Hello and welcome, science fiction award board members, voters, and fans! Please enjoy the canapes and wine being passed around. The envelopes with your individual bribes will be under your chair in the main dining room after the presentation. AFTER the presentation, sir. Please wait until the end. Let’s try to maintain some decorum, shall we?
There are a HOST of science fiction awards. There’s the ones most folks know about, like the Hugo,the Nebula, and the two different Campbell awards. There are also about 76 other awards given out on an annual basis. The problem is, as a newbie and an ostensibly indie one at that, I don’t know awards people or awards voters. But I am quite proud of my success in 2014, and I’d like to think I might be able to play in the big leagues with those who know and participate in award circles like it’s second nature. It may be childish, but unlike some who eschew awards or believe sales alone are the only reward one needs, I do want that validation from the community (and I believe that recognition can’t necessarily hurt sales either). Is my stuff award worthy? I dunno. I’d like to think so. They’ve garnered rankings, reviews, and comments equivalent to those received by nominees and winners in the past. But my worry is that my pro-sale stories were never seen (there is a LOT of stuff published in magazines every year), and my indie stuff carries the stigma of being indie/self published crap (there’s even MORE indie stuff published every year, both masterful and . . . less so). So, rather than campaigning, I just wanted to get a reminder out there that I do have eligible works for consideration. And if YOU have eligible works you’d like to see get more recognition, by all means plug-away in the comments below!
Eligible Short Stories – Pro-Market Published:
1. “The Rememberists” – Daily Science Fiction, July 15, 2014 – What do you do if you cannot escape your past, if things did not go they way they should have? Hire a rememberist!
2. “Bumped” – The Grantville Gazette Universe Annex, December 2014 – An in-love mad scientist and a tough dame share a first date, only to be interrupted by three noir-ish baddies on a heist. Collisions ensue.
Eligible Short Stories – Semi-Pro, Small Press, and Amateur Published:
1. “Within This Horizon” – Riding the Red Horse anthology from Castalia House, December 2014 – A damaged space navy officer contends with becoming “orbital debris,” relegated to the backwards, useless, bluewater navy, and must deal with both his own dashed expectations and the bitterness of a CO in the same situation. (for a free review copy of my story or the anthology, e-mail me, private message me, or comment below)
2. “The 1011000-100110110000011010011 Truce” – Liberty Island Magazine, Alternative Holiday Short Story Contest Grand Prize Winner, December 2014 – The shift to automated warfare may or may not save lives in the end, but you’d never see a situation like the 1914 Christmas Truce of WW-I again. Or could you?
3. “The Gaslight Consultant” – The Writer’s Arena, Reality Bites competition, October 2014 – Who better to drive someone crazy, or make them believe they are seeing ghosts than a team that may actually be crazy (or who sees ghosts)? NOTE: This was not my best story of 2014, but there are absolutely some stories on The Writer’s Arena that should be considered, especially the best of the year I saw there: “Words on the Wind” by Lu Whitley, a great soft-fantasy/magic piece.
Eligible Short Stories – Independently Published:
1. “Dogcatcher Blues” – REMO collection by Thomas A. Mays, April 2014 – A disgraced soldier is ordered to carry out a terrible punishment duty, rounding up man’s worst friend on a pacified rebel planet. But picking up this cybernetic Hellhound is more problematic than others. Rather than fetch a simple unintelligent feral, this dog is a deserter who will do ANYTHING to avoid going back. I could simply name any story in the REMO collection as eligible (other than the previously published “Strategic Deployment”, but this story is my favorite and I kick myself for not submitting it for pro-publication before putting it in my collection. (for a free review copy of my story or the whole collection, e-mail me, private message me, or comment below)
Eligible Novel – Independently Published:
1. A Sword Into Darkness – Stealth Books, January 2014 – 30,000 copies sold in 2014, 349 reviews on Amazon with a 4.4 star average, 3.88 stars on Goodreads with 33 reviews and 531 ratings, and great independent reviews on a number of sites (check out the book link on the right or down below if you are on mobile). This was my pride and joy and a financial boon in 2014. Is it literary or award-worthy? Like I said, I don’t know. I do know that if you appreciate a classic style and theme, if you like smart military sci-fi space opera with respectable physics, if you love pull-em-up-by-your-bootstraps, libertarian-leaning tales of space navies or overcoming alien invasion, and if your favorites include Niven, Pournelle, Heinlein, Clancy, or Ringo, then this is a book for you to vote for. (Again, for a free review copy, e-mail me, private message me, or leave a comment below.)
So, we’ll see. Chances are I won’t be remembered around awards season. There’s just too much good stuff out there, but if you haven’t checked out mine, I think you might like it.
Plus, friends and followers of The Improbable Author, if you would like to plug your own work for award consideration, by all means let us know about it in the comments below. I know that indie/self published shorts and novels have gotten nominations before (if rarely), and I would love to see one win, and if not mine, then another worthy indie.