Once & Future

Charlotte Ashley – Book seller, collector, writer, editor, historian

March 2, 2017

In Which I Am Eligible for the Campbell Award

It’s awards season!

I have been keeping an eye on the award eligibility posts of others in my field, and I think I have the hang of what is expected.  Modesty is the name of the game, fellow Earthlings, and I am nothing if not modest.  Everyone tells me how modest I am. I’m also the most humble. Ask anyone.

I don’t deserve any awards, I’m pretty sure. Personally, I hate my work. Everyone does. The cool people, anyway. Everyone else’s writing is better than mine, probably; if there is even such a thing as quality in art, which there isn’t. Awards are just excuses for fancy parties and circle jerks. Nobody likes those. If I was nominated for any awards, I would refuse them; at first anyway, until you FORCED me to accept them.

On my honour, I have stood impassively in my bubble of authenticity, merely breathing art for its own sake. If any of it happened to make it out into the wider world, I promise that was only an accident, or maybe the unavoidable march of its genius. They published it, not me. I donated my fee to puppies. I never even read it, myself. Oh, you read it? Well, there’s no accounting for taste.

*record scratch*

*struggles not to laugh*

Okay, okay. OKAY.

There is exactly one reason I started writing: because I love my writing. I wanted to read particular stories told in a particular way, so I wrote them myself. I knew just how to craft each character and just how to turn each scene because I needed them to be like that for my own satisfaction, for my own enjoyment. It has been the greatest joy of the last two years to discover that the stories I write resonate not just with me, but with other people – a lot of other people.

My first story to appear in a major publication was “La Héron” in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in early 2015. This story went on to be nominated for both the Aurora Award and the Sunburst Award, and was picked up for podcasting by PodCastle last summer. This was a pretty great start, but 2016 beat that start by a mile.

First, I had my second F&SF appearance with my Quebec Revolution novelette, “More Heat Than Light,” in May 2016.

In June, “La Clochemar” appeared in Clockwork Canada ed. Dominik Parisien, garnering some fantastic reviews.

In August, “La Héron” went up at PodCastle.

In September, Haralambi Markov featured me in his Tor.com column, “Innumerable Voices.”

In October, I undertook a musical collaboration, writing and performing “Distant Skies” with the Junction Trio.

Then, in November, the publication of “A Fine Balance” marked my 3rd appearance in F&SF. Soon after, I placed the story in Rich Horton’s forthcoming Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2017.

In between I sold reprints, did readings, talked at conventions, gave workshops, and joined writer’s groups. I wrote more, sold more, and took on more challenges than ever before. I kicked ass and took names. Not bad for my second year as a professional writer.

My stories are eligible for a variety of awards this year, but what has made me most proud over the last couple of years is not any one story, but the trajectory of my career in general. I decided I wanted to be a writer, and I am doing it. Not only that, I’m doing it well.  I could not be happier with my progress so far, nor could I be more excited about what the future has in store for me.

That’s why the award I am shilling for today is the John W. Campbell Award.

The Campbell Award is a companion of the Hugo Awards, awarded to the ” best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of the two previous years.” I am in my 2nd and last year of eligibility for the Campbell. I would appreciate your nomination.

To nominate for the Campbell (as well as the other Hugos!) you must be a member of the 2016, 2017, or 2018 WorldCon. If you were a supporting member of any of these conventions, you will have received your nomination link! If you join WorldCon 2017 (to be held in Helsinki, Finland) now, you will be eligible to vote for the awards, but not nominate. They will close to nominations on March 18th, 2017.

I hope you will consider me.

And me? Well, okay, *I* am pretty great, but I get to nominate 5 people! Here’s your bonus today – my Campbell ballot. Aside from myself, I will be nominating:

Kelly Robson

Roshani Chokshi

Cassandra Khaw

Tamara Vardomskaya

Cheers, everyone!

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