Secret Good News: Hugo and Campbell Nominations

If you were hanging out on Twitter or Facebook Sunday night, you may have seen a massive flood of excited announcements and joyful congratulations, coming and going and whizzing around on all sides. The Hugo nominations were being announced! I was nominated twice, and I was ecstatic, but I was not surprised–I’d already known for two weeks. Keeping it secret was maddening.

For the first leg of my book tour I stayed several nights with Mary Robinette Kowal and her husband in Portland, and one day between writing sessions we started talking about Hugo nominations–we knew they were coming soon, but we didn’t yet know exactly when, and since we were both eligible we were walking on eggshells. “The thing is,” said Mary, “they have to call ahead for every nominee to confirm that you’re eligible, and to ask if you want to recuse, so the nominees know early. This time of year you can start to figure out who’s been nominated just by watching Twitter for people saying ‘I have secret good news I’m not allowed to talk about.'”

Later that night she checked her email, laughed, and said “I have secret good news!” Her short story ‘For Want of a Nail’ had been nominated, so we went out for Thai food to celebrate (no specific thematic reason, we just all like Thai). And then began what we shall call “The Great Refreshening of Email.” I think I refreshed my email about 200 times over the next few days, but nothing appeared. Either I hadn’t been nominated for anything, or they were still making their way through the categories.

A few days later my time in Portland came to an end, and I woke up early to drive to San Francisco. I was about 2/3 of the way there when Brandon Sanderson called. “I assume you’re away from your email, because you’re not responding to the thread.”

“Yeah, I’m in the middle of nowhere on I-5, what’s going on?”

“Writing Excuses has been nominated for a Hugo for Best Related Work.”


“Yeah,” he said, “have you been nominated for anything else? You’re eligible for the Campbell this year.”

“I haven’t seen anything,” I said, but you can bet I pulled off the road and refreshed my email a few thousand more times just in case. Nothing. I drove the rest of the way to San Francisco, called my wife to tell her the news, and went for a walk in the rain just to force myself away from the Internet. It was really starting to drive me crazy.

The next day I signed in Borderlands, and afterward a nice young lady came up and asked if I could spare a few minutes for some questions. I said sure, and very quickly realized that the questions centered around the strong central theme of “are you eligible for a Campbell award?” the Campbell is not a Hugo, but it accompanies them; it the award for Best New Writer, and therefore has a very brief window of eligibility following the date of your first publication; two years after you’ve published something professionally, you’re not really a “new” writer anymore. My books came out in 2009 in Europe, so I was still legal, and my one previous short story publication had been in a small, non-professional student magazine, for which I wasn’t paid, so I fit all the criteria. It turned out that this was one of the award organizers, and she officially congratulated me: I had been nominated for the Campbell!

That was two weeks ago, and while I may have let the news slip to a couple of people here and there, I managed to keep my mouth pretty shut. One of my only nights home during that book tour included RPG night, and as we all sat down to play I turned to my friend Larry Correia. “Before we get started, I have to ask: do you have secret good news you’re not allowed to talk about until Sunday?”

“I don’t know,” he said, “do you have secret good news?” And then we both smiled, because we knew, and we congratulated each other for our secret good news. I’m honored to be sharing the Campbell category with him.

And now it’s public, and I couldn’t be happier.

I should also point out a few close other friends who’ve been nominated. First, of course, is my awesome editor, Moshe Feder, who’s been nominated for Best Editor, Long Form. Since his only authors publishing last year were Brandon and I, we’re justifiably proud of him. He’s an awesome guy and an awesome editor.

Eric James Stone, whose work I’ve been touting here for a while now, was nominated for Best Novellette for his story “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made.” This story was also nominated for a Nebula, and it absolutely deserves all the hype, and it’s up for free on his website so go read it as soon as you can. It’s awesome.

I met Lauren Beukes at WorldCon in Montreal, back when we were both completely unheard of, and I became a fan within the first few pages of her novel Moxyland. She writes fast-paced, prophetic cyberpunk set in Johannesburg, plus she’s incredibly cool and very nice. As with Larry, I’m honored to be sharing the Campbell category with Lauren.

21 Responses to “Secret Good News: Hugo and Campbell Nominations”

  1. Dude. Sincere congratulations. I think it’s much deserved.

  2. Congratulations, Dan! That’s some seriously amazing secret good news. :)

  3. Andrew says:

    Congrats, Dan, on both the Hugo and the Campbell nominations. Awesome!

  4. Congratulations, Dan!!!!

  5. Will Munn says:

    Congrats, Dan! Fantastic news! I am certain that you have much continued success ahead. Be well. -Will

  6. Congratulations, Dan! I was going to be very sad if you weren’t on the Campbell ballot.

  7. Jace says:

    Much congatulationingness on the nomination! Much deserved, very much so.

    Moshe Feder is the editor behind you and Brandon? Then he deserves his nomination every bit as much!

    Read Leviathan already, and yes. It is awesome.

    As for Mary’s work, haven’t had a chance to read any, but she was cool on Writing Excuses, so good luck to her!

    And it goes without saying that Writing Excuses should win too.

  8. Congrats again, Dan.

    That was funny at game night. “Soooo… Got anything you’re supposed to keep secret?” “Maaaybe.” We’re such dorks. Neither one of us wanted to say anything if the other guy hadn’t been nominated. Not too shabby to have 2 out of the 5 finalists be from Utah.

    That means that our game night now officially contains 40% of the best new authors in the world… Yes, we are in fact, totally awesome.

  9. Reece says:

    Congratulations! That’s so exciting! Nobody deserves it more!

  10. Steve D says:

    You and Larry are going to be unbearable on the way to WorldCon this year. Even worse, if one of you wins you’ll be even MORE unbearable on the way home.

    Just remember, Larry has concealed weapons permit.

  11. Steve, it is not honored in Nevada. :)


    Absolutely well-deserved, Dan!

  13. admin says:

    Yes, Larry has a gun and outweighs me by at least two mes. But I wrote three books about a little creepy guy who takes down bigger, scarier guys when nobody’s looking. Don’t count me out yet.

    Also: if you think Larry and I will be insufferable on the ride home, be glad you’re not sharing the room with us at DragonCon two weeks later. I’m kind of hoping Lauren wins just so Larry and I can stand each other. (Just kidding: screw Larry, vote for me.)

    And thanks to everybody else, especially Jonathan, who I must point out is currently nominated for a Stoker award for his novel Rot & Ruin. If you haven’t read it based on my review last year, go read it now, it’s awesome.

  14. Steve D says:

    I’m so glad the votes are anonymous. Stuck in a car between a gun nut author (Larry) and a serial killer writer (Dan) is a good way to have my life shortened prematurely.

    Just remember, I reviewed all your novels equally well.

    And yes, if you aren’t reading both Mary’s works and Jonathan’s works, you need to re-prioritize your reading list. Both are completely awesome!

  15. Jace says:

    It’s funny. Schlock Mercenary introduced me to Writing Excuses, which is how I found out about Brandon and Dan… and now my reading horizons are being expanded further. I just wonder what will give out first: my wallet, my bookshelf, or my sanity…

  16. Sean - Texas says:

    So I just got “I Don’t Want to Kill You” in the mail yesterday while I was at work. My wife texted me, saying I had received a package, and I was thought, “Sweet!”

    I get home and she’s two chapters in. I won’t be seing the book for awhile.

    Sad day.

  17. LeeAnna says:

    My students here at UNC-School of the Arts in my “The Monster As Metaphor” loved I Am Not a Serial Killer, although a huge debate ensued over whether it’s magical realism, horror, or a new genre entirely. I suggested that labels aren’t the issue–that the poignant irony of a demon teaching a boy empathy might be more important. Congratulations on your awards and your excellent work. If you ever have time, could you let a somewhat tired teacher of horror literature know if Mr. Crowley’s name was inspired by the Alastair Crowley of the Church of Satan? Also, you might run into my brother-in-law Brett Cox at some point–he’s a horror author and conference attender, and a fan. I appreciate your books so much, because they arouse reaction in my students.

  18. admin says:

    LeeAnna: thanks for writing. I love hearing about classes Reading my work, and if there’s anything I can do to help with a future class please let me know.

    Crowley’s name was inspired by my realtor, actually, because I needed a name and he had a magnet on our fridge; that’s why his name is pronounced with an ‘o,’ not an ‘ow.’ I didn’t make the Alistair Crowley connection until the book was already published, at which point I wished I could have gone back and changed it, because I worry that it makes the demon’s identity too obvious.

  19. Jace says:

    If it helps, I think I found the name came across as a double-bluff.

    “Hey, Crowley like Alistair Crowley… or the demon in Good Omens. Maybe… nah, too obvious. Dan wouldn’t do that.”

    And, of course, there will always be people who don’t know about Crowley and would not make the connection. Although some of them are probably the same people who were put off by the demon.

  20. Warm congratulations! That’s very cool. And congrats on the honor you received last night. I can’t imagine a better outcome to the evening.

    Thanks for your terrific class this past weekend. I learned a ton. I appreciate your generosity in sharing your talents with the writing community.

  21. John Brown says:

    Congrats, dude!

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