If You’re Seeing This Post, Then Redshirts Has Won the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel

In which case: Whoo-hoo!

(I wrote this up so that when the award was announced, if Redshirts won I would be able to press a button and have it post, because I am otherwise occupied at the American Library Association conference this weekend. If it doesn’t win, of course, then none of you will ever see this, and I will delete it at some point. I recognize this explanation is a little meta. But then, so is Redshirts.)

The other finalists for the award were Iain M. Banks’ The Hydrogen Sonata; Lois McMaster Boujold’s Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance; James S.A. Corey’s Caliban’s War and Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312. This is a very fine field of finalists, any of whom would of course have been an excellent winner. I was thrilled to share a slate with all of them.

As I was unable to be at the Locus Award Weekend because it conflicted with ALA, my wife Krissy went to Seattle on my behalf. If the award won (and if you’re reading this it did), this is the acceptance speech she gave for me:

Let me begin by apologizing for not being here today to accept this award; I am in Chicago, hanging out with librarians. As you can see, in my place you have my wife, and I’m sure you’ll agree this is a more than fair substitution.

I am delighted by this award, more than I can express in this speech. Thank you Locus and to the voters in its annual poll. Thanks also to everyone at Tor and in particular my editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden. Thanks also to the folks at Audible, including Steve Feldberg, and also to Wil Wheaton. Additional thanks to Ethan Ellenberg, my agent, and my wife Kristine.

However, I have one confession to make: I was hoping for a different outcome for this award. I was pulling for Iain M. Banks to win, not only for The Hydrogen Sonata, which is amply deserving of the award, but for the entire body of his science fiction work, and for his universe of The Culture, which is, simply, one of the great imaginative achievements in our genre.

I did not know Iain Banks personally, but I was a fan. I was honored to be a finalist with him, and would have been honored to lose this award to him. Since I did not accomplish that I will instead ask your indulgence as I dedicate this award to him and his work. He is missed; his work remains. Thank you.

And indeed, thank you. This is a lovely way to wrap up June.

55 Comments on “If You’re Seeing This Post, Then Redshirts Has Won the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel”

  1. Bravo! Congratulations!

    And a double bravo on your acceptance speech and dedication! That takes heart and puts joy where there’s been sadness from Iain’s passing.

  2. Iain M. Banks is one with the immortals whom the gods have taken from us, and flung their texts into the heavens to serve as galaxies.

    You, on the other hand, are doomed to stay terrestrial, be a family man, uphold the honor of the eldritch Covina Culture, win awards, wield the mighty hammer, and receive my congratulations among the many.

  3. I have not yet read all of Iain M. Banks’ books, but he was one of my favorites. Congratulations on your award. I will put Redshirts on my reading list!

  4. Congratulations, both for the well-deserved award and for the gracious acceptance speech. The librarians are lucky to have you with them.

  5. Congrats, Mr. Scalzi! Now please, please give us a sequel where they find out that you’re the author and they hunt you down. THAT would win a lot of awards just on the meta and the recursiveness.

    That speech has me in stitches, by the way.

  6. First of all, Congratulations!

    Coincidentally, I just finished reading Redshirts today on the ferry heading back from Orcas Island. I missed your book tour stop here in Seattle as I was deathly sick and due to one thing or another…
    I really have to say that the 3 codas drew me in and made me sigh when I reached the epilogue.

    Well done Sir and congratulations once again.

  7. themidlistblog – I honestly have no idea what I'm doing here. I'm just a book loving schlub from the Pacific Northwest who wanted to do something creative and maybe help out some authors with some extra exposure.
    Robert Junker

    Well deserved win, sir.
    Excellent tip of the hat for Mr. Banks, as well.

  8. Awesome, awesome, awesome news John, I am super happy for you…Redshirts deserves all the awards and accolades it receives. I know I enjoyed it immensely and it will be one of those books I reread from year to year.

  9. That was the first post I’ve ever seen written entirely in the hypothetical tense.

    Congratulations on the much-deserved award. I would comment on the classy comments about Iain Banks, but recognizing every classy gesture you make would take more time than I possess.

  10. Patty Hammond – I am a self proclaimed fangirl who is disguised as a mild mannered data analyst for a consulting firm. You can find me on Twitter as @pattybones2 or @Everyday_Fangrl

    Reblogged this on everydayfangirl and commented:
    Great Way to dedicate an award acceptance!

  11. Marilyn Armstrong – United States – Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all plus a big helping of skepticism about humanity.


  12. Fantastic! Congratulations, and I’m so pleased you dedicated your win to Iain Banks. A lovely gesture.

  13. acflory – Australia – I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes...

    Congratulations. I haven’t read Red Shirts as it’s not available in ebook form in Australia but I will try to get my hands on a copy. R.I.P Iain M Banks

  14. Well done my man – both on the well deserved award & the dedication to Mr. Banks. It has been a strange year – losing Iain so suddenly will overshadow almost everything but I count myself lucky to have discovered a new (to me) writer of tales in your good self. I really enjoyed Redshirts as an introduction to your work and I am well on the way to catching up with the other books.

  15. Jules Jones – I'm a writer of romance and science fiction/fantasy. My main blog is at Dreamwidth, since that's where a lot of my friends are, but some of the less inane wibble gets mirrored on WordPress.
    Jules Jones

    Congratulations, and a marvellous acceptance speech.

  16. longeyesamurai – I have transferred here from Vox (where I was known as Caprandom and La Canneberge Masquée) when it went all Atlantis on us. My unofficial title at work is Corporate Troubleshooter at BigMediaCo cable tv outfit, trying to stay one step ahead of my mouth ... Aside from being probably the world expert on divination through Magic: the Gathering cards, here's a (partial) list of my varied interests: 2 Frères, Alan Moore, Alicia Keys, anime, archaeology, Ariana Grande, art, Bachman Turner Overdrive, baseball, beaches, Bebe Rexha, Bernie Krause, Beyoncé, biking, Billy Idol, Billy Joel, biology, Bob Marley, books, Britney Spears, Bruno Mars, Bryan Adams, Buffy, cars, cats, Celine Dion, cheese, Chicago, Coeur de Pirate, Coldplay, computer, computers, concerts, cthulhu, Dan Gibson, David Bowie, David Usher, Dire Straits, Disturbed, Don Henley, Douglas Quin, dpchallenge, dragons, Drake, Duran Duran, Eagles, economics, Eddie Money, Ed Sheeran, Electric Light Orchestra, Ellie Goulding, Elton John, Eminem, Enrique Iglesias, Eric Lapointe, fantasy, Fiona Apple, Fleetwood Mac, Flo Rida, Foo Fighters, food, football, Foreigner, Frank Sinatra, Ghostbusters, Halsey, Heart, history, hockey, Huey Lewis and the News, ice cream, illustration, Ima, Imagine Dragons, intelligence, Japan, Jean-Jacques Goldman, Jerome Couture, Johnny Depp, Joseph Edgar, Journey, jrock, Judas Priest, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, King Melrose, Kiss, Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga, landscapes, learning, Led Zeppelin, Les Soeurs Boulay, Life, Linkin Park, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Madonna, Magic!, Mariah Carey, Marie-Mai, Maroon 5, Mary J Blige, Matchbox Twenty, Meghan Trainor, Mika, Mother Goose Club, movies, music, Natasha St-Pier, nature, Neil Gaiman, Nirvana, No Doubt, Norah Jones, Oasis, One Direction, Pat Benatar, Patricia Kaas, people, Phil Collins, photography, Pierre Lapointe, Pink, Pink Floyd, poetry, pop, Prince, Queen, Radiohead, reading, remodelling, Richard Anthony, Rod Stewart, roleplaying, Roxette, Rush, Sam Smith, Sara Bareilles, Sarah McLachlan, Selena Gomez, Serge Gainsbourg, Shaggy, Shakira, Shawn Mendes, Sheryl Crow, Shinedown, Sia, Simple Plan, sleep, sleeping, Slipknot, soccer, Steely Dan, Steve Winwood, Sting, Stray Cats, Styx, sushi, theater, The Chainsmokers, The Cure, The Rolling Stones, The Weeknd, Tori Amos, travel, travelling, Tricot Machine, TV, U2, Usher, video, Vulgaires Machins, words, writing, Yann Perreau, Zayn

    Congratulations and thank you for piquing my interest towards Banks’ work,,,

  17. Color me stunned! Not that Redshirts is not a great read just that it is not the sort of ‘weighty’ material that usually garners awards. As a fan I am happy for you. I am also, once again, impressed by your attitude. That was a fine tribute to a great writer.

  18. JJS- I have. Redshirts just happened to be the Scalzi novel my local library had, that wasn’t part of, but not the beginning of, a series. (They’re small, so they only have the two.)

    I even own one of his books now. :)

  19. Congratulations, Mr Scalzi, and congratulations, also, on ending your reign as President and Chief Mallet-wielder of the SFWA today! I gather you had a great run and that you leave the organization in good hands. Thank you, also, for dedicating your award to Mr Banks, RIP.

  20. Beautiful speech, Mr. Scalzi, along with the well deserved award for Redshirts. I also miss Iain Banks – I’ve actually begun reading all his non-science fiction works as well.

    On a side note, we are just finishing up The Human Division here in our household, and unanimously agree it may be your strongest novel to date. Congratulations, again!

  21. I just read last Redshirts several days ago, It was wonderful. So is Iain Banks. And so is Columbus’ Metro Library, which owns the book, and had it transferred to my local branch for me. The past week has been lovely.

  22. Congratulations, John. Redshirts is a great book, and I need to get my hands on The Human Division soon.

  23. Great dedication to Banks. You’re a class act, Scalzi. Doubly so, now that I’ve read your post about commenting on SFWA policy. Would that all public figures had such grace.

  24. Dan – Dan Hartensveld, CDIA is President of The EDI Project, a solution provider specializing in healthcare informatics. He has been working with large health insurers, providers and healthcare technology companies since 1996 involving complex data integration, claims automation, risk adjustment, The Affordable Care Act, HIE, HIX, to name a few. Lately, the company has been successful in developing and putting into production massively scaleable, analytics projects for use in processing "Big Data" sets.

    Classy speech. Well done and well deserved.

  25. 1) Congratulations!

    2) *Wipes his gh0ddamned eyes AGAIN* Johm, you are a class act, and a damned bigger man than I. (Having loomed over you, I mean ever word of that).

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