What does one call these things? Is this a 2019 award eligibility post, since it’s the stuff I published in 2019? Is it a 2020 eligibility post, since the awards come out in 2020? Am I, possibly, a writer who has forgotten what words are?

Don’t answer that last one.

My major work in 2019 was Sisters of the Vast Black from Tor.com Publishing. It fits snugly into the novella category at 35,000 words (not a novel! Alas, I am still working on one of those).

Sisters is very special to me. It is the longest project I have ever finished, writing it worked out some of my complicated feelings on Catholicism, and most importantly, I stuffed it full of my favorite tropes: living spaceships, embedded letters, and anxious lesbians. It also has all of the following to pique your interest:

  • Epidemiology
  • A lot of thought about the mating patterns of giant space slugs
  • Long-buried secrets coming to light
  • The creeping hand of capitalism
  • A hot engineer
  • The hard point where ethics conflict with duty

As of this post, Sisters is over half-off on Amazon, and I’d be honored if you picked up a copy or considered it for your award ballots this year.

Years ago, Old Earth sent forth sisters and brothers into the vast dark of the prodigal colonies armed only with crucifixes and iron faith. Now, the sisters of the Order of Saint Rita are on an interstellar mission of mercy aboard Our Lady of Impossible Constellations, a living, breathing ship which seems determined to develop a will of its own.

When the order receives a distress call from a newly-formed colony, the sisters discover that the bodies and souls in their care—and that of the galactic diaspora—are in danger. And not from void beyond, but from the nascent Central Governance and the Church itself.