We're five days into the Christmas season, and my regular social media haunts are brimming with encouraging; you might even say humbling, developments.
Distant Hugo Rumblings
It was recently brought to my attention that my debut novel Nethereal has been recommended for inclusion on the Sad Puppies 4 reading list.
For the shrinking number of SF fans who aren't aware, Sad Puppies 4: The Embiggening is an all-inclusive effort, led by author Kate Paulk, to assemble a recommended reading list of 2015's best sci-fi and fantasy works in preparation for next year's Hugo awards.
SP4's organizers have gone to great lengths to assure the public that they are not putting together a slate of prospective nominees. Instead, they are essentially conducting a poll to determine which books, films, related works, etc. are deemed worthy of consideration by the fans. With nearly a million new books published each year, SP4 aims to make likely Hugo voters aware of works they might otherwise have missed, and to help establish a broad-based consensus regarding nominations.
There is no fee or political litmus test to make suggestions. Anyone can participate (even George R. R. Martin, himself a vocal critic of Sad Puppies 3, has voiced his support). That is the rationale behind SP4's subtitle "The Embiggening". The bigger the number of fans who make their preferences known, the better.
With major league authors like Jim Butcher, Anne Leckie, and Larry Correia represented, imagine my surprise when I learned that my obscure space opera has been suggested for a Best Novel nomination, and that my name has been mentioned among far more prominent names for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.
As a member in good standing of World Con, I fully support SP4's efforts to expand the voting membership to reflect the astronomical growth of sci-fi fandom. They say it's an honor just to be nominated. Since a nomination is, at best, highly unlikely, I'll restrict myself to saying that I'm honored and humbled that a non-zero number of readers find my book award-worthy.
By all means, judge the work for yourself.
Of course, when I've whittled down my to-be-read pile a little more, I plan to join in and offer some recommendations of my own.
Geek Gab Star Wars Episode Reactions
Speaking of the Hugos, six-time Hugo nominee John C. Wright lavishes praise on Geek Gab emcee Daddy Warpig for our recent review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Daddy Warpig suggests a much cleverer use of the characters: Leia, obsessed with finding Luke in order to straighten out her criminal mastermind son, enters the galactic underworld as once she did before (when she infiltrated Jabba the Hutt) and has grown bitter and cynical with time, and SHE is the smuggler. Meanwhile, respected war hero Han Solo is now weighed down by a desk job, and debating tax policy in the Senate.But for my money, DW's highest accolade came from one of Mr. Wright's readers:
Keep it up, Daddy Warpig! If you're drawing favorable comparisons to the guys who wrote the book on Star Wars reviews, you're doing something right.