Some early thoughts for you about the Hugos this year:
* So, uh, as it turns out, I have three Hugo nominations this year: Zoe’s Tale is in the Best Novel category, Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded is in Best Related Book, and perhaps most remarkably, METAtropolis, which I edited, is in the Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form category for its audio book form. My feeling about this all: Wow. Just, you know, wow. I’m still a little shell-shocked about that, so let’s table that for now and move on on some other points:
* First, the Best Novel Category, about which could be said: This is a good year. Doctorow, Gaiman, Stephenson and Stross: You’ve just pretty much named off my list of favorite contemporary authors. To be in their company, and specifically to have Zoe’s Tale in the company of Anathem, The Graveyard Book, Little Brother and Saturn’s Children, well. This most emphatically does not suck. I am especially delighted to be on the same ballot as Cory and Charlie; we are all good friends and to some extent have been coming up in science fiction together, and I’d often hoped we’d get to share a ballot at least once. That we three happen to share that ballot with Neal and Neil, well, that’s just extra topping on the sundae, if you know what I mean. I am extremely happy with this category, and I feel pity for you Hugo voters, because this is a hell of a slate to choose from.
I do want to say I think of the three Best Novel nominations I’ve been entirely floored to receive, this is the sweetest, for the simple reason that I worked so very hard on the voice and character of Zoë, and in doing so, I fell a little bit in love with her, like she was a second daughter to me. To see her story honored by fans like this makes me a very proud papa. Thank you. This really made my year.
* Second, I am absolutely freakin’ delighted that METAtropolis is on the ballot. My understanding is this is the first audio book ever to make any Dramatic Presentation ballot, and I believe the first audio performance on the ballot in close to 40 years 30 years, so there’s some history being made here, and I’m humbled to be part of it along with Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Jay Lake, Karl Schroeder and Steve Feldberg, who was the project’s producer at Audible.com. We’re up against some tough competition, what with the Joker, Wall-E, Hellboy and Iron Man, but you know what, I think we just might surprise them all.
* Third: Hate Mail? A Hugo nominee? Double-plus awesome. This one is particularly cool to me, since I’ve always wanted a nomination in this category, possibly because I got my start as an author in non-fiction, so this feels a little bit like a homecoming to me. No, I don’t expect this will make sense to anyone but me. Just know this particular nomination makes me happy in a very giggly way, and I am pleased as the proverbial punch. Also, you know. It’s got a picture of me as a devil on it. How cool is that.
* Fourth, this really is a spectacular ballot all the way around, in all the categories, and I’m not just saying that because so many of the writers I admire and count as friends are on it. I’m saying it because everything’s good enough that I suspect most voters will have less hair coming out of the voting than they had coming in, because it’s so hard to choose. But, then, isn’t that what you want out of a ballot? Seriously, if anyone was under the impression our little genre isn’t at the top of its game right now, I invite you once more to look at the ballot. These are fine times for science fiction and fantasy; very fine times indeed.
* As I know it’s something some of you will ask: Yes, I intend to put together a Hugo Voters package again this year. It will feature at least my nominated work, although if I can convince the other nominees to go in on an overall package as we did in 2006 and last year, so much the better. It will take me a couple of days to get it squared away, though, since I’m off tomorrow to Millennicon. Patience for the next few days, please.
* Finally, why yes, I will be in Montreal for this year’s Worldcon, Anticipation. When you get nominated for three Hugos, if you don’t show up, I believe the Worldcon committee sends someone to kick your ungrateful ass. This will not be happening to me. I will be there. Oh, yes.
I will no doubt have more to say on all of this over the next few days, but for now, once again: Thank you everyone who nominated these works of mine. This is a good day. I am humbled by your generosity. Thank you.