Hello all! I’m fresh returned from a fantastic weekend at a friend’s wedding, full of joy in life, abuzz with reconfirmed friendships, new connections, and a bit sore from dancing and alcohol. People are wonderful, and so’s the physical world. They have sunsets and rivers there, and you’ll never find human beings like this anywhere else. They’re fantastic.
Also the Hugos happened this weekend! There have been full roundups of the event—I’m a particular fan of Chuck Wendig‘s for reasons that transcend but include the fact that he curses more freely than I tend to online. Tobias Buckell figured out what the Hugo ballot would have looked like had a small angry cabal not organized a voting bloc in an attempt to drown out the broader conversation of fandom. It’s a cool list, with good writers on it.
One of those writers is me! (Sort of, maybe, depending on the 5% rule.) Which, it’s really flattering that people liked my short story A Kiss with Teeth, but I’m not at all bent out of shape, save that it would have been an honor to be on that all-star list—Aliette de Bodard, Amal El-Mohtar, Ursula Vernon, and Eugie Foster! Foster’s not being nominated is a special tragedy, since she passed away this last year.
I feel particularly wistful for the Campbell shortlist that might have been—Wes Chu ended up on the final ballot in spite of the slate, but the rest of the nominees would have been Andy Weir, Alyssa Wong, Carmen Machado, and Django Wexler, which, god, what a group! All these people have fantastic careers already, not to mention ahead of them. Wong’s fiction has been burning up the award shortlists this year, as has Machado’s—not to mention her New Yorker by-lines—Wexler’s writing not one but two fantastic fantasy series, bro do you even sleep, and Weir has, in case you hadn’t heard, a movie starring Matt Damon due out in a few weeks (not to mention a great, long-defunct webcomic). An award nomination would have confirmed what’s already obvious—that they’re the future of SFF.
I’m mostly sad for that counterfactual world because meeting my fellow Campbell nominees was such a huge part of WorldCons 2013 and 2014. We came from all over the genre spectrum, with wildly divergent backgrounds, we wrote very different stuff, and in the years since we’ve taken different paths—but we brought a strong bond away from WorldCon, and it’s a shame the alt nominees didn’t get that chance. So, at the risk of advice-giving, because I guess that’s what this is, um, Django, Alyssa, Wes, Carmen, Andy—say hi to one another next time you’re at the same con, okay?