The Surprise Award No One Told Me About

Apparently over the weekend The Last Colony received the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Science Fiction Novel of 2007. I learn this from reliable sources in my comment thread — including two people who were at the Romantic Times Booklovers’ Convention in Pittsburgh, where the awards were announced and saw the awards list — and I have no reason to doubt them.

So, if everything I am told is accurate: Go, TLC! This is really neat. For those of you who don’t know, Romantic Times does an excellent job reviewing science fiction — the reviewers there really know the field — and given that and the fact that the field of nominees (which this year included Allen Steele, Jo Walton, Kage Baker and Kristine Kathryn Rusch) was genuinely fabulous, this is an award win that makes me feel shiny. It’s also a nice way to start the week.

Update: Natalie Luhrs, Romantic Times reviewer, notes in the comments: “In addition to TLC winning best SF novel, best fantasy novel was A Companion to Wolves by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette and best epic fantasy novel was The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.” Excellent choices all the way around, and congratulations to Sarah, Bear, and Pat.

26 Comments on “The Surprise Award No One Told Me About”

  1. So much for getting to sleep early, hey?

    Unless you went to sleep at 9 and got up at midnight to start your day. (No wonder you get so much writing done – you only sleep three hours a night.)

  2. I might have taken a small nap between then and now. And I might be going back to bed very soon.

  3. Mazel Tov.

    I am not much for blogs, but I have to say I really enjoy yours. (I am much for science fiction of all kinds, and I have to say I really enjoy yours as well.) And for what it is worth, I too am a sleep-procrastinator.

    Rock on.

  4. Congrats!! What fun. :) I’m still waiting to see the full results from RT. I have friends up for some of the awards, plus this is the last year for the American Title contest that results in publication for the lucky winner. That would have been announced too.

    BTW–do you know how quiet it is in the blogosphere when you aren’t around?

  5. Congratualtions, Mr. Scalzi.
    The sight of your success serves as a beacon of hope, of…uh…err…for, derr, writing.
    (As you can see, I am not quite there at the level of an amazing writer’s eloquency yet! But I would still like to congratualte you on the prize and say that it’s an wonderful thing that inspires!…Me!)

  6. The sight of your success serves as a bacon of hope, of…uh…err…for, derr, writing.

    Fixed it for you. :)

    (Today’s formatting fact: Strike through of a lower case e on it’s own doesn’t show up very clearly!)

  7. Congratulations!

    I won it last year. They don’t give you an actual physical award unless you show up to the ceremony, but they put a picture of it with their review on their site.

  8. I think there will be another American Title contest next year, Gina, although I could be wrong since the PA system in that room was horrendous. But yeah, John, no physical prize unless you show up. It’s a pretty nice wall plaque (I won in 2003). I should have asked you earlier whether you were going to RT for your award; then, you’d have an inkling. Ah well. Once again you missed the chance to put on the vampire teeth and demon ears for that night’s Vampire Ball.

  9. Gennita, you managed to hear correctly despite the PA system. There *will* be another American Title competition next year. It’s wide open as far as genre goes, as long as Dorchester publishes it (so no YA).

    Congrats again John — sorry I missed meeting you.

  10. Gah, I was worried that no one emailed any of “my” winners about their awards. In addition to TLC winning best SF novel, best fantasy novel was A Companion to Wolves by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette and best epic fantasy novel was The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

    I’m really sorry that no one let you know ahead of time that you’d won.

  11. Has any other military SF novel gotten this romance novel award? That seems like a fairly bizarre combination, even for the Scalzi.

  12. JJS:

    Well, I don’t think romance is necessarily a required component for the award — I think it’s just supposed to be a good book. Last year The Android’s Dream was nominated and it has no romance in it at all. That said, there’s definitely a romantic element in the sense of John Perry and Jane Sagan’s relationship; the two clearly care for each other deeply.

  13. Android’s Dream doesn’t have romance? *blink* What about that date that Robin and Harry go on? I thought they clearly had A Thing going, they were just more pre-occupied with staying alive.

  14. JJS, I was curious myself, so I looked up the past winners in the SF category on RT’s website.

    2007: John Scalzi, The Last Colony
    2006: Jo Walton, Farthing
    2005: Kage Baker, Children of the Company
    2004: Sharon Shinn, Angel-Seeker
    2003: Catherine Asaro, Skyfall
    2002: Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, Scout’s Progress
    2001: Julie E. Czerneda, In the Company of Others
    2000: Catherine Asaro, Ascendant Sun
    1999: Catherine Asaro, The Radiant Seas
    1995, 1996, 1997, 1998: No SF Award

  15. Pixelfish:

    It’s true they might have a romance if things ever slowed down. But I did intentionally not have them have even so much as a single kiss.

  16. I view The Android’s Dream as one very long and perhaps over-stimulating date. Although everyone is much too busy trying not to get killed to engage in much “traditional” romance.

    There’s always something unexpected going on with the little people in your books, John. I’m not surprised you won the award; it’s not just great speculative fic, it’s also great speculative fiction coupled with great characters who are aware that feelings for other people, including sexual feelings, is like okay and stuff.

  17. Congrats! I’m sure the award will encourage many more new readers to pick up this book.

  18. Congrats!

    I had dinner with a few writers in town for that con on Saturday night, two of whom write both romances and SF. It sounded like an interesting but overwhelmingly female con. For people who think Worldcon is expensive, this one cost $465 for a membership.