I did one of these entries last year and I think it was useful to folks, so I’ll do it again this year.
Should you be considering me for one of your Hugo nominations for this year, or for other genre award nominations, here’s what work of mine is eligible for nomination this year:
If you’re a Hugo voter, that’s pretty much all you need to know to nominate the works. If you’re a SFWA member and you want to nominate either work for a Nebula, then you need to make your nomination within one year of the book’s publication (2/21/07 for TGB, 10/31/07 for TAD). This is an artifact of SFWA’s “rolling eligibility” process for the Nebulas, which I’m really not a fan of, but there’s not much to be done about it at the moment. Inasmuch as I find the chance of me being nominated for a Nebula to be rather impressively small, this is largely academic, but of course I’d be happy to be surprised.
To address the question before it’s asked: On the very small chance someone wanted to nominate me for the Best Editor (short form) Hugo this year for guest-editing Subterranean Magazine #4, I’m afraid I’m not eligible — you have to edit more than a single issue of something to be eligible. I’m totally good with this; I think the possibility of me being nominated for an Editor Hugo is a little bit silly.
Regarding the Novel Hugos, I was basically flabbergasted to be nominated last year, and I would be delighted and equally flabbergasted to be nominated this year. So if you are thinking of nominating either of these books (or both! Both!), bless you. However, to be entirely honest with you, I have absolutely no idea if either The Ghost Brigades or The Android’s Dream is a strong contender this year. Indeed, I have absolutely no idea as to which novels at all are legitimately in the running for the Hugo, and I rather deeply suspect neither does anyone else.
Why? Because this year the Worldcon is in Japan, and that means a significant (and possibly majority) percentage of the nominators this year are Japanese. I doubt many of us in the Western hemisphere have any clue as to how these folks will vote or whether they’ve heard of many of the books in the US/UK which are eligible for consideration. Also, unless I’m reading the Hugo rules incorrectly, there’s no reason why Japanese-language novels could not be nominated, if they were published in 2006. So, I suspect it is equally true that there are any number of Japanese science fiction novels which are eligible for the Hugo that we in the US/UK know nothing about.
When the Hugo nominees are tallied up this year, I expect there will be some Japanese novels on the list; moreover, there ought to be; what’s the point of having the Hugos in Japan otherwise? The idea of Japanese-language Best Novel Hugo nominees is pretty exciting stuff — I’m not aware of any foreign-language novel being nominated for a Hugo, ever, so we’re well overdue — but on a purely practical level for English language SF writers it means that none of us really have the slightest clue whether we’ll make the short list, or even how many of the nominee slots will go to English-language novels at all.
In fact, depending on the enthusiasm of the Japanese Worldcon members for making nominations, it’s possible that no English-language novels will make the cut. If you think it can’t happen, I’ll just mention that I got onto the Hugo ballet last year with 45 nominating votes, and two other nominees got on with 46 and 47 votes. With these numbers in mind, consider if you will the fact that the Worldcon will be in Japan for the very first time, which means that for a great number of Japanese fans, this is the first time they’ll be able to nominate and vote on the Hugos. How motivated do you think these Japanese fans will be to nominate, and to vote? Let’s just say I don’t think 2007 will be the year in which 45 nominating votes gets a book on the shortlist.
I should also note that the challenges I see for English-language novels this year I also see for all English-language potential nominees — there ought to be and almost certainly will be lots of Japanese nominees in every category. What I’m saying is, this is going to be a hell of an interesting year for the Hugos, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all sorts out.
Having said that, in addition to pimping my own Hugo-eligible work here, allow me to remind you folks that every story in the Subterranean Magazine issue I edited is also eligible for consideration for the Short Story Hugo, and that you can download a free pdf version of the Magazine by clicking on this link right here. There are some truly excellent stories in there, and I know that I’ll be nominating more than one. Also, I’d note that the story I published here on the Whatever last year, “Who Put the Bomp?” by Nick Mamatas and Eliani Torres, is award-eligible as well (and good enough to nominate), and personally I think it would rock if a story published on a blog (but paid for with a genre-standard rate) got a short story nomination.
I’m done award pimping now.