Whew, January got away from me! I meant to write a recap of my 2023 travels, creative work, and my awards eligibility right at the beginning of 2024, but it turns out it's okay I waited, because now I can tell you some pretty fabulous news!
As you may already know, my biggest creative work in 2023 was Worlds of Possibility. I produced 6 magazine issues and one anthology of uplifting science fiction and fantasy stories, poems, and art. I say produced instead of edited here because Worlds of Possibility is a one person production. I acquired and edited stories, poems, essays, and art, conducted interviews, and designed and formatted the issues and the book all myself. Most magazines and books have more than one person helping with the different parts of production like a formatter, an art director, a managing editor, and so on, but not this one! It's all me and the amazing writers and artists who contribute their work.
For the next few days, the Worlds of Possibility anthology ebook is on sale everywhere for $3!
The Worlds of Possibility anthology collects uplifting, happy, and hopeful science fiction and fantasy. Come race a cat on a rocket powered bike, visit a doctor who is a literal elephant, eat a magic cupcake, watch a lucha libre match where the wrestlers use magic, and more! Edited by Julia Rios, this book contains 49 original stories and poems by authors from all over the world, with cover art by Grace P. Fong, and many beautiful full color interior illustrations by various artists.
Here are links to many of the possible places you can grab it: Worlds of Possibility ebook from Julia's personal Patreon shop - The only place you can pay once and download Kindle, EPUB, and PDF formats! Barnes & Noble ebook, Book2Read, Amazon US, Amazon Mexico, Amazon UK ebook, Amazon Canada
That's 70% off the usual price!
Why? as a celebration! Because...
The Worlds of Possibility anthology is on the 2023 Locus Recommended Reading List!
Every year, Locus Magazine, the big Science Fiction and Fantasy industry magazine, provides a recommended reading list based on the recommendations of its staff and some invited industry folks. This list then seeds the ballot for the Locus Awards.
I am delighted to share that the Worlds of Possibility anthology is on the 2023 Locus Recommended Reading List in the anthologies section!
I am also personally on the voting poll in the best editor category, and Worlds of Possibility is on the voting poll in the best magazine category. Additionally, Ex Marginalia, a collection of essays by BIPOC writers (including one by me!) edited by the wonderful Chinelo Anwualu is listed in the non-fiction category. If you have enjoyed the work I do, please consider giving these a vote!
Anyone can vote for free by registering at this link, and you can vote for whatever you loved best, even if it isn't on the list already, because Locus does allow write in votes.
This also means that if you have a favorite Worlds of Possibility story, you could write it in (all of the stories that came out in issues of Worlds of Possibility in 2023 count in short story, not novelette or novella). You could also choose to write in Grace P. Fong, the cover artist for the anthology, who created this beautiful artwork:
Worlds of Possibility is also eligible to be nominated for the Hugo Award
If you are a member of the 2024 Glasgow World Science Fiction Convention, you can nominate Worlds of Possibility in the best semiprozine category, me in the best editor short form category, and any of the individual stories from 2023 in the best short story category for the Hugo Awards. At present the nomination forms are not available, but they eventually will be, and if you are a member, you should get a notice about that when the current situation is fixed.
Nominating and voting for the Hugo Awards is restricted to WSFS members, so it's not free like the Locus poll. Here's a breakdown of the membership and ticket fees for the convention: https://glasgow2024.org/get-involved/memberships-and-tickets/
Regardless of what happens with the awards, I am currently planning to attend the convention in Glasgow in August, and I am very excited to visit a city I've never been to and meet up with a lot of excellent science fiction and fantasy readers and writers!
"Things Most Meaningful" by P.A. Cornell is on the BSFA Awards Longlist!
The British Science Fiction Association also has yearly awards. I believe the members nominate works for the longlist, then vote for their favorites to go on to the shortlist, and finally vote on those to win the actual award. Right now the longlist has been announced and all BSFA members have until the 20th of February to vote for their favorites to go on to the shortlist stage.
Membership in the BSFA does cost money, and you can find all the details about what a membership costs (and the benefits of having one) here: https://www.bsfa.co.uk/join-the-bsfa
I am thrilled to share that "Things Most Meaningful" by P.A. Cornell is on the longlist in the short fiction category!
It's wonderful to see this story getting some love! As Alex Brown wrote over at Reactor:
"A first kiss, a sweet dessert, an empty box full of cherished memories. Like the box, this story may seem too short to carry much weight, but it’s overflowing with emotions big and small."
Ex Marginalia is also on the BSFA Longlist in the non-fiction category. If you are a member of the BSFA, please consider giving these a vote!
Other books released in 2023 that I worked on in some way
A New Day is a poetry collection by Jean Goulbourne. I edited this one and did the book formatting and design. Jean Goulbourne is a Jamaican poet and fiction author, and this collection is lovely.
Ex Marginalia is a non-fiction collection by BIPOC writers about their experiences with writing and publishing. I wrote an essay for this one, and wow, what an honor to be included amongst so many truly amazing entries! Chinelo Onwualu is a wonderful editor! As I mentioned above, this one is on the Locus Recommended Reading List and the BSFA Longlist, and it is also eligible to be nominated for the Hugo Award in the best related work category.
Take Me Out to the Soulgame is a fun urban fantasy story that comes in at just about 11,000 words (so longer than a typical short story, but shorter than most longer works). Ready for a shocking reveal? Finley Peterson ... is me! I wrote this one as part of the Inkfort Press Publishing Derby, which is a very fun event where they assign you a premade ebook cover and title, and you write and publish the book to go with that cover. The catch? You can't tell anyone which cover you got until after the whole event is over. That's why you didn't hear any promotion about this from me earlier! This story follows a non-binary baseball player who has the grim reaper after them, with hilarious results. Right now it's enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, so it's available only on Amazon, but that term will end sometime in March and then I plan to release it more widely.
Where I went in 2023
After a few years of not attending events in person, I started going back to conferences in 2023. First in March, I attended the International Conference of the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA) in Orlando, Florida. I chose that one as my first live event because it's small and I knew it would be a more relaxed event – something to ease me back into the energy of public appearances. Also, going to Florida from Boston in March means getting to escape the cold to swim in warm water at sunrise each day! My favorite!
Next I attended Readercon in July in Quincy, Massachusetts. Readercon is local to me, so that was an easy decision. I was also int he middle of running the Kickstarter for the ghost story anthology I am currently co-editing with Nadia Bulkin, so we both attended and did a special group reading for that anthology. It was a really great convention, but somehow I came out of both ICFA and Readercon with no pictures!
In August, Moss and I went to Canada for an actual vacation! That one I DO have pictures from!
And finally, in December, I went to the Feria Internacional de Libros (FIL) in Guadalajara, Mexico. That was an AMAZING trip, where I got to take part in the International Storytellers Encounter and also speak at a few different places as a guest of the US consulate in Guadalajara. I met so many lovely readers and writers!
As you can see, I had a wonderful time meeting friends old and new. The students I met at high school and university presentations in particular were wonderful. My favorite gift was this sketch a university student made of me:
So that was my year! What a wonderful event to end on! 2024 is set to have some awesome things in it too, starting with the February issue of Worlds of Possibility. Look out for more on that tomorrow!