Over the Hump
Happy Labor Day, everyone!
September has begun. I don’t know about the rest of yous, but I felt like August dragged its feet through its own humidity and got lost in front of an air conditioner with streamers tickling its face. This summer has been all preparation for autumn, and now that autumn’s looking me in the face, I feel a return of that sense of urgency. I updated the site’s theme this weekend (which you’ve probably already noticed). I wanted it to be a bit more welcoming, a bit more readable, and a bit cleaner. I think this new theme fits nicely.
There’s a lot going on this month, more next month, and more the month after that. As this year wraps up, I’m looking forward.
Last night, I spent a couple hours watching the Hugo Awards. If you’re not familiar with those, they’re the sci-fi/fantasy writer’s equivalent of the Oscars. Each year, a different convention hosts WorldCon. This year, LoneStarCon in Texas had that honor, and the line-up of honorees was truly stupendous. Chuck Wendig, John Scalzi, Mur Lafferty, Seanan McGuire and her alter ego Mira Grant. So many fantastic authors and creators and fans.
I’d never watched the Hugos before, mostly because I’ve never been to WorldCon. But with the interwebz, all things are possible.
It’s funny, the feelings I had watching Paul Cornell read out names. It’s funny the feelings I have thinking of conventions. Yesterday at work, we had a really slow start to the night shift. I spent about forty-five minutes just talking cons with our busser, who’s an artist and super big geek. He talked about getting yelled at by Gary Bussey, how once Seth Green commented on one of his photos on Instagram, showed me pictures of himself with a bunch of celebrities, and we squeed about all the things that are possible at conventions.
I guess it’s the sense of YOU ARE MY PEOPLE. The same sort of thing when I ran some food out to the bar patio, placed it on the table and heard a “dee-dee, dee-dee DEE-dee” and I immediately turned to the guy and said, “Did your phone just go all Power Rangers?” and he fist pumped and went, “YES!”
Watching the Hugos last night was a sort of quiet fist pump moment, if that’s even possible. I know some of those people. I’ve met John Scalzi and Chuck Wendig (who did not win the Campbell Award, but is AWESOME with or without it). Scalzi did win. Seanan McGuire and Paul Cornell and their SF Squeecast won best fancast for the second year in a row (and subsequently removed themselves from further consideration like a BOSS). I have no doubt that in the coming years, I will know more and more of those people on the roster. They’ll become my peers. This year I’ve watched a tidy heap of writer friends get agents and go on submission — myself included. I’ve seen some get book deals already. Next year some of those books will be out. Two years from now, some of the names of my group of debut author friends could be up for a Campbell award themselves.
It’s weird how something like this can have such a profound meaning. I’m not directly affected by any of those rockets that got handed out last night, but they hold a lot of significance. Less than ten years ago, John Scalzi published Old Man’s War and won the Campbell. Last night he took home the highest honor in our genre: the Hugo for Best Novel. It’s like an actor winning Best Actor or Actress at the Oscars.
I’m not going to count myself a failure if I never bring home that particular award. But the symbol of being nominated for something like that (or a Locus, or a Nebula) — that’s heady stuff.
Anyway. It’s September. The trees might be slowing down and getting ready to shed their leaves, but publishing’s about to wake up. I’m about to wake up. To prepare for an autumn of conventions, races, fitness, and moving into a new home.
A year ago, I sent out my first query letter for SHRIKE. Makes me wonder where I’ll be a year from now.
Where’s the autumn taking you?