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Writing News: Sales and Nominations

writing, Aurora Awards, speculative fiction, poetry, fantasy

Creative Commons: Drew Coffman, flickr

The Chizine Reading Series will host a reading of the Friends of Merril shortlisted contestants in June. This is in Toronto and while I hope to be there in the fall for the World Fantasy Convention, I won’t be attending this reading. Maybe they can skype us in. My story, “The Ties That Bind” was one of nine shortlisted but not a winner. And speaking of being shortlisted.

I waited to put this out so that it coincided with the official notice for the Aurora Awards. For the second year, I have made it onto the nominating ballot in the poetry category. My poem, “A Good Catch” (still up at Polu Texni) is eligible to win the award. I have a one in five chance. Last year I was the only west coast poet, with the rest being in Toronto and all writers I know. And while I don’t know where Heather Dale lives, I am up against some of the same nominees: Carolyn Clink, Sandra Kasturi and Helen Marshall. And besides Heather, we’re all part of ChiZine Publications. Yes, it is a small world. And ChiZine Publications has done well in the novel category with four of six authors being published by CZP. Voting begins April 16 and goes to July 23. If you’re Canadian and have paid the $10 registration, you can vote.

On top of that I’ve just signed contracts for two stories, which I sold on April 1 & 2. If only all months (and days) were like this. “The Brown Woman” will be in the inaugural issue of Third Flatiron Publishing‘s e-anthology, due out in June with a theme of environmental disaster. This might be the first full-on e-reader style story that I’ve sold. That story has undergone many rewrites and point of view switches.

The story, “The Book with No End” will be out in Bibliotheca Fantastica, an anthology about magical books. Dagan Bookswill put

writing, anthologies, speculative fiction, books, fantasy, poetry, SF, Aurora Awards

Creative Commons: Eric Guiomar

this out sometime this summer. This story is about power and skin. In fact, when I look at many of my stories, they involve some aspect of skin. Even the Brown Woman involves the changing of a skin. It seems to be a theme I keep exploring. After all, skin is one of the largest organs in the body. Yes, it is an organ and considering the area it covers it’s very versatile in holding us together, maintaining our temperature and protecting us from environmental intrusions.

While it’s great to have several stories coming out, I’m by no means getting rich. That’s a work in progress indeed. Below is the full list of the Aurora nominees.

BEST NOVEL – ENGLISH

Enter Night by Michael Rowe, ChiZine Publications
Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism by David Nickle, ChiZine Publications
Napier’s Bones by Derryl Murphy, ChiZine Publications
The Pattern Scars by Caitlin Sweet, ChiZine Publications
Technicolor Ultra Mall by Ryan Oakley, EDGE
Wonder by Robert J. Sawyer, Penguin Canada

BEST SHORT FICTION – ENGLISH

“The Legend of Gluck” by Marie Bilodeau, When the Hero Comes Home, Dragon Moon
“The Needle’s Eye” by Suzanne Church, Chilling Tales: Evil Did I Dwell; Lewd Did I Live, EDGE
“One Horrible Day” by Randy McCharles, The 2nd Circle, The 10th Circle Project
“Turning It Off” by Susan Forest, Analog, December
“To Live and Die in Gibbontown” by Derek Künsken, Asimov’s, October/November

BEST POEM / SONG – ENGLISH

“A Good Catch” by Colleen Anderson, Polu Texni, April
“Ode to the Mongolian Death Worm” by Sandra Kasturi, ChiZine, Supergod Mega-Issue, Volume 47
“Skeleton Leaves” by Helen Marshall, Kelp Queen Press
“Skeleton Woman” by Heather Dale, Fairytale CD
“Zombie Bees of Winnipeg” by Carolyn Clink, ChiZine, Supergod Mega-Issue, Volume 47

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL – ENGLISH

Goblins, webcomic, created by Tarol Hunt
Imagination Manifesto, Book 2 by GMB Chomichuk, James Rewucki and John Toone, Alchemical Press
Weregeek, webcomic, created by Alina Pete

BEST RELATED WORK – ENGLISH

Fairytale, CD by Heather Dale, CD Baby
The First Circle: Volume One of the Tenth Circle Project, edited by Eileen Bell and Ryan McFadden
Neo-Opsis, edited by Karl Johanson
On Spec, published by the Copper Pig Writers’ Society
Tesseracts Fifteen: A Case of Quite Curious Tales, edited by Julie Czerneda and Susan MacGregor, EDGE

BEST ARTIST (PROFESSIONAL AND AMATEUR NOMINATIONS)

(An example of each artist’s work is listed below but they are to be judged on the body
of work they have produced in the award year)

Janice Blaine, “Cat in Space”, Cover art for Neo-Opsis, Issue 20
Costi Gurgu, cover art for Outer Diverse, Starfire
Erik Mohr, cover art for ChiZine Publications
Dan O’Driscoll, “Deep Blue Seven”, cover art for On Spec magazine, Summer issue
Martin Springett, Interior art for The Pattern Scars, ChiZine

Fan/Volunteer Award Nominations

BEST FAN PUBLICATION

BCSFAzine, edited by Felicity Walker
Bourbon and Eggnog by Eileen Bell, Ryan McFadden, Billie Milholland and Randy McCharles, 10th Circle Project
In Places Between: The Robin Herrington Memorial Short Story Contest book, edited by Reneé Bennett
Sol Rising newsmagazine, edited by Michael Matheson
Space Cadet, edited by R. Graeme Cameron

BEST FAN FILK

Stone Dragons (Tom and Sue Jeffers), concert at FilKONtario
Phil Mills, Body of Song-Writing Work including FAWM and 50/90
Cindy Turner, Interfilk concert at OVFF

BEST FAN ORGANIZATIONAL

Andrew Gurudata, chair of the Constellation Awards committee
Peter Halasz, administrator of the Sunburst Awards
Helen Marshall and Sandra Kasturi, chairs of the Chiaroscuro Reading Series (Toronto)
Randy McCharles, chair of When Words Collide (Calgary)
Alex von Thorn, chair of SFContario 2 (Toronto)
Rose Wilson, for organizing the Art Show at V-Con (Vancouver)

BEST FAN OTHER

Lloyd Penney, letters of comment
Peter Watts, “Reality: The Ultimate Mythology” lecture, Toronto SpecFic Colloquium
Taral Wayne, Canadian Fanzine Fanac Awards art

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Writing: Horror Library

Today, another wee chat about writing and reviews. Horror Library Vol. IV has had fewer reviews (and maybe I’ve post this already) than Evolve but there are still many who could review or post yet. Since both of these anthologies are on the long list for a Stoker award I figured I’d post some of the reviews here. My story has not been mentioned very much in the Horror Library volume either. Wah! So it goes for the little monkey.

http://www.paperbackhorror.com/2010/12/horror-library-volume-4-ed-by-rj.html

http://hellnotes.com/horror-library-volume-4-book-review did say:


Horror Library Vol. IV

Mental metamorphosis and mutation of the mundane are themes in “I Am Vision, I Am Death” by Erik Williams, and Colleen Anderson’s “Exegesis of The Insecta Apocrypha.” In the Williams story, dreams/visions blur with the seemingly substantive. Perception of identity is fragile and dicey. Persona pales when a mysterious hitchhiker catapults the central character into a twilight zone of recognition and acceptance. The final tale in the book belongs to Anderson: It is a doozy. Insects rule in this yarn. They are the protagonist’s objects of focus and desire. Obsession is taken to horrific heights, as the author weaves and

buzzes; bites and burrows; getting firmly under the skin.

http://www.zone-sf.com/wordworks/horlibv4.html

http://shroudmagazinebookreviews.blogspot.com/2011/01/horror-library-vol-4.html

For Evolve there are so many reviews that the central site to find most of them is here: http://www.vampires-evolve.com/NEWS_Page.html There are also many interviews with Nancy Kilpatrick on the same site. It may not list every review but has a goodly number and a few I hadn’t see before.Black Static’s magazine says:

Evolve

This is a book however in which the good outnumber the indifferent by a considerable margin, with a satisfying amount of stories that put moral dilemmas at their centre. ‘An Ember Amongst the Fallen’ by Colleen Anderson is one of the highlights of the collection. The story is set in a world of vampires, where humans are cattle and their masters discuss if they are capable of intelligent thought and feeling, and the worst crime is for a vampire to have sex with one of the beasts. It’s a clever reversal of traditional stereotypes, reminiscent in a way of Planet of the Apes, with a subtext about racism and the story brutal enough in places to horrify, both on the visceral level and intellectually.

Montreals Rover Arts http://roverarts.com/2010/05/stretching-the-vampiric-envelope/said:

In “An Ember Amongst The Fallen,” Colleen Anderson gives the reader an all-too-visual/tactile glimpse at a world where humans are used as cattle for food and blood – and the results when the metaphoric apartheid barriers are crossed.

And one more sample from A Novel Approach where he said:

An Ember Amongst the Fallen by Colleen Anderson was another troubling, yet clever story. In this version of reality, humans are relegated to the status of cattle and are harvested as such. It is ever so slightly reminiscent of Planet of the Apes in the role reversal it applies to humans as animals. If you are squeamish, you will find this story very disturbing. It was sometimes difficult to read but played interestingly to how we view our food.

So if you want to vote for Evolve or Horror Library IV or even me in the case of the Auroras http://www.prix-aurora-awards.ca/wordpress/, then I suggest reading these very good volumes (and not just because I’m in them. Writers and other artists do want to be known for their art. We monkeys of all sizes do have some vanity. All humans do.

And if you want to give input on the new cover of Evolve II then you can go to this site and vote. http://vampchix.blogspot.com/2011/02/which-appeals-more.html The two covers are called Banshee for the more blue colored one and Embrace for the darker cover. I’m not in the second volume because I didn’t submit anything. Just ran out of time with other projects.

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Writing: Nominations and Shortlists

On one of my writers’ lists we’ve been discussing when you should list that you’ve been nominated, shortlisted, longlisted or noted in various writing awards and venues. There are many different types of writing awards/honors. For some, the publisher or the writer might send in a copy of their story/novel/poem to be considered for an award. Sometimes there is a submission/registration fee.

Most literary magazines have contests and most of those have an entry fee. An author might win first, second or third place or receive an honorable mention. An award might call for nominations from a select membership or from readers (or publishers) and this could be quite open. Therefore I could list that my book had been nominated for an Aurora award (one of Canada’s speculative fiction awards voted on by readers) and it would mean that someone, including me, may have nominated the book. However, the pieces need so many nominations to make it to the shortlist. If I was shortlisted, in this case, I could say I was shortlisted or nominated for an Aurora.

In another case, my story might be shortlisted but in that version I may have submitted my story for consideration. A panel of judges or readers would then sort through and narrow the selection to a few. It might be the same judges or different ones, or the readership/members who then vote on a select few pieces and the winner is then decide. Stories and fiction for the World Fantasy Awards go through a selection process that uses jury and members. Past or current members of the World Fantasy convention (there is a set number of years that you can vote if you don’t currently attend) can nominate works. There are five spots in the final selection process. Two are selected from the member nominations and three from the jury. The judges, a panel of professional writers and editors, then make their selection. Whether they arm wrestle, discuss or just vote, I’m not sure.

The point is that there are numerous types of awards but an author who lists themselves as being shortlisted or nominated when all they did was submit their work for consideration certainly does not count as an accolade. It was pointed out that one person had listed him/herself as being nominated for a Pulitzer when in fact all that they’d done was submit copies of the book with the registration fee. That’s not only lying but puts a poor light on those who are actually shortlisted if every two-penny author feels they can say the same thing. It’s the same as if a massage therapist claimed to be a neurologist. Not the same thing at all.

There are a few awards out there or “Best of” collections where the editors tend to scan everything published. If there are small or obscure presses it behooves the publisher and the author to let the editors know. Recognition of award winners and nominees can be helpful to a writer’s career and to the publisher.

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Writing: British Fantasy Awards & Stuff

I’m listing the recent announcement of shortlisted works for the British Fantasy Awards. I am not nominated but the anthology Cone Zero that my story “The Fathomless World” is in, has been. But then, none of the stories from the anthology have been nominated so I wonder if that bodes ill for the anthology winning the award.

Of course, for me it would have been better if my story was nominate but that’s okay. And it’s too bad that some of the reviews really just recapped the book and my story didn’t make much of a splash. Pooh. I liked it but perhaps the most informative review was a very late, after the fact one, where the reviewer decided to leave his notes as haiku, partly because it was so late. The one which I’m sure was for “The Fathomless World” said something like, “more style than substance.”  That would be the middle line of the haiku if you count “style as a two-syllable word.

So it goes. I thought it had substance but I also did it in a mythic style. I continue to send works out and work on new ones. Unfortunately the whole economic crisis has affected story markets to the point that I’m thinking I should just be working on my novel and skip the stories right now. For speculative fiction, whether horror, fantasy, science fiction or other, there are not a lot of markets to submit to right now. Some have gone the way of the dodo, while the majority of the pro markets (those that pay five cents a word or more) are closed to submissions or on hiatus. A sad state indeed.

And it’s always been a sad state that the pay for speculative fiction has been so low. Definitely not a make-a-living type of wage. Literary markets as a whole tend to pay somewhat better but many of them also pay the equivalent of $100 a story, which many anthologies do. Some literary markets pay anywhere from $15-40 a printed page, which again could work out to the same amount.

Why do we write then? For fame? Partly, though that’s a long hard road. Hardly for fortune. And maybe most of all, because we love words and our minds just keep filling with them and we want to tell a story and share in the mysteries of what-if. And not onto the shortlisted works for the British Fantasy Award.

BEST ANTHOLOGY

    Cone Zero(DF Lewis) Megazanthus Press
    Myth-Understandings (Ian Whates) Newcon Press
    Subtle Edens (Allen Ashley) Elastic Press
    The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 19 (Stephen Jones) Constable & Robinson
    The Second Humdrumming Book of Horror(Ian Alexander Martin) Humdrumming
    We Fade To Grey(Gary McMahon) Pendragon Press

BEST NOVEL (THE AUGUST DERLETH FANTASY AWARD)

    Memoirs of a Master Forger(William Heaney/Graham Joyce) Gollancz
    Midnight Man (Simon Clark) Severn House
    Rain Dogs(Gary McMahon) Humdrumming
    The Graveyard Book(Neil Gaiman) Bloomsbury
    The Victoria Vanishes (Christopher Fowler) Little Brown
    Thieving Fear (Ramsey Campbell) PS Publishing

THE PS PUBLISHING BEST SMALL PRESS AWARD

    Elastic Press (Andrew Hook)
    Newcon Press (Ian Whates)
    Pendragon Press (Chris Teague)
    Screaming Dreams (Steve Upham)
    TTA Press (Andy Cox)

BEST COLLECTION

    Bull Running for Girls (Allyson Bird) Screaming Dreams
    Glyphotech(Mark Samuels) PS Publishing
    How To Make Monsters(Gary McMahon) Morrigan Books
    Islington Crocodiles(Paul Meloy) TTA Press
    Just After Sunset(Stephen King) Hodder & Stoughton

BEST NOVELLA

    “Cold Stone Calling” (Simon Clark) Tasmaniac Publications
    “Gunpowder” (Joe Hill) PS Publishing
    “Heads” (Gary McMahon) We Fade To Grey, Ed. Gary McMahon – Pendragon Press
    “The Narrows” (Simon Bestwick) We Fade To Grey, Ed. Gary McMahon – Pendragon Press
    “The Reach of Children” (Tim Lebbon) Humdrumming

BEST SHORT FICTION

    “All Mouth” (Paul Meloy) Black Static 6, Ed. Andy Cox – TTA Press
    “Do You See” (Sarah Pinborough) Myth-Understandings, Ed. Ian Whates – Newcon Press
    “N” (Stephen King) Just After Sunset – Hodder & Stoughton
    “Pinholes in Black Muslin” (Simon Strantzas) The Second Humdrumming Book of Horror, Ed. Ian Alexander Martin – Humdrumming
    “The Caul Bearer” (Allyson Bird) Bull Running For Girls – Screaming Dreams
    “The Tobacconist’s Concession” (John Travis) The Second Humdrumming Book of Horror, Ed. Ian Alexander Martin – Humdrumming
    “The Vague” (Paul Meloy) Islington Crocodiles, TTA Press
    “Winter Journey” (Joel Lane) Black Static 5, Ed. Andy Cox – TTA Press

BEST COMIC/GRAPHIC NOVEL

    30 Days of Night: Beyond Barrow(Steve Niles/Bill Sienkiewicz) IDW Publishing
    All-Star Superman(Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely) DC Comics
    Buffy Season Eight Vol. 3: Wolves at the Gate(Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard/ Georges Jeanty) Dark Horse Comics
    Comic Book Tattoo Tales Inspired by Tori Amos(Ed, Rantz A. Hoseley & Tori Amos/ Various) Image Comics
    Hellblazer: Fear Machine (Jamie Delano) Vertigo
    Hellblazer: The Laughing Magician(Andy Diggle/Leonardo Manco & Daniel Zezelj) Vertigo
    Locke and Key(Joe Hill/Gabriel Rodriguez) IDW Publishing
    The Girly Comic Book 1 (Ed, Selina Lock) Factor Fiction
    The New Avengers: Illuminati(Brian Bendis & Brian Reed/Jim Cheung) Marvel Comics

BEST ARTIST

    Dave McKean (The Graveyard Book) Bloomsbury
    Edward Miller (Vault of Deeds) PS Publishing
    Lee Thompson (The Land at the End of the Working Day) Humdrumming
    Les Edwards (Various)
    Vincent Chong (Various)

BEST NON-FICTION

    Basil Copper: A Life in Books (Basil Copper, Ed, Stephen Jones) PS Publishing
    Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale (Russell T. Davies and Benjamin Cook) BBC Books
    journal.neilgaiman.com (Neil Gaiman)
    Mutant Popcorn(Nick Lowe) Interzone – TTA Press
    What Is It We Do When We Read Science Fiction(Paul Kincaid) Beccon Publications

BEST MAGAZINE

    Black Static(Andy Cox) TTA Press
    Interzone(Andy Cox et. al.) TTA Press
    Midnight Street(Trevor Denyer)
    Postscripts(Peter Crowther & Nick Gevers) PS Publishing
    SFX (Dave Bradley) Future Publishing Limited

BEST TELEVISON

    Battlestar Galactica (NBC)
    Dead Set(Zeppotron/Channel 4)
    Dexter (Clyde Phillips Productions)
    Doctor Who (BBC Wales)
    Supernatural (Warner Bros TV)

BEST FILM

    Cloverfield (Matt Reeves)
    Iron Man(Jon Favreau)
    The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan)
    The Mist(Frank Darabont)
    The Orphanage(Juan Antonio Bayona)
    (With thanks to SFWA for supplying the list.)

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Writing: Shirley Jackson Lottery

Shirley Jackson once wrote a story that gained all sorts of fame, “The Lottery” as well as The Haunting of Hill House and other books.  Well, now there is an actual lottery related to this author and for raising money for the awards, given to stories with a horror, psychological suspense or dark fantasy aspect.  http://www.shirleyjacksonawards.org/  There is about one more week to buy tickets for this.  I’ve bought some, hoping to get a manuscript critique. We always need outside feedback. Details are below.

Online “Lottery” to Benefit the Shirley Jackson Awards Takes place from February 9 through February 23, 2009“Lottery” tickets are $1 each and can be purchased from: http://www.shirleyjacksonawards.org/store/

Partial List of Donations to be Awarded

• From Ash-Tree Press: Collections of Sheridan Le Fanu: Mr. Justice Harbottle; The Haunted Baronet; Schalkin the Painter.
• From Laird Barron: A signed/personalized copy of his award winning short story collection, The Imago Sequence (Nightshade), plus an original piece of short fiction, in a separate, unbound manuscript.
• From Elizabeth Bear: Personally inscribed copy of The Chains That You Refuse, an out of print collection of short stories
• From James Blaylock: Signed copy (by James Blaylock and Tim Powers) of The Devils in the Details (Subterranean Press)
• From Douglas Clegg: Signed copy of the Vampyricon trilogy
• From Jeffrey Ford: Keyboard used to write several novels & collections, signed by Jeffrey Ford, to the winner.
• From Neil Gaiman: Keyboard, signed by Neil Gaiman, to the winner.
• From Brian Keene: Signed galley for Scratch, his forthcoming novel
• From Nightshade Books: Limited edition of Tim Lebbon’s Light and other tales of Ruin
• From Stewart O’Nan: Signed copy of unproduced screenplay, POE
• From Paul Riddell: Carnivorous plant terrarium
• From Peter Straub: A reading copy of The Skylark, Part 1, read at ICFA in Orlando 3/2008.
• Tuckerizations by Ekaterina Sedia, Laura Anne Gilman, Nick Mamatas
• Manuscript/Proposal critiques from John Douglas, Alice Turner, Beth Flesicher, Helen Atsma, and Stephen Barbara

“Lottery” Rules

Tickets will be on sale from February 9th through February 23rd, midnight, Eastern Daylight Time. The lottery will be held on February 23rd at midnight. Items will be raffled off individually. Persons may purchase as many tickets per item as desired. For example, a person may purchase ten tickets for the “ITEM” and fifty tickets for “ITEM 2.” Each ticket purchase increases your chances of winning. For example, if you purchase five tickets of the “ITEM 3” and a total of ten tickets for that item have been sold, your odds of winning are 5 out of 10.

For each item, one winner will be chosen using a computerized random number generator. The winning names and prizes will be announced on the Shirley Jackson Awards website. The donating party will mail or deliver the prize to the lucky winner.

All proceeds from the lottery go to support the Shirley Jackson Awards.

Boston, MA (February 2009) – The Shirley Jackson Awards will hold a “lottery” to raise funds for the award. This on-line event takes place from February 9, 2009 through February 23, 2009. Persons buy as many “lottery tickets” as they want in hopes of being selected the winner for any of an array of donated prizes from well-known authors, editors, artists, and agents.

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World Fantasy Convention 2008: Calgary

World Fantasy took place in Calgary’s downtown at the Hyatt Regency this last weekend. Although the hotel had an exceptional collection of paintings and heavily focused ungulate statuary everywhere, it was still a very expensive hotel. I haven’t been in a hotel in the US in the past five years that charged for internet and $1 for local calls. Internet cost $14 a day, an exorbitant fee, and the hotel price was high even at convention rates. We found Calgary pricey for food but cheap for alcohol, if you were buying it in stores but comparably priced to Vancouver in the hotel.

The con hospitality suites were smaller than I have seen at other cons and the air conditioning (hardly needed in Oct. in Calgary) was on high for most of the convention. The dealers room and art show were also small. From one discussion with a Seattle antiquarian dealer, the hoops and paperwork besides shipping costs are prohibitive and discourage international exchanges. The dealers room did have an interesting array of publishers. Some of them were Redjack, Fitzhenry/Red Deer Press, Tachyon, Edge, Talebones/Fairwood Press, OnSpec, Electric Velocipede, SFC table of members’ work, Sunburst awards, used and new booksellers, and other dealers that I don’t remember off hand.

 The dealers room used to feature books and some jewellery. This is a professional convention of editors, publishers and authors (and some fans as well) and fan paraphernalia is not allowed. The books are still there but the jewellery is not. It seems the WFC board has put a stop to it after so many years because it is a “serious” convention. I let them know that quite a few of us “pros” enjoyed buying our piece of con jewellery over the years and that we missed it. Does serious mean no fun? After all, the jewellery could be juried to fit certain criteria as well.

As often is the case with these cons, I get to few or no panels. I went to one on Friday and then left halfway through to see another. Unfortunately both were clunky, with no real flow and very short to no answers by the pros on the panel.

Saturday, I missed half of one, which had George R.R. Martin, Tad Williams and Steve Erickson talking about killing significant characters in a novel. They may have been more focused in the first half but it wasn’t bad for flow and was funny. Tad Williams, one of the special guests and emcee for the World Fantasy awards is a very funny guy.

The other panel I attended was “Why do we write dark fiction?” with Graham Joyce, Nancy Kilpatrick and David Morrell. It was moderated well by Nancy and thought provoking. Very interesting panel that had many of us thinking of their childhoods and surreal experiences.

Because this is long, I’ll continue tomorrow with more on WFC.

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