557 Rueda Drive
San Diego, CA 92124
As time is short, we would appreciate receiving donations by April 25. Much thanks for your help with this.
840A Juan Tabot Blvd NE * (505) 296-6107
(Near the intersection of Juan Tabot and Lomas)
Writers in attendance are:
Stephen R. Donaldson
Jeffrey J. Mariotte
Joan Spicci Saberhagen
AND Phillipa Bornikova!
(UPDATE: The person in question has stopped using the #sfwa hashtag. I’m glad. It was annoying.)
One of our students from Viable Paradise self-published a short novel [EDIT: Marko tells me it was over 99K words so not so short] (it was his Viable Paradise submission) in eBook and it has really taken off. This doesn’t surprise me–I was pretty riveted when I read the beginning of it and I bought it and read it in pretty much one sitting. Good book. Check it out: Terms of Enlistment by Marko Kloos. Future Military SF, gritty and gripping. That link is to Kindle, but I’m pretty sure you can find it in all the usual ebook stores, including direct buy from Marko himself.
As of the time I’m typing this the book is:
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #499 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Science Fiction > Military
- #11 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Science Fiction > Adventure
- #15 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Adventure
That indicates some kick-ass sales. Marko is on Twitter (@markokloos.) He follows 172 and is followed in turn by 904. He has 13,740 tweets, meaning he’s active. If you actually look at his twitter stream you’ll see he interacts with others, is amusing, and doesn’t spend all his time talking about his self-published book.
Marko is doin’ it right. He is connecting with an audience and he is providing something they care about.
There is a person on Twitter who is not.
@<redacted>Author (And yes his twitter handle is really @<FnameLname>Author) follows 2,186, and is followed in turn by 2,014. He has 25,489 tweets. When I paged back through his tweets, not only are they all links to his four self-published ebooks, they contain phrases like, “The characters, the settings, the storytelling is unbeatable. A masterpiece.” When you look at the reviews they are, shall we say, uniformly laudatory, yet the sales rank is:
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #654,615 Paid in Kindle Store
Now let me be clear, I have no personal knowledge of the quality of Mr. @<redacted>Author’s fiction, but, given the above I am not going to even look. In my opinion, @<redacted>Author is doin’ it wrong.
Why do I care?
Mr. @<redacted>Author, for the last year or so, adds the hashtag #SFWA to his every tweet. He does, by the books’ descriptions, write Science Fiction, so I don’t think he’s talking about the South Florida Wrestling Association or the Scottish Football Writers Association. I can confidentially say that @<redacted>Author is not a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America since I am and I checked the member directory. This is annoying, but mostly I would like people to know that this is not connecting to your audience.
This is lying to your audience.
This is holding your audience in contempt.
Don’t do this.
It’s not really working for Mr. @<redacted>Author and it won’t work for you.
I’m sure you guys are really tired of me talking about Impulse but it’s the nature of having a book out. The few months around the release tend to be about that. There will come a day when I really try to blog here about things that aren’t all promotion-y.
BUT THAT DAY IS NOT TODAY.
I got a starred review from School Library Journal. Good reviews are nice but STARRED review are one of those Sally Field moments where you say “You like me, you really like me.” So, forgive me for this additional Impulse post.
STARRED GOULD, Steven. Impulse. Bk. 3. 368p. (Jumper Series). Tor. 2013. Tr $25.99. ISBN 987-0-7653-2757-4; ebook $12.99. ISBN 978-1-4299-8754-7.
Gr 8 Up—This addition to the series is the first one marketed to young adults. It stands strongly on its own, but will encourage teens to pick up Jumper (1992) and Reflex (2004, both Tor) as well as seek out the 2008 film, Jumper, based on the first book. Sixteen-year-old Cent has spent her life in isolation, hiding from the people who are looking to kidnap and control her father and his ability to jump from place to place via teleportation. Although she has been able to travel the world by “jumping” with her parents, her entire existence is a secret, and she has never been able to go to school or have friends. This all changes when she is caught in an avalanche and suddenly ends up back in her own bedroom. Cent is a jumper, too. No longer able to protect her, her parents allow her to assume a false name, set down roots, and attend school, where she makes friends and finds her first love. But what happens when her identity is discovered and her family is suddenly in grave danger? A great science-fiction story that holds up to classic adult/YA crossovers, this is a must-read for any fans of the genre. With a strong female protagonist, interesting secondary characters, a bit of romance, some humor, and loads of action and adventure, Impulse will keep readers engaged from start to finish. –Sharon McKellar, Oakland Public Library, CA.
…but the eBook promotion at Kindle and Nook seems to be over. The price is back at $12.99.
However, the Audible.com Audiobook is still $4.49 (normally $24.95.) That’s a fantastic price. And, as I’ve said before, the narration/performance by Emily Rankin is equally fantastic.
Impulse (Jumper III)
seems to be having some promotional pricing right now.
The Nook eBook is currently $1.99 (normally $12.99)
The Kindle eBook is currently $1.99 (normally $12.99)
The Audible.com Audiobook is currently $4.49 (normally $24.95.)
Also, if you do Kindle AND audiobooks the two whisper sync (that means they keep track of where you are and can switch back and forth without losing your place.)
I’ve made inquiries, but I don’t know right now how long this pricing will last so strike while the iron is hot!
AFTER: NINETEEN STORIES OF APOCALYPSE AND DYSTOPIA
Editors: Datlow, Ellen and Terri Windling
Review Issue Date: March 1, 2013
Gr 9 Up–Eighteen stories and one poem by both popular and lesser-known authors. There are stories ranging from the nightmarish–Steven Gould’s “Rust With Wings” about metal-eating bugs that will devour anything, including a pacemaker–to the comical–Matthew Kressel’s “The Great Game at the End of the World,” about a game of baseball played as Earth is being destroyed by strange alien creatures. Jeffrey Ford’s “Blood Drive” strikes an ominous, “too close to home” note given recent events in the news: it is a frank depiction of a world in which everyone over 18, including teachers and students, is armed with guns. Though the subject matter is bleak, many stories end on a note of hope or provide moments of reflection. While not every entry is strong, there is much here to savor, and fans of dystopias won’t be disappointed.–Necia Blundy, formerly at Marlborough Public Library, MA
Emphasis TOTALLY MINE, BABY, OH YEAH!