Posts Tagged ‘Campbell’

Campbell Award eligible writers you should pay attention to.

The Hugo nomination period is winding to a close. Voters have until Saturday, March 26 to make their nominations. I’ve already posted my list of eligible fiction elsewhere. Right now I want to draw your attention to the Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

More specifically, I want to draw your attention to some writers.   This is not my ballot, you’ll note, because there are more than five names on this list.  These are writers that I think you should be reading, even if you can’t vote for the Hugos.  If you can, however, and have a space in your Campbell ballot, any of these folks would look nice in a tiara.

Saladin Ahmed was a nominee last year and is still eligible this year.  He is best known for writing smart epic fantasy often with an Arabic twist.  Look for his forthcoming novel Throne of the Crescent. (2nd year)

Dan Wells wrote three of my favorite books in the past year.  He kicked off a series with I Am Not A Serial Killer which is one of the best examples of first person prose I’ve seen in a long, long time.  The series continued with him managing to raise the stakes and not repeat a move through Mr. Monster and I Don’t Want to Kill You.  Incidentally, I Am Not A Serial Killer is also Hugo eligible. (2nd year)

Liz Argall writes dreamy, imaginative short fiction that plays with language. They usually evoke a solid sense of place.  She’s spent years in comics and her short fiction career is just starting to take off. (2nd year)

Lauren Beukes is a South African writer, who has been getting a  lot of attention for her novels.  Sometimes she writes fantasy, sometimes SF, but her works have a clean, interesting narrative line that’s shaped by her years as a journalist. Zoo City is currently a nominee for the 2011 Arthur C Clarke Award and the 2010 BSFA Award. (2nd year)

Keffy R. M. Kehrli is a short fiction writer. “Ghost of a Girl Who Never Lived” typifies his work in that it takes a science-fictional concept and looks at the deeply personal way it can affect lives.  (2nd year)

Shweta Narayan is a current finalist for the Nebula Awards with her short story “Pishaach.” She’s lived on three continents and six countries which definitely shapes her fiction. There is a fairy tale or epic myth feeling to her stories.(2nd year)

Amal El-Mohtar is another Nebula nominee for her story “Green Book.” Her fiction always makes me think of poems written in narrative format. Her use of language is exacting and at the same time flows with inevitable grace. (2nd year)

I’ve also been noticing very good work coming from 2nd year eligible writers Kater Cheek, D. T. Friedman, Lev Grossman, and 1st year eligible writers Tom Crosshill, Helena Bell, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Gray Rinehart, Brad R. Torgenson, Wendy N. Wagner, and Christie Yant.

In fact, you should visit Writertopia, which has a list of writers who are eligible.  Even if you aren’t voting for the Hugos this year, I highly encourage you to check out the work of these up and coming writers.

Are you eligible for a Campbell?

Just a reminder, or a head’s up for those who don’t know, the official Campbell site is displaying all the eligible authors that they know about.  The key here is the phrase “that they know about.”

If your first pro-sale has appeared in print in 2008 or 2009, make sure you contact them to get included on the list of Campbell eligible authors.

Campbell-winner David Anthony Durham giving ARC

My dear friend, the 2009 Campbell-winning, David Anthony Durham has ARCs of The Other Lands, his new book. And he’s giving one away!

Okay. Here it is. My first The Other Lands giveaway. There may be more to come, but this one is purely from my own stash. I’m offering one of the three advanced copies of The The Other Lands (Acacia, Book 2) that I received from Doubleday, and I’m tossing in a shot at the mass market paperback of the UK edition of Acacia: The War with the Mein. This is them:

You can enter for them separately, and you can enter up to two times. But I’m going to make you work a little bit.

The Campbell Tiara

Campbell TiaraI’m in Montreal where I will hand over the Campbell Tiara to the newest winner of the Campbell Award for Best New Writer.  I’m seriously looking forward to it.  This year had a really strong field with David Anthony Durham, Aliette de Bodard, Tony Pi, Felix Gilman, and Gord Sellar.

Any of them would look good in the tiara.

When Jay Lake and Elizabeth Bear came up with the idea for the tiara, it was to raise public awareness of the award.  This only works if people recognize the tiara and what it means.

Which means wearing it.

Not that this is particularly onerous, since it’s pretty.  I joke about how I wore it to all “State Occasions” but the truth is, I’ve worn it at every con I’ve been to this year.  I’ll have it on at WorldCon. I’m a little bit uncomfortable with that, because the spotlight should be on the nominees and this feels like I’m begging people to pay attention to me.  But here’s the thing… you know the Hugo Rocket pin?  You see that and if you’re at WorldCon, you immediately what it means because it’s entered the public consciousness.  The same should be true of the Campbell Tiara.  Which means wearing it.

So that when I pass it to the new winner, even if you don’t attend the Hugo Ceremony, you’ll know that the person in the tiara is this year’s recipient of the Campbell Award for Best New Writer.  That’s the whole point of having it. Plus it’s pretty.

The truth about John Scalzi

The concom at ConQuest 40 were looking for a bio of John Scalzi but wanted something a little more detailed and accurate than the standard wikipedia one.  They asked me if I’d assist, given my long-standing friendship with him, and write one for them with some behind the scenes details for the program book.  In the interests of making this information available to the wider public, here is a brief biography with never before told facts.

Every word of it is completely true.

John Scalzi, Campbell-award winning author, has been thrilling fans with his writing since he began as is evidenced by his Hugo award for fan writing. This amazing victory can best be summed up in the reaction of his mother-in-law, who often weeps at the thought of his writing and what it means to her daughter.

But where did this phenomenal talent come from? Born in California on May 10, 1869, Professor Scalzi’s life followed normal patterns for a child of his time. Although he demonstrated an early facility for language in the forged notes he created to get out of the entirety of third year, his true skills did not become apparent until his parents sent him to an exclusive boarding school in the Catskills. This location would become ironically apt later in his life.

Brother Francis Gerard later commented in his memoirs that “Young Scalzi had the worst hand-writing we had ever seen. It was impossible to test him because no one could read his writing, and yet curiously, his forgeries were impeccable. So we set him to copying, hoping that he would learn to write his own words as well as he could write other’s.”

Taking the command to “copy the good book” rather more liberally than his instructors intended, Scalzi picked out what he called, “the only good book in the school library,” Starship Troopers. Not content with merely copying the original text, Scalzi began the project that led to his receiving the 1985 Hugo for Best Fan Art — The Complete Illuminated Works of Robert A. Heinlein. Rendered on vellum with ink ground from a mixture of boa-boa berry and dark coffee, these lovingly drawn works represent nearly a lifetime of work. The sheets of vellum measure on average 24″ by 17″ inches and have an estimated $5000 worth of gold leaf and powdered cobalt spanning the collection.  Exhibited at the Smithsonian, MOMA and the Vatican, they have brought universal acclaim from old fans and new alike.

In 2004, Scalzi was awarded a fellowship at Yale for his work on the Illuminated Manuscripts.  The pressure of teaching interfered with his continuing efforts so he moved with his wife Krissy, to rural Ohio.  There he began working with private students on the fine art of illumination.

While taking a break from his students, Professor Scalzi happened to witness one of his neighbors working on the neighboring ranch, herding his flock of cats. The job was overwhelming the man, so Scalzi stepped in and discovered that these highly trained animals were bored with their role.  He introduced them to the notion of illuminating manuscripts which they took to, as if they were born to it. He’s since begun work on a new illuminated manuscript collaborating with the cat, Ghlaghghee .  They selected the material together by the simple means of Professor Scalzi spreading his books around until Ghlaghghee chose one to sit on — The Collected Works of Francis Bacon.

The Guardian’s take on exciting new SF and fantasy writers

Jay Lake sent me this link to the Guardian today, so you know, I clicked through out of curiosity.  The headline was “The next generation of SF Writers” and then there’s a photo of a spiral arm galaxy, the caption of which is, “In a galaxy far, far away … Hill, Kowal or Scholes?”

Um.  Whoa.

The science fiction and fantasy community likes to honour the writers in its ranks, and no honour comes higher for new writers than the John W Campbell award. Previous winners include Orson Scott Card, Stephen Donaldson and Cory Doctorow, so it’s certainly worth watching. This year, Mary Robinette Kowal beat a strong shortlist to scoop the award on the basis of a clutch of well-crafted short stories that showcase her emotional deftness while still telling strange and exhilarating stories in the SF tradition.

Thanks Mr. Walter!  This is an excellent pre-birthday present.

Here, let me offer a party favor!   This is an audio version of “Evil Robot Monkey” from the 2008 edition of the Solaris New Book of Science Fiction.

[audio:evilrobotmonkey.mp3]

via Damien Walter on exciting new SF and fantasy writers | Books | guardian.co.uk.

2008 Fiction wrap up

Antiticaption, the 2009 Hugos held in Montreal, has opened the doors for Hugo nominations today, so I thought I’d mention which of my stories came out in 2008.

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(“Evil Robot Monkey” will be appearing in both Rich Horton’s Science Fiction Best of the Year and Gardner Dozois’s The Year’s Best Science-Fiction)

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I’d also like to point out that the Campbell nominations are open as well.  Receiving this award at the Hugos last year was one of the most amazing experiences and I’m looking forward to passing the tiara on to the next recipient.

Please swing by the Campbell award page to look at the eligible authors.  In particular, allow me to point out that Jon Armstrong and David Anthony Durham are eligible again this year for the award.  They were both nominated last year and I’ve had the pleasure of not only meeting both gentlemen but also reading their work. Good stuff, folks.

The Campbell dress

Yes, I’m calling it that now.  Ellen Datlow managed to take photos before the ceremony, so you can actually see the bodice of the dress.  People ((You know who you are)) were asking about it.

It’s from the early 1960s ((The dress is heavily boned through the bodice and comes with its own crinoline.  I need to get a slip to wear under it, because the crinoline is itchy.)) and I picked it up in Portland, OR at Ray’s Ragtime. Every year, Rob and I throw a formal dress dinner party for Christmas. I have a small collection of ballgowns for that because I firmly believe that everyone should be allowed to dress up if they want to and I’ll be darned if I wait around for someone else to make the occasion.

My favorite photo from Denvention 3

Jay Lake, Me, John ScalziAlan Roberts came to the “Strolling with the Stars” event that Stu Segal had arranged and offered me this photo.  It is my very favorite one.  Let me tell you what is happening here.  I’m standing between Jay Lake and John Scalzi, two men who are dear friends as well as being former Campbell winners.  I feel so very proud to share their company, not just because of our friendship but because I admire them both tremendously as writers.

On my left wrist, you see that corsage?  My friends Ken Scholes and Jen West gave me that.  Jen loaned her husband to me for the night as my escort.  See, I’d told Rob to stay home because I was so sure that I wouldn’t win but Ken volunteered to be my date.  Never did a girl feel so supported.  It was like going to the prom, but so much better.

Honestly, as much as the Campbell award means to me, the larger thing that it represents is embodied in these guys.  I am daunted by their talent, but at the same time, I know that I am supported by them.  And that support is why this is my favorite picture.

The Campbell Award

I truly, without false modesty, did not expect to win this. I’m still in a state of utter giddy shock that I have the Campbell tiara on my head right now. It is so beautiful and I am deeply, deeply honored. I would have been happy to see any of the other nominees win, and I encourage you to pick up their novels.

Out of consideration for the audience, I did not take time to thank everyone that I wanted to thank. We would have been there forever. Here’s a partial list of people I want to thank.

My mom, who started my love for stories by reading to me.
Dad, who is my best story debugger.
My husband, of course, for reasons that I will enumerate to him in private.
My brother, niece and nephew, who got me writing again.
Mr. & Mrs. Kowal who have been so supportive, even though speculative fiction is a new and alien thing.
Ken Scholes, my literary dad, who believed in me enough to introduce me to his agent.
Who is now my uber-agent, Jennifer Jackson.
Joy Marchand who has brainstormed with me and shared the road.
Emily DeCola who lets me tell her stories.
Beth Wodzinski who doesn’t let me get away with crap.
Mr.Fisher, Mr. Allen and Miss Sarah who collectively give such insightful critiques that everyone makes me a better writer.
John Scalzi for being one of my dearest friends and being incredibly supportive.
Jay Lake and Elizabeth Bear for coming up with the idea of the Campbell tiara, which I love.
The three fellow nominees I’ve had the fortune to meet are David Louis Edelman (Infoquake), David Anthony Durham (Acacia) and Jon Armstrong (Grey). They are some of the classiest men I know. Go read their books.
Orson Scott Card, without whose Literary Bootcamp I would probably still be flailing trying to understand plot.
Damien Broderick from Cosmos, who bought “For Solo Cello, op. 12” and taught me what sensory detail meant to a story.
Jason Sizemore, for being an early and enthusiastic supporter of my short fiction.
The First Line, who bought my first story.
Strange Horizons, for buying “Portrait of Ari” which started my Campbell clock.
Everyone at Codex Writers Group.
All the Inkslingers.