Tag Archives: award

Historical Nebula Nomination Read Series [1965] Introduction

In my lack of infinite wisdom, I’ve decided to go on an auspicious journey to expand my horizons. Let me sum up.

I’ve been reading science fiction and fantasy for as long as I can remember, generally like most writers of the genres, however there are a ton of books I haven’t touched. No matter how many authors I’ve read, there are dozens more I haven’t, including some of the classics in sci-fi and fantasy.

At first, I just started picking up random older, less-known books along with some of the famous ones I’d previously skipped, but I didn’t have much order to my findings and readings and, let’s face it, I was searching for authors, most of whom I was already familiar to at least some degree. When trying to come up with further lists of books to look into, I kept finding the same exact books being recommended time and time again, with little variation or imagination to the recommendations. Which was…frustrating.

Then I thought, what about the nominated books that didn’t end up winning a Hugo or a Nebula or didn’t end up skyrocketing into fame? When we talk about the nominations in current years we usually consider many of them worthy of the award, yet there are always those who think a different story should have beat out the others for the top spot. (There are also books that some people think are snubbed from year to year in terms of nominations themselves, but unfortunately, that’s not something I can easily look up.)

But I can easily look up the Hugo and Nebula nominations and wins. And wouldn’t it be fun to read all the noms in previous years (just as people have done or are doing with this years nominations) and then determine which book I personally would have wanted to win that year?

So that’s exactly what I’m going to do! Starting with the Nebulas.

1965 is up first. Of the 12 nominees (yes, 12, but 1966 only had 3 and 2 of them jointly won, so it evens out) I’ve only read Dune, which isn’t surprising because it won the first Nebula and is one of the most famous science-fiction novels of all time. I’m planning on rereading it, along with reading the other 11 books for the first time. They are:

  • The Star Fox by Poul Anderson
  • Nova Express by William S. Burroughs
  • Rogue Dragon by Avram Davidson
  • Dr. Bloodmoney by Phillip K. Dick
  • The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Phillip K Dick
  • The Genocides by Thomas M Disch
  • The Ship that Sailed the Time Stream by G C Edmondson
  • A Plague of Demons by Keith Laumer
  • All Flesh is Grass by Clifford D Simak
  • The Clone by Theodore L Thomas & Kate Wilhelm
  • The Escape Orbit by James White
  • Dune by Frank Herbert

There’s a possibility I may have to read a total of 14 books before this is finished since Borroughs’ Nova Express is the third book in what looks like a trilogy and I prefer to start at the beginning. But what’s another couple of books :)

I let my daughter choose which book I started with: Rogue Dragon. Not surprised in the least. It has the word dragon in it and that’s far more interesting to an 8 year old than the rest of those titles.

One more thing to note: I read Dune a long time ago, so nostalgia can easily bias this first year’s pick when all books have been read. I’m going to do my best to read without the nostalgia, but eradicating my emotions completely isn’t possible, so I’ve already come to terms with the fact that I may just choose Dune, along with the rest of the voters in 1966, because of youthful love. Yet the point is to read, to experience, so whether or not that happens, I’m still gaining.

Will be writing a check-in blog in June to note my thoughts on the books I’ll have finished thus far :)

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Writers of the Future 1st Place Winner!

I won!

I didn’t think it would ever happen…but it did! I won Writers of the Future! And first place even!

First thoughts?

Yay! I’m going to the workshop to learn from real pros!

Yay! I’ll get to meet and talk to people who are as geeky as me without them judging my love of genre fiction!

Yay! I’m going to be published in an already well-received anthology that will actually sit on bookshelves in actual bookstores!

Yay! I’m going to get up in front of a whole bunch of people to give an acceptance speech and sign books with super shaky hands!

…uh. *hides under desk*

Yeah, okay, those last two have me nervous as hell, but I’ve a year to prepare.  :)

Right now, I’m still in a state of shock. I kept expecting Joni to call me back and tell me ‘Oops, I totally tallied things up backwards and you actually were 8/8.’ As it was I had two loud children talking/crying next to me as I was trying to talk to her so she was probably grateful when she finally got off the phone with me. I’m not really sure I could do much about that so hopefully she’s the forgiving type.

My stats for the contest for any interested:

Total of 7 submission (8 if you count my Q2 2011 sub that just got pulled).

Q3 2009: Rejection

Q4 2009: HM

Q1 2010: HM

Q2 2010: Semi-Finalist

Q3 2010: Finalist

Q4 2010: HM

Q1 2011: 1st Place Winner

Q2 2011: Pulled

The two Finalists and the pulled story for Q2 were my attempts at writing to market. I owe a bunch to the Writers of the Future forum that I stalked for information. Goldmine there, if anyone is looking for tips. So thank you to all the peoples who asked questions so my shy, introverted self didn’t have to.  :)

Also, previous winner Brad Torgersen has a great write-up here about his thoughts on how to win the contest and I highly recommend anyone submitting to give it a look. It helped me out alot. I especially want to reiterate buying a recent copy of the anthology, picking out the stories you love and delving into them to discover why you loved them so you can apply those basic elements in your own stories. Stress on the ones you love.

No sure things, but the research I did helped me rise from an HM to Finalist, though I admit to being convinced it would take me at least 5 Finalists before I might actually win – 5 being a generic big number that felt far away and impossible. (Yes, bad me went back and reread my story and mentally rejected myself before I got the results back from Joni.)

Yes, I’m rambling. Yes, I’m excited. My honey is probably tired of listening to me talk about the workshop next year.  :)  I guess he has almost a year to suffer. :)