No longer will I be able to refer to myself as a “multi-award nearly-nominated author”, as today I have actually been nominated for the John W. Campbell award for best new writer. My grovelling thanks to anyone who put my name forward for this utterly undeserved honour.
But Joe, I hear you cry, have you not written three books and are you not half way through a fourth? It’s an odd selection criteria which allows for anyone who released their first professional work in the genre within the last 2 years (2006-7), so I was eligible last year but, like, Joe who? Patrick Rothfuss, I’m sure, would have been an absolute shoe-in for this, but due to a short story published way-back-when he’s not eligible. David Anthony Durham, on the other hand, is eligible despite having some successful historical fiction under his belt, because Acacia is his first sf/f work. Them’s the vagaries of the selection process, I guess. The absence of Rothfuss probably means that I can get urinated on from a great height by Scott Lynch instead. Well, bit of urine never hurt anyone, did it? Perhaps the benevolent God of Release Dates will come to my aid in this time of crisis, but I doubt it, and it’s great to be on the ballot, in any case.
Sweeping my eye over the rest of the nominations I cannot but notice my US Editor Lou Anders, of Pyr, up for best Long Form Editor. He’s a man who believes in, and puts great effort into, every title he publishes. It’s testament to the great work he does that, even though Pyr is a small outfit compared to some and puts out less than twenty titles a year, he’s got a nomination for the Best Novel Hugo via Ian McDonald’s Brasyl, me AND David Louis Edelman in the Campbell section, and himself in the Best Editor. Round of applause for Lou, please.
You spend five years waiting for a bus to come along, then two come at once, because I’ve also been nominated for the Compton Crook Award which is given for the best first novel of the year written by a new author by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. But Joe, I hear you cry, was your first novel not written and released years ago? Ah, well, not in the US, you see. Better yet, this award actually comes with a cash prize. Worse yet, that fiend Rothfuss no doubt will be eligible for this one. Enjoy your Compton Crook, Rothfuss! Ha ha! I’ll enjoy being … pissed on … by … Scott Lynch. Hmmmm.
In other news, there were some fifty folks at the signing at Forbidden Planet last night, my thanks to anyone who turned out in inclement weather to be there. I’ve done one of these for each book, and the attendance has more or less tripled for each one, which is great. There was actually something you could reasonably describe as a queue this time. Astonishing. Also signed a big heap of 100 hardbacks for Goldsboro books as well, so if anyone has ordered books from them they should be on their way. Lined and dated half of ’em too. My hand hurts now. Off to Eastercon. Maybe see you there…