I’ve been putting off this post for several days. Not only because I’ve had other stuff to do (like being very diligent about chipping away at a new book, and playing Mass Effect 2) but also because I strongly dislike putting myself forward.
But. Now that the nomination period for the 2011 Hugo Awards is now open, smart and organized people are making it easy for interested nominators/voters to get the information they seek via posts like this and this. Meanwhile, others have mentioned how nice it is to be able to reference such posts when considering this year’s Hugo nominations. Which means that a (very) few people have requested that I list my 2010 publications and their relevant categories.
So, below the cut, a (very) short list of my eligible 2010 publications. And then I take a shower.
- Still Life (A Sexagesimal Fairy Tale), Apex (October 2010)
- What Doctor Gottlieb Saw, Tor.com (June 2010)
(“Still Life” will be reprinted this spring in Jonathan Strahan’s The Best SF and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 5.)
[Addendum, 12 January 2010: According to Tor.com, “Doctor Gottlieb” is a short story. So I have no idea how these things are properly determined– the word count on the final manuscript was more than 7500 words, and I was paid according to the manuscript word count.]
And there you have it. I guess that wasn’t so bad. I still feel weird, but that’s par for the course. Maybe it’s something I ate.
The Hugo awards are given out by the World Science Fiction Society. Details about the nomination process, and many generally useful pieces of information about the Hugos, can be found here and here. Information about the categories can be found here. When trying to figure out the right category for “Still Life” and “Doctor Gottlieb” I used the word count on the final manuscript accepted by the acquiring editor. (In the hilariously unlikely event the proper categorization of these stories becomes an important issue, the Hugo people have been at this a very long time and know how to put things in the proper place.)
Maybe I should also point out that I am very much not eligible for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and that I am very much okay with this. Thank you to those who asked. My Campbell clock started ticking in early 2008 with the publication of my first Wild Cards story (“The Tin Man’s Lament”) in Inside Straight; the two-year window closed with last year’s ballot in spring of 2010. In spite of some extremely kind words by friends and patrons, I really didn’t have anything out that might have garnered any attention until the publication of my first novel this year (which debuted a bit after my Campbell window had expired).
But even if, say, the above publications had happened in 2009, I still wouldn’t have considered myself a worthy Campbell candidate. The Campbell can play out many ways, but primarily it rewards a rare trio of qualities: great skill, great talent, and a prolific bibliography. That last is really important, because the two-year eligibility window for the award means that a serious contender has to hit big– they have to follow up their first pro sale with several other pro sales in rapid succession, in order to raise their writerly profile enough to reliably appear on nominator/voter radar (rather than becoming the Campbell equivalent of a foo fighter). (Or they have to hit really big with a smaller number of absolutely first-rate pieces. Which is no easier.) I certainly don’t have the ability to produce quality work at speed, and it’s questionable whether I have either of the other qualities the Campbell seeks to rewards. So I never did think of myself as a realistic candidate, and I’m perfectly happy with how the Campbells have been awarded in recent years. Because all of the winners are stunningly good writers and super nice people to boot.
That’s right. I hang with Campbell winners. Because that’s how I roll.