Issue 9: May/June 2004
The Weight of a Nebula
There’s a goal a group of my writer friends talk about, as we nibble at the edges of our Professional Author credentials. We aspire to the Brick, the Phallic Symbol, and the Tiara—that is, the Nebula, the Hugo, and the Tiptree awards. The Nebula is one heavy award. Figuratively, of course. Literally, certainly. I can’t prove this, but I think the base is filled with neutronium. Or it could be carrying the weight of the Great Ideas of science fiction and fantasy, the history of those works selected from the best of the best.
This year’s winner for best novel, The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon, follows the life of Lou Arrendale, an autistic man, as he struggles to go to work, socialise, make sense of his environment, adapt. His way of looking at his near-future world is unique; because of his autism, yes, but also because of his individuality. The crisis comes when medical advances give him the opportunity to “get better” and become “normal.” As the book’s own description puts it, “Faced with the opportunity—and risk—of change, he must decide not only what to do, but who he is.”
I had the privilege of helping copyedit the manuscript for the author before it went to the editor for the real final copyedit. I was astonished. By Lou’s voice and how deftly Elizabeth Moon guides the reader into seeing through his eyes, an alien perspective for many of us. By the quintessential scientifictional questions the story raises about human identity, perception, and the navigation of society through the straits of technological progress. By how clearly the novel echoes the demands society already presses on all of us, and how we cope with those demands as our world changes.
Many stories reach the A&A submissions box, only a scant few of which we can publish. Every month as authors send us the best of their best, I’m sure I can see the glow of Nebulas forming. This issue we have the bright light of flash stories, which we’ll be publishing in three parts between now and mid-June. Part i features Jay Lake, Samantha Henderson, Kyri Freeman, and Wendy S. Delmater. Visit in mid-May to read Part ii and check on the progress of our summer fund drive. See you then!
— Carol Burrell, Editor-in-Chief
Every other month for almost a year and a half, Abyss & Apex has been publishing some of the best new stories in the genre. A&A has been a labor of love for the editors, who’ve paid for the website ourselves and offered semipro rates to authors with no financial assistance other than the occasional donation (thank you!). We’re now looking to take A&A to the next level with a Summer Fund Drive designed to bolster our budget and, if all goes well, expand our offerings to both readers and authors and work toward goals such as more stories per issue and pro-level rates for the authors.
Top Five Reasons to Give to the Abyss & Apex Summer 2004 Fund Drive:
5. You just got your paycheck, and it’s burning a hole in your pocket, and it’s much too hot for burning pockets in the middle of summer
4. You’re hoping to sell a story one day to Abyss & Apex and would love to receive pro rates when you do
3. Who needs to eat three meals a day anyway when there are so many stories to read?
2. Anyone who donates by the Fourth of July will be entered in a drawing for nifty prizes (see below)
And the Number 1 Reason for participating in the Abyss & Apex fundraising drive is…
…you want to help A&A’s editors keep bringing you the unique, fresh, and high-quality speculative fiction you’ve come to know and love!
Nebula Award-winning author Elizabeth Moon and comics artist Jenn Dolari have kindly donated gifts for contributors to the fund drive.
Elizabeth has a web site at MoonScape, with information about her novels along with essays on writing, autism, and other topics; and photos of her nature preserve, horses, and trip to see the launching of the shuttle Atlantis. Among Elizabeth’s many works are The Deed of Paksenarrion and Remnant Population, which was a Hugo Award finalist. After earning a degree in History from Rice University, she served three years in the Marine Corps, then earned a degree in biology from the University of Texas, Austin. She’s a fearsome fencer, too, and captain of the SFWA Musketeers.
Jenn has been a comic pusher, cash register slave, usenet junkie, Mortal Kombat aficionado, video game conceptual artist, tech support guru and webcomic publisher (although she had to be fired from most of the above for that). Her comics, A Wish for Wings (about a woman’s quest to be an angel) and Closetspace (about a boy’s quest to be a woman) have been wandering their way around the Internet weekly since 2001. She also maintains the “Keenspace Spotlight.” She spends most of her freetime in Austin, Texas, in a blind panic over how she’ll manage to get next week’s comics done.
Here’s what you’ll receive in return for your donation (very nifty!):
Supporting Reader: $15 to $49
In addition to the undying gratitude of A&A staff and readers, you’ll see your name in bright pixels on a special acknowledgments page, listing you as an Abyss & Apex Supporting Reader. Anyone who is able to make a donation of $15 or more by the Fourth of July will have his or her name entered in a drawing for:
- A signed and numbered print of Jody Lee’s cover art for The Oathbound: Book 1 by Mercedes Lackey
- The Planet Pirates by Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Moon, and Jody Lynn Nye; signed by Elizabeth Moon
- And more art prints to be announced with Issue 9 Part ii
Partner: $50 to $99
You’ll receive our undying gratitude, and we’ll link your name to your website (if you have one) in the Partners section of our acknowledgments page. Donate at this level by the Fourth of July to have your name entered in a drawing for one of the following autographed foreign-edition paperbacks donated by Elizabeth Moon:
- Hunting Party UK edition
- Sporting Chance UK edition
- Generation Warriors (by Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Moon) UK edition
- Gegen jede Chance (Against the Odds) German edition
Apex Partner: $100 or more
Those who reach this apex of support receive our aforementioned immortal gratitude and link featured in the Apex section of our acknowledgments page. You’ll also receive a lovely special Abyss & Apex logo mug, complete with Nietzschean quote, to hold your inspirational beverage of choice, or your pens and pencils if you got ’em. Apex Partners who donate by July 4 will have their names entered in a drawing for a set of two novels by Elizabeth Moon: the trade paperback edition of this year’s Nebula Award-winning novel, The Speed of Dark, and the UK edition of Trading in Danger.
And even more…
The kind person who has given the largest individual donation will receive a signed first edition hardcover copy of Elizabeth Moon‘s The Speed of Dark, autographed to you by name (or with an inscription to the person of your choice) and signed, original art by an artist whose name we’ll announce shortly!
Thank you for participating in our Summer 2004 Fund Drive. Thanks to your generosity, Abyss & Apex will be able to set our sights ever higher in bringing the best of fantasy and science fiction right to your screen.
Art Director: Bonnie Brunish