SFSignal’s “Mind Meld” piece this week asks various SF/F notables to list tomorrow’s big names in the genre, which results in a bit of a mess as folks rack their brains to come up with new names. I’m not on the list; my name comes up a couple of times, but in the context of “but he doesn’t count as new anymore.” The irony here is that some of the names that are on thefinal, aggregated list as tomorrow’s new names, like Cory Doctorow and Jay Lake and Elizabeth Bear, have all been publishing professionally in the genre longer than I have, evidenced by the fact they all won their Campbell Awards for Best New Writer before I did, two years ago. I think people forget that Old Man’s War is only three years old as a published book, and that I had no appreciable profile in science fiction before that. This isn’t a complaint that I should still be seen as new and hot (and pretty!), since I agree at this point that the “rising star” spotlight should go to other people. I just think it’s interesting.
In any event, there are some excellent names tossed about in the list, and I’m personally delighted that someone (Niall Harrison, to be precise) named Rachel Swirsky as a name to watch. I had the honor of being the first editor to publish her professionally, in the Subterranean Magazine issue I guest-edited (a pdf of which you will find here), and everything of hers I’ve read since has pretty much knocked me on my ass. If you haven’t read her yet, you should correct that.