Sarah Pinsker

2015 in Review

I think I still have time for a 2015 wrap-up post! If I don't start trying to add pictures, anyway. I'm combining it with a here's-what-I-published post, with all of my 2015 stories listed toward the bottom.

The year treated me very well, both personally and creatively. I don't really post about the personal side much here, but this was the year that a long-standing immigration battle came to an end. That's about the most nonchalant way I can say something that more accurately translates to a big old GIF of Kermit flailing. (No pictures, Sarah. Keep writing.)

Highlights:

  •  My new album is recorded and mastered. You will hear it in 2016.
  • I wrote a novel. I'm pretty pleased with it. I'd written a couple of trunk novels with endless middles and no endings over the years, but the last few years of work on my short fiction helped me see this as something I could actually pull off. More about that at another date. (Note to self: insert more Kermits flailing. All the flailing Kermits.)
  • I went to my first SF writing workshop, Sycamore Hill. I was absolutely terrified to do peer to peer critiques with Karen Joy Fowler, Ted Chiang, Kelly Link, Maureen McHugh, Molly Gloss, Christopher Rowe, Kiini Ibura Salaam, Matt Kressel, Carmen Maria Machado, Richard Butner, Megan McCarron, and Gavin Grant, but I think I didn't embarrass myself. It was a wonderful week, in an absolutely gorgeous setting. (All the rest of the Muppets, too.)
  • I read way less than usual (see novel, album, end of immigration battle), but the books and stories I read this year were wonderful. I hope to do a post about them at a later date. 
  • I went to my first Worldcon, in Spokane. Had fabulous meals with fabulous people, nearly suffocated in the post-apocalyptic air. Shared a wonderful reading with Effie Seiberg, participated in some fun panels, including the very intimidating Ursula K Le Guin career retrospective.
  • I also went to the Nebulas, Readercon, Balticon, Capclave, and the Baltimore Book Festival, all of which were a ton of fun. Nick Offerman posed for a picture with me and my cousin's guitar. We got chased out of Millenium Park by cops on Segways. I didn't sink the SFWA booth at the BBF. The Outer Alliance reading at Readercon was one of the best readings I've ever participated in. Ended my SF year with the Queers Destroy Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror reading at Bluestockings in New York, which was also wonderful. I ate congee for the first time, and very fancy ice cream somewhere on the edge of Manhattan.
  • I was invited to be the writer Guest of Honor at Chessiecon 2016, which will also be a ton of fun.
  • I received my second Nebula nomination.
  • My story No Lonely Seafarer appeared on the Tiptree Award long list.
  •  I got to hear/see Toshi Reagon's Parable of the Sower opera-in-progress, which was the absolute music-listening highlight of my year.
  • Music-playing highlights included a headlining gig at Edith May's Paradise and the amazing songwriters' round robin at Tall Trees.
  • My SFWA board tenure continued with work on the Baltimore Book Festival and the Mentorship program.
  • My submission stats were way down. I just completely ran out of time to submit stories. I didn't write quite as many as the past few years either (see again: novel).

25 submissions, down from 63. 10 sales (4 from 2014 submissions), 10 submissions pending still. I'm really pleased with that ratio.

I only brought seven stories to a submission-ready draft. There are several that still need more attention, and, hey, novel.

The short stories:

I had 11 new stories out, listed below. I'm not sure which of the stories would be my favorite, so I'll pick the novelette, "Our Lady of the Open Road," in June's Asimov's, which carries a bigger piece of me with it than most, and received some of my favorite reviews ever.

"What Wags the World," Daily Science Fiction, November 16, 2015

 Letters to Tiptree, Twelfth Planet Press (nonfiction, but I couldn't find someplace else to put it)

"And We Were Left Darkling," Lightspeed, August 2015 

"Pay Attention," Accessing the Future anthology, July 2015

"In the Dawns Between Hours," Queers Destroy Science Fiction! by Lightspeed, June 2015

"Our Lady of the Open Road," Asimov's, June 2015

"Today's Smarthouse in Love," The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May/June 2015

"Remembery Day," Apex Magazine, May 2015

"Last Thursday at Supervillain Supply Depot," Daily Science Fiction April 10.5 2015

"When the Circus Lights Down," Uncanny Magazine, March/April 2015

"Beauty & the Baby Beast," Daily Science Fiction, January 9 2015

"Songs in the Key of You," Asimov's, January 2015

 So anyway, that's what I've got. Thanks for the wonderful year, and here's to 2016!

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