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Where Are They Now: 2017 Guests of Honor

This fall will mark our tenth year of Sirens. With our conference theme of reunion, it’s the perfect chance to reflect on past conferences and revisit some old friends. In this series, we check in with our past Guests of Honor to see what they’ve been up to these days. If you attended Sirens that year, please share with us your memories of 2017—last year!—in the comments or on social media, and take a stroll with us down memory lane!

In 2017, our theme was women who work magic, and our Guests of Honor were Zoraida Córdova, N. K. Jemisin, and Victoria Schwab.

Zoraida Córdova

Zoraida CórdovaBruja Born

Since Labyrinth Lost was released, Zoraida has published the second book in the Brooklyn Brujas series— Bruja Born in June 2018—which features Alex’s beautiful older sister, Lula. To celebrate her new book, Zoraida spoke at bookstores across the country with author Dhonielle Clayton and additional guests on the Belles and Brujas Tour throughout the month of June. The next book in the series, featuring Alex’s youngest sister Rose, will come out in 2019.

Zoraida’s short fiction has appeared in two recent anthologies: “You Owe Me a Ride” in the 2017 Star Wars collection From a Certain Point of View (alongside other past Sirens Guests of Honor Renée Ahdieh, Rae Carson, and Nnedi Okorafor); and “Divine Are the Stars” in Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft, which was edited by Tess Sharpe and Jessica Spotswood and was released in late August 2018.

In 2019, look out for the first of Zoraida’s new YA fantasy duology Hollow Crown, which is “loosely based on the Spain of the 15th century, reimagining the Inquisition as a battle between a cruel, autocratic state and rebel magicians.” The sequel will be published in 2020.

Where She Is Now: Hard at work on her next novel! Zoraida can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Upcoming Appearances: Zoraida is making a number of appearances across the country from now until the end of October, including Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia. Check out the full list on Zoraida’s Twitter here. Don’t forget, Zoraida is also teaching at the Sirens Studio and will appear at Sirens this October 23–28, 2018!

 

N. K. Jemisin

N. K. JemisinHow Long 'til Black Future Month

N. K. (Nora) Jemisin made history back in August for winning the third consecutive Hugo Award for Best Novel for The Stone Sky, the last in her Broken Earth trilogy; the previous two books The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate also won Hugos. You can watch her Hugo acceptance speech here, and read a transcript here! The Stone Sky also won the 2018 Nebula Award for Best Novel, as well as the 2018 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel. Last month, Entertainment Weekly dubbed Nora the “new queen of fantasy.” A special Broken Earth boxed set was released earlier this week.

A Fifth Season television series is also in development at TNT.

Also released this week was the collection, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018, which Nora guest edited with series editor John Joseph Adams.

Nora’s short fiction collection How Long ’til Black Future Month? will come out in late November 2018, which will include new stories as well as her award-winning “The City Born Great.” In a press release, Nora shares, “I think my longtime readers will enjoy the chance to see the evolution of my style and attitude, and I hope new readers will like just seeing what kinds of worlds and weirdness I can come up with.”

Where She Is Now: After three years of reviewing science fiction and fantasy books in the New York Times column “Otherworldly,” Nora stepped down from her post in January 2018 though she occasionally still contributes long-form reviews. She is currently focusing on various book projects, including an upcoming contemporary fantasy. You can find her on Twitter.

Upcoming Appearances: Nora will be at New York Comic-Con on October 6–7, 2018 and the BRIC house in Brooklyn, NY on October 23, 2018.

 

Victoria Schwab

Victoria SchwabVengeful

Victoria has been busy writing, publishing, and promoting books! In August 2018, Victoria’s newest novel for young readers, The City of Ghosts, was published and became a New York Times bestseller. It features a girl who can see ghosts and is set in Edinburgh!

In September, we finally got a sequel to Victoria’s breakout adult novel Vicious in Vengeful, starring a new villain Marcella Riggins who is not above “collecting her own sidekicks, and leveraging the two most infamous EOs, Victor Vale and Eli Ever, against each other.”

For fans of Victoria’s recently concluded Shades of Magic trilogy, a super pretty boxed set will be available in mid-October, and includes some bonus content including a pull-out map. You might also want to clutch your fabulous coat close—Victoria will be helming a prequel comic book series titled Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince, with artist Andrea Olimpieri and colorist Enrica Eren Angiolini. The first issue comes out next week, with the second to follow in November!

Film buffs, you’re covered too—a Shades of Magic movie is in development with Sony.

Look for Victoria’s essay “Black Whole” in the Kelly Jensen-edited collection on mental health, (Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation About Mental Health, available now.

Where She Is Now: On the road promoting Vengeful—check out her list of appearances here. Highlights include New York Comic-Con on October 4–6, 2018 and the Texas Book Festival on October 27–29, 2018! You can find Victoria on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Where Are They Now: 2016 Guests of Honor

This fall will mark our tenth year of Sirens. With our conference theme of reunion, it’s the perfect chance to reflect on past conferences and revisit some old friends. In this series, we check in with our past Guests of Honor to see what they’ve been up to these days. If you attended Sirens that year, please share with us your memories of 2016 in the comments or on social media, and take a stroll with us down memory lane!

In 2016, our theme was lovers, and our Guests of Honor were Renée Ahdieh, Laurie J. Marks, and Kiini Ibura Salaam.

Renée Ahdieh

Renée AhdiehSmoke in the Sun

In 2017, Renée published a new YA romantic fantasy set against the backdrop of feudal Japan titled Flame in the Mist, starring seventeen-year-old Mariko, the only daughter of a samurai, who is ambushed by a group of lethal bandits on her journey to the imperial court. It was a New York Times Bestseller and won a 2018 Southern Book Prize for young adult fiction. In anticipation of this past June’s second of the duology, Smoke in the Sun, two digital short stories were also published, Okami and Yumi, eponymously titled after supporting characters in the saga.

You can catch some of Renée’s short fiction in the 2017 Star Wars anthology, From a Certain Point of View (her story is “The Luckless Rodian”), alongside the works of other past Sirens guests of honor Rae Carson and Zoraida Córdova. She also contributed to A Thousand Endings and Beginnings, a collection of stories reimagining the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia, with the story “Nothing to All.”

Where She Is Now: “I live in North Carolina (Go Heels!) with my husband Victor and our dog Mushu. In my spare time, I like to cook, mess with makeup, and wreak havoc on the lives of my characters.

 

Laurie J. Marks

Laurie J. MarksAir Logic

Fans of Laurie’s Elemental Logic series, the wait is (quite nearly) over! Small Beer Press has announced that the fourth and final volume, Air Logic, will be released on July 9, 2019. This is not a drill! Twelve long years after Water Logic, Laurie brings us back to Shaftal at last. Check out Small Beer’s book page for more information.

Where She Is Now: From writer Rosemary Kirstein’s website, we’ve learned that Laurie is still working at the University of Massachusetts and hard at work on her next novel.

 

Kiini Ibura Salaam

Kiini Ibura SalaamWhen the World Wounds

In November 2016, Kiini published her next collection of short stories When the World Wounds, which “continues her exploration of the dark, the sensual, and the mysterious with fiction that disturbs, delights, and dazzles” that we have come to expect from Ancient, Ancient. It received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. One of the stories, “The Malady of Need,” also appeared in the anthology Sycorax’s Daughters—co-edited by 2018 Sirens Studio faculty member Dr. Kinitra D. Brooks and featuring poems and stories by African American women writers—with some slight tweaks.

Kiini traveled extensively to cons, signings, and various events in 2017 to promote When the World Wounds. “I promised I’d spend a year promoting the book, and that’s just what I did. Now 2018 will be a year of minimal traveling and writing, writing, writing.

Apex Magazine re-ran Kiini’s piercing non-fiction essay “‘There’s No Racism Here?’ A Black Woman in the Dominican Republic” in their September 2018 issue.

Where She Is Now: Working as an editor and copyeditor in New York. Kiini and her daughter live in Brooklyn.

 

Where Are They Now: 2015 Guests of Honor

This fall will mark our tenth year of Sirens. With our conference theme of reunion, it’s the perfect chance to reflect on past conferences and revisit some old friends. In this series, we check in with our past Guests of Honor to see what they’ve been up to these days. If you attended Sirens that year, please share with us your memories of 2015 in the comments or on social media, and take a stroll with us down memory lane!

In 2015, our theme was rebels and revolutionaries, and our Guests of Honor were Rae Carson, Kate Elliott, and Yoon Ha Lee.

Rae Carson

Rae CarsonInto the Bright Unknown

The year Rae was a Guest of Honor at Sirens, we were first introduced to a girl with the magical ability to sense gold in Gold Rush-era America in Walk on Earth a Stranger, which made the long list for the National Book Award. Since then, two sequels have been published, completing the Gold Seer trilogy: Like a River Glorious in 2016 and Into the Bright Unknown in 2017.

Fans of Star Wars, check out Rae’s work set in the Star Wars world! In 2017, her short story “The Red One” appeared in the anthology From A Certain Point of View, and her novella “Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing,” was included in the collection Canto Bright. In May 2018, Rae also published Star Wars: Most Wanted, a YA novel prequel to the film Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Rae also contributed the short story “Omega Ship” in the Natalie C. Parker-edited anthology, Three Sides a Heart: Stories About Love Triangles, which came out December 2017.

Where She Is Now: Rae and her husband adopted a new kitten, named Whiskey, in June 2017! (You can follow Whiskey’s adventures at #AShotofWhiskey, and quite evidently he has figured out how to sneak inside cupboards in their new home.) She is also working on a fantasy novel, and has promised more news in a few months!

 

Kate Elliott

Kate ElliottBuried Heart

Kate’s Court of Fives, published in 2015, went on to be nominated for an Andre Norton award. Jes’s revolution in a world inspired by Greco-Roman Egypt continued in The Poisoned Blade, out in 2016, and Buried Heart, out in 2017. The Court of Fives universe also includes two novellas: Night Flower, the story of Jes’s parents and how they met, and Bright Thrones, featuring her missing sister Bettany.

Back in July, Kate appeared a WorldCon76 in San Jose—you can listen to an audio recording of her “Writing the Epic” panel with Rebecca Roanhorse here.

Get ready! Unconquerable Sun, the first of Kate’s new Sun Chronicles series, comes out in 2019, and is described as a “genderbent Alexander the Great as space opera in a series of linked volumes that tell the story of an imperial conquest and how it breaks down after the death of its charismatic leader.”

Where She Is Now: Living in Hawaii with her family, writing, and proud owner of a new pup: “A schnauzer. Finn (short for Fingolfin), High King of the Schnoldor. Here he is at 5 months.” (Photo by Kamaaina K9)

Upcoming Appearances: Kate will be returning this year at Sirens in October 2018!

 

Yoon Ha Lee

Yoon Ha LeeRevenant Gun

Since A Conservation of Shadows, Yoon published the spectacular and brain-breaking military sci-fi Machineries of Empire trilogy to much acclaim! The first, Ninefox Gambit, won the 2017 Locus Award for Best First Novel and was nominated for the Nebula, Hugo and Clarke Awards. In their review, NPR writes, “So how much can you screw with a world before you take it completely to pieces? … Lee has turned this elementary concern into a game of chicken he plays with himself.” Yoon recently appeared on the FutureTech podcast to discuss Ninefox Gambit.

The sequel, Raven Stratagem, was nominated for the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novel; the conclusion to the trilogy Revenant Gun was released in June 2018. Yoon has written several additional short stories set in the world of the hexarchate, which you can find here, which will be published as a collection in June 2019. “Extracurricular Activities” was a Hugo finalist in the short story category.

For you and the young reader in your life, Yoon has exciting news to share: “I have a middle grade Korean mythology space opera, Dragon Pearl, due out from Disney-Hyperion in January 2019. It’s about a teen fox spirit girl who goes on a quest to save her brother—in spaaaace!”

Where He Is Now: Busy writing, drawing, and composing “oddments of music,” now featuring his work on Patreon! Check that out here.

Upcoming Appearances: Thalia’s Book Club at Symphony Space in New York, NY on January 29, 2019—and this year’s Sirens in October 2018!

 

Where Are They Now: 2014 Guests of Honor

This fall will mark our tenth year of Sirens. With our conference theme of reunion, it’s the perfect chance to reflect on past conferences and revisit some old friends. In this series, we check in with our past Guests of Honor to see what they’ve been up to these days. If you attended Sirens that year, please share with us your memories of 2014 in the comments or on social media, and take a stroll with us down memory lane!

In 2014, our theme was hauntings, and our Guests of Honor were Kendare Blake, Rosemary Clement, and Andrea Hairston.

Kendare Blake

Kendare BlakeTwo Dark Reigns

We’re so pleased to hear from Kendare that, “Since my time at Sirens, I have hung the gorgeous Sirens artist artwork of Anna Dressed in Blood in my living room and she has frightened many people.”

Kendare’s latest series, beginning with Three Dark Crowns, features “triplet queens with magical powers in a queendom where triplet queens are always born, and must always kill each other until only one remains.” It hit the New York Times bestseller list when it came out in 2016, and its sequel, One Dark Throne, debuted at #1 on the same list the following year! We feel bad for Kendare’s socks: “That news pretty much knocked my socks off and I have been searching for my socks ever since.” Having now expanded to four books and two novellas (The Young Queens and The Oracle Queen), the series’ next installment is Two Dark Reigns, publishing next Tuesday, September 4th.

Some exciting adaptation news: “Three Dark Crowns has been optioned for film by Fox Studios, with one of the producer/directors of Stranger Things to produce via his production company 21Laps. And bonus: so far, all the execs I’ve spoken with have been women, so that’s neat!”

Where She Is Now: Hard at work on the last of the Three Dark Crowns quartet, and proud protector of a new pet: “I got a new baby Sphynx cat, and he is a sweet, naked delight! My husband named him Armpit McGee, and that brings the cat total up to 2, even stevens with the dogs. Maybe it’s the fact that the cat is hairless, and therefore seems quite vulnerable, but I’ve never been as protective of anything in my life.”

 

Rosemary Clement

Rosemary ClementNo Good Deed

For those not already in the know, Rosemary also publishes under the name Kara Connolly! Her latest novel No Good Deed is a reimagining of Robin Hood and came out in July 2017: “a modern girl finds herself in the middle of a medieval mess with only her smart mouth and her Olympic-archer aim to get her home.”

Where She Is Now: “I am working VERY HARD on a project. YES, I have been working on it for a VERY LONG TIME… it’s the thing that’s been keeping me tied up like the guy in Misery, minus the broken leg.” We have faith in you, Rosemary!

Upcoming Appearances: FenCon on September 22–24, 2018 in Dallas, TX, and of course, we’re thrilled to welcome Rosemary back at Sirens this year, October 25–28, 2018!

 

Andrea Hairston

Andrea HairstonWill Do Magic for Small Change

Andrea’s 2016 novel, Will Do Magic for Small Change, tells the story of Cinnamon Jones, granddaughter of characters you may already know and love—Redwood and Wildfire! Weaving history, magic, myth and theatre, Will do Magic for Small Change was a James Tiptree Jr. Award Honor List pick, and was a finalist for both the 29th Annual Lambda Literary Award and the 2017 Mythopoeic Award.

Looking ahead to March 2019, Andrea’s short story “Dumb House” will appear in the anthology New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color, edited by Nisi Shawl.

Andrea recently appeared as a Guest of Honor at FOGcon 2018 back in March, and also appeared at Wiscon in May, with a presentation on Black Panther and “The Women of Wakanda.” Watch a video of that presentation here.

Where She Is Now: Andrea is the Louise Wolff Kahn Professor of Theatre and Professor of Africana Studies at Smith College, as well as artistic director of Chrysalis Theatre. She also recently finished revisions on a new novel, The Master of Poisons.

 

Where Are They Now: 2013 Guests of Honor

This fall will mark our tenth year of Sirens. With our conference theme of reunion, it’s the perfect chance to reflect on past conferences and revisit some old friends. In this series, we check in with our past Guests of Honor to see what they’ve been up to these days. If you attended Sirens that year, please share with us your memories of 2013 in the comments or on social media, and take a stroll with us down memory lane!

In 2013, our theme was reunion, and we revisited our first four themes 2009–2012. Our Guests of Honor were Guadalupe Garcia McCall (tales retold), Alaya Dawn Johnson (monsters), Ellen Kushner (faeries), and Robin LaFevers (warriors).

Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Guadalupe Garcia McCallShame the Stars

Attendees may remember Guadalupe’s Mexican American retelling of The Odyssey with five sisters, Summer of the Mariposas, which was translated into Spanish earlier this May. Her most recent publication is Shame the Stars, a historical fiction novel set in 1900s Texas with a Shakespearean twist, in 2016—a follow-up, All the Stars Denied, is coming out this September.

Guadalupe is experimenting with a number of different literary forms, including a picture book on submission, her first short story “Rancho Nido” which came out in the Kickstarter project Kaiju Rising, Age of Monsters II back in May, and a creative non-fiction writing piece based on the Texas flood of 1954. She is also working on a YA novel she’s labeled her “Borderlands Kaiju Novel.”

Early in 2018, Guadalupe was inducted in the Texas Institute of Letters —you can read her interview on that honor here.

Where She Is Now: Guadalupe recently moved to Oregon to work as an Assistant Professor of English at George Fox University.

 

Alaya Dawn Johnson

Alaya Dawn JohnsonLove is the Drug

We were fortunate enough to get a wonderful update from Alaya herself—we’ll let her tell you what she’s been up to!

“As some Sirens attendees from 2013 might remember, I was planning to move to Mexico City about a month after the conference. Well, the 9-month stay I was planning turned into a complete life overhaul for me, and I’m still down here! I’m absolutely in love with Mexico City and Mexico in general—my interest in ancient Mexican history has expanded to the point that I’m now finishing a master’s degree from UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) in Mesoamerican Studies. My focus is on the semiotics of fermented food in ancient Nahua and Otomí religious festivals. I am seriously eating fermented tamales and atole (a drinkable corn gruel that’s an important part of the traditional diet here) for research. It’s pretty heavenly. All of this research will eventually get turned into a novel, but for now I’m enjoying (and screaming, and then enjoying again) the unique challenges of writing a research paper in my second language (for the record, I barely spoke Spanish before moving here).

Since my last novel, Love Is the Drug, came out in 2014 my writing profile has been a little low-key, but it’s been wonderful and necessary to recharge and dedicate myself to my craft (also, uh, it turns out getting a master’s in your second language can kind of eat your writing time). I’ve been active, but more via short stories. My highest-profile project has been the serialized novel Tremontaine, published by Serial Box. It’s an interactive multi-authored prequel to friend-of-Sirens Ellen Kushner’s groundbreaking Swordspoint novels, and I was genuinely honored to be able to help develop the principal characters and some of the new aspects of the worldbuilding we were bringing to the prequel. Specifically, the role of the Kinwiinik chocolate traders was heavily based on an idea of trade with Mesoamerican societies (specifically Mayan) without a European conquest. So, that was pretty awesome and I’m very proud of my work on the first season. The writers have taken it to incredible places since I left, too.

Oh, and my novelette “A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai’i” won a Nebula award and my novel Love Is the Drug won the Norton! In the same year! Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford to attend the ceremony, and at the moment the announcement came in I was stuck in my room in an apartment that I was getting kicked out of the next day (due to the screw up of my roommates who ended up stealing my deposit). It was pouring outside. No one answered my calls. It was just one of these hilariously bittersweet moments in the writer’s life—the greatest professional achievement of my life and I find out on Twitter because that’s what gets through on my cell phone. I couldn’t even get online because the Internet had been cut off earlier that day. I got out of that situation and am in a great place now, but what a “best of times, worst of times” kind of night!

The most exciting news I have is, unfortunately, nothing I can be too specific about. But I have two, count-’em two, new novels coming out next year. That makes it five years since my last novel, so I’m incredibly excited to finally have some novel-length work out in the world. One is my first adult novel in *mumblety* years, and the second is a new YA novel. One is historical fantasy and the other is far-future, mind-trippy science fiction. I can’t wait to share these with the world, but for now I’m busy on revisions.

I had an amazing experience at Sirens in 2013 and hopefully I’ll be able to return someday. For now, greetings from sunny (no, rainy) (wait, sunny again) Mexico City!”

 

Ellen Kushner

Ellen KushnerTremontaine

Ellen’s latest project has been creating and spearheading the oft-mentioned Tremontaine serial novels, which further develop the mannerpunk world of Riverside she created in Swordspoint. Tremontaine will be in its fourth season starting September 2018, and includes two other Sirens Guest of Honor alumnae, Alaya Dawn Johnson and Malinda Lo.

Ellen has also recently contributed to some short fiction collections, having published “When I Was a Highwayman” in The Book of Swords (2017), “When Two Swordsmen Meet” to the Samuel R. Delany tribute collection Stories for Chip (2015), and “The City in Winter” in Sleeping Hedgehog (2015).

Where She Is Now: With an envious glance at Ellen’s Twitter and Facebook pages, you’ll discover that she is on an extended stay in Europe with her wife and occasional creative collaborator Delia Sherman, having visited several towns and cities in France, Scotland, England and more.

 

Robin LaFevers

Robin LaFeversCourting Darkness

Fans of Robin’s His Fair Assassin books, rejoice! Robin shares:

“So basically I have a new duology coming out that is set in the His Fair Assassin world, the first of which is Courting Darkness and publishes February 5, 2019. The second book will follow a year later.”

To accompany Robin’s books’ new looks, the original His Fair Assassin covers are also being updated with some bonus content—Grave Mercy will have a deleted scene and a new epilogue, Dark Triumph will also have a new epilogue, and Mortal Heart includes an exclusive new Q&A with Robin.

Robin also has contracted a middle grade novel currently titled Wild Daughter of Ares, set in the world of Ancient Greece and the Amazons.

Where She Is Now: Recovering from quite a year at home in southern California: “It’s been a crazy year. We had to evacuate five times in four months due to raging wildfires, then floods, followed by mudslides. That I got any writing done, let alone finished a book, feels somewhat miraculous! But I’ve definitely been playing catch up for the last six months.”

Upcoming Appearances: We’re thrilled to welcome Robin back to Sirens for this year’s conference, including the Sirens Studio!

 

Where Are They Now: 2012 Guests of Honor

This fall will mark our tenth year of Sirens. With our conference theme of reunion, it’s the perfect chance to reflect on past conferences and revisit some old friends. In this series, we check in with our past Guests of Honor to see what they’ve been up to these days. If you attended Sirens that year, please share with us your memories of 2012 in the comments or on social media, and take a stroll with us down memory lane!

In 2012, our theme was tales retold, and our Guests of Honor were Nalo Hopkinson and Malinda Lo. Our third invited guest, Kate Bernheimer, was unable to attend.

Nalo Hopkinson

Nalo HopkinsonFalling in Love with Hominids

Nalo’s recent publications include her second short story collection Falling in Love with Hominids in 2015, and the story “Waving at Trains” in the Boston Review’s 2017 literary issue (check out an interview with Nalo on that work). She is also part of a quartet of fantasy authors re-launching Neil Gaiman’s Sandman Universe, as the writer of the third installment, House of Whispers, coming in September 2018.

Nalo’s book Brown Girl in the Ring was the inspiration for the feature film Brown Girl Begins, which screened in select North American cities in February 2018 and had a limited release in Toronto in March 2018. You can view the trailer here.

You can find more updates on Nalo’s work over on her Patreon page. Her future goals include finishing her novel-in-progress, currently titled Blackheart Man, and making a solid start on her next novel, Duppy Jacket, and continuing her graphic novel Nancy Jack.

Where She Is Now: “I now live in Southern California in the U.S., and am a professor of Creative Writing at the University of California Riverside, where I’m a member of a faculty research cluster in Science Fiction.” Earlier in 2018, Nalo was named the 2018 recipient of the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Award, as part of Eagle-Con.

 

Malinda Lo

Malinda LoA Line in the Dark

In October 2017, Malinda’s novel A Line in the Dark was released to tremendous accolade, with Teen Vogue calling it a “twisty, dark psychological thriller that will leave you guessing til the very end.” It was a Kirkus Best YA Book of 2018, a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of 2018, and one of Chicago Public Library’s Best Teen Fiction of 2017. Malinda’s next novel is Last Night at the Telegraph Club, a “story of love and duty that explores the complicated overlap between the city’s Chinese-American and LGBTQ communities” set in 1950s San Francisco. Publication is planned for 2019.

Malinda is also a frequent contributor to anthologies and other group works. Her short story “New Year” can be found in All Out edited by Saundra Mitchell, published this past February; she wrote the essay “Keep Doing What You’re Doing” for the Maureen Johnson-edited How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation, out this past May; and you can find Malinda’s short story “Meet Cute” in Fresh Ink, a We Need Diverse Books YA anthology edited by Lamar Giles, coming out later in August.

Malinda also collaborates with a team of writers on the Ellen Kushner-led serial novel, Tremontaine, which is about to begin its fourth “season” in September 2018.

Where She Is Now: She lives in Massachusetts with her partner and their dog. Malinda also provides an in-depth update on her blog for the year 2017 going into 2018.

Upcoming Appearances: Brooklyn Book Festival on September 16, 2018 in Brooklyn, NY; Boston Teen Author Festival on September 22, 2018 in Cambridge, MA.

 

Where Are They Now: 2011 Guests of Honor

This fall will mark our tenth year of Sirens. With our conference theme of reunion, it’s the perfect chance to reflect on past conferences and revisit some old friends. In this series, we check in with our past Guests of Honor to see what they’ve been up to these days. If you attended Sirens that year, please share with us your memories of 2011 in the comments or on social media, and take a stroll with us down memory lane!

In 2011, our theme was monsters, and our Guests of Honor were Justine Larbalestier, Nnedi Okorafor, and Laini Taylor.

Justine Larbalestier

Justine LarbalestierMy Sister Rosa

Justine’s latest novel is My Sister Rosa, which came out in November 2016 and was recently released in paperback in December 2017. In this contemporary young adult thriller, Che begins to suspect that his “smart, talented, pretty” ten-year-old sister Rosa is a psychopath, while their parents brush off the warning signs as her “acting out.” My Sister Rosa was a Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2016 and a Publishers Weekly Best Young Adult Book of 2016. It also recently won the 2018 Adelaide Festival Young Adult Fiction Award.

Where She Is Now: Living in New York City with occasional returns to Sydney.

 

Nnedi Okorafor

OkoraforBinti: The Night Masquerade

Nnedi’s popular Binti trilogy concluded in January 2018 with Binti: The Night Masquerade. The series’s first two novels have received several accolates; Binti won the Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novella, and Binti: Home is a Hugo and Nommo award finalist for 2018. All three novellas will be reissued in hardcover with brand new covers—and a foreword from 2017 Sirens Guest of Honor N. K. Jemisin—on July 24, 2018.

For young readers, Akata Warrior, the sequel to Akata Witch, was released in October 2017. It recently won the Locus Award for best young adult novel.

Nnedi is also making a huge splash in the comics world, having written four issues of Black Panther: Long Live the King and contributed to Marvel’s Venomverse War Stories No. 1 anthology with “Blessing in Disguise.” She also has several projects in the works or announced and coming later this year: Antar: The Black Knight, LaGuardia, and Wakanda Forever (of which the first issue was just released).

Filmmakers and studios are also adapting Nnedi’s work: her short story “Hello Moto” was turned into a short film by award-winning filmmaker C.J. “Fiery” Obas called “Hello, Rain.” Nnedi’s award-winning novel Who Fears Death has been optioned by HBO and is now in early development as a TV series with George R. R. Martin as executive producer. You can also check out Nnedi’s unmissable TED talk, on “Sci-fi stories that imagine a future Africa,” which was recorded last November.

Where She Is Now: She lives in Chicago with her daughter Anyaugo and family. Nnedi is also a full professor of creative writing and literature at the University of Buffalo.

Upcoming Appearances: Special Guest at AMA-Con, held August 4-5, 2018 in Amarillo, TX. Speaker at the Sigma Tau Delta International Convention in March 2019.

 

Laini Taylor

Laini TaylorMuse of Nightmares

Laini’s most recent work is Strange the Dreamer, an “epic fantasy about a mythic lost city and its dark past,” featuring a junior librarian and a blue-skinned goddess who appears in his dreams. Originally published in March 2016 as an instant New York Times bestseller, it went on to win a 2018 Michael L. Printz Honor for excellence in young adult literature in the United States. Laini recently appeared at the American Library Association’s annual conference in New Orleans to accept her award. The paperback of Strange the Dreamer was released this past May.

The second and final book, sequel to Strange the Dreamer, is Muse of Nightmares, which comes out on November 27, 2018.

Fans of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy will be delighted to know that Night of Cake and Puppets, the novella featuring Karou’s friends Zuzana and Mik and originally published electronically, came out in hardcover in September 2017.

Where She Is Now: “I live in Portland, Oregon, USA with my husband Jim Di Bartolo, who is an amazing illustrator and who I’m always begging to draw me things, and with our wee droll genius, Clementine Pie.

Upcoming Appearances: With author Jeff Giles, at Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills, Oregon on July 12.

 

Where Are They Now: 2010 Guests of Honor

This fall will mark our tenth year of Sirens. With our conference theme of reunion, it’s the perfect chance to reflect on past conferences and revisit some old friends. In this series, we check in with our past Guests of Honor to see what they’ve been up to these days. If you attended Sirens that year, please share with us your memories of 2010 in the comments or on social media, and take a stroll with us down memory lane!

In 2010, our theme was faeries, and our Guests of Honor were Holly Black, Marie Brennan, and Terri Windling.

Holly Black

Holly BlackThe Cruel Prince

Holly returns to the dark world of faerie featured in Tithe with The Cruel Prince, which was an immediate bestseller when it came out in January 2018. First in the Folk of the Air trilogy, it features “a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue.” Holly went on a six-city author tour for The Cruel Prince—check out a recap here! Fans of Holly’s previous tales of faerie will be delighted to know that this takes place in the same realm as Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside, as well as the standalone, The Darkest Part of the Forest. Book two, The Wicked King, releases next January 9, 2019.

In addition to her young adult novels, Holly co-authors the Magisterium series with Cassandra Clare for middle grade readers. The conclusion of the series, The Golden Tower, comes out September 11, 2018.

Where She Is Now: Working on, we’re sure, books two and three of the Folk of the Air trilogy; living in Massachusetts with her husband Theo and her son Sebastian in a house with a secret library. Also, did you know that Holly has real life elf ears now?

Upcoming Public Appearances: Special Guest at ArmadilloCon in Austin, TX

 

Marie Brennan

Marie BrennanWithin the Sanctuary of Wings

We’ll let Marie share the exciting news herself: “It’s been a busy eight years since I had the honor of being a guest at Sirens! My most recent series, the Memoirs of Lady Trent, has done really well: the first book, A Natural History of Dragons, was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award and won the Prix Imaginales for Best Translated Novel in France; the second book, The Tropic of Serpents, was also nominated for the Prix Imaginales as well as the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire; the fifth and final book, Within the Sanctuary of Wings [editor’s note: published April 2017], recently won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award; and the series as a whole is a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Series, with results to come at WorldCon in August.”

Marie also contributes episodes to the Serial Box serial fiction novel, Born to the Blade, of which the first season is available now.

Where She Is Now: “I just finished writing a standalone sequel to the Memoirs, a book about Lady Trent’s granddaughter, black market antiquities smuggling, and the translation of a lost epic from the Draconean civilization. I also bought my first house a couple of years ago, which has been an adventure all on its own!”

 

Terri Windling

Terri WindlingDartmoor Mythic Arts

Terri began a Patreon as of Fall 2017, which provides a wealth of glimpses into her life in the Devon countryside. Terri has several projects in the works, including:

  • A lightly illustrated novel for middle grade readers “set in a magical version of rural Devon,” involving her “bunny girl” and animal spirit characters

  • The Moon Wife, a novel for adults, loosely connected to her award-winning The Wood Wife

  • A Story of Stories, a collection of Terri’s essays on folklore, fairy tales, and fantasy

  • With Ellen Kushner, “Rat and Blade,” a novella for Bordertown, a shared-world urban fantasy series for teens

  • Paintings, collages, prints and cards, including a “bunny girls” coloring book

In May 2016, Terri gave the fourth annual Tolkien lecture at Oxford, titled “Tolkien’s Long Shadow: Reflections on Fantasy Literature in the Post-Tolkien Era.”

Where She Is Now: From Terri’s Patreon Overview page: “I live in a small village on Dartmoor surrounded by mythic artists and sheep. I work from The Bumblehill Studio, my faithful hound usually curled up beside me, and I write a daily blog about myth, art, and nature, called Myth & Moor.”

 

Where Are They Now: 2009 Guests of Honor

This fall will mark our tenth year of Sirens. With our conference theme of reunion, it’s the perfect chance to reflect on past conferences and revisit some old friends. In this series, we check in with our past Guests of Honor to see what they’ve been up to these days. If you attended Sirens that year, please share with us your memories of 2009 in the comments or on social media, and take a stroll with us down memory lane!

In 2009, our theme was warriors, and our inaugural Guests of Honor were Tamora Pierce, Kristin Cashore, and Sherwood Smith.

Tamora Pierce

Tamora PierceTempests and Slaughter

Tamora’s most recent publication is Tempests and Slaughter, the first book in the long-anticipated Numair Chronicles, which came out in February 2018. The series follows the early life of the Tortall Universe’s most powerful mage, Arram Draper, in his early days as a student, before he grows into Numair Salmalin and partner of wildmage Veralidaine Sarrarsri. Tempests and Slaughter hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and Tamora completed a multi-city book tour a few months ago—you can read her recap post here.

For longtime fans of the Tortall Universe, Tortall: A Spy’s Guide, a full-color, behind-the-scenes collectible guide, came out in October 2017.

Where She Is Now: Hard at work on the second book of the Numair series, for which three books are planned. “She has some ideas for her next series—and there will be a next series!—but for the time being, there are no other projects planned and scheduled after the Numair Chronicles.

Upcoming Public Appearances: Guest at Denver Comic-Con 2018

 

Kristin Cashore

Kristin CashoreJane, Unlimited

Kristin’s latest book, Jane, Unlimited, came out in September 2017 to awe, acclaim, and brain-twisting. Described as “a kaleidoscopic novel about grief, adventure, storytelling, and finding yourself in a world of seemingly infinite choices,” Jane, Unlimited made the list of the Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YALSA) 2018 Best Fiction for Young Adults, was an Indie Next Top Ten Pick, and hit both the New York Times Bestseller List and the Indiebound Bestseller List.

Jane, Unlimited’s newly re-jacketed paperback will come out on July 10, 2018.

Where She Is Now: Releasing a tenth anniversary edition of Graceling this September. In October, she’s going to be sailing on a tall ship in the Arctic Circle with other artists: “It’s a two-week artist residency organized by an organization called The Arctic Circle which sends artists into that vulnerable environment in the hopes that it will influence their art, which will then influence consumers to are about saving the environment.”

 

Sherwood Smith

Sherwood SmithA Sword Named Truth

After a few postponements, Sherwood’s first book in a new series, A Sword Named Truth, has a tentative release date of December 8, 2018. For longtime fans of Sartorias-deles, the world in which the Inda and Crown Duel books are set (as well as Banner of the Damned), this series marks a major new arc, in which “young rulers must cooperate to protect their world from the magical threat of the mysterious kingdom of Norsunder.

Also, Traitor, the fourth and last of The Change series co-written with Rachel Manija Brown, will come out this year.

For fans of Sherwood’s Wren series, you’ll be pleased to discover that an omnibus edition (including the long-awaited Wren Journeymage) is available as an ebook.

Where She Is Now: Planning to independently publish The Time of Daughters, set 100 years after Inda, this summer. It deals with “the long shadow cast by Inda & Co. And power. And gender.

Upcoming Public Appearances: Instructor at Viable Paradise 2018

 

Presented by Narrate Conferences, Inc.

 

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