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Mike Reeves-McMillan
Attended Massey University
Lives in Auckland
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Mike Reeves-McMillan

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OK, that's that revision pass done. Major restructuring on Beastheads is complete. Three more scenes to write to reinforce some themes and character arcs, and then back to the editor for Pass 2.
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Mike Reeves-McMillan

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We've started letting them onto the deck, which they love. So many fascinating things!

Dash climbed down the big tree the other day and was in front of the house calling out, "Help! Help! I don't know how to get back!" That gives us confidence that once we start letting them go out the cat door (when Dot is spayed and microchipped) they won't go far. 
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They are fine-looking cats, no question. 
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Mike Reeves-McMillan

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Brandon Sanderson is a smart, classy guy.
The Wheel of Time, as a whole, has been nominated for a Hugo Award for best novel. I am thrilled, honored, and excited—and when Harriet heard the news, she lit up as I’ve never seen her do before. Thank you.

Congratulations to all of the other nominees! I have a few things I’d like to say about this nomination. First, I’d like to speak to Wheel of Time fans themselves. Secondly, I’d like to speak to those who are criticizing the nomination.

To The Wheel of Time Fans

Thank you for your enthusiasm. I’m certain that Robert Jordan is smiling at you right now. However, I do want to reiterate what I said earlier when I got wind that the WoT fandom was considering a campaign to get the Wheel of Time nominated: be careful. Please don’t let the Hugo Awards become a shoving match between fandoms.

“But Brandon,” you might say, “everyone says the Hugo Awards are a popularity contest. Shouldn’t we prove how popular Robert Jordan is?”

Well, yes and no. The Hugo Awards are a popularity contest—but they should be a fiction popularity contest, not an author popularity contest. The Hugo Awards were founded in the 1950s by dedicated sf/f fans who saw mainstream literary awards ignoring science fiction and fantasy. This award was founded to combat that, to show off the brightest and best fiction the genres had to offer. It was done in an era long before the internet, and Worldcon attendees were chosen to be the voters because of their dedication to the genre as a whole.

When I first started voting for the Hugos many years ago, a long-time fan impressed upon me the importance of my responsibility. Each work must be judged independently of its author, and must be judged against the competition in its category. We, as fans, use this award to proclaim to the world the fiction we are proudest of.

I love the Hugo Awards. They tend to run a great balance, consistently recognizing fiction that is both popular and thought-provoking. They have a grand tradition, and are one of the things that make me proud to be a member of science fiction fandom.

We want you to vote. We want you to be part of the process. But let me speak frankly to you: if you don’t intend to read and investigate the other nominees and participate in a wide variety of categories, you are doing the awards a disservice. I would rather have the Wheel of Time not win than have it be given an award as part of a thoughtless shoving match.

In this, I wish to hold up George R. R. Martin as an exemplar. He wants dearly to someday win a Hugo for best novel, a distinction that has eluded him. I’ve heard him speak about it. The thing is, he could win the award in a heartbeat; he has by far the biggest fanbase in our community. If he asked them each to pay for a Worldcon supporting membership and vote only for him, he’d win by a landslide.

He’s never done that because he knows that this award has only as much integrity as we give it. So long as you are willing to vote superior works by other authors above works by your favorite authors, you are doing the award justice.

Now, I firmly believe that the Wheel of Time is worthy of a Hugo Award. Don’t let my strong words suggest otherwise to you. But I can’t say for certain what I will vote for until I read the other nominated works, consider the category with an open mind, and make my decision. I also intend to continue being part of these awards for many, many years, rather than joining only once to vote on a single contest.

I sincerely request you do the same. Join with us, participate, and investigate all of the nominees in all of the categories. Then vote for the works you think are the best of the nominations. It is only by holding ourselves accountable as honest and responsible voters that we will maintain the prestige of this award.

To Science Fiction and Fantasy Fandom as a Whole

I have spent some time reading responses to the Hugo nominations, and wanted to reach out to you. I find it unfortunate that some of you, including prominent voices in fandom, are responding with anger or frustration about the Wheel of Time nomination. Some don’t like a series being nominated for the novel Hugo. Some don’t like WoT fandom reaching in and participating in the award. And others downright dislike the Wheel of Time as a work of art.

I would like to address some of these concerns that I see recurring in the discussions.

On the Wheel of Time Being Nominated as a Single Novel

On the first point, I wish to emphasize that the Hugo rules were intentionally designed to allow works like this to be nominated. Serials are such a part of our collective culture in sf fandom, and I promise you that the Wheel of Time is indeed a serial. It focuses on a single group of characters, a single plot and narrative, and the books each pick up exactly where the previous one left off. Yes, it took a long time to complete. Yes, it is large. However, Robert Jordan always considered—and spoke of—the Wheel of Time as a single story. The length of time it took to write that story is irrelevant as far as the Hugos are concerned.

A Game of Thrones season could be nominated collectively as a single entry into the dramatic presentation category. Connie Willis’s Blackout/All Clear could be nominated as a single work, though broken into two volumes. Indeed, this is similar to how Dragonflight and Ender’s Game could both garner short fiction nominations for their original forms, then be nominated for best novel in a later year once the story was expanded.

The Wheel of Time is eligible. These are your awards, however, and if this aspect of them is bothersome to you it’s quite possible to get this changed by participating in Worldcon and the Hugo Awards as a whole, making your voice known and advocating a revision. Your passion, therefore, should be directed at making that happen, rather than against the work that was nominated.

Attend Worldcon. Go to the WSFS Business Meeting. Blog about it. Bring your friends. We need people involved at this level of fandom.

On Wheel of Time Fandom

This brings us to the second two points, which I feel are the more important ones in most of these discussions. In regard to Wheel of Time fans participating, I want to tell wider fandom that I vouch for these fans. I offered words of caution to them above because I think they need reminders as they are new to core sf/f fandom, but I feel that you need to know that Wheel of Time fans are our people.

They have organized much as the fans back in the 1930s did, holding conventions and starting fanzines/websites. They attend Worldcons and their local literary conventions, though many of them have only started doing so in the last four or five years as they’ve realized the richness and scope of established fandom.

I charge you: do not reject their enthusiasm. I spoke honestly with them, and I wish to speak honestly with you. I have yet to attend a Worldcon where someone—either on panels or at the parties—didn’t ask what could be done to bring new blood into our fannish community. For years, we have worried about what to do. Now, as fandoms like that dedicated to the Wheel of Time have begun to discover both Worldcon and the Hugos, I feel we stand at an important confluence.

Welcome the Wheel of Time fans into our community. Welcome the next group of fans in too. Give whatever it is they’re passionate about a try. You might like it, and if not, you’ll still probably like them.

On the Wheel of Time as Literature

I understand that you may not personally enjoy the Wheel of Time. There is nothing wrong with that—it is the nature of art that some will disdain what others love. However, as I’ve read bloggers and fannish personalities speaking of a Wheel of Time nomination, some have unfortunately called it “shameful” or “embarrassing.” Worse, some of them have attacked the fanbase, calling into question its intelligence for daring to nominate the Wheel of Time—in essence, for daring to have different taste from the blogger posting.

You can’t beg people to come and participate in fandom, then tell them not to vote on your awards because you don’t like their preference in books. Indeed, attacking the fans of a work rather than criticizing the work itself is crossing a very big, and important, line.

For many years, we in fandom have had to suffer these kinds of dismissive, hurtful, and destructive attitudes from those who attack us because we like science fiction. Do not side with the bullies. Do not hold your own opinion in such high regard that you dismiss all others.

It is not shameful to like the Wheel of Time. No more than it should be shameful to be the kid who read Dune in middle school while others snickered. We should never have to feel embarrassed for honestly expressing our taste in fiction. No more than we should have to feel embarrassed to be the one at work who attends an sf con, much to the amusement of your co-workers.

If you have said these kinds of things about the Wheel of Time or its fandom in the past few days, I challenge you to take a long, hard look at your tone and what you’re implying. Ask yourself if you really want to belong to a world where only one kind of opinion is valid, where only your taste is acceptable.

Because in my experience, these are the sorts of attitudes that science fiction and fantasy fiction have spent their history combatting. So if you don’t think The Wheel of Time should win, vote for something else. But while you’re doing it, be kind. Treat these fans the way you want to be treated as a fan—and as a human being.

Brandon Sanderson
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+Mike Reeves-McMillan wrote: "Brandon Sanderson is a smart, classy guy."

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If it wasn't an 18-hour time difference I'd probably do this. Sharing for anyone else who might be interested.
I'm teaching a short story intensive from August 29-31. Registration opens Sunday

REGISTRATION OPENS on Sunday, April 27th at noon Central. Think you never have time to write? Think again. I wrote my first Hugo-nominated short story “Evil Robot Monkey” in ninety minutes. If you have ninety minutes, you can have a story — all it takes…
REGISTRATION OPENS on Sunday, April 27th at noon Central. Think you never have time to write? Think again. I wrote my first Hugo-nominated short story “Evil Robot Monkey” in ninety minutes. If you have ninety minutes, you can have a story — all it takes is understanding how to make every word work double-time. In this workshop, …
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Mike Reeves-McMillan

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So, if you, like me, have a humorous fantasy story that was turned down by Unidentified Funny Objects, there's another anthology seeking submissions. 
Alternate Hilarities an anthology of humorous stories in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres   Edited by Giovanni Valentino   Stories by Isabel Sterling - Day Al-Mohamed - Brenda Anderson - Jason Bougger - G...
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Found using the Submission Grinder (, which in turn was recommended to me by +Darusha Wehm. Credit where it's due. 
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Have him in circles
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Mike Reeves-McMillan

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Yay! One of the key scenes of Beastheads is now rewritten. I had to disentangle bits of two once widely-separated chapters and bring them together as one. I find that kind of thing very satisfying.
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I swear, good betas will make or break a project.
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Mike Reeves-McMillan

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Interesting to see how out-of-date this 17-year-old piece is. Depending on the markets you submit to, following this advice will get you rejected, while not following parts of it will get you published to great acclaim. There are still markets, though, where it's good advice.
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The thing I like most about the Grinder is that when I record a rejection for a story, it immediately gives me the option to search for another market for it, which is exactly what you should do when a story is rejected.

It has a good stats page, too. So far this year: 13 submissions, 7 form rejections, 3 personalised rejections, 3 stories currently out on submission. 

In other news, I now need to write something else to send to Strange Horizons, because after that encouraging personalised rejection three submissions back, I surely must eventually be able to break in there.

In other other news, I see Sword and Sorceress is currently taking submissions. Hmmm. 

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Oh, definitely, in the rare case where that's what it comes with. Even when I get a form rejection, I look the story over and tweak it, but I don't stick it in a drawer, is my point. I keep it circulating.
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This made me prick up my ears. 

While I don't do much self-promotion on G+, because that's not what it's for, I will for sure do self-promotion in venues which invite it, because that's what they're for.

People who read and enjoy my reviews: is there a particular review of mine (published this year) that you think would fit in this collection?

If you need a memory jogger, this year's reviews are here: (sorry, edited to provide the right link).
Blog and Editing Shaun:

I'm one of the editors for the 2014 edition of Speculative Fiction, an anthology of essays, reviews, and so on from the online sf/f community.  Since the volume deals exclusively with stuff published in 2014, we're taking suggests via a form on the announcement post.  Go on, suggest some stuff!
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Enough messing about. To the Bat-Scrivener!

This book isn't going to revise itself.
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Have him in circles
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  • Massey University
    Health Science, 2008 - 2010
  • University of Auckland
    English, 1986 - 1989
  • Waitakere College
    1981 - 1985
  • Swanson Primary School
    1973 - 1980
  • Auckland University of Technology
    Celebrant Studies, 2005 - 2006
Basic Information
Other names
Michael McMillan
Novelist, blogger, book reviewer
I write a steampunk-fantasy series about heroic civil servants called The Gryphon Clerks. I do a lot of book reviewing, too. I'm harsh but (I hope) constructive. Currently not accepting review requests.
I'll probably only circle you back if you engage me in conversation, and if you either mostly write about writing or something else I find interesting, or you're an unusually interesting and insightful person. Exception: I don't circle erotica writers, just because of what might show up in my stream. Nothing personal.
Bragging rights
While working for a certain notorious NZ publisher in my freelance editing days, I got out with all the money owed to me (if you knew NZ publishing up to the late 90s you'd know who I mean, and be impressed).
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