Official Campbell Pimpage Post

I posted a small bit o’ fluff yesterday, but that’s not quite enough. As my old high school band teacher used to say, “Here’s the deal…”

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer sheds light on some of the easiest folks to skip in the bookstores and magazines of genre: new writers. Our name on the cover of something means relatively little to you. We don’t have the kind of history that someone like a Guy Gavriel Kay, Larry Niven, or Harlan Ellison has in your imaginations. When it comes time for Hugos, Nebulas, National Book Awards, we’re not, generally, in consideration against the established luminaries of the genre. And, without some push, it’s hard to bridge the gap between a small audience, and a giant audience as you go from early to mid career. Good books and talented writers disappear into the stacks of history every, single day.

With that in mind, I thought I’d take the opportunity to embrace the spirit of the Campbell Award by promoting upcoming voices with a more in-depth, pimpage post. Eligibility for this prestigious award is an excellent excuse to shed light on some of the deserving voices I would certainly love to see on the ballot. (Honestly, including my own… What? I want to be on the ballot, you know!)

Writers are only eligible for two years following their first professional sale. Let’s start with three writers in their second year of eligibility.

Felix Gilman

He was on the ballot last year, and he was a strong contender for the prize. He’s also a fantastic writer, whose strange urban, multiversal visions are expressed with flowing, lovely sentence-work and characters that are always interesting, inventive, and original unto themselves. Check out his two novels, if you can – they’re both excellent – THUNDERER and GEARS OF THE CITY. I’ve asked Weird Tales to put his short story, “The Catastrophe” up on their website so folks who are interested can get an introduction to his distinctive brand of Post-New Weird. I’m gushing a little, if only because right now I can’t really link you to anything he’s written on the web. Others’ works will speak for them, just fine.


J M McDermott

Not only the host of this blog, and a manic instigator of all sorts of troublesome dialogues, I wrote a book, and I’ve published some stories. I assume you’re familiar with my novel if you’re here. I will say that my publisher folded after six months of the release of my book, stranding me into a hazy, in-between state perhaps better off, perhaps not. A Campbell nomination could go a long way to getting the rest of my unpublished novels sold. You wouldn’t be at this blog if you weren’t interested in those unpublished novels…

More on where you can find my stuff way down at the end…

Rob Rogers

Author of the excellent super hero book, DEVIL’S CAPE, Rob has gone on to publish a short story in a John Joseph Adams Anthology about Sherlock Holmes. He was with me when our imprint imploded. We were orphans together. Our books deserved better. DEVIL’S CAPE is a fantastically entertaining dark fantasy novel with circus freaks, the mob, powerful forces, and a fantastic location. A Campbell nod would go a long way to making his sequel happen.


Right. So, now we’re on to some folks in their first year of eligibility.

Amal El-Mohtar

Editor of the excellent, beautiful poetry ‘zine “Goblin Fruit”, Amal has won the prestigious Rhysling Award for her speculative poetry, and no one is surprised by that. Far more published as a poet than a fictionist, her fiction is still very strong in part because it is deeply informed by her poetic voice. A nod to Amal is a nod for the rising tide of speculative poets and literary fabulists, with their tight awareness of individual word choices and awarreness of the nuance of language, among whom Amal is an amazingly talented voice – a leading voice, even.

Goblin Fruit
Her Fiction in Strange Horizons:

Shweta Narayan

Anyone following the excellent semi-pro ‘zines needs no introduction to Shweta’s work. two major influences of her stuff seems to be fairy tales and her multi-cultural upbringing on all sorts of continents. She’s been in GUD Magazine, and Shimmer Magazine, and, well… Let me just link to her extensive bibliography. Seriously, she’s been around. I wish I could link to ONE FOR SORROW, from Shimmer Magazine, for your reading pleasure. Anyone want to poke Shimmer and get that posed for a while?

Charms in Strange Horizons:

Camille Alexa

I actually recently finished reading her first collection, PUSH OF THE SKY, and found a grab bag of things to like. From strange butterfly magic, to a tongue-in-cheek Space Western, Camille has narrative range. Her future is as bright as her amazing hair, and both Jay Lake and Publisher’s Weekly agree with me that you should check out her first anthology. But, why take our word for it, when you can dip your toes into an excellent short story of hers at Fantasy Magazine…

Bibliography with Links:

Are You Eligible to Nominate and/or Vote for a Campbell?

If you are eligible to send in a nomination to Hugo Awards and John W Campbell Awards, and you are not familiar with my work, please drop me an e-mail and I will happily point you to a magical spot where you can get a free .pdf of the novel, courtesy of APEX BOOK PUBLISHING. If you know anyone who will be eligible to nominate or vote, please point them my way for their magic link.

My e-mail, in case you don’t see it to the right: sankgreall (at) gmail (dot) com

So, just drop me a line. I trust you guys and gals and squid to be honest!

Now, if you know anyone else who is eligible that you want to pimp, drop a comment below, and I’ll edit them in to this post!

And, consider this an invitation to pimp Campbell-Eligible Authors at your own places and sites and tweets and faces and whatnot.

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