Archive for June 2013

Sirens Newsletter – Volume 5, Issue 8 (June 2013)

June’s newsletter includes a request for your used books, a spotlight on Guest of Honor Guadalupe Garcia McCall, information on traveling to Sirens, and exciting book news.


The Sirens Bookstore is back and looking for used books!
Our bookstore was very popular last year, and we’re delighted to tell you it will be back in 2013 with new books by attending authors, more new books we think you’ll be interested in, and used fantasy books donated to Sirens. Start putting aside your used fantasy books by women authors–we’ll have details on where to send them in a future newsletter.


Author Spotlight: Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Guadalupe Garcia McCall’s second novel, Summer of the Mariposas, retells The Odyssey with five Mexican-American sisters and La Llorona as a ghostly guide. Summer of the Mariposas was one of the “Best Books of 2012” selected by School Library Journal, is on the 2013 Amelia Bloomer Project List, and was nominated for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy in 2013. The Kirkus Review says of Summer of the Mariposas “Originality and vibrancy shine through…” and The School Library Journal Review notes “the unusual qualities of mythical characters and the sense of adventure that lies behind every twist and turn of the girls’ revelatory journey.”

Her first novel, Under the Mesquite, is not fantasy, but is a tour de force work of verse that tackles the subject of cancer. Under the Mesquite received the Pura Belpré Author Award and a 2012 International Latino Book Awards Honorable Mention, and was a William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist (YALSA). Guadalupe has a BA in Theatre Arts and English from Sul Ross State University.

We’re so excited to have Guadalupe Garcia McCall join Alaya Dawn Johnson, Ellen Kushner, and Robin LaFevers as our guests of honor at this year’s Sirens. If you’re new to their work, our reading list is a great place to start getting acquainted.


Travel Tip: Flying to Sirens
If you’re flying to Sirens, the closest major airport–and the one from which the Sirens Shuttle will depart–is Portland International Airport in Portland, Oregon, also known as PDX. It’s a major west coast airport, and many airlines can get you there. Once you arrive, you’ll find a selection of shops and restaurants inside and outside of the security area, and the airport makes an effort to keep the prices–sales-tax free–the same as you’d find anywhere else in town. Other great amenities include free WiFi, a luggage storage desk, and a direct connection to downtown Portland via the MAX Red Line train.


Travel Tip: Sirens Shuttle
As in past years, we are offering the Sirens Shuttle, a charter bus which will depart from Portland International Airport (PDX) at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 9, and Thursday, October 10, and return to PDX on Sunday morning, October 13, departing Skamania Lodge at 9:45 a.m. The shuttle will travel along the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Highway, and both the Wednesday and Thursday shuttles will make a brief stop at Multnomah Falls. Don’t forget your camera!

The Sirens Shuttle costs $75 per person, round trip, which is less than a one-way ticket on a commercial shuttle service. Shuttle tickets can be purchased when you register for Sirens, or if you’ve already registered, you can log in to add tickets to your existing registration by clicking here.


Travel Tip: Hotel Reservations
Skamania Lodge, which is located in Stevenson, Washington, is once again the home for Sirens in 2013. Built in the style of a Pacific Northwest lodge, Skamania has a cozy, welcoming atmosphere with a fireplace and rocking chairs in the lobby and views of the surrounding forest and the Columbia River Gorge. The health club, pool, and hot tub all are included in the resort fee, as is wireless Internet access. For more information on Skamania, please visit the hotel page of the Sirens website.

To reserve a room with the Sirens discount rates, please click here to reserve online, or to make a reservation by telephone, please call 800-221-7117 and mention the code Sirens2013 to reservations staff.

If you would like to find roommates, you can post a message on the Skamania Lodge section of our message boards.

We recommend making your hotel reservation as soon as possible, especially if you want a room with two beds. Last year, we used all of the rooms set aside for Sirens, and we expect to fill our room block in 2013, too.


Sirens Supper
If you’ll be at Skamania on Wednesday, October 9, we invite you to join us for our traditional pre-conference Sirens Supper. It’s a great way to unwind from travel, meet other attendees, and enjoy a fabulous buffet dinner with friends new and old. We’ll be announcing the menu soon, but in the meantime, we wanted to note that there are only 10 tickets remaining for this event.


What We’re Excited About This Month

Guest of Honor Ellen Kushner’s Swordspoint audiobook won a 2013 Audie award for Audio Drama. Congratulations!

Time has an excerpt from 2009 Sirens Guest of Honor Tamora Pierce’s upcoming novel Battle Magic, which is set two years before the events of The Will of the Empress and Melting Stones. –Michelle

Tamora Pierce talks about winning the Edwards Award, writing female characters, and more. –Z

Richelle Mead’s Gameboard of the Gods was released on June 4, as was Steadfast by Mercedes Lackey. –Anonymous

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes was released on June 4. –Suzi

Mur Lafferty’s The Shambling Guide to New York City was out June 4.

The title for the last book in Laini Taylor’s trilogy that began with Daughter of Smoke and Bone has been revealed. Spoiler: It’s Dreams of Gods and Monsters. –Anonymous

Cassandra Claire’s Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale, part three of The Bane Chronicles, will be out on June 18! –Anonymous

Kate Elliott’s Cold Steel, the final book in the Spiritwalker Trilogy, was out on June 25! –Sabrina

An NPR piece titled “Scheherazade: From Storytelling ‘Slave’ To ‘First Feminist'” includes an interview of Lebanese author Hanan al-Shaykh, and her thoughts about her retelling One Thousand and One Nights. –Anonymous

Janni Lee Simner wants to know if you… Know Your Faeries: Friendly, Fierce, or Fatal? –Anonymous

A meditation on Gender, Ambivalence & the Women of Westeros. –Anonymous

Seen all over Twitter: Karen Lord talking about Redemption in Indigo.

SFWA recently announced the the 2012 Nebula Awards (we recognize some of you on that list!). We also recognize some favorites on the 2013 Mythopoeic Awards list.

Check out these illustrations of East of the Sun, West of the Moon from 1914.


Do you have exciting fantasy book news or links you’d like to share? Email us at (help at by June 27 and we’ll include it in next month’s newsletter!


Questions? You can comment here or write to us at (help at

Presented by Narrate Conferences, Inc.


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