Some thoughts on this year’s Hugo nominations. Yes, I’ll talk about my nomination — how can I not? — but let me get through some other thoughts first.
* First, what the hell? I assumed that the first Worldcon based in Japan might actually have some Japanese nominees on it somewhere, but as this Hugo list shows, it’s a completely English-speaking ballot from top to bottom. I think this is weird and wrong; there ought to be some Japanese nominees somewhere in the mix. I demand a recount!
* This is a fine year for the novel category, notwithstanding the fact neither of my eligible books are in it. I’m particularly gratified to see Blindsight and Glasshouse in it. With this nomination Charlie Stross becomes only the second person to score Hugo Novel nods in four consecutive years — the other guy is Robert Silverberg. You may have heard of him. Charlie will no doubt be humble in the face of any comparison to Silverberg, so let me be unhumble for him: if there was any doubt about it before, Charlie Stross is now officially science fiction’s poster boy for the first decade of the third millennium.
As for Blindsight, I feel some some pride in flogging the book to all and sundry last year, and its presence in the novel category shows that being adventurous in science fiction can pay off. Hopefully now this will equate to folks buying the book. I recommend you do this, now. Congrats also to Naomi Novik, who pulls off this year what I did last year: Best Novel Hugo and Campbell nominations! Very nice.
* Speaking of the Campbell Class, which I am naturally disposed to be interested in, it’s a good one, too — and, interesting, almost totally made up of fantasy writers. Discuss this amongst yourselves.
* Data point, noted in a Making Light comment thread but worth noting here, too: In the novel, novella, novelette and short story categories combined, there is exactly one female nominee. Strikes me as a little… odd.
* No, I’m not going to list who I’m going to vote for in what. For one thing, I don’t know yet (except in the Best Editor, Long Form category. You know I’m voting for Patrick Nielsen Hayden there, because, well). For another thing, too many friends are competing in too many categories. Having lots of friends nominated for stuff makes me squee.
* So, my nomination for Best Fan Writer. As you may know, the Hugo committee lets the nominees know a bit ahead of time that they’re nominated, so they can accept or decline. So, there I am, typing something on the SFWA newsgroups when I get a ping in my e-mail telling me I have a Hugo nomination. And so I think to myself, huh, I wonder which of the books got nominated, and then I opened up the e-mail to discover the answer was “none of the above.” Then I laughed out loud, and then I thunked my head on the desk at the absurdity of it all. Then I took some aspirin, because I had given myself a headache. Yeah, I’m stupid sometimes.
Interestingly enough, I am not the first person to have been nominated for Best Fan Writer after having been nominated for Best Novel — Piers Anthony did it (he was even nominated for Best Fan Writer and Best Novel in the same year), but it’s been 37 years since it happened last. I am, however, the first Campbell winner nominated for Best Fan Writer, so I’ve got that bit of Hugo trivia going for me. Also I believe I am the first Best Fan Writer nominee ever to be running for president of SFWA at the time of his nomination. As if that campaign wasn’t weird enough already.
* What do I think of this nomination? I think it’s awesome. I think it’s awesome because it was totally unexpected, for one — I mean, really, bam, poleaxe across the head unexpected — and also awesome because now you can’t look at my Hugo nominations and say that I don’t have range. It also points out the fact that I’ve got one of the weirdest science fiction writer careers going, and I say to say that fact pleases me mightily. Yay! I’m a freak!
But what’s really awesome about it is that it means that what I write here has some significance to the science fiction community. And that, my friends, is both gratifying and genuinely humbling. I am continually surprised at how much the Whatever has shaped my life both professionally and personally, and how people respond to it what goes up here. Every time I think I have got it figured out, this place throws me for a loop. I should just give up trying to figure it out and enjoy the ride.
Which I will do now — except to say thank you to my readers in science fiction fandom. Thank you for the nomination. Thank you for reading the Whatever. Most of all, thank you for including me into the science fiction community. I came to it from the outside, you know; my first convention ever was Torcon 3, back in 2003. Before then, I was a stranger to fandom. I don’t feel like a stranger anymore, and that’s an even better feeling than the one you get from a Hugo nomination.
Thank you again. It means a lot to me. More than you know.