research * the future * culture

“vN” is on the Kitschies shortlist

No, really.

The 2012 finalists for the Golden Tentacle:

Madeline Ashby’s vN (Angry Robot)
Jenni Fagan’s The Panopticon (William Heinemann)
Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina (Doubleday)
Karen Lord’s Redemption in Indigo (Jo Fletcher Books)
Tom Pollock’s The City’s Son (Jo Fletcher Books)

I really should have blogged this earlier, but, to my credit, I did share it on Twitter. The Kitschies (which I had never heard of, until this point), “reward the year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining works that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic.” I’m really happy that someone thought vN might fit that bill, since it’s basically what I was aiming for. When we found out, Dave immediately bought us a bottle of Kraken rum to celebrate.

It’s also a nice boost because I recently turned in a big uncut hunk of the sequel, iD, and I’m feeling a bit insecure about it. I’m actually really excited to edit it (once my own editor has taken a look), to add new things and hone some ideas and discard the unnecessary passages. When Dave lived above a butcher shop, I was always fascinated by how the guys behind the counter trimmed away the excess of their product so efficiently. There was something so satisfying about watching the cleaver fall so neatly between the bones. Editing is like that. You just cut and then it’s gone, and it can’t bother you any more. It’s no longer in the way. That absence allows the rest of the piece to shine. Coco Chanel had a similar rule, about accessorizing: always take off the last piece you put on. (Unless it’s your shoes. Keep your shoes on.) But in general, I find it helpful to find the willingness to let go of any one element in a manuscript. When people tell me their favourite parts of vN, or at least the parts they found most memorable, it’s always stuff I added in after the edit when I’d had time to re-consider what really needed to be in the story.

Now, if I could just finish this story for the Office of Science and Technology Policy Tomorrow Project, I could get down to it. No pressure, there. It’s only the White House.

…Where is that rum, again?

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  1. April

     /  January 28, 2013

    Congrats on the nominations, and also on submitting something to the White House! I really liked vN, and I’m looking forward to the sequel.

  • Madeline Ashby… a science fiction writer, futurist, speaker, and immigrant living in Toronto. She writes a column for the Ottawa Citizen. She is represented by Anne McDermid & Associates, and Jason Richman at UTA. You can buy her books here.

    She has worked with Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, The Atlantic Council, the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination, and others. Her short fiction has appeared in Nature, FLURB, Tesseracts, Imaginarium, and Escape Pod. Her other essays and criticism have appeared at BoingBoing, io9, WorldChanging, Creators Project, Arcfinity,, MISC Magazine, FutureNow, and elsewhere.

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    Madeline Ashby's books on Goodreads
    vN vN (The Machine Dynasty, #1)
    reviews: 342
    ratings: 2160 (avg rating 3.43)

    Company Town Company Town
    reviews: 232
    ratings: 1217 (avg rating 3.68)

    iD iD (The Machine Dynasty, #2)
    reviews: 73
    ratings: 439 (avg rating 3.66)

    Social Services Social Services
    reviews: 3
    ratings: 10 (avg rating 3.50)

    A Clock Stopped A Clock Stopped
    reviews: 2
    ratings: 5 (avg rating 4.20)

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  • Madeline 's bookshelf: read

    Designing for Interaction: Creating Innovative Applications and Devices (2nd Edition)Super Natural Cooking: Five Delicious Ways: To Incorporate Whole & Natural Ingredients into Your CookingGluten-Free Girl and the ChefPeople Crossing Borders: An Analysis of U.S. Border Protection PoliciesHalf the Day Is NightThe Magicians

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