This year's World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) will be held in Melbourne, Australia from September 2nd through September 6th. Unfortunately, I won't be in attendance since I'll be going to Dragon*Con in Atlanta that same weekend. However, every year the members of Worldcon vote on and present the Hugo Awards, and I have three books that came out in 2009 that are eligible to be nominated in the Best Novel category: WARBREAKER (which you can download for free here—feel free to pass the link on to any Worldcon members you know!), ALCATRAZ VERSUS THE KNIGHTS OF CRYSTALLIA, and THE GATHERING STORM. My editors Moshe Feder and Harriet McDougal are eligible for nomination in the Best Editor, Long Form category, and artists Dan Dos Santos (for the WARBREAKER cover—which a fairly random blogger has just named the best cover for a 2009 SF book by an LDS writer) and Darrell K. Sweet (for the THE GATHERING STORM cover) are eligible in the Best Professional Artist category. (Technically I believe my MISTBORN 2 annotations are also eligible for a nomination in the Best Related Work category, since I finished with them back in April, but I haven't even considered that those might be worthy of recognition.) Any member of this year's or last year's Worldcon may nominate until March 13th, after which only members of the 2010 Worldcon will be able to vote on the final ballot.
Robert Jordan never won a Hugo Award. Not one of his books even garnered enough nominations to earn a spot on a final ballot. On one hand I think it's a shame that someone who was such a monolith in the field and who did so much for the mainstream success of fantasy publishing should never have been so recognized (as I said back in 2006 when I advocated his nomination for the World Fantasy Life Achievement award). On the other hand, his absence from the lists may simply illustrate that his fan base doesn't overlap much with the voting base for the awards. If few of Robert Jordan's fans attend Worldcon, it can hardly be a surprise that he was never nominated for a Hugo. Still, I think nominating one of Robert Jordan's final three books would be something Worldcon members could feel proud to do, though I don't know that this year will be the best opportunity for that. We'll have to see what happens.
If THE GATHERING STORM did get nominated, I'm torn about how that would make me feel. We don't often realize how much we miss something—or someone—until they're gone. So, in that regard, I think a nomination might be very respectful. However, to have a Wheel of Time book finally get nominated only after Robert Jordan has passed away would also feel somewhat odd, as I do feel this book would have been better if he'd been around to complete it. Still, the reader response to the book has been excellent. I guess I'll just leave it in your court, readers. If you decide to nominate the book, I suspect Robert Jordan would be honored. But I'm not going to push or lobby for nominations. (That's frowned upon anyway.)
This week's episode of Writing Excuses . . . wait, now that I think about it, Writing Excuses should also be eligible for a Best Related Work Hugo nomination. Huh . . . that would be an even more unlikely coup than our Parsec Award win last year. Well anyway, this week's podcast episode discusses collaboration. In the most recent MISTBORN 3 annotations, I talk about Lord Fedre and some spoilers as well as Vin's attempt to defeat the sedative.
This month I'll be answering questions over at GoodReads' fantasy book club, following up on their discussion of WARBREAKER. Have something you've been dying to ask me, particularly about WARBREAKER? Head on over there.
Rob Bedford sent me a note to let me know he'd named WARBREAKER a standout book in SFFWorld's fantasy review of 2009. Over on his own blog he also named me his MVP Author of 2009. Thanks, Rob! Unfortunately, this does not come with a trophy.
Finally, a note about THE NAME OF THE WIND author Patrick Rothfuss's Worldbuilders charity drive that's ending on January 15th. Last year he raised $114,000 for Heifer International, and this year he's matching donations at 50%. So far people have donated $87,000, making the total more than $130,000. As a carrot for donating, Pat is collecing a large number of prizes that will be given out in a lottery—each $10 donated gets you one ticket for the drawing. Over a thousand books have been donated so far to give out as prizes. I helped contribute one of the biggest items: a copy of THE GATHERING STORM that is signed not only by myself and Harriet McDougal, Robert Jordan's wife and editor, but by many people who helped make the book as great as it was: Tom Doherty, Tor founder and publisher; Robert Jordan's assistants Maria Simons and Alan Romanczuk; Moshe Feder, my editor at Tor for my own books; my agent, Joshua Bilmes; Paul Stevens, my in-house editor at Tor; Dana Giusio, a VP at Macmillan, Tor's parent company; Phyllis Azar, head of marketing at Tor-Forge; Irene Gallo, Tor's fantastic art director; and last but not at all least, Dot Lin, the Tor publicist extraordinaire who lined up so many great signings in my recent tour. Anyone who donates at least $10 will have a chance to win this book (or a huge number of other great items, like some kind of book by Neil Gaiman that Pat is packaging with a rock), and the more you donate the better chance you'll have of winning. I think Heifer International is a worthy cause, so why not lend a hand before the January 15th deadline?
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