David Louis Edelman David Louis Edelman

More on the Campbell Nomination

As my previous coupla-sentence blog post sorta indicated, I’m hella pleased to be nominated for the Campbell Award for Best New SF/F Writer. In case you’re stumbling across my blog for the first time, um, hey there. I’m the author of Infoquake and the soon-to-be-released MultiReal. But wait! Before you click on either of those links, allow me to say some good words about my fellow nominees.

I read on somebody’s blog this afternoon that Scott Lynch would “win in a walk.” Between you and me, I’m expecting he’ll win the Campbell this year too, but at least I want to make him sprint for it a little. I haven’t heard a bad word about his Lies of Locke Lamora (except from me) or the follow-up, Red Seas Under Red Skies. I dunno, given that he’s the Hot New Fantasy Author on the block and everyone I know universally acknowledges him to be a great guy, there must be something wrong with him.

'Grey' by Jon ArmstrongI met Jon Armstrong at World Fantasy this year, and I have read his debut novel Grey. It does share a number of thematic concerns with my own Infoquake — economics, rampant consumerism, class discrepancies — and it’s quite funny to boot. The book got one of the best advance blurbs I’ve ever seen from the inimitable Michael Chabon: “Jon Armstrong is a genius, with an umlaut, to the fifth power.” On a personal level, my impression of Jon (sorry, Jön) is that he’s a much, much nicer person than me, though that may be damning him with faint praise.

I haven’t met David Anthony Durham yet, but his name seems to crop up quite a bit these days as a fantasist to watch. He’s already got a solid foothold in Respectable Lit’rary Territory with his historical novels Gabriel’s Story, Walk Through Darkness, and Pride of Carthage. A vote for David might be a solid strategic move if only because it will put another dent in the armor of the snooty academics who look down on genre fiction.

I would be very, very pleased to see Mary Robinette Kowal walk off with the Campbell tiara. And not just because she’s smart, she’s my friend, she’s got a story in George Mann’s new Solaris anthology with me, she’s got a highly original voice (in both the literary and literal senses), and she’s dead sexy. She’s also the only nominated author this year with no published novel under her belt. C’mon, big New York publishers, what are you waiting for? Make this gal famous already so we can start our own cool, edgy, avant-garde writers’ movement.

My fellow Pyr novelist Joe Abercrombie stands a good chance of staging an upset win this year for his The Blade Itself and Before They Are Hanged. I’ll confess I haven’t gotten around to reading them yet, but the adjectives that get tossed around about this guy’s work are enough to make anyone jealous. Plus he has a highly entertaining blog. You know, on second thought, please help me bury Abercrombie’s work in obscurity before he totally reinvents the genre out from under the rest of us.

'The Blade Itself' by Joe AbercrombieAnd what about my chances? Well, I’m not totally counting myself out of the running. But admittedly I was rather quiet for most of 2007, and I think by the time people read my upcoming MultiReal this summer and get reacquainted with my work, the voting deadline might have passed. I’m contemplating sending my spouse down to North Carolina to stir up some racial tension, and pressing for a recount of the Hugo ballots in Michigan and Florida. If I do win, I’ll make sure that the world knows it’s not because I’m a better writer, but because I kicked up more dirt, threatened more people, tossed around more money, and slept with more influential people.

But you want to know the real interesting question? I’m wondering if Patrick Rothfuss still got more nominations than any of us, even though he’s not eligible for the award due to a technicality. It’s simply not right to pen an article about Campbell Award nominees in 2008 and not mention Pat, who would otherwise be the bearded 800-pound gorilla this year for his debut The Name of the Wind. I’m kind of disappointed he didn’t pick up a Hugo nomination instead.

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  1. Bob Nolin on March 22, 2008 at 12:33 pm  Chain link

    First of all: congratulations! Well deserved, best of luck and all that. Secondly, Scott who? (I got 50 pages into his “novel” and tossed it in the garbage.) Thirdly, while I hope you win, the books winning awards these days are often (if not usually) pretty awful. But good luck, nonetheless.

  2. David Anthony Durham on March 22, 2008 at 4:13 pm  Chain link


    Congrats. I’m looking forward to fun in Denver – no matter who does that walking thing.

    I find that those snooty academics only pretend to wear armor. They’re actually quite soft and squishy, vulnerable to even glancing affronts. That’s why they walk around grumpy so much of the time. They make for strange company, kinda itchy. Maybe I should be hanging out with a different crowd…


  3. Joe Sherry on March 24, 2008 at 9:19 pm  Chain link

    Congratulations, sir. I haven’t had the opportunity to read Infoquake yet, but I’ve heard nothing but good things. You’re in very good company on that Campbell ballot.

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