Middle, Holding Flowers: Homecoming with Hugo

THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY.

Amal El-Mohtar

Before anything else, I need to talk about my family.

It was the last night of Worldcon. I’d retreated from the dead dog party in search of sleep. In order to travel home from Helsinki, I needed to wake up at 4:00 AM to get to the airport by 5:00 AM for a 7:00 AM flight. My itinerary would take me from Helsinki to Stockholm to Frankfurt to Ottawa, and I’d be arriving during rush hour.

I said all this to my family, FaceTiming with them around midnight on the last day of Worldcon, staring down the three hours of sleep I expected to have. “I can just take the bus home,” I said, reasonably. “It’ll take me 20 minutes. You don’t have to drive all the way to the airport in rush hour to pick me up.”

“OK,” said my mother, equally reasonably.

24 hours after that conversation, this…

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October Appearances

I will be so happy to see Amal in Columbus!

Amal El-Mohtar

If playing catch-up were a sport I’d be a star in the big leagues.

So much has been going on — in the last several weeks I’ve moved from the countryside to the city, picked up my husband and cats from Montreal, settled them in the new place, all while working several new jobs. It’s been a bit of a season, and now that I’m no longer straddling two households while trying to get it all done, I’m gradually finding the wherewithal to do things like blog.

Without further ado, here are some places you can find me in October:

chiseriesottawabanner-oct2016October 18, Patty Boland’s, 7:00-9:00 PM
I’m really excited to be reading at Ottawa’s upcoming ChiSeries event alongside Kate Heartfield and Tanya Huff! This is also the day that The Starlit Wood is released into the world, so I’ll be reading from “Seasons of Glass and Iron.” I have it on good authority you’ll be…

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Uncanny Magazine Podcast Wins a Parsec Award!

I was very proud to be a part of Uncanny’s podcast narration staff for a little while. I loved everything I read for them.

Amal El-Mohtar

What it says on the tin! Last night at DragonCon it was announced that Uncanny‘s podcast — where I read stories and poems! — won a Parsec Award. I’m thrilled to have contributed to this, and super excited to have one of these trophies! THEY’RE SHAPED LIKE STARS.

2012_parsec_award_moi

Among the things I’m grateful to Uncanny for is introducing me to Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky, the podcast’s producers, who are basically wizards. I’m always amazed by how cool they make me sound, how kind and patient they are with my absurd schedule, and just how great they are to work with generally. And as a podcast listener (and a one-time interviewee, for “Pockets“!) I’m always delighted to hear Deborah Stanish’s fantastic conversations with the magazine’s contributors; she’s such an insightful interviewer, and her voice is so soothing and smooth!

Big shout-outs, too, to CSE Cooney, Heath Miller, and…

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Reviews: NPR, LA Times, CSZ

Woman is amazing.

Amal El-Mohtar

Readercon was a whirlwind! After a day on the road car-conning back to Ottawa, I’m home-ish, catching up on correspondence and things that need announcing before I can even begin to process what an incredible, beautiful, excellent weekend it was.

So! Reviews!

First, Stina Leicht’s Cold Iron comes out today, and my review of it dropped this weekend.

In the acknowledgements for Cold Iron, Stina Leicht writes that one of the questions at the core of her new Malorum Gates series is, “if Tolkien had been American, what would fantasy look like?” It’s a fascinating question — and I don’t intend to sound cynical or glib when I say that, according to Cold Iron, the answer is, at least partly, “more full of guns.” Cold Iron very attentive to the nuances of early modern warfare, on both land and sea. It explores the clash between competing technologies and philosophies…

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“The Truth About Owls” Wins the Locus Award

Amal El-Mohtar

Photo by--and hand of--Keffy Kehrli. Photo by–and hand of–Keffy Kehrli.

It’s been a rollercoaster of a week.

I’m writing this beneath a rainbow banner WordPress has put up to celebrate SCOTUS’ decision to grant equal marriage rights in the US. This week “Madeleine” appeared online in Queers Destroy Science Fiction. People have been telling me, all week, how much it moved them, that it made them cry, that they loved it, and it’s been sustaining me hugely during what has been, on several personal fronts, a really rough time.

But then–these last few days. K Tempest Bradford reviews “Madeleine” in her weekly io9 short fiction column and titles it–let’s say, unexpectedly. Some things on personal fronts resolve themselves into utterly unlooked for happiness. My NPR review of Max Gladstone’s wonderful Craft Sequence goes live. And then–I get wind that the Locus Awards are happening and I literally flee the house.

I had made the…

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