The 2009 Award Pimpage Post

It’s time for my annual unseemly reminder to people thinking about voting for science fiction writing awards that, indeed, I have stuff available for them to nominate. What’s available for consideration this year? I’m glad you asked. The following are listed in the categories for the Hugo Awards:

Best Novel

Best Novella

  • “Utere Nihill Non Extra Quiritationem Suis” (METAtropolis)

Best Short Story

Best Related Book

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

  • METAtropolis (audio book (iTunes link), written by Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake, John Scalzi and Karl Schroeder; read by Scott Brick, Michael Hogan, Alessandro Juliani, Kandyse McClure and Stefan Rudnicki)

Some thoughts on the above:

1. Some of you might ask why I include Zoe’s Tale for Best Novel and not Agent to the Stars, which was released in trade paperback by Tor in October of 2008. The answer is that Agent was originally published, depending on how you want to look at it, either in 1999 (online) or in 2005 (in hardcover). It’s not eligible for consideration for Hugos, Nebulas, etc. And even if it were, I think Zoe’s the better of the two books in any event. I know, I’m not supposed to have favorites among my books. But there you have it.

2. How is Hate Mail a “related book”? For two reasons. First, several of the essays in the book are about writing and/or science fiction and/or me being an author, so there’s a concrete connection on that level. Second, well, I did win a Hugo last year for writing stuff here, so a collection of stuff from here seems likely to me to pass muster. Incidentally, the link to Hate Mail above is to Amazon for the hard copy, but an electronic version is also available through WebScriptions.

3. While 2008 was a damn fine year for science fictional films (Wall-E, Dark Knight, Iron Man, etc), I really do want to remind Hugo nominators that a) Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form doesn’t have to be a movie, b) it would be a refreshing change to nominators to consider something other than a movie for the category, and c) that leaving aside my own obvious self-interest and participation, METAtropolis is jam-packed with worthy science fictional goodness in the form of the Bear, Buckell, Lake and Schroeder, not to mention a fair portion of the Battlestar Galactica cast performing their words — dramatically!

So: before desultorily slotting a sub-worthy film into that last Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form slot, won’t you consider broadening your scope and checking out another medium? If not METAtropolis, there are a number of other fine long-form audio presentations for you to consider. Just to wedge that idea into your heads.

4. What about Best Fan Writer? I hear you ask. I’ll make it simple: don’t nominate me this year. There are lots of excellent writers out there deserving of this award who have not won it, and I think right now the best thing for this particular award is to have the love spread around for a while, and to have the science fiction community recognize both eligible newer writers and some writers for whom recognition in this category is long overdue. I’ve won it; I’m good, thanks. Give it to someone new.

And that’s my award pimpage for 2009.

12 Comments on “The 2009 Award Pimpage Post”

  1. …Hatemail… on Webscriptions? Time for me to put my money where my mouth is, after hectoring you about making non-DRM electronic versions of your work available. Isn’t this your first book published there?

  2. Bozo:

    No, actually my Coffee Shop book was there first.

    Also, as a general rule, it does no good to hector me about that stuff; you have to hector the book publishers, to whom I generally assign electronic distribution.

  3. As far as fanwriters go, there are more good choices than I have nomination slots for, but I’d recommend:
    – Taral Wayne (who’s been putting out seriously good articles all over the place)
    – Guy Lillian (whose lawyering stories in Challenger, plus his other work there, are some of my favorite reads)
    – Lloyd Penney (who has become the new champion of the letter of comment)
    – John Purcell (one of my new favorites)
    – Chris Garcia (who maybe isn’t as technically perfect as some of the others, but is consistently entertaining)

    So, sure, there’s a fanzine bias in there, but that’s kind of how I roll. But don’t take my word for it — hop on over to and read some of the great stuff that’s out there.

  4. I see Coffee Shop there now too. Neither of them were there the last time I bought in mid-November, so I guess both are pretty recent.

    re: Hectoring publishers rather than you – You made that point back in an earlier thread when I was saying you should put non-DRM as a condition for the electronic distribution rights in your publishing contracts. The key point you made there that finally convinced me was when you stated that numbers related to the electronic publishing rights were too small to be made into a deal-breaker over DRM on either side of the contract.

    From my POV, even going to the publishers would have limited effect unless it became a trend among most readers of electronic editions. One letter is not going to change a non-DRM policy. Buying your non-DRM electronic works is this lazy man’s way out. I figure if there is a preference among your readership for non-DRM electronic works, it’ll show up in the numbers from Webscriptions even more quickly than it would show up in a letter-writing campaign.

  5. Bozo @#7 “…among your readership…”? It’s days like this that make me think I should leave writing to the pros.

  6. Bozo the Clone:

    “I figure if there is a preference among your readership for non-DRM electronic works, it’ll show up in the numbers from Webscriptions even more quickly than it would show up in a letter-writing campaign.”

    The flaw in this argument is that Subterranean Press and Tor are not the same publishing house, and that sales of my DRM’d books on the Kindle dwarf the e-sales of Hate Mail and Coffee Shop (The OMW books are consistently in the Top 20 SF books on that machine) in any event.

  7. It really is a problem trying to get traction on the DRM issue. I mean, right now, if an author isn’t one that’s in my ‘always buy’ list and has no un-tainted e-editions, unless it came in a webscription I didn’t buy it. My reading backlog is too big, and my available storage too small. But how do publishers tell the difference between that and the more general ‘the economy’s bad, so book sales are down’? I mean, Baen knows I’m buying, but Tor, Random House, etc., don’t.

    By the way, in terms of Long Form works, a friend of mine has told me that he really, really likes the audiobook for Zoe’s Tale. Says it’s one of his two favorite audiobooks in terms of performance, that the reader got the ‘sarcastic teenager’ just perfect. I haven’t listened to it myself yet, but I thought I should pass that on.

  8. I’ll tell you what. If Langford says he doesn’t want to be nominated for Best Fan Writer again, I won’t nominate you. Otherwise . . .

    On the other hand, to fan writers that I might call to your attention are Steven Silver and Joseph T. Major.

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