So, barring me falling down some stairs in the next couple of days or some similar incident that drags down the curve of the year, I can say pretty authoritatively that 2013 was a very good year — a career year, in point of fact.
1. Well, obviously, winning the Hugo Award for Best Novel for Redshirts was a big moment for me. And I’m not gonna lie: Several months along, it’s still damn cool. Let me put it this way: I’ve won my fair share of awards, and winning awards is fun and cool and nice when it happens. But there’s only one writing award I actually dreamed of winning when I was kid, and that was the Best Novel Hugo. And now I have one, it’s right here in my office, and every once in a while I look back into my bookshelf and see it and think, holy shit, I won a Best Novel Hugo. Only 25 other living people on the whole planet have won this thing. The teenage version of me hasn’t stopped dancing about the room in joy.
2. I also won the Locus and RT Reviewer’s Choice Awards for Redshirts (in their respective Science Fiction categories) and a Seiun Award (that’s the Japanese Hugo) for The Android’s Dream. I was also nominated for awards in Germany (for Redshirts) and Spain (for Fuzzy Nation). That’s not a bad awards season overall, and I am of course immensely grateful.
3. The Human Division came out in episodic format starting in January, one episode a week for thirteen weeks, and each episode made it onto the USA Today Bestseller list. One author getting thirteen separate titles onto the list in thirteen consecutive weeks is, we’re pretty sure, a record of some kind. It’s in the same sort of record category that, say Most Career Sacrifice Bunts is in (that record, incidentally, held by Eddie Collins). But you know what? I’ll take it (also, Eddie Collins? In the Baseball Hall of Fame). It’s done pretty well in hardcover, so that’s nice, too.
4. The Mallet of Loving Correction, my second collection of Whatever posts, also came out in 2013. It’s my ninth non-fiction book.
5. The Whatever (the blog you’re reading right now!) celebrated fifteen years of existence, which in Internet years means it was around when dinosaurs walked the earth. Considering that when I started the blog AOL was still the largest online service in the world, this is absolutely correct.
6. I helped raise over $16,000 in donations for the Carl Brandon Society this year, and helped garner over $60,000 in pledges for organizations dedicated to fighting racism, sexism, homophobia and sexual assault. I feel pretty good about both of those.
7. I finished up a three-year term as president of SFWA, not without a bit of drama, to be sure. That said, overall I feel pretty good about having left the organization on better financial and organizational footing than when I came in.
8. Pledged not to attend as a featured guest conventions that did not have harassment policies or the willingness to promote and enforce them if they did. I was delighted that over a thousand pros and fans co-signed the pledge.
So, in all, a pretty good year.
Downsides to 2013? Well, I’ve been running more or less full out for about three years, in terms of work, tours and public appearances, so 2013 found me a little crispy around the edges. I cut back the number of appearances I did in the year and made sure I had a little time to relax and recuperate (I’m feeling better, thanks for asking). I also had a small group of online twits spend a whole lot of their time being assholes in my direction. They were adorable. In any event, the upsides outweighed the downsides by a considerable margin.
Onward to 2014.