You are involved with the Hugo nominated Skiffy and Fanty Show. As fan, writer and man who wears many sci-fi hats, what has this nomination meant for you personally?
First of all, it was a complete surprise. Even given the tie to make 7 nominees in the category, I never imagined there was a real chance that it would happen, this year. If you told
me, a decade ago, I’d have a Hugo nomination for anything, I’d not have believed you. Beyond that, its been gratifying. Although you are nominated for work in the past and not
work you are doing now, in a way I feel its a vindication and testament to the World SF tour we are doing this year. The nomination makes me feel we are doing good, recognized work.
And I can forevermore say I was a Hugo nominee.
One of those hats mentioned is “working” for SF Signal, conducting interviews and reviewing books. Is there a specific interview, review or experience that arose because of this work that keeps you engaged and excited by the genre and its community?
I’d flogged it a lot the last year and change, but I have to say it was my piece on Silk Road Fantasy, that I published this year. It was and is a signpost of a lot of things I’d been talking about in regards to this microgenre. When I started hearing authors like Elizabeth Bear talk about their work in this formulation–and to point to me as the person who has helped repopularise the idea, I felt like I had had a real influence on the community and the long conversation.
A Hugo nomination is an outstanding achievement, aside from winning one, what else would you like to achieve as part of your involvement in the community?
I wouldn’t mind being a better fan writer, big enough that I’d be in the weight class of those who have been and are being nominated for best fan writer. I’d also like to write some more short fiction, perhaps a novel someday. I don’t have major ambitions to be a full time writer in the community, but having a piece or three out there, yes, I’d like to make that mark.
I’d also like to continue to be part of the aforementioned long conversation, and help bring genre into a new and better place. I’d like to help Genre, to paraphrase Ken Macleod, to be in the early days of a better nation.
What Australian works have you loved recently?
First of all, I’d like to give a shout out to Andrew Macrae’s Trucksong. It was a strange, phantasmagorical piece of work, very much not what I had been expecting. In my mundane real job, I have a connection to the trucking industry, so there was an especially strange and surreal thrill to hear about futuristic sentient Kenworth trucks. I’ve idly wondered if my company’s products, part of the engine cooling system, exist within these vehicles still.
Beyond that, recently, that depends, slightly, on what you define as Australian. Are Jonathan Strahan’s anthologies Australian, even though they collect authors from far beyond Australia? If so, his Reach For Infinity and Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 8 are prima facie evidence that he is one of the best editors in the business today. I haven’t read it yet, but I am intrigued by Craig Cormick’s The Shadow Master. I got to meet Craig, as he improbably came from Canberra to attend Convergence here in Minnesota recently. We recorded many interviews for Skiffy and Fanty while at Convergence, and he was among them. I was intrigued enough by our conversation to pick up a paper copy of the book. I fair suspect I will be reading that soon.
Have recent changes in the publishing industry influenced the way you work? What do you think you will be publishing/writing/reading in five years from now?
Save the easy question for last, I see. I can see several possibles futures in five years, some of them very good for readers and authors, and some of them that would be disastrous. There is a real struggle for the future of books and publishing among some very large players. I think something is going to fall, somewhere, and the knock on effects of that fall will be impossible to predict. But something is going to give, somewhere, hard.
Paul Weimer is a Hugo Nominated podcaster [The Skiffy and Fanty Show 2014], SF Signal Irregular, Genre reviewer/columnist & writer. When he isn’t doing all of that, he loves photography and playing and talking about roleplaying games. You can find him on Twitter as @princejvstin, and commenting on genre blogs far and wide. http://www.skyseastone.net/jvstin”