GeekyLibrary at Norwescon 37

Although I’ve already done a short recap of Friday at Norwescon 37, so much more happened during that weekend. The convention started on Thursday, but sadly, we couldn’t arrive until early Friday morning. Our first panel  of the convention was “Best in Recent Science Fiction,” which set the mood slightly for what was coming next.

Cassandra R Clarke at the Philip K. Dick Awards
Cassandra R. Clarke was nominated for her book, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter.

We made it a goal to visit as many of the 2013 PKD nominated authors as possible. Sadly, we missed Jack Skillingstead’s reading, the author of Life on the Preservation.

On the other hand, it was a personal treat of mine to visit Cassandra R. Clarke, author of The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, and get my book signed.

I read and reviewed The Mad Scientist’s Daughter over a year ago when it was first released. It doesn’t feel like a science fiction book, but it was spectacular.

As I mentioned in my previous post, we were also able to meet Anne

Anne Charnock during her reading at Norwescon 37
Anne Charnock read from a fascinating piece of new work entitled, Someone Totally Reliable, With Blue Eyes (not yet published).

Charnock, author of A Calculated Life.

In addition, we met the publishing group 47 North, who held a panel that introduced people to some of their other titles.

For the people who stopped by, they gave out some of their books at the end of the panel.We also took notes during that session,  trying to remember all the books listed.

On Saturday, we were happy to meet up with one of our reviewers, Teka, who is currently living in Seattle and was able to join us for the day.

It was nice having multiple people from GeekyLibrary at the event because we were able to really get a taste of the whole con and make it to more of the sessions we want to see.

My biggest responsibility during the weekend was blogging and  live-tweeting the Hugo Awards (simulcast at Norwescon) and the Philip K. Dick Awards.

2013 nominee book covers on easels at PKD Award ceremony
From left to right: “A Calculated Life, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, Self-Reference ENGINE, Ancillary Justice, Life on the Preservation, Solaris Rising 2, and Countdown City.

Each nominee was either there or represented by someone and had an excerpt of their book read.  It was fascinating to hear Self-Reference ENGINE read both in the original Japanese by author Toh EnJoe and then in English by its translator, Terry Gallagher.

Taylor and Jason in front of 2013 PKD Nominee Ancillary Justice
Check out Taylor’s review and the original, Jason’s review of Ancillary Justice

Taylor and Jason, having both read Ancillary Justice were expecting it to win. Although it didn’t win this juried award, they found out later that weekend it was nominated for the  2014 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

In fact, it was Countdown City the second book in the Last Policeman Trilogy, by Ben H. Winters that won the award.

Ben also held a fantastic small reading late Friday night. I hope to post more about that later, along with a second review of Countdown City, and the first book, The Last Policeman.

The special citation went to Self-Reference ENGINE a book I just may not be smart enough to understand, but believe to be a landmark experimental science fiction book nonetheless.

Toh Enjoe and Ben H. Winters at Norwescon 37 PKD Award Ceremony
From the Award Ceremony for the 2013 Philip. K. Dick Award

EnJoe himself had a great sense of humor, despite the language barrier. When he came up to accept the special citation for Self-Reference ENGINE, he apologized if anyone had difficulty understanding, and said he would show anyone his piece of paper with his speech. Publisher Haikusoru later posted the speech online.

We also found out we weren’t the only ones looking to get our books signed by authors.

If you want to see if for yourself, the entire 2013 Philip K. Dick Award Ceremony was posted to Youtube by Norwescon.

In addition to 47 North, we also met up with the people from PM Press and Fuzzy Hedgehog Press, and even more authors.

We met David D. Levine, who gave a great presentation on NASA Social and was part of the panel on social media and Fandom.  We got Fountains of Age: Stories (and her story in Solaris Rising 2) signed by Nancy Kress and one of our reviewers ended up singing at the reading by Nisi Shawl.

Despite having multiple people there, we still missed some of the things we wanted to go to and I’m sure that I missed mentioning something that we did do. It was a busy weekend! However, we had fun, gave out bookmarks, and came home with a pile of books.

We did pick up a lot of books, including:

  • The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett
  • Insomnium by Zachary Bonelli
  • Discovering Aberration by S. C. Barrus
  • The Bird Eater by Ania Ahlborn
  • Snapshots from a Black Hole & Other Oddities by K.C Ball
  • Xenocide by Orson Scott Card
  • Voyage Embarkation by Zachary Bonelli
  • The Garden Stones by Mark T. Barnes
  • Brilliance by Marcus Sahey
  • The Winter: Isaac the Unfortunate (Part 1) by A. Ka
  • The Spring: Isaac the Unfortunate (Part 2) by A. Ka
  • The Line by J.D. Horn

We hope to eventually review most of these titles. We picked up some specifically in exchange for a review and others were just free. In fact, I’m not even sure if this is a full list!