My YA novel, CATFISHING ON CATNET, is coming out in November of this year, and the cover (AND AN EXCERPT) are up today at Den of Geek. Go check it out!
Here’s my fiction that came out in 2018 (with helpful information on the categories they’d go in, should anyone want to nominate them for anything):
“Prophet of the Roads,” which appeared in the Infinity’s End anthology (edited by Jonathan Strahan), July 2018. If you squint, this might be a far-far-far-future sequel to “Cat Pictures Please.” This is a short story.
Field Biology of the Wee Fairies, which appeared in Apex, September 2018. There’s also an interview with me about the story in which you can see some photos of the protagonist, who is based on my mother. This is a short story.
In 2019, look for my YA novel, Catfishing on Catnet, which will be coming out from Tor Teen in November! (You’ll see the cover, an excerpt, outtakes, and the all-important pre-ordering link as those become available this year, don’t worry.) This book includes one of my absolute favorite scenes I have ever written, in which the AI protagonist of “Cat Pictures Please” teaches a high school sex ed class.
Over on Twitter, I saw this insightful observation:
She is not wrong. There’s a lot of writing advice that focuses on, “shut off the inner critic, just write, you can fix it in editing” and a lot less advice on editing. I think about editing pretty consciously both because I work on my own stories, and because I’m in a critique group (I’ve been in this group for over twenty years) and so I think a lot about story structure and what my colleagues are trying to do with their stories so I can help them do it better.
I responded with a Twitter thread, but my friend Magenta nagged me to turn it into a proper blog post, so okay. Here’s an essay with my insights on how to edit your story, now that you’ve followed Anne Lamott’s classic advice and written a shitty first draft, which you are now trying to fix.
(I know basically nothing about editing magazines or books. I have never worked as an editor professionally. This isn’t about that sort of editing; this is about taking a draft, something that’s truly not ready for the light of day, and turning it into something you’re sufficiently pleased with to show other people.)
My short story collection (published by Fairwood Press) is OUT TODAY!
It includes “Cat Pictures Please” (of course) but also a number of stories that are not online:
“Isabella’s Garden,” about a preschooler with supernatural gardening powers. Originally appeared in Realms of Fantasy. (Almost the very last issue.)
“The Wall,” my Berlin Wall time travel story, which appeared in Asimov’s and won the Asimov’s Reader’s Choice Award.
“Artifice,” which is a story about robots and board game parties and what makes us human. It appeared in Analog.
“Cleanout,” which is my story about the emotional difficulty of cleaning out the extremely cluttered home of a dead or dying relative. This is one of those incredibly common difficult experiences, and I wanted to write about it. It’s also about family secrets. Published in F&SF.
“Perfection” and “Ace of Spades,” two stories that have not been previously published and are not available anywhere else.
As well as “Cat Pictures Please,” “Bits,” “So Much Cooking,” “Wind,” and other stories that have appeared online, gathered together here for your convenience (or so you can give it to your friend or family member who doesn’t much Internet.)
(Not included in this volume: the Seastead stories. Those fit together into a novel, which my agent is trying to sell.)
If you would like a SIGNED copy of Cat Pictures Please and Other Stories, my two local SF/F bookstores can set you up. Uncle Hugo’s. Dreamhaven. You can also, of course, order it from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. It is available in both print and e-book versions.
So hey, fans of pushy, nosy, cat-loving AIs: I am writing a YA novel for Tor Books based on “Cat Pictures Please.”
It features the AI, a social network that revolves around cat pictures, and a teenager with an unstable home life, an obsession with bats, and a night-photography hobby.
It’s going to be AWESOME and I’m super excited. Here’s the announcement from Tor (and yes, the picture in the article is a picture of one of my cats, Balto): http://www.tor.com/2017/02/27/naomi-kritzer-cat-pictures-please-novel/
When I run into someone in the Twin Cities who says “oh my gosh, Naomi Kritzer? I am a huge fan of your work!” they always, every single time, mean my political blogging. This is true even when I’m at a Science Fiction convention.
Outside the Twin Cities they mean my SF/F. (Not that this happens all that often! But it has happened at least a few times.)
Fundamentally, I ought to have two blogs for people to follow: one that’s all the SF/F stuff, one that’s all the political blogging. Despite the fact that blogging sites recognize this as a thing people want to do, and try to make it easy, I totally don’t have the logistical and organizational wherewithal to do two blogs. I don’t know how my friends with multiple pen names pull it off.
I wrote the bulk of that “what actually happens at a caucus, anyway” post weeks ago, didn’t finish it, didn’t come back to finish it, and got distracted. So I went ahead and finished that and put it up before telling you my totally-unrelated-to-the-election science fiction writer news, which is that my short story, Cat Pictures Please, published last year in Clarkesworld magazine, was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Short Story.
There are two really big awards in SF, the Hugo and the Nebula. The Nebula is nominated and awarded by the members of SFWA (the SF/F writers’ professional organization) and the Hugo is nominated and awarded by the members of the World Science Fiction Society (the people who are attending or supporting that year’s WorldCon, basically).
I have never been up for either of these awards before and being nominated for a Nebula is SUPER AWESOME and I am delighted, honored, excited, and thrilled. Also, the other stories on the ballot are terrific and it’s amazing to be in their company.
The Nebula Awards are voted on in March and April and then awarded in mid-May. The Hugo Awards are currently in the nomination process; nominations close at the end of March, the nominees are announced sometime in April (I don’t actually know when), voting happens over the summer, and the awards take place at WorldCon in August.
(By the way, if you bought a membership in last year’s con in order to vote on the Hugo Awards, you are eligible to nominate this year — definitely take advantage of that, even if you have just a few things that you loved enough to put up for the award.)
Wondering if you missed any of my stories that came out in 2015? Here is a handy list with links!
Cat Pictures Please, Clarkesworld, January 2015.
Wind, Apex, April 2015.
“The Silicon Curtain: A Seastead Story,” The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July/August 2015. You can buy the back issue online.
“Cleanout,” The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November/December 2015. You can buy the current issue online.
“Jubilee: A Seastead Story,” The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, January 2015. You can buy the back issue online.
So Much Cooking, Clarkesworld, November 2015.
The Good Son, Lightspeed, March 2015. (Originally appeared in Jim Baen’s Universe, 2009.)
“Artifice,” ESLI (“If”), translated into Russian. I have no idea how you’d get your hands on this, if you really wanted to read me in Russian. The magazine’s website is here. (Originally appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact, September 2014.)
This is an Award Awareness Post, where I’m going to tell you, “Here’s what I published last year! In case you want to nominate it for shiny prizes!”) I will note in my defense that when nominating stories, I appreciate being able to find out easily whether things I liked were Short Stories or Novelettes and precisely where they got published in which month (since you always have to write that stuff down). So. In case you think I’m awesome, are nominating for one of the genre awards (or non-genre! heck, feel free to nominate my penis story for the arty-est most thoroughly literary award out there, if you’re on the nominating committee) and want to know what all I published last year so you can nominate for me for ALL THE THINGS… here you go!
“Solidarity,” The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March/April 2013. This is a seastead story, with the same setting and characters as “Liberty’s Daughter” and “High Stakes” (which were published in F&SF in May/June 2012 and Nov/Dec 2012.)
“The Wall,” Asimov’s Science Fiction, April/May 2013. This is my time-travel-Berlin-Wall story, in which a college student in 1989 is approached by a woman claiming to be her, from the future, and trying to persuade her to go to Berlin to see the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Bits, Clarkesworld, October. This is the penis story. It’s online and it’s free, so you could go read it right now if you haven’t already. I realized the other week that if you look me up on the Internet, it’s currently the third hit. So this means that the lady I was chatting with at the parent coffee at school, who found out I was an author and wrote down my name: if she googled me, she’s probably now read it.
Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)
Bits, Clarkesworld, October. There’s an audio version! Read by Kate Baker.
Otherwise, perhaps I can interest you in a lovely picture of one of my cats: