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?