The Goodreads 2011 Choice Awards (or How Much I Love Gravy at Thanksgiving)

Phoenix Rising, available in bookstores everywhere!This month, on Twitter, Facebook, on the podcast, and even at the official website of the Ministry, we’ve been talking up the recent accolade from the book readers’ social network, Goodreads. The first round was comprised of selections from Goodreads, based on activity and reviews. The second round included write-in nominations. Both were voted on by members of the Goodreads network.

Today, it’s official — Phoenix Rising is a Finalist for Best Science Fiction of 2011.

Goodreads and its community of readers have spoken and here is (by author, in alphabetical order) their Top Ten Best Science Fiction of 2011:

  • Ann Aguirre, Aftermath
  • Ilona Andrews, Silver Shark
  • Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris, Phoenix Rising
  • Earnest Cline, Ready Player One
  • James S.A. Corey, Leviathan Wakes
  • Hillary Jordan, When She Woke
  • Stephen King, 11/22/63
  • China Miéville, Embassytown
  • Rob Thurman, Basilisk
  • Daniel H. Wilson, Robopocalypse

Continue reading

Chuck Wendig, You Magnificent Bastard!

Chuck Wendig, authorYou’ve heard me talk about him on The Shared Desk, tweet about him, and pledge my undying love to him on Google+; but now I’ve got to give this man a shout-out on my blog.

He got me writing flash fiction today.

I found author Chuck Wendig through Mur Lafferty, and have found a kindred spirit in this man. Why? Because he rants. He rants with a balletic grace. He tears through topics with the precision of a SEAL Team performing dark ops. He drops profanities easier than Eddie Murphy in his heyday. And something Chuck does on a regular basis that I’d never caught before was his Penmonkey Challenge (Chuck calls us writer-types “penmonkeys.” I admit, the term is growing on me.) of flash fiction. Today’s challenge was to pick one of the following words:

  • Frog
  • Powder
  • Seagull
  • Tower
  • Scissors

…and  write up some flash fiction (something I didn’t think I could do) using only one of the offered words and tell a story in 100 words. Penmonkeys were invited to post their works into the Comments for the post.

I answered the call. Here’s the result… Continue reading

Going for Goodreads Gold…well, okay, how about Silver?

There’s a real two-edged sword when it comes to honors and awards. I remember reading about the “importance of awards” when reading titles about getting published, grabbing an agent’s attention, and even marketing a book once it is out there. Across the board: Awards and distinctions help sell books. At least that is what the pros I was reading were telling me.

For a while, though, I’ve been giving awards a sideways glance. yeah, they’re nice and all; but did The Case of the Singing Sword go gangbusters when it won a Parsec? No, not really. Picked up a few more listeners, sure, but it didn’t really give Billi a boost in print sales. So, yeah, awards — nice, and it was very cool going home with that trophy…but I can write without them.

Then Pip and I won the Airship Award for Best Steampunk Literature of 2011. Regardless of what it did for Phoenix Rising sales, I won’t lie to you — it felt good. Really good. I mean, coming-in-from-playing-in-the-snow-and-having-Cream-of-Tomato-soup-with-a-bagutte-side good.

Then, two days before heading out west to Blogworld and ComiKaze Expo, we received word from Goodreads that Phoenix Rising had been short listed for Best Science Fiction of 2011.

At first I was just happy with the nod, but then I took a closer look at the company we were keeping: Continue reading