The award season is upon us. Hardcore fans are furiously catching up on their reading so they can nominate their favorite books and stories for Hugo and Nebula Awards. But for those of us who only recently joined the ranks of professionally published authors, there’s another important accolade: the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.
One is eligible for the Campbell Award within the first two years of their first professional publication. Most of the time the title goes to writers who produce an excellent first novel, but occasionally short fiction writers have been honored as well.
There are literally dozens of great eligible authors. Chances are, you don’t know who most of them are yet — but you should. This year, M. David Blake and Bruce Bethke of Stupefying Stories put together a great sampler of work from the eligible writers. Whether you plan to vote for the award or not, you can download this very large volume absolutely free of charge. It may contain the next G.R.R. Martin or J.K. Rowling and you’ll be able to claim that you were reading them since way before they became famous!
In addition to those soon-to-be discovered geniuses, this anthology contains three of my stories:
“Spidersong” is a dark SF flash which was originally published by Daily Science Fiction in late 2011 and was my first Campbell-eligible sale.
“A Shard Glows in Brooklyn” is an adventure story that combines humor, noir, and urban fantasy elements with the colorful setting of my home town. It was printed in Buzzy Magazine last April.
“You Bet” is an absurdist humor piece about a unique Poker game. I published it at the UFO web site as part of my fulfilling the promises made during the UFO Kickstarter campaign.
When given an opportunity to showcase some of my work in this anthology, I selected these stories because I feel they are a good representation of the sort of things I like to write. They are not my best work to date — those stories are either releasing in 2013 or are still looking for markets — but they’re good stories and I’m proud to have them help make my case for nomination.
So why should you consider nominating me for the Campbell Award?
* I wrote my first story in the spring of 2010. I sold it the same year. And I sold my second one, too.
* In 3 years, I sold 43 original stories to date, not counting reprints and micro things like Twitter fiction.
* Six of those sales are to SFWA qualifying markets. Many others are to pro paying markets.
As proud as I am of those accomplishments, everything really comes down to just one thing: how much do you like the stories? So, please, read this anthology. Track down and read works by the eligible authors who weren’t included in it. And then nominate / vote for the authors whose work has impressed you the most.