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Sirens Newsletter – Volume 9, Issue 10 (September 2017)

In this issue:

 

SIRENS 2017 RELOCATION

By now, many of you already know that because of the Hotel Talisa’s renovation delays, this year’s conference is moving to the nearby Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek. Dates for Sirens Studio (October 24–25) and the conference (October 26–29) will remain the same, as will the programming schedule. Due to credit card security protocols, all attendees must make a new hotel reservation. For full information including reservation instructions, please visit our relocation page.

Thank you all so much, in advance, for your patience and assistance as we tackle all the tasks necessary to move Sirens. Our staff is working hard to ensure that Sirens will be the same brilliant conference for the same brilliant community that it would have been if we’d planned to hold it in the Park Hyatt all along. Thank you, too, for your understanding and support!

 

UPCOMING INSTRUCTION EMAILS

In the weeks leading up to Sirens, we’ll be sending important instruction emails to this year’s registered attendees regarding updated menus, meeting the Sirens Shuttle, checking in for the Sirens Studio and Sirens, and finding the Sirens Supper. Presenters will also receive detailed instructions—so keep your eye on that inbox!

If you’re riding the Sirens Shuttle and you have not yet provided us with your flight information, please write to us at (help at sirensconference.org). We’ll track your progress toward Sirens and make sure that you haven’t run into any delays along the way.

 

INCLUSIVITY AT SIRENS

In the final post in our 2017 inclusivity series, Justina Ireland explains the history behind the term “intersectionality” and what makes Sirens stand out from other conferences: “Attending Sirens is like having a good meal after years of living off of crumbs. Your identity will be respected and embraced, your opinion valued, and you will learn so much it will feel like a weekend of machine gun epiphanies, each one more amazing than the last.” Read the rest of her post here.

 

VOLUNTEERING

We always need great volunteers to help at Sirens! Volunteer shifts vary in length and responsibilities, but most volunteer shifts are during programming and allow you to attend presentations. If you’re planning to stick to a room for the whole morning or afternoon, and don’t mind flagging down help if any problems arise, we, our presenters, and our community thank you immensely.

For more details, please visit our volunteer page. If you’re a returning volunteer, you don’t need to fill out the form—just follow the directions in the email sent through the Google Group.

 

AMY’S BOOK CLUB

When the Moon Was Ours

Sirens co-founder Amy Tenbrink debates whether books have to have plots in her review this month, of Anna-Marie McLemore’s When the Moon Was Ours, but found it “transcendent. McLemore took the best parts of fairy tales and the best of who we, as people, might be, and with her stunning craft, put it all on the page.” Full review on the blog and on Goodreads.

 

READ ALONG WITH FAYE

Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1

Are you done, or almost done the 2017 Reading Challenge? Faye is… not as close as she would like. But she found Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios’s Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1 “demanding and intellectually challenging… incredible, myth-making, myth-breaking stuff.” Read her full thoughts on the blog and on Goodreads.

 

SIRENS REVIEW SQUAD

Mermaid's Daughter

Friend of Sirens Jae Young Kim read Ann Claycomb’s The Mermaid’s Daughter, a modern-day retelling of The Little Mermaid set in at a musical conservatory, whose main character is an opera student. “Love and music are central to this retelling…it’s clever and fitting.” Read her full review here.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…


Interesting Links

 


Questions? Concerns? Please email general queries to (help at sirensconference.org) and questions about programming to (programming at sirensconference.org).

 

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 7, Issue 11 (September 2015)

In this issue:

 

REGISTRATION DEADLINE
Sirens is next month—and we can’t wait to see you! If you haven’t purchased your registration yet, please make sure to do so by September 12. When the clock strikes 11:59 p.m. on September 12, we’ll close our online registration system. After that, you must register at the door at an increased price.

If you have any questions, please contact us at (registration at sirensconference.org).

 

TICKETS
The registration deadline is also the deadline to purchase tickets for the Sirens Shuttle, Sirens Supper, and Sirens Studio. The Sirens Shuttle provides attendees and their guests affordable transportation to and from the Denver International Airport. The Sirens Supper is a wonderful way to connect with staff and attendees the night before the conference officially launches. And, new this year, the Sirens Studio offers two days of workshops, networking opportunities, discussions, and flexible time for writers, readers, and professionals. We’ll stop selling these tickets on September 12, and they’re very unlikely to be available at the door, so add them to your registration before the deadline.

 

TRAVEL AND HOTEL RESERVATIONS
No matter how you’re traveling to Sirens, we have information available for you on the transportation page of our website. Denver is a large and sprawling city, but the Inverness Hotel offers some fabulous amenities and dining options right at home. If you haven’t made your hotel reservations yet, please do so by calling the hotel directly at (303) 799-5800; rooms are filling up quickly. (Please do not call the toll-free number, since they don’t seem aware of our room block.) If you have any issues making a reservation and getting the Sirens discount rate, please do let us know at (help at sirensconference.org).

 

UPCOMING INSTRUCTION EMAILS
If you’ve registered for Sirens, please keep an eye on your inbox during the beginning of October. We’ll be sending you emails regarding, as appropriate, meeting the Sirens Shuttle, checking in for the Sirens Studio, finding the Sirens Supper, and claiming your Sirens registration.

 

SCHEDULE
If you’ve got all of your travel details set, it might be time to review the accepted programming and schedule for Sirens and daydream about owning a Time-Turner, or to volunteer (see below). It might also be time to review the Books and Breakfast list and pick out something to chat about before the day’s programming starts, or time to squeeze in a few more books from this year’s themed reading list. Remember, if you’ve finished this year’s Reading Challenge, please email us by September 12 to let us know of your victory; we’ll have a button suitable for gloating waiting for you at Sirens!

 

VOLUNTEERING
We’d love your help at Sirens! Volunteer shifts vary in length and responsibilities, but most volunteer shifts are during programming and allow you to attend presentations. You might help people find seats, turn microphones on or off, give presenters their five-minute warnings that time is up, and gather lost and found items. See the volunteers page page on our website for more details. If you’re a returning volunteer, you don’t need to fill out the form—just follow the directions in the email sent through the Google Group. Thank you!

 

SUPPORT SIRENS
Each year, Sirens raises thousands of dollars in order to hold the conference and to keep registration costs as low as possible for everyone—even as the cost of hosting events skyrockets. If you can support Sirens through a donation of money, auction items, or used books, we’d be very appreciative.

 

GUEST OF HONOR INTERVIEW

Rae Carson

Read our in-depth interview with Guest of Honor Rae Carson, where she discusses inspirations, gold panning, Princess Leia, writing and more.

 

AMY’S BOOK CLUB

AnEmberintheAshes

Come read with us! Sirens co-founder Amy leads the Sirens Book Club each month. September’s book is An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. Join the discussion on Goodreads.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

July Recap: Sirens News, Book Releases, and Interesting Links

Sirens Accepted Programming for 2015: Roundtable Discussions

Sirens Accepted Programming for 2015: Workshops

Sirens Accepted Programming for 2015: Afternoon Classes

Sirens Accepted Programming for 2015: Panels

Rae Carson: Five Young Adult Fantasy Works with Adult Crossover Appeal

Andrea Horbinski: Five Fantasies of the Roaring Twenties from the New Gilded Age

Erynn Moss: Eight Fantasy Works That Don’t Over-Explain

s.e. smith: Five Dark and Twisty Young Adult Works

Casey Blair: Six Secondary World Urban Fantasies

Testimonials: If you’ve attended Sirens more than once, why did you decide to come back to Sirens?

Sirens Support

 


Questions? Concerns? Please email general queries to (help at sirensconference.org) and questions about programming to (programming at sirensconference.org).

 

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 7, Issue 10 (August 2015)

In this issue:

 

INTERVIEWS WITH GUESTS OF HONOR

Kate Elliott Yoon Ha Lee

We recently posted Sirens interviews with two of our guests of honor for 2015: Kate Elliott and Yoon Ha Lee, and they’ve got some fascinating things to say about reading, writing, and women in fantasy. Coming soon, we’ll interview our third guest of honor, Rae Carson, as well!

 

REGISTRATION DEADLINE
The deadline to register for Sirens is fast approaching. If you haven’t purchased your registration yet, please make sure to do so before registration closes on September 12. After that, you must register at the door at an increased price. If you have any questions, please contact us at (registration at sirensconference.org).

 

TICKETS
Tickets for the Sirens Shuttle, Sirens Supper, and Sirens Studio are still available. The Sirens Shuttle offers discounted group transportation to and from Denver International Airport, for you and any friends or family who’d like a ride too. The Sirens Supper is our annual pre-conference dinner, and a great way to kick off the conference. Finally, our new offering, the Sirens Studio, features two days of workshop intensives (for readers, writers, and professionals), discussion, networking opportunities, and flexible time for you to use however you wish. If you’d like to join us for some—or all—of these, tickers can be added to a registration until registration closes on September 12 . Tickets for these events are unlikely to be available at the door.

 

HOTEL RESERVATIONS
Don’t forget to make reservations to stay with us at the Inverness Hotel in the south Denver metro area. Rooms are filling up quickly, especially for the Sirens Studio days (and nights)! If you’re seeking roommates, let us know on Twitter so we can retweet your search, or make a post on Facebook or our website message boards. If you have any issues making a reservation and getting the Sirens discount rate, please do let us know at (help at sirensconference.org); if we can help, we certainly will. Read more about why staying at the hotel helps us and why you will want to stay at the Inverness.

 

PROGRAMMING SPONSORSHIPS
You can see the presentations we’ve accepted from Sirens attendees on the accepted programming page. (The schedule is undergoing proofreading as you read this!) If you see a presentation you love, consider sponsoring the presentation under your name or on behalf of a group! Presentation sponsorships cost only $35, and the proceeds go entirely to Sirens’ expenses. We appreciate your donations, and if you sponsor a presentation by August 21, we’ll be able to list your donation not just on the website, but in the printed program book that all attendees receive.

 

VOLUNTEERING
Would you like to help out during Sirens? Volunteer shifts vary in length and responsibilities, but most volunteer shifts are during programming and allow you to attend presentations; you might help people find seats, turn microphones on or off, give presenters their five-minute warnings that time is up, and gather lost and found items. See the volunteers page on our website for more details. If you’re a returning volunteer, you don’t need to fill out the form—just keep an eye out for email from the Google Group. We’ll be sending information about available volunteer shifts to group members. Thank you!

 

AMY’S BOOK CLUB

InGreatWaters

Come read with us! Sirens co-founder Amy leads the Sirens Book Club each month. August’s book is In Great Waters by Kit Whitfield. Join the discussion here on Goodreads.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

Books for Friday’s Books and Breakfast and Saturday’s Books and Breakfast have been announced.

Sherwood Smith: Influential Fantasy for Heroines

Hallie Tibbetts: Sirens Accepted Programming for 2015: Papers

June Recap: Sirens News, Book Releases, and Interesting Links has become its very own special feature, with links, book releases, and more. We’ve rounded up June, and July is on its way…

Yoon Ha Lee: Six Fantasy Works for Sirens

Shveta Thakrar: Seven Fantasy Books Featuring Non-Western Mythology and Folklore

Kate Elliott: Five Fabulous Epic Fantasy Works by Women

Hallie Tibbetts: Six Fantasy Books with Non-US Settings

Testimonials and a Love Letter

 


Questions? Concerns? Please email general queries to (help at sirensconference.org) and questions about programming to (programming at sirensconference.org).

 

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 7, Issue 1 (November 2014)

In this issue:

 

THANK YOU
Thank you to Kendare Blake, Rosemary Clement, and Andrea Hairston for their informative, heartfelt, funny, and thoughtful keynote presentations. Thank you to every single volunteer who offered up an hour or two of time. Thank you to everyone who presented on the programming schedule. Thank you to everyone who donated or purchased an auction item. Thank you to all of our 2014 attendees. All of you, together, make the conversations and community of Sirens possible.

Guest of Honor Kendare Blake - Thursday, October 16, 2014. Guest of Honor Rosemary Clement - Friday, October 17, 2014. Bedtime Stories at Sirens in 2014. From left to right: Andrea Hairston, Rosemary Clement, and Kendare Blake. Guest of Honor Andrea Hairston - Saturday, October 18, 2014.

 

SIRENS IN 2015
Next year, we’ll be returning to our roots in the Rocky Mountain region, and though we’ll miss the northwest, we’re pleased to be back. Sirens will be held October 8–11, 2015, at the Inverness Hotel in the southern Denver metro area. Our guests of honor are Rae Carson, Kate Elliott, and Yoon Ha Lee, who have unique takes on next year’s theme: rebels and revolutionaries. We’ve updated our Reading List to help you start thinking about rebellion, too. Registration is currently $175, which includes a reception, two lunches, a breakfast, a conference t-shirt, and all programming (except for the Sirens Supper and Sirens Shuttle—and tickets for those will be available in 2015). You can get all the news on our website, and we’ll be featuring more on our guests, travel, programming, and theme throughout the year. In the meantime, feel free to grab a graphic to show your support. We hope you can join us in October!

 

BLACK FRIDAY PROMOTION
Not wanting to be left out of the shopping frenzy, for the first time, Sirens will be offering a Black Friday registration discount. Watch our Twitter account for the promotion code, and if you haven’t already purchased your registration, mark your calendar for Friday, November 28. You’ll be able to buy a registration for a discounted rate of $165 from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Black Friday only.

 

VOLUNTEERING
The Sirens Review Squad is made up of volunteer readers reviewing books that they would recommend to others interested in women in fantasy. If you think you could contribute a book review of 250–500 words sometime during 2015, please visit the volunteer system and on the third page, where you are offered different volunteer team choices, indicate that you’d like to be a book reviewer in the section that says “Please tell us of any specific position you are interested in.” Review squad volunteering is very flexible; we simply ask that you share information about books you’ve enjoyed. You can contribute once or on an ongoing basis, and on a schedule that works for you. See below for this month’s review!

You can also see, from the magnificent collection below, that we like to feature news and book releases of interest to readers of women in fantasy. We’d like to split the book release research into manageable volunteer jobs for newsletter contributors. We’ll be setting up a small team that will communicate regularly via email and collaborate on highlighting new releases. If you might be interested in collecting for adult fantasy, young adult fantasy, picture books/middle grade, or graphic novels, or in being a project coordinator for the group and filling in where needed, we’d love to have you volunteer (and we promise to show you where we look for new releases, too). These are ongoing volunteer positions that will require 1–2 hours of work per month, probably in one sitting toward the end of the month, though that’s up to the volunteer, and volunteers should be comfortable with learning how to find and use new websites, with support. If you’re interested, please visit the volunteer system and on the third page, where you are offered different volunteer team choices, indicate that you’d like to be on the book release team in the section that says “Please tell us of any specific position you are interested in.” We’ll collect responses and set up a team if we get enough interest, probably in mid-December.

 

YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT…
After a hiatus, we’re thrilled to have so many links and new releases to share! (We’ll have a big offering in December, too, while we get caught up.) Keep reading for interesting articles, and covers and dates for new releases. We love to have your contributions—and we are happy to hear about things we might have missed. Please send the news to (help at sirensconference.org).

Interesting Links:

Obituary: We regret to hear of the passing of Eugie Foster.

Poison Fish” by Nnedi Okorafor will be made into a shadow production.

Terri Windling on the magic of walking in cities and Women Destroy Fantasy.

The British Library is hosting a display on Gothic stories through January 2015.

Essay/discussion: “Where Are Women’s Friendships in Science Fiction and Fantasy?

The Islamic Roots of Science Fiction.”

The 2014 Mythopoeic Awards winners.

The 2014 Hugo Awards winners.

The 2014 British Fantasy Awards winners.

A new superhero/ine who fights terrorists in Pakistan.

Science Fiction & Fantasy 2014: How Multicultural Is Your Multiverse?

The Glass Bottle Trick,” story by Nalo Hopkinson.

When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami,” story by Kendare Blake, and “3 of the Biggest Overreactions in Greek Mythology.”

Jennifer Lee, co-director of Frozen, signs on to film A Wrinkle in Time.

The Enchantment of Imagining,” interview with Andrea Hairston.

Discussion on women, power, and fairytales.

The Book Smugglers enters publishing with short stories, and this fall’s selections are retold fairy tales.

The story of Dolores Umbridge, according to J. K. Rowling, and no log in required.

Yoon Ha Lee: Axions & Theorems.”

Cover reveal for Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge.

Kari Sperring on Woman and History.

The Otherworldly and Utterly Portland Ursula K. LeGuin

…who is set to receive a lifetime achievement award.

SFF IN CONVERSATION: A Diverse Mythical Creatures Round Table – Part 1.”

A Women in Fantasy coloring book.

Sci-Fi and Fantasy Authors Reveal Truths in the Strangest Fiction.”

Women in Fantasy Illustration: Julie Dillon.”

Sundance Next Fest: Are You Ready for An Iranian Vampire Western?

A. C. Wise on Women to Read: Where to Start: August 2014 Edition.”

Q & A with Robin LaFevers.

 

Book Releases:

November2014Collage

Click the image for a closer look at the covers.

Anthologies edited by Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow now available digitally.

Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories, ed. Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios (August 5)
The Girl of Fire and Thorns Stories, Rae Carson (August 26)
Ghost House, Alexandra Adornetto (August 26)
Sanctum, Madeleine Roux (August 26)
Deliverance, C. J. Redwine (August 26)
The Beautiful Ashes, Jeaniene Frost (August 26)
The Mirror Empire, Kameron Hurley (August 26)

The Haunted Girl, Lisa M. Bradley (September 1)
Bone, Fog, Ash & Star (The Last Days of Tian Di #3), Catherine Egan (September 1)
The End of the Sentence, Maria Dahvana Headley and Kat Howard (September 1)

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3), Sarah J. Maas (September 2)
Ghost Layer, Robin D. Owens (September 2)
The Jewel, Amy Ewing (September 2)
Dark Blood, Christine Feehan (September 2)
The Winter Long, Seanan McGuire (September 2)
Julia’s House for Lost Creatures, Ben Hatke (September 2)
Spells at the Crossroads, Barbara Ashford (September 2)
Maplecroft: The Borden Dispatches, Cherie Priest (September 2)
Trial by Fire, Josephine Angelini (September 2)
The Midnight Queen, Sylvia Izzo Hunter (September 2)
Enchantress: A Novel of Rav Hisda’s Daughter, Maggie Anton (September 2)
Unwanteds: Island of Legends, Lisa McMann (September 2)
Wood Sprites, Wen Spencer (September 2)
House Immortal, Devon Monk (September 2)

The Caller (Shadowfell), Juliet Marillier (September 9)
Evil Librarian, Michelle Knudsen (September 9)
Spirit’s Key, Edith Cohn (September 9)
Illusions of Fate, Kiersten White (September 9)
Rondo Allegro, Sherwood Smith (September 9)
Winterfrost, Michelle Houts (September 9)
The Iron Trial, Holly Black and Cassandra Clare (September 9)
Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales, ed. Kelly Link and Gavin Grant (September 9)
The Falcon Throne, Karen Miller (September 9)
Winterkill, Kate A. Boorman (September 9)
Vampires of Manhattan: The New Blue Bloods Coven, Melissa de la Cruz (September 9)

Echoes of Us, Kat Zhang (September 16)
Broken Monsters, Lauren Beukes (September 16)
The Witch’s Boy, Kelly Barnhill (September 16)
Stone Mattress: Nine Tales, Margaret Atwood (September 16)
The Perilous Sea, Sherry Thomas (September 16)
The Magic Thief: Home, Sarah Prineas (September 16)
Hook’s Revenge, Heidi Schulz (September 16)
Made for You, Melissa Marr (September 16)
Gifts for the One Who Comes After, Helen Marshall (September 16)

Rooms, Lauren Oliver (September 23)
Lark Rising, Sandra Waugh (September 23)
Unmade, Sarah Rees Brennan (September 23)
Salt & Storm, Kendall Kulper (September 23)
Firebug, Lish McBride (September 23)
The Guardian Herd: Starfire, Jennifer Lynn Alvarez (September 23)
Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty, Christine Heppermann (September 23)

Radiant, Karina Sumner-Smith (September 30)
Invisible, Dawn Metcalf (September 30)
Belzhar, Meg Wolitzer (September 30)
The Queen of Zombie Hearts, Gena Showalter (September 30)
Winterspell, Claire Legrand (September 30)
Love Is the Drug, Alaya Dawn Johnson (September 30)
The Curse Keepers, Denise Grover Swank (September 30)
The Bloodbound, Erin Lindsey (September 30)
Summer Moon, Jan DeLima (September 30)
The Clockwork Dagger, Beth Cato (September 30)

Girl on a Wire, Gwenda Bond (October 1)

The Secrets of Life and Death, Rebecca Alexander (October 7)
Stray, Elissa Sussman (October 7)
Poison Fruit, Jacqueline Carey (October 7)
Stories of the Raksura: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud (The Books of the Raksura), Martha Wells (October 7)
Silverblind, Tina Connolly (October 7)
Night Sky, Suzanne Brockmann and Melanie Brockmann (October 7)
Closer to Home, Mercedes Lackey (October 7)
The Young Elites, Marie Lu (October 7)
The Fall, Bethany Griffin (October 7)
The Spiritglass Charade, Colleen Gleason (October 7)
Exquisite Captive, Heather Demetrios (October 7)
Thursdays with the Crown, Jessica Day George (October 7)

Sweet Unrest, Lisa Maxwell (October 8)

Lark Ascending, Meagan Spooner (October 9)

Chasing Power, Sarah Beth Durst (October 14)
Snow Like Ashes, Sara Raasch (October 14)
The Cure for Dreaming, Cat Winters (October 14)
The Fire Artist, Daisy Whitney (October 14)
Sublime, Christina Lauren (October 14)
Prophecies, Libels & Dreams: Stories, Ysabeau S. Wilce (October 14)
Mortal Gods, Kendare Blake (October 14)
The Princess in Black, Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, LeUyen Pham (ill.) (October 14)
Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, A. S. King (October 14)

DC SUPER HEROES: My First Book of Girl Power, Julie Merberg (October 21)
Princess Mononoke: The First Story, Hayao Miyazaki (October 21)
Fish Tails, Sheri S. Tepper (October 21)
The Sorcerer Heir (The Heir Chronicles #5), Cinda Williams Chima (October 21)
Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Maggie Stiefvater (October 21)
Follow Me Through Darkness, Danielle Ellison (October 21)
Centaur Rising, Jane Yolen (October 21)
Beware the Wild, Natalie C. Parker (October 21)
Seventh Grave and No Body, Darynda Jones (October 21)

Atlantia, Ally Condie (October 28)
Compulsion, Martina Boone (October 28)
In the Afterlight, Alexandra Bracken (October 28)
The Secret History of Wonder Woman, Jill Lepore (October 28)
Shadowboxer, Tricia Sullivan (October 28)
Black Dog, Caitlin Kittredge (October 28)
Eternal (Shadow Falls: After Dark #2), C. C. Hunter (October 28)
Prince Lestat, Anne Rice (October 28)
Talon, Julie Kagawa (October 28)
Waterfall, Lauren Kate (October 28)
Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal, G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona (ill.) (October 28)

The Door in the Mountain, Caitlin Sweet (October 29)

Dreamer’s Pool (A Blackthorn & Grim Novel), Juliet Marillier (November 4)
The Map to Everywhere (Pirate Stream), Carrie Ryan and J. P. Davis (November 4)
Forbidden, Kimberley Griffiths Little (November 4)
A Play of Shadow (Night’s Edge #2), Julie Czerneda (November 4)
Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3), Robin LaFevers (November 4)
Empire of Shadows, Miriam Forster (November 4)
Jala’s Mask, Rachel Grinti and Michael Grinti (November 4)

Young Woman in a Garden: Stories, Delia Sherman (November 11)
The Bane Chronicles (#1–10), Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Sarah Rees Brennan, Cassandra Jean (ill.) (November 11)

Stranger, Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith (November 13)

Waistcoats and Weaponry, Gail Carriger (November 14)

Cold Hillside, Nancy Baker (November 18)
Stolen (Heart of Dread #2), Melissa de la Cruz (November 18)

 

SIRENS REVIEW SQUAD
SeaofTimeSea of Time (vol. 7, Chronicles of the Kencyrath)
P. C. Hodgell
Baen (June 2014)
Trade Paperback

Backstory: The Kencyrath (composed of three completely different races) have been bound together by their mostly absent god to fight the encroaching evil of Perimal Darking. They retreat from world to world as Perimal Darking consumes the Chain of Creation. They have resided on Rathilien for ages. The series follows Jamethiel Priests-Bane, pure-bred Highborn Knorth, and heir to her brother, the High Lord.

In Sea of Time, Jame has passed (by the skin of her teeth) the trials of the military academy and is assigned to her first post. In her usual fashion of slipping into odd corners and asking uncomfortable questions, she finds herself wrapped up in local politics and theology. Hodgell writes with a wry sense of humor that keeps Jame’s adventures from becoming overly heroic; in fact, they often seem accidental, if not downright capricious. Sea of Time doesn’t travel far in space, but it offers a unique perspective on the time travel paradox. Apparently, the arrival of the Kencyrath on this world caused a historical anomaly that is beginning to resolve itself, which affects trade, politics, and Knorth family history.

I do not recommend starting with Sea of Time, although it is an excellent installment in an often overlooked series. Now that Baen has re-issued the beginning volumes in two omnibus editions, you no longer have to search through used book stores and online marketplaces. Along with the main character’s antics, the series also continues to build this particular, peculiar world. I love the wide variety of people Hodgell gives us, including high lords, common soldiers, tavern keepers, and fellow cadets. Jame has a real talent for making both friends and enemies as she crashes through established society. She destroys that which is stagnant or rotten so that new, healthy growth has room to thrive.

Hodgell’s writing style is wonderfully weird, sometimes occurring in liminal space as well as detailing the mundane aspects of daily life. The emerging picture of the Kencyrath and Rathilien being on the verge of massive, mythic happenings keeps me excited for the next volumes. Please, ignore the bad, Baen-ish cover art to discover an astoundingly original, strong female protagonist in Jamethiel of Knorth. – Kristen Blount


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at sirensconference.org).

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 6, Travel Edition (October 2014)

In this issue:

 

CHECK-IN AT SIRENS
Our Registration Desk will open at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 16. We’ll be located in the Baker room in the conference center at Skamania Lodge. To pick up your registration, please bring photo identification and a copy of your registration confirmation.

The official check-in time at Skamania Lodge is 4:00 p.m. If you arrive earlier and you wish to store your luggage, please talk to the hotel’s front desk.

The Narrate Conferences bookstore will be located in Baker. In the Rainier room, afternoon tea will be available beginning at 3:00 p.m. and evening appetizers at 5:00, and we’ll also host fantasy games, meet-ups, and space to chat.

If you’re arriving early and would like to meet others for lunch, please stop by the Cascade Dining Room at noon on Thursday, October 16. If you’d like to meet others for dinner, either in Skamania Lodge or in nearby Stevenson, please stop by Rainier at 5:00 p.m. on October 16. Even if you aren’t looking for company, if you’d like recommendations on places to eat, we’re happy to oblige.

If you’re attending the Sirens Supper on Wednesday, October 15, you should have received information via email; if you did not, please write to (help at sirensconference.org).

 

CONTACTING US DURING SIRENS
Many of our staff will be traveling to Stevenson as early as Friday, October 10, to prepare for Sirens. While we are in transit and when we’re on site unpacking and setting things up for the conference, we will not be able to monitor our emails as closely as we do at other times. If you have an urgent inquiry during this time, please send it to (help at sirensconference.org) and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

During the conference, the best way to contact us is in person! If you have any questions or would simply like to chat, please stop by our information desk in Skamania Lodge’s Baker room starting at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 16.

 

SIRENS SHUTTLE MEET-UPS
Does your flight arrive early on Wednesday or Thursday, or are you driving to Portland International Airport (PDX) and meeting the shuttle there? There will be meet-ups for attendees at PDX on Wednesday, October 15, and Thursday, October 16, for anyone arriving early who’d like to connect with other attendees. Once you have claimed your bags, please feel free to join us as we gather for a little conversation and perhaps a bite to eat before it’s time to board the Sirens Shuttle. There is no host for these meetups, and lunch is on your own.

Location: Beaches Restaurant and Bar, outside the security checkpoint for Concourses D and E at Portland International Airport
Time: Noon and later

Sirens Shuttle check-in point, both Wednesday and Thursday:
Seating area near Baggage Claim 2/Southwest Airlines baggage assistance desk/TriMet MAX light rail exit from the airport
Time: Please gather by 3:00 p.m. to ride the Sirens Shuttle.

 

REGISTERING AT SIRENS
We have very few on-site registrations available, and those will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis starting Thursday, October 16, when the information desk opens at 3:00 p.m. If you have been thinking about coming and don’t yet have a registration, you might check the message boards; there may be a few for sale by people who can’t make it this year.

 

VOLUNTEERING DURING SIRENS
We still have many openings for volunteers, and we’d love to have your help! The shifts are usually no more than an hour or two long. We’re always in need of room monitors, who typically stay in the room during presentations, help the presenters get situated, and keep things running on time.

If you’re interested or would like more information, please take a look at the schedule on our Volunteer page and email us at (volunteers2014 at sirensconference.org) with your top three shift choices and the number of shifts for which you’d like to volunteer. Thank you in advance!

 

BOOKSTORE
Thank you to everyone who has donated books! We really appreciate your support for our mission, and we hope you’ll stop by during Sirens to browse and maybe find a new (or new-to-you) book to add to your collection. We will also continue to accept donations on site; if you have a moment, please contact Amy Tenbrink at (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org) with what you plan to donate. If you’re planning to shop, we’ll have books by the guests of honor, from the Books and Breakfast list, and by attending authors, as well as a selection of other really good reads.

 

AUCTION
Do you have an item to donate for this year’s auction? Please let us know by the end of the day on Thursday, October 16. All sorts of items are welcome! If you’d like to donate an item or you have questions, please email Amy Tenbrink at (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org). She’d love to hear what you’re planning and address any concerns you might have. Thank you in advance for your support!

 

TRAVEL TIPS
Packing and Weather
October in the Pacific Northwest generally ranges from the upper 40s to low 60s Fahrenheit (about 7–17 Celsius), and there is always a chance of rain. Be sure to pack comfortable, casual layers to make the transition between indoors and outdoors—and the temperature that you prefer in your room and the temperature of the conference space—more comfortable. Sturdy closed-toe walking shoes are recommended, as is a raincoat or umbrella. For more packing tips, please check out the Travel page of our website.

Driving Directions
Directions for those driving to Skamania Lodge from the north, south, or east can be found on our website.

Where to Eat in Stevenson
Skamania Lodge has two restaurants on site, both featuring locally sourced regional cuisine. River Rock, the bar and restaurant next to the lobby, is the more informal of the two and typically has slightly lower prices. The Cascade Dining Room, which is farther down the hallway past River Rock, is more formal and has fantastic views of the Columbia River. On Sunday mornings, the Cascade Dining Room hosts a champagne brunch, which might make a nice splurge if you’re leaving late; be sure to make reservations in advance. The hotel gift shop has snacks and grab-and-go items. The lobby offers free tea, coffee, and cocoa in the mornings. Room service is available from 7:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. The hotel will also offer grab-and-go options like juice and pastries in the Conference Center Lobby if you need a breakfast to bring to Books and Breakfast.

If you’d prefer to have a meal outside the hotel, the official Stevenson website offers a listing of area restaurants on their Dining page, and you can check the last pages of your program book for our list of nearby eateries. Please note that the hotel does not provide shuttle service to Stevenson.

 

TWITTER SCHEDULE
Beginning on Thursday, October 15, we will be posting the conference schedule on our Twitter. If you prefer not to receive these reminders, you may want to mute or unfollow @sirens_con until Monday, October 20. (The schedule will not be posted on Facebook, though a few highlights might be.)


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at sirensconference.org).

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 6, Issue 10 (September 2014)

In this issue:

 

REGISTRATION DEADLINES
Sirens is just over a month away! If you haven’t purchased your registration yet, or your Sirens Shuttle or Sirens Supper ticket, please make sure to do so before September 13. All payments for registrations and tickets are due no later than September 20, 2014. If you have any questions, please contact us at (registration at sirensconference.org).

Please keep an eye on your inbox to find out where to check in for the Sirens Shuttle, where to find the Sirens Supper, and how to pick up your registration materials when you arrive at Skamania Lodge. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

 

HOTEL RESERVATIONS
If you haven’t yet made your hotel reservation, please do so as soon as possible. Skamania Lodge is a resort, and so some reservation and guarantee policies are different than standard hotel policies, including a requirement to reserve rooms well in advance. Please see the hotel page on our website for more details. Hotel reservations must be made no later than September 25, 2014. Please expect other groups to be in the hotel, and know that there may not be rooms available at the last minute; Skamania was sold out for the Friday and Saturday nights of Sirens last year. If you find you have questions during your reservation process, or you have concerns that we need Skamania to address, please contact us at (help at sirensconference.org); we are often able to assist, including helping to communicate with the hotel.

If you’d like a roommate (or two or three), please check out our Facebook page and website message boards, where there is at least one person in need of a roommate!

 

PROGRAMMING
Check it out: we’ve posted the conference schedule for October 16–19. Pre-planners, please feel free to download and highlight your copies—though, as always, if your first-choice presentation is at capacity, know that there are great alternatives. Roundtable discussions and workshops, particularly, can fill up quickly. If we scheduled just one presentation during a time slot, we’ve made sure that all attendees will be able to find a seat.

Speaking of programming, Erynn Kerwin has been accepted to present “Graphic Fantasy Femme Fair,” an interactive offering for sharing comics and other graphics-oriented work. If you would like to share your collection during the presentation, please contact Erynn through her sign-up form.

Thank you to Nancy Werlin and Margaret Johnston for sponsoring programming presentations!

 

NARRATE BOOKSTORE AT SIRENS
Narrate Conferences, Sirens’s 501(c)(3) presenting organization, will again be running a bookstore during Sirens this year. It’s a great fundraiser that helps Sirens continue, and it means that we get to share a great selection of books by and about women in fantasy.

The bookstore will feature new books, of course, as well as an always interesting array of used books (each of which will cost only $5!). We do stock our own inventory of new books, but we’ve found over the last couple years that people sometimes donate new books they want to make sure are on our shelves for others—and our used section is stocked entirely by attendees, friends, and families. We hope you’ll stop by during Sirens to see what we have available.

We hope that you’ll consider donating new or gently used books, both for the support it provides Sirens and also because our attendees are always great next readers. If you’d like to donate books, please send them to us at:

Sirens
c/o Narrate Conferences
P.O. Box 149
Sedalia, Colorado 80135

The last day we can visit the box before Sirens is September 19, so please be sure to ship books in plenty of time. If you use the US Postal Service and ship only books, you should be eligible for media mail rates.

 

AUTHOR SIGNINGS
Sirens hosts time for author signings on Friday and Saturday during the conference. If you are a published author attending Sirens and you’d like to participate in our author signings, please email us at (help at sirensconference.org) as soon as possible, preferably by September 19. We’d love to have you join us, whether to sign your latest work or just chat with readers and new friends.

 

SUPPORTING REGISTRATIONS
If you can’t make it this year, we will miss you, and we hope that you’ll please consider purchasing a supporting registration. This helps us present Sirens this year and offer Sirens in future years, and you’ll receive a 2014 program book following the conference. Supporting registrations cost $50; $35 of each supporting registration is a donation to Sirens, and because Narrate Conferences, Inc. is a charitable organization, that amount is eligible for tax deduction in the United States. (The other $15 covers the cost of the program book and our mailing costs.)

 

VOLUNTEERING AT SIRENS
Would you like to help out during Sirens? Volunteer shifts vary in length and responsibilities, but most are fairly short and low-key, and you’re always able to ask a staff member for assistance if you encounter a problem. Most volunteer shifts are during programming and allow you to attend presentations; you might help people find seats, turn microphones on or off, give presenters their five-minute warnings that time is up, and gather lost and found items. See the volunteers page on our website for more details. If you’re a returning volunteer, you don’t need to fill out the form—just keep an eye out for email from the Google Group. We’ll be sending information about available volunteer shifts to group members. Many thanks in advance!

 

AMY’S BOOK CLUB
One of Sirens’s chairs, Amy Tenbrink, is reading “hauntings and the haunted” books in preparation for October. Since she keeps talking to us about them, we thought she should talk to you, too! If you’d like to read along, there are already discussions up on the Sirens Goodreads Group for Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina García, Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma, The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo, In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters, and The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. We’ll close out this year with October’s pick, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, if you’d like to read ahead.

 

BOOKS AND BREAKFAST
Don’t forget that Books and Breakfast will be held on Friday, October 17, and Saturday, October 18. For those of you who are new to Sirens, this is where we invite you to bring your own breakfast and join us for informal chats about books before presentations begin in the morning. It’s perfectly okay to join in Books and Breakfast if you haven’t read any of the books, but if you’d like to come prepared, the schedule is listed below. Conference volunteers will be waiting to welcome you to their tables!

This year, our reading list includes tales of hauntings and the haunted. Some of them are new, some of them were game-changing or controversial, and some we just loved and wanted to share.

Friday, October 17, 2014
The Demon Catchers of Milan, Kat Beyer
The Diviners, Libba Bray
The Red Tree, Caitlín R. Kiernan
The Frangipani Hotel, Violet Kupersmith
A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar

Saturday, October 18, 2014
Long Lankin, Lindsey Barraclough
Anya’s Ghost, Vera Brosgol
Comfort Woman, Nora Okja Keller
White Is for Witching, Helen Oyeyemi
My Real Children, Jo Walton

 

YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT…
Sirens! This month, we’re going to send out a special newsletter edition with September book releases (and some lovely new things we missed in our August newsletter) and any breaking news later in the month. Of course, we always welcome links and book news at (help at sirensconference.org).

 

SIRENS REVIEW SQUAD
The review squad is on vacation for September and October, but they’re already planning what to read this autumn and will be back in November.


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at sirensconference.org).

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 6, Issue 9 (August 2014)

In this issue:

 

REGISTRATION DEADLINES
Sirens is just over two months away! If you haven’t purchased your registration yet, or your Sirens Shuttle or Sirens Supper ticket, please make sure to do so before registration closes on September 13. All payments for registrations and tickets are due no later than September 20, 2014. If you have any questions, please contact us at (registration at sirensconference.org).

 

HOTEL RESERVATIONS
If you haven’t yet made your hotel reservation, please do so as soon as possible. Skamania Lodge is a resort, and so some reservation and guarantee policies are different than standard hotel policies, including a requirement to reserve rooms well in advance. Please see the hotel page on our website for more details. Hotel reservations must be made no later than September 25, 2014. If you find you have questions during your reservation process, or you have concerns that we need Skamania to address, please contact us at (help at sirensconference.org); we are often able to assist, including communicating with the hotel.

If you’d like a roommate (or two or three), please check out our Facebook page and website message boards, where there is at least one person in need of a roommate!

 

PROGRAMMING UPDATES AND SPONSORSHIPS
We’ve posted some of the presentations offered up by Sirens attendees on the accepted programming page, with more to come as we finalize details, verify presenters, and tidy up the descriptions. If you see one you love, consider sponsoring the presentation under your name or on behalf of a group! Presentation sponsorships cost only $35, and the proceeds go entirely to Sirens 2014 expenses. We appreciate your donations, and if you sponsor a presentation by September 1, we’ll be able to list your donation not just on the website, but in the printed program book that all attendees receive.

A schedule for the weekend will be posted soon; please keep an eye out on Twitter and Facebook for an announcement later this month.

Speaking of programming, Erynn Kerwin has been accepted to present “Graphic Fantasy Femme Fair,” an interactive offering for sharing comics and other graphics-oriented work. If you would like to share your collection during the presentation, please contact Erynn through her sign-up form.

 

NARRATE BOOKSTORE AT SIRENS
Narrate Conferences, Sirens’s 501(c)(3) presenting organization, will again be running a bookstore during the conference in 2014. It’s a great fundraiser that helps Sirens continue, and it means that we get to share a great selection of books by and about women in fantasy.

We will have new books, of course, but a fun part of the bookstore is our used section. Readers can pick up copies of older (and perhaps out of print) books, or try new-to-them authors. Our attendees, our friends, our families, and sometimes people we don’t even know send us fantasy books by or about women, and each of these books will cost our attendees only $5, with the proceeds going toward the conference.

We hope you’ll consider donating your gently used books, both for the support it provides Sirens and also because our attendees are always great next readers. (We also take new books, if you’d like to augment our bookstore with some of our favorites, as donors have done in the past.) If you’d like to send books—new or used—please send them to us at:

Sirens
c/o Narrate Conferences
P.O. Box 149
Sedalia, Colorado 80135

The last day we can visit the box before Sirens is September 19, so please be sure to ship books in plenty of time. If you use the US Postal Service and ship only books, you should be eligible for media mail rates.

 

AUTHOR SIGNINGS
Sirens hosts time for author signings on Friday and Saturday during the conference. If you are a published author attending Sirens and you’d like to participate in our author signings, please email us at (help at sirensconference.org) as soon as possible. We’d love to have you join us.

 

SIRENS AUCTION
Each year, a significant amount of our Sirens expenses are funded through our auction of always interesting, sometimes fun, sometimes important items during the conference. In the past, we have auctioned off everything from reader kits to first editions, from editorial development letters to custom artwork. All of our auction items come from friends and attendees of Sirens, and if you’d like to donate an item or two, please contact Amy at (donate at sirensconference.org).

 

VOLUNTEERING AT SIRENS
Would you like to help out during Sirens? Volunteer shifts vary in length and responsibilities, but most are fairly short and low-key, and you’re always able to ask a staff member for assistance if you encounter a problem. Most volunteer shifts are during programming and allow you to attend presentations; you might help people find seats, turn microphones on or off, give presenters their five-minute warnings that time is up, and gather lost and found items. See the volunteers page on our website for more details. If you’re a returning volunteer, you don’t need to fill out the form—just keep an eye out for email from the Google Group. We’ll be sending information about available volunteer shifts to group members. Many thanks in advance!

 

YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT…

New and Recent Releases:

August2014Collage
Click the image for a closer look at the covers.

 

Prisoner, Lia Silver (June 29)
Night’s End (Indigo Court), Yasmine Galenorn (July 1)
Alias Hook, Lisa Jensen (July 8)
The Shadow’s Curse, Amy McCulloch (July 8)
Dissonance, Erica O’Rourke (July 22)
The Time of the Fireflies, Kimberley Griffiths Little (July 29)
Smiler’s Fair, Rebecca Levene (July 29)

Crushed, Eliza Crewe (August 5)
Dust and Light, Carol Berg (August 5)
Evil Fairies Love Hair, Mary G. Thompson (August 5)
Gates of Thread and Stone, Lori M. Lee (August 5)
The Girl from the Well, Rin Chupeco (August 5)
Greta and the Glass Kingdom (Mylena Chronicles #2), Chloe Jacobs (August 5)
The Guild of Assassins (Majat Code #2), Anna Kashina (August 5)
Jim Henson’s Enchanted Sisters: Autumn’s Secret Gift, Elise Allen and Halle Stanford, ill. Paige Pooler (August 5)
The House of the Four Winds, Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory (August 5)
Mortal Danger, Ann Aguirre (August 5)
Of Metal and Wishes, Sarah Fine (August 5)
Revenant (Greywalker #9), Kat Richardson (August 5)
Servants of the Storm, Delilah S. Dawson (August 5)
The Wandering Dragon (Children of the Dragon Nimbus #3), Irene Radford (August 5)

Black Ice (Midgard #2), Susan Krinard (August 12)
Cursed Moon (The Prospero’s War #2), Jaye Wells (August 12)
Heiresses of Russ 2014: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction, Melissa Scott and Steve Berman, eds. (August 12)

Between the Spark and the Burn, April Genevieve Tucholke (August 14)
Fiendish, Brenna Yovanoff (August 14)
Fool’s Assassin, Robin Hobb (August 14)
The Only Thing Worse Than Witches, Lauren Magaziner (August 14)
Sisters’ Fate (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #3), Jessica Spotswood (August 14)

The Ripper Affair (Bannon & Clare #3), Lilith Saintcrow (August 19)
Storm Siren, Mary Weber (August 19)
Visions (Cainsville #2), Kelley Armstrong (August 19)

Amity, Micol Ostow (August 26)
Faces of the Dead, Suzanne Weyn (August 26)
Ghost House, Alexandra Adornetto (August 26)
Greenglass House, Kate Milford (August 26)
Feral, Holly Schindler (August 26)
Into the Grey, Celine Kiernan (August 26)
The Island of Excess Love (Love in the Time of Global Warming #2), Francesca Lia Block (August 26)
We Will All Go Down Together, Gemma Files (August 26)
Uni the Unicorn, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, ill. Brigette Barrager (August 26)

The Fire Prince, Emily Gee (August 27)

Circle of Stones, Catherine Fisher (August 28, US edition)

 

Interesting Links:

Trailer for Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers.

Nnedi Okorafor reads “Poison Fish.”

First episode of Outlander (TV series version) by Diana Gabaldon available August 2.

World Fantasy Award nominees for 2014; Ellen Datlow and Chelsea Quinn Yabro to receive lifetime achievement awards.

Obituary Note: Mary Rodgers, who might be known to readers of genre fiction as the author of Freaky Friday, passed June 26.

J. K. Rowling expanded the Potterverse with a new short story on Pottermore.com (registration required).

Interested in cover design? Check out the 2014 Chesley Awards finalists.

2014 Locus Awards winners.

You might be familiar with Mette Ivie Harrison’s fantasy work, so you might be interested to know that her forthcoming mystery The Bishop’s Wife is one of Publishers Weekly’s most anticipated books of fall 2014.

Warner Bros. has optioned the rights to Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Riders of Pern.

Trailer for the movie of musical Into the Woods.

Holly Black to write installment in Dr. Who book series.

A good illustration for the existence of Sirens.

Do you have exciting book news or fantasy links to share? Send it to (help at sirensconference.org) and we’ll include it in the next newsletter. We appreciate your contributions!

 

SIRENS REVIEW SQUAD
In the not-so-distant past, we had a review squad: volunteer readers reviewing books that they would recommend to others interested in women in fantasy. We’re pleased to bring back the review squad, and to feature their book reviews in the Sirens newsletter. If you think you could contribute a book review of at least 250 words sometime during the next year, please visit the volunteer system and on the third page, where you are offered different volunteer team choices, indicate that you’d like to be a book reviewer in the section that says “Please tell us of any specific position you are interested in.” Review squad volunteering is very flexible; we simply ask that you share information about books you’ve enjoyed. You can contribute once or on an ongoing basis, and on a schedule that works for you.

 

CityofHeavenlyFireCity of Heavenly Fire
Cassandra Clare

City of Heavenly Fire is the sixth and final installment of the Mortal Instruments young adult urban fantasy series. The series was originally supposed to be a trilogy, ending with City of Glass, before Clare decided to extend it another three books. As a devoted fan, I eagerly read the second “trilogy” of the series, only to be rather disappointed by the first two books. So if City of Heavenly Fire was going to “save” the series, it had big expectations to live up to—especially considering the ending of City of Glass was pretty much perfect.

City of Heavenly Fire follows Shadowhunter Sebastian Morgenstern, who has chosen to turn against his kind and ally with demons in a bid to take over not only our world, but the demon realms. In his quest for power, he takes the Shadowhunter’s most sacred object, the Mortal Cup, and uses it to create the Infernal Cup, a device capable of stripping Shadowhunters of their souls and turning them into mindless killers loyal to him. Now, Sebastian is determined to turn as many Shadowhunters as possible so he can get revenge on those who wronged him (namely his Shadowhunter mother, Jocelyn, his sister, Clary, and her boyfriend, Jace, of whom Sebastian is jealous) and rule the world. The war that he creates pits Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter and strains their fragile alliances with the faeries, vampires, werewolves and warlocks, threatening to send the entire magical world into chaos and, ultimately, ruin.

While I was hoping for a little more dramatic of a conclusion, I have to say I enjoyed this book. It felt more like the first three, like I was “home” with friends I really cared about. That may be because the group of five (Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Alec, and Simon) were together through most of the book, giving the story a great group dynamic. Many of the characters retained the signature qualities that made me fall in love with them, while Jace and Simon matured to men who think of others before themselves. While this maturity somewhat dampens Jace’s snarky sarcasm, it also makes him a character worthy Clary’s affection. Simon, too, matures admirably, allowing him to make decisions that change the fate of everyone involved, especially his own.

Some reviewers have criticized the story, saying that while their world is coming to an end, the characters are focused in their love lives and don’t have their priorities straight. First of all, the book is young adult, so it makes sense that the characters will be thinking about love (it’s what you do when you’re a teenager). Plus, it’s not just love interests that consume the thoughts of the characters, but parents, siblings and friends. In many ways, the story is about relationships, with others and with ourselves. It’s about overcoming what we think we want to be able to see what we truly need – all wrapped in a page-turning adventure that will keep you wondering who lives and who pays the ultimate price.

Fair warning: about a third of this book is setup for Clare’s next Shadowhunter series, The Dark Artifices. The prologue and a subplot are devoted to introducing the next generation of Shadowhunters and getting us to like them enough to want to read their story. It didn’t work with me, and so much time was spent on them with so little impact to the main plot of this book that it felt forced. Similarly, the frequent nods to the Infernal Devices series (the prequel series to this one, set in the Victorian era) also drove me crazy. I didn’t care about past and future. I just wanted to know what happened in this story. But, thankfully, that was something I was able to look beyond.

Despite these shortcomings, City of Heavenly Fire is a good conclusion to the series. While I still think City of Glass was stronger, it was a pleasant reading experience and I’m happy to know how things turned out for my favorite characters. If you’re into the Mortal Instruments, I think this will provide a satisfying conclusion. – Nicole Evelina


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at sirensconference.org).

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 6, Issue 1 (November/December 2013)

This is the season when we take a little time for rest and rejuvenation, so this year, we’re combining the November and December newsletters into a single edition. In other words, you didn’t miss one!

 

Thanks Again
Thank you again to everyone who made our reunion year so special. There’s something undeniable about the chance to speak and listen, to be in the company of like-minded folks, and to celebrate women in fantasy, but that could never happen without your support. Thank you for presenting. Thank you for attending. Thank you, especially, to Alaya Dawn Johnson, Ellen Kushner, Robin LaFevers, and Guadalupe Garcia McCall for being our guests of honor. We hope you enjoyed Sirens in 2013 as much as we did!

 

2013 Deadlines: Compendium
If you presented in 2013, you received a reminder that compendium submissions were due December 1, 2013; if you thought you had a few more days, and require a short extension to prepare the written version of your paper, talk, roundtable, panel, or workshop, please write to us at (programming at sirensconference.org). Participation in the compendium is entirely optional! The current plan is for presentations from 2012, 2013, and 2014 to be published as one volume sometime in 2015. Please see emails from our programming team for more information.

 

2014 Theme and Guests of Honor
While we’ve been quiet, we’ve been updating the Sirens website at http://www.sirensconference.org. Here’s a bit on the theme for 2014 from the home page:

Within our focus on fantastic women, each year Sirens features a fantasy-related theme—and in 2014, that theme is “hauntings.” The traditional ghost story, of course, has decidedly feminist roots, but we’ll also be examining the topic more broadly: namely, what it means to be haunted. To further our discussion, we have invited three guests of honor, each of whom writes powerfully and reflectively about hauntings: Kendare Blake, Rosemary Clement-Moore, and Andrea Hairston.

In other words, we think that ghosts are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to thinking about hauntings. Past lives, future fears, dreams, visions, prophecy, spirits of all kinds, and persistent memories are just a few of the ideas we hope you’ll explore next year.

And while you’re pondering, please feel free to check out the programming section of the Sirens website. Proposals are due May 14, 2014.

 

Gift Certificates and Registrations
If you’d like a friend to attend with you October 16–19, 2014, you might consider purchasing a gift certificate. They can be given to friends, family, and even strangers so that they can attend Sirens. Gift certificates may be purchased in any amount, and may be given anonymously if the benefactor chooses. Gift certificates may be used only for Sirens registrations, and for Sirens Shuttle and Sirens Supper tickets.

As a reminder, the registration price increases on January 1, 2014. Sirens registrations include access to all of our conference programming and events, including the keynote presentations by our guests of honor and a conference T-shirt available only to attendees, as well as four meals or receptions. Neither our Sirens Shuttle nor our pre-conference Sirens Supper, however, is included in a conference registration; these must be purchased separately.

 

Volunteering and Reading
As we mentioned, this is a quiet time of year for us, but in the coming year, we’d love to have your help for Sirens. For example, in the lead up to Sirens, we have occasional research projects that can be completed online, and during the conference, we always, always appreciate having short-term help for setup, teardown, and room monitoring. (Helping out on-site is also a great way to get an idea of whether you’d like to become more involved year-round.) Please visit the volunteers page to sign up.

In past years, we’ve been fortunate to host fantasy book reviews as part of our newsletter. We’d love to revive this tradition and feature more readers and writers of women in fantasy. If you think you could contribute a book review of at least 250 words (and perhaps no more than 1,500, at the longest—though we could talk) sometime during the next year, please visit the volunteer system and on the third page, where you are offered different volunteer team choices, indicate that you’d like to be a book reviewer in the section that says “Please tell us of any specific position you are interested in” (or let us know in any volunteer system text box—we’ll sort you out).

If you’re with a publisher and are interested in providing review copies or similar, please contact us at (help at sirensconference.org).

 

What We’re Excited About

Here’s a peek at how books get from final manuscript to final printed copy.

And on book covers.

And on maps for books.

“Before they got watered down, [fairy tales] were women’s stories…” – Terri Windling interview. (Also of interest: a blog post on birds and the mythical.)

Newest Marvel superhero, Kamala Khan.

Trailer for Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge on USA Today.

New science fiction and fantasy imprint at Simon & Schuster.

Signups open for World Book Night 2014.

Strange Horizons focuses on Indian speculative fiction in a September edition.

Art by Erin/Bluefooted.

Honors

Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells is on the Kirkus Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2013 list.

Cold Steel by Kate Elliott is nominated for best fantasy novel of 2013 in Romantic Times Book Reviews Magazine.

Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall is on the 2014 Texas Lone Star reading list.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black, Inheritance by Malinda Lo, and Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce are part of the 2014 Rainbow List nominees.

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown are on Amazon’s 2013 best books for teens and young adults.

The 2013 World Fantasy Awards.

Recent Releases

Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor

Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow

“Freeze Warning” by Susan Kinard

Crown Duel (Audible edition) by Sherwood Smith

The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell

The Enchanter Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

Once Upon a Time: New Fairy Tales edited by Paula Guran

Blythewood by Carol Goodman

Copperhead by Tina Connolly

A Study in Darkness by Emma Jane Holloway

 

If you have fantasy-related links—reviews, links, news, announcements, or something else that’s of interest to Sirens attendees—we welcome them! Please send them to (help at sirensconference.org) at any time.

 


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at sirensconference.org).

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 5, Issue 12 (October 2013)

Checking In at Sirens
You can pick up your registration starting at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 10, in the Baker room. If you’re coming from your hotel room, the conference space is past the main lobby and down a corridor; the Baker room is midway down that corridor. (There aren’t many corridors to worry about—Skamania Lodge is fairly compact!)

Remember to bring a photo ID and a copy of your registration. If you’re a presenter or a volunteer, you’ll also check in with our programming and volunteer coordinators for any last-minute communication and a copy of your schedule. Starting at 3:00 p.m., we’ll open the Rainier room for chatting, informal games, the Narrate bookstore, and an afternoon tea.

If you have a ticket for the Sirens Supper, we’ll bring your registration to you on Wednesday night. Please watch your email for information about where to meet for that event.

 

Registering at Sirens
We have very few on-site registrations available, and those will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis starting Thursday, October 10, when the information desk opens at 3:00 p.m. If you have been thinking about coming and don’t yet have a registration, you might check the message boards; there may be a few for sale by people who can’t make it this year.

 

Driving to Sirens: Bridge of the Gods
If you’re driving to Sirens, please check out the information about the bridge closure at the end of the newsletter.

 

Reunion Ball
The Reunion Ball will begin after Ellen Kushner’s keynote presentation in the Cascade Locks Ballroom on Saturday, October 12. Ball gowns are always fun, as are glass shoes, but fantasy creations, cocktail dresses, jeans, and fuzzy bunny slippers are also welcome. Alongside the dancing, you can put in a last-minute bid at the silent auction or try to solve the Murder Mystery.

Do you have a request for the music playlist? Please leave it here as a comment or send it to (help at sirensconference.org) by October 4 and we’ll pass it on to the playlist organizer.

 

Volunteering During Sirens
We still have many openings for volunteers, and we’d love to have your help! The shifts range from 2-2.5 hours long on average, but we do have a handful of shifts that are only an hour each. (In fact, most of the remaining shifts are only an hour long.) We’re in particular need of room monitors this year. Room monitors typically stay in the room during presentations, help the presenters get situated, and keep things running on time.

If you’re interested or would like more information, please take a look at the schedule on our Volunteer page and email us at (volunteers2013 at sirensconference.org) with your top three shift choices and the number of shifts for which you’d like to volunteer. Thank you in advance!

 

Bookstore
Thank you to everyone who has donated books! We really appreciate your support for our mission, and we hope you’ll stop by during Sirens to browse and maybe find a new (or new-to-you) book to add to your collection. We will also continue to accept donations on site; if you have a moment, please contact Amy Tenbrink at (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org) with what you plan to donate.

 

Auction
Do you have an item to donate for this year’s auction? Please let us know by the end of the day on Thursday, October 10. All sorts of items are welcome! If you’d like to donate an item or you have questions, please email Amy Tenbrink (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org). She’d love to hear what you’re planning and address any concerns you might have. Thank you in advance for your support!

 

Contacting Us During Sirens
Many of our staff will be traveling to Stevenson as early as Saturday, October 5, to prepare for Sirens. While we are in transit and when we’re on site unpacking and setting things up for the conference, we will not be able to monitor our emails as closely as we do at other times. If you have an urgent inquiry during this time, please send it to (help at sirensconference.org), and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

During the conference, the best way to contact us is in person! If you have any questions or would simply like to chat, please stop by our information desk in Skamania Lodge’s Baker room starting at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 10.

 

Sirens Shuttle Meet-Ups
Does your flight arrive early on Wednesday or Thursday, or are you driving to PDX and meeting the shuttle there? There will be meet-ups for attendees at Portland International Airport on Wednesday, October 9, and Thursday, October 10, for anyone arriving early who’d like to connect with other attendees. Once you have claimed your bags, please feel free to join us as we gather for a little conversation and perhaps a bite to eat before it’s time to board the Sirens Shuttle. There is no host for these meetups, and lunch is on your own.

Location: Beaches Restaurant and Bar, outside the security checkpoint for Concourses D and E at Portland International Airport
Time: Noon and later

Sirens Shuttle check-in point:
Seating area near Baggage Claim 2/Southwest Airlines baggage assistance desk/TriMet MAX light rail exit from the airport
Time: Please gather by 3:00 p.m. to ride the Sirens Shuttle.

 

Travel Tips
Packing and Weather
October in the Pacific Northwest generally ranges from the upper 40s to low 60s Fahrenheit (about 7-17 Celsius), and there is always a chance of rain. Be sure to pack comfortable, casual layers to make the transition between indoors and outdoors—and the temperature that you prefer in your room and the temperature of the conference space—more comfortable. Sturdy closed-toe walking shoes are recommended, as is a raincoat or umbrella. For more packing tips, please check out the Travel page of our website.

Driving Directions
Directions for those driving to Skamania Lodge from the north, south, or east can be found on our website.

Where to Eat in Stevenson
Skamania Lodge has two restaurants on site, both featuring locally sourced regional cuisine. River Rock, the bar and restaurant next to the lobby, is the more informal of the two and typically has slightly lower prices. The Cascade Dining Room, which is farther down the hallway past River Rock, is more formal and has fantastic views of the Columbia River. On Friday evenings and Sunday mornings, the Cascade Dining Room hosts a buffet (and while we haven’t tried the Friday night offering, the Sunday champagne brunch might make a nice splurge if you’re leaving late; be sure to make reservations in advance). The hotel gift shop is set to provide expanded offerings, including quick bites (and we’d tell you more, but as they didn’t offer food in years past, we’ll need to check it out first). The lobby offers free tea, coffee, and cocoa most hours of the day. Room service is available from 7:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.

The hotel will also offer grab-and-go options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the Conference Center Lobby beginning with dinner on Thursday, October 10, and ending with lunch on Sunday, October 13 (excluding those meals that Sirens provides).

If you’d prefer to have a meal outside the hotel, the official Stevenson website offers a listing of area restaurants on their Dining page, and you can check the last pages of your program book for our list of nearby eateries. The hotel does not provide shuttle service to Stevenson.

 

Bridge of the Gods Closures
We’ve been informed that starting Friday, October 11, the Bridge of the Gods at exit 44 on Oregon I-84 will be closed between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. for maintenance. This is the closest Columbia River crossing to Skamania Lodge. The next nearest crossings are at Hood River (25 miles east) or Portland (40+ miles west, depending on where you want to cross).

This closure won’t affect most of you, and it will not affect the Sirens Shuttle; however, if you plan an outing beyond Stevenson during Sirens, you will need to take WA-14 to and from Skamania Lodge.

  • To get to Hood River, follow WA-14 East from Skamania Lodge; you will cross the Columbia River via the Hood River Bridge at White Salmon. (This is a toll bridge, like Bridge of the Gods; the toll for cars is $1 each way.) Going to Portland, follow WA-14 West to I-205 South or I-5 South.

To arrive during the closure time:

  • If you’re coming from the east on I-84 in Oregon, cross at the Hood River Bridge and follow WA-14 West to and through Stevenson, turn right on Rock Creek Drive, and left at Skamania Lodge Way.
  • From the north via I-5, take exit 1B to WA-14 East (or take I-205 to exit 27 to WA-14 East), and shortly after the Bridge of the Gods, take a left onto Rock Creek Drive, and a left at Skamania Lodge Way.
  • From I-5 in the south, or Portland International Airport, follow signs to I-205 North, and take exit 27 to WA-14 East, then a left onto Rock Creek Drive, and a left at Skamania Lodge Way.

When on WA-14, please use extra caution—you may encounter wildlife, slow-moving vehicles, rain, and a multitude of sharp corners.

 

What We’re Excited About This Month

The Summer Prince, by guest of honor Alaya Dawn Johnson, is on the long list for the National Book Awards for Young People’s Literature.

Vanity Fair has an article on the “girls” behind some of Disney’s early animated fantasy films.

Terri Windling talks about the Handless Maiden.

Nalo Hopkinson and Lesley Livingston are 2013 Copper Cylinder Award winners.

More August and September book releases that we didn’t celebrate last month:

August 27:
The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

September 3:
The Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond

September 17:
Delia’s Shadow by Jamie Lee Moyer

September 24:
Inheritance by Malinda Lo
Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan
The Real Boy by Anne Ursu
Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce

September 26:
Shadows by Robin McKinley

Some October book releases:

October 2:
Kabu Kabu by Nnedi Okorafor
The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two by Catherynne M. Valente

October 22:
Allegiant by Veronica Roth

October 29:
Parasite by Mira Grant
Horde by Ann Aguirre

 

Twitter Schedule
Beginning on Thursday, October 10, we will be posting the conference schedule on our Twitter. If you prefer not to receive these reminders, you may want to mute or unfollow @sirens_con until Monday, October 14. (The schedule will not be posted on Facebook, though a few highlights might be.)

 


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at sirensconference.org).

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 5, Issue 11 (September 2013)

September’s newsletter includes information about upcoming emails, a call for volunteers, auction news, supporting registrations, and exciting fantasy book news.

 

Checking In
As we prepare for Sirens over the next few weeks, we’ll be sending emails with important reminders and information. Please keep an eye on your inbox to find out where to check in for the Sirens Shuttle, meet for the Sirens Supper, and how to pick up your registration materials when you arrive at Skamania Lodge.

 

Hotel Reservation Deadline
The deadline to reserve a room at Skamania Lodge at the Sirens rate is September 12. Please visit the Skamania Lodge page on the Sirens website for complete information.

 

Volunteers
We still need volunteers, especially room monitors. If you have some free time, or plan to be in one room for a couple of sessions in a row, we’d love for you to join the volunteer team. Room monitors stay in a room during presentations, help speakers get situated, and keep things running on time. We’ll have a quick volunteer training session after the Thursday keynote, and you can find out more and sign up to help on the Volunteers page of the Sirens website.

 

Books and Breakfast
One of our favorite Sirens programs is Books and Breakfast. You bring your breakfast (or just yourself), and you can join an informal book discussion (whether or not you’ve read any of the books on that morning’s schedule, though we encourage you to pick out a book or two to read in advance). It’s a great way to ease into the day’s programming, and we always hope that you’ll find new items for your reading list.

Usually, the Sirens staff and friends host all of the discussions, but this year, we’d like to invite you to take part as a Books and Breakfast discussion leader. Your challenge: read the book in advance, then be the friendly table host during Books and Breakfast. You don’t have to plan any questions or activities—just be able to explain the book in a few sentences, and have a few thoughts about what you read.

The following is the status of books available for claiming by volunteers:

Friday, October 11
Prophecy by Ellen Oh (claimed)
A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton (available)
The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff (available)
Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord (claimed)

Saturday, October 12
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit by Nahoko Uehashi (available)
Bronze Gods by A. A. Aguirre (claimed)
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (available)
Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi (available)

Books and Breakfast will be held on Friday, October 11, and Saturday, October 12, both sessions at 8:00 a.m. If you’re interested in leading a discussion, please email Suzanne Rogers Gruber (suzanne.gruber at sirensconference.org) as soon as possible with the book you’d like to host.

 

Auction
Every year, proceeds from the Sirens auction go a long way toward covering conference costs. We are so grateful for and humbled by the generosity of those who donate auction items, and those who bid on items.

If you’d like to donate an item and you have questions, please write to Amy Tenbrink (amy.tenbrink at sirensconference.org). (She’d love to hear what you’re planning, so that we can create a comprehensive list of auction items by the end of the day on Thursday, October 10, and so that she can address any concerns you might have.) Also, for those of you with bulky items, we can provide a shipping address, if you’d like. And, of course, thanks in advance for your support.

 

Supporting Registration
If you can’t make it this year, we will miss you, and we hope that you’ll please consider purchasing a supporting registration. This helps us present Sirens this year and offer Sirens in future years, and you’ll receive a 2013 program book following the conference. Supporting registrations cost $50; $35 of each supporting registration is a donation to Sirens, and because Narrate Conferences, Inc. is a charitable organization, that amount is eligible for tax deduction in the United States. (The other $15 covers the cost of the program book and our mailing costs.)

 

What We’re Excited About This Month

The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal by Kate Elliott is now for sale!

Mette Ivie Harrison on Fairy Tales, Fan Fiction and Copyright.

Recommended reading from Terri Windling.

“On what basis, really, do we choose the books we read?” Challenging the Classics: Questioning the Arbitrary Browsing Mechanism by Foz Meadows.

Review of Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi at A Dribble of Ink.

Book Smugglers call for participants and topics for a new monthly feature called SFF in Conversation.

The Mary Sue covers N. K. Jemisin’s new series.

The Hollywood Reporter shows off the cover and title for last book in Laini Taylor’s series that began with Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

Via Nalo Hopkinson (who is on the cover of this month’s Locus!), Macmillan’s Island Fiction stories are all based around fantasy, science-fiction and the legends and folklore of the Caribbean.

Nominate works published in 2012 for Carl Brandon Awards, which honors works of speculative fiction created by a self-identified person of color.

September releases include…

Revenant Eve (paperback) by Sherwood Smith

Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

 

If you have fantasy-related links—reviews, news, announcements, or something else that’s of interest to Sirens attendees—we welcome them! Please send them to (help at sirensconference.org) at any time.

 


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at sirensconference.org).

Presented by Narrate Conferences, Inc.

 

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