Some Final Hugo-Related Thoughts
Getting these in today because I was given five business days to be giddy about the Hugo (including Monday, even though it was a national holiday) and after that I have to get back to real life:
* In my awards speech I did manage to thank most of the people who I felt were instrumental in the success of Redshirts, but since I was a little dazed and hadn’t written down a speech, there were three people I missed, and I’d like to give them some props right now. The first is my agent Ethan Ellenberg, and the second is his co-agent Evan Gregory, who handles my foreign sales. Ethan has always been the best of agents, Evan is a close second, and I’ve always been grateful to be represented by them. Good agents can be hard to find, and great to have. Ethan and Evan are the best.
Third: Jonathan Coulton, who wrote the theme song for Redshirts and captured the essence of book in four minutes, which is pretty cool if you think about it. I’m not always a fan of book trailers, but songs for my books? Yes, please. I’m already thinking about who I might ask to do a song for the next novel.
Also, in a larger sense I would also like to thank the booksellers who got behind Redshirts and hand sold it to a bunch of folks, as I know many did. That’s the sort of advertising that in fact you can’t buy, and I think it made a big difference in the fate of the book. You guys rock.
(Edit, 12:00pm: Gaaah, I also forgot to say how thrilled I was to win my Hugo on the same night as so many of my friends, including (but not limited to!) Mary Robinette Kowal, Kate Baker, Howard Tayler, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, John Picacio, Elizabeth Bear, Cat Valente, Seanan McGuire, Paul Cornell and Mur “I won a Campbell which is not a Hugo but I am still awesome” Lafferty. I could not ask for a better Hugo class to be in.)
* In my wanderings on the Web looking at comments about Redshirts‘ win, I saw a couple of people wondering (to varying degrees of dread) if this means that I will be rushing out Redshirts 2: The Redshirtening or something similar to capitalize on the burst of Hugo attention.
The answer: No. While I reserve the right to change my mind if I’m ever confronted with a seven figure payday for it, for the moment there is no plan for a Redshirts sequel. One, I’m contracted for two different novels already: Lock In, which I’m currently writing, and the second installment of The Human Division. Both of those are going to keep me busy for a while. Two, I think Redshirts stands pretty well on its own and I’m content to let it be its own thing.
I think it’s almost certain that I will write more humorous science fiction of the sort that Redshirts is, because I have pretty good empirical evidence that it does pretty well for me, and I for it. Indeed, I already have some ideas I am kicking around for a book of that sort. But again, that’s going some time in the future. In the meantime I’ll try to make the novels I am contracted for worth your while when they come out. The way to capitalize on the Hugo is to keep writing books as well as I can. I know! Crazy idea! Even so.
* Someone asked me in e-mail where I thought Redshirts ranked in terms of previous Hugo Best Novel winners. My answer: You’re kidding, right? Dude, it’s been a Hugo winner for five days. Come back in another twenty years and enough time will have passed for a more accurate placement in the canon. Also, I’m the author of the book. I am officially incapable of being objective about it. In short, I am the wrong person to ask, and this isn’t really the right time to ask. In the fullness of time, I hope it’s ranked above They’d Rather Be Right; if it is, I’m good.
That said, you know what? Redshirts did all right in the last year. It’s sold very well, which is a thing. It also won a Hugo, a Locus and an RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award. And now that awards season is over and no harm can come of mentioning it, I’ll also note that it was nominated for a Nebula Award as well (I declined the nomination, for reasons which should be obvious when you remember which organization gives out the Nebulas and what my position in the organization was at the time). It’s also, for better or worse, exactly the book I wanted to write, written exactly how I wanted to write it.
In the fullness of time, we’ll see where Redshirts lands in the critical view of science fiction history. I’m not too worried about it; hopefully I will be on to other books. Here in the present, I am very happy with how my little book has done. I’m proud of it, and humbled that so many people seem to have taken it to their hearts.
* Out there on the Intarweebs, there have been at least a couple of snit fits re: me and Redshirts winning the Best Novel Hugo, most notably from a military science fiction writer of some note who should know better but apparently doesn’t. With regard to his snit fit, what I wrote earlier this week about these things applies saliently (see the sixth point in particular), so there’s no need to address it in any detail.
However, given the fact that this one fellow felt compelled to blather about me, at length, for three days, in an increasingly loopy manner, I felt a response worthy of his intense efforts was required. Here it is, in its totality:
There, that should do it. As a bonus, it works for several other complainers equally well.
* One final time: Thank you to everyone who has taken the time this week here, in e-mail and elsewhere, to congratulate me and otherwise send good thoughts my way. This week has been a hell of a lot of fun for me, and you have been a big part of the reason why. Thanks again.