Vellum, incidentally, officially debuts here in the US tomorrow — a great way for Hal Duncan to say hello to these shores, I’d say (so go buy it). And also, of course, very nice to be in the company of Messers Duncan, Pratt and Marusek and the awesome Ms. Bear — who, if I may add has a hell of a short story in the upcoming Subterranean magazine issue. They all rock.
Other nominations of note (to me, at least): All my fellow Hugo nominees are also finalists — Charlie, Ken and Bob in Best Science Fiction Novel and GRRM in Best Fantasy Novel; Cory Doctorow has three finalist showings, in Fantasy Novel, Novella and Novelette; Kelly Link is also a three-time finalist in the Short Story, Anthology and Collection categories; James Patrick Kelly gets a nod in Best Novella; Scott Westerfeld gets a Best YA Book nod for Peeps; Patrick Nielsen Hayden and David G. Hartwell are both finalists in Best Editor, and Bob Eggleton and John Picacio show up as Best Artist finalists. Aside from these are other folks like Neil Gaiman, Dan Simmons, Terry Pratchett and China Miéville (among others) whom I wish I could pretend that I actually knew personally, but, alas, don’t. Be that as it may, it’s about sixteen different kinds of cool that I can look at lists like these and see so many of my friends on them, doing as well as they are, and I somehow get to be in there too. It’s geek paradise, it is. Or it is for me.
You’ll note that everyone on these lists are “finalists” not “nominees.” This is because (as I understand it) Locus already knows who won in each of the categories but is letting the tension linger in the air until the day of the Locus Awards ceremony, which is June 17th in Seattle (paired up with the Science Fiction Hall of Fame ceremony). Coincidentally, June 17th is also my wedding anniversary. COINCIDENCE?!?! Well, yes, I just said so. But a nice coincidence, nevertheless.
In any event, congratulations to all the other finalists, but especially those in the Best First Novel category. I am honored to be in your midst.