The nice folks at SasQuan have just reminded me that Award Season has opened and that it’s time for those who wish to do so to nominate works for the Hugo Awards ballot (more information here).
Below is a list of our eligible works, with links to those that are available for reading on the web, followed by some auctorial commentary.
Works are listed in this format:
TITLE, MONTH OF PUBLICATION, VENUE, WORD COUNT, CATEGORY
Here you are:
The author known as Sharon Lee and Steve Miller published three eligible works in 2014.
The Rifle’s First Wife, January, Splinter Universe, 13,350, novelette |LINK TO STORY|
Roving Gambler, April, Splinter Universe, 15,432, novelette |LINK TO STORY|
Code of Honor, May, Splinter Universe, 10,805, novelette |LINK TO STORY|
(PLEASE NOTE: 2014 was a year in which no new Liaden book was published. Yes, the mass market editions of Necessity’s Child and Trade Secret came out in 2014, but those editions are reprints. When in doubt, check the copyright page of the book in question.)
The author known as Sharon Lee published three eligible works in 2014.
The Gift of Music, January, Baen.com, 5,048, short story |LINK TO STORY|
Carousel Sun, February, Baen, 104,000, novel |SAMPLE CHAPTERS|
The Night Don’t Seem So Lonely, December, Baen.com, 8,334, novelette |LINK TO STORY|
Last Award Season was. . .exceptionally acrimonious. Somewhere within the general hootenanny and rending of garments, there stirred to life a relatively small, little scoldy thingy which was trying to become a Rule, to wit: That authors ought only to bring forward those works they had published in the previous year that were worthy.
This is bullshit, and I will tell you why.
The Hugo Awards are a readers award. That means that the readers decide which works are “worthy.” How do they do that? By reading the works published in the previous year and deciding which one(s) they liked best. You may say that no one can read all the works published in the previous year. I would say that you are right, but nonetheless, it is not the job of authors to predigest their work for you.
For one thing, authors are, historically, lousy at picking their own best works. That’s because we created the work. I can’t “read” my work. I can analyze it; I can deconstruct it; but in the end, I, the creator, am not the audience for my work.
Do I have favorites among those works we published last year? Yes. Yes, I do. Steve has favorites, too. And you know what? They’re not the same. And the reasons that Stories X and Y are favorites? Have nothing to do with the “worthiness” of those stories in terms of consideration for a reader’s award.
I’ll end with an anecdote. Back in nineteen-aught-eighty-one, I wrote a story titled “Master of the Winds.” It was a young story, even for that early stage of my career. It was never anything but journeyman work.
Fifteen years into the following century, thirty-four years after it was written, I still, once or even twice a year receive an email from a reader who will cite “Master of Winds” as one of their favorite stories ever.
If that’s so — and why would they say so, if it wasn’t? — then who on earth am I to tell them they’re wrong?
Oh, one more thing. Last year, another scoldy little thingy arose from the group discussion, and tried its damnedest to grow up into a Rule. That one was: It is Unseemly for Women Talk About their Award Eligible Works.
That’s bullshit, too. I’ll leave it to you to figure out why.