Congratulations to all of the winners of the 2013 Hugo award! And congratulations to all the nominees, as well!
For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s the most prestigious award that you can win for science-fiction and fantasy. (I hope someday that I might earn one.) I think the most well-known analogy I have would be that it’s like winning an Academy Award (Oscar) for your speculative fiction writing. IT’S A BIG DEAL.
I don’t know that any of the authors I’m about to congratulate specifically even know I exist, but I’m going to congratulate them regardless because they continue to inspire me. I wish I felt comfortable enough to be the fan that shares things like this on their twitter/facebook/other social networkings, but I’m not. (Maybe when I feel like I can call myself a colleague as well, instead of just a fan. But enough about me.)
We’ll start with Brandon Sanderson. He actually won two Hugos this year, for best novella and as part of the Writing Excuses team for best related work. Not only is his writing extremely excellent, but I’ve met Mr. Sanderson at book signings several times and every time I have been so very impressed with the way that he treats his fans. He is always willing to answer questions, and to take time to give a little bit of encouragement to those of us who are aspiring to be where he is someday. I keep telling myself that when I make it big, THAT is the kind of person I want to be to my fans. So congratulations, Mr. Sanderson! I can’t think of a more deserving person to win two Hugos in one year.
Next, I want to congratulate the Writing Excuses team: Mary Robinette-Kowal, Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells. The Podcast won the Hugo this year for best related work, and I really can’t think of a better group of people to give that award. The Writing Excuses podcast has been the best thing to happen to my writing since realizing so very long ago that I wanted to be a writer and nothing else. Because of Writing Excuses, I now know that writing really is an attainable goal for what I want to do with my life, not just a hobby, and I’m better armed to get to that place. (I also have more competition from other new writers than ever before, but I think that would have happened with or without Writing Excuses). Congratulations, Writing Excuses!
Last, but not least, I want to congratulate John Scalzi. His novel Redshirts won best novel for the year. Going back to the Oscar analogy, this is like winning Best Picture. Now, I want to say that I’ve read the book, but I haven’t yet. It’s been sitting on my shelf for a while, waiting for me to work my way through the books that are ahead of it on my list. I have known since the very beginning that it is a book that I am going to like. I love Scalzi’s style, I love his humor, and I love the Star Trek phenomenon of the red shirt from which the concept of the book derived. Now I’m even more anxious to read it. I think it might be jumping to the top of my list. Scalzi’s winning is even more wonderful when you consider that humorous works are rarely winners in the Hugos. I haven’t been privileged to meet Scalzi as much as I’ve been able to go to Brandon Sanderson’s book signings. (Sanderson is local to me, Scalzi is not). But he is also the sort of author who treats his fans well, and he uses the popularity he has to fight for good causes. The convention anti-harassment movement is Scalzi’s brain child, for example. He is another of those authors that I look at and say, “when I make it big.” Congratulations, Mr. Scalzi.
Congratulations again as well to all of the other winners and nominees. Even if I’ve never personally encountered either your work or your public presence, you give me hope that someday I can be on that list too. We all have to start somewhere, and I’m sure that many of you never dreamed when you started writing that you’d be where you are today. What an accomplishment even to be nominated. Congratulations to you all.