Tag: awards

Two-Time Nebula Award-Winner Jamie Todd Rubin?

When I was twelve years old, I remember wanting a computer so badly, I sometimes dreamed that I got one. It was one of those rare, completely realistic, and completely delightful dreams. It was frustrating, too, because while I got a computer in my dream, there was always something that prevented me from using it, always some task I had to take care of first, so that I could never really use it in my dream. What I remember most, however, was waking up and feeling for a few fleeting seconds, that I had actually gotten the computer. That was followed by the sudden disappointment at the realization that I had been dreaming. I’d have to wait a little longer before I got my computer. (Eventually, I did get one.)

I haven’t had a dream like that in years. Indeed, for the last several months, it seems that my dreams are a jumble of exhausting images that mostly make no sense and even when I sleep well, cause me to wake feeling exhausted. I have grown desperate enough to begin reading about the science of dreaming and sleeping to see if there is anything I can to so lower the volume of my dreams–or mute them completely for a while.

Well, last night, seeing that they were being threatened, my dreams fought back. It was a bad night in terms of sleep. I went to bed at ten thirty and didn’t actually fall asleep until sometime after 3 am. I know slept between 3 am and 4 am because that is when this dream took place. In the dream, I was at a science fiction convention. I was at a table surrounded by people I knew, but no one I could identify. Everyone was laughing and cheering. I had just learned that I had won not one, but two Nebula awards: one for best short story, and the other for best novelette.

I have no idea what the stories were for which I won these awards. What I remember most was the I couldn’t believe that I had won them. Me, just the kid who liked reading science fiction when he was growing up and wanted to try his hand writing it, the kid who tried for 14 years to sell a story before making his first sale, and who went on to sell about a dozen stories to many of the major s.f. magazines before running dry. I had won two Nebula awards in the same night. How was that even possible? I was elated. I remember tears welling in my eyes each time I thought about it, or each time someone at the table congratulated me. From here on forward, I could always think of myself as two-time Nebula award winner Jamie Todd Rubin.

Sometime around 4 am I woke up and it took a little while for me to realize that it had been a dream, that I had not, in fact, won two Nebula awards. And I have to admit, I felt the same sense of disappointment I felt when I awoke from that dream about getting a Commodore Vic-20 when I was twelve. I wished it were true, but knew that it wasn’t.

As I said, I eventually got my Vic-20, but I suspect a Nebula award (or two) is not in the cards for me. Even when I was selling stories to the magazines, I was never an awards candidate, and I knew it. Indeed, I’ve won very few awards in my life. I do good, consistent work, but I’m not sure anything I do is award-worthy. This is not self-deprecation, or false modesty, but what I think is a fair assessment of my abilities. I’m a hard worker, and do my work–whatever it is–well. That is enough for me.

Still, it felt so good in my dream to think, at least for a little while, that I had won those Nebulas.

Did you enjoy this post?
If so, consider subscribing to the blog using the form below or clicking on the button below to follow the blog. And consider telling a friend about it. Already a reader or subscriber to the blog? Thanks for reading!

Follow Jamie Todd Rubin on WordPress.com

The Golden Globes

Apparently, the Golden Globe awards were presented last night. I didn’t watch. Over the last 10 years, television and movies have mostly lost the battle for my time. There are other things I’d rather do like read, write, and spend time with the family. And besides, award shows were more fun when I lived in L.A.

That said, I noted with delight this morning that Peter Dinklage won for his role in HBOs Game of Thrones. I saw the first two episodes of Game of Thrones before I started racing through the books last year. I suspect that many people like me can picture no one but Peter Dinklage in the role of Tyrion Lannister and that he plays the character perfectly. (Of course, I watched the entire HBO season, despite getting far head in the books.) While the series is excellent (thanks to great writing and acting), Dinklage makes it worth watching, despite the calls on my time. That is why I suspect that when Season 2 comes out, Game of Thrones will be the only show that I am watching. (I’m not watching any shows at the moment and haven’t been since the series finale of Smallville last spring.)

So congratulations to Peter Dinklage, to George R. R. Martin, and to the entire cast and crew of Game of Thrones. Clearly it is still possible to make a show that breaks new ground and sest the bar, rather than the plethora of imitations and remakes that simply try (and usually fail) to reach it.

Don’t forget to vote for the Hugo Awards!

Last night, I voted for the Hugo awards. You don’t have to be an attending member of the World Science Fiction convention to vote, but you must be at least a supporting member. I thought it was a pretty darn good ballot this year and some of the choices were difficult ones. That said, there is one category that I want to highlight for anyone who might still be undecided: Best Related Work.

There are a number of good books up for best related work but I will make my plea one last time for Mike Resnick and Barry N. Malzberg’s outstanding collection of essays, The Business of Science Fiction. I have written before about why I think this book is so important and I won’t repeat myself here. If you are interested, you can go read my post on the subject. The book is available in the package that all members get and if you haven’t had a chance to read it, at least skim a few of the essays before making a final decision in this category.

The Business of Science Fiction faces some tough competition, but I am convinced that it is the most important book to be on the ballot this year.

But whatever your feelings, if you are eligible to vote, please do so. The deadline is Sunday night. There are only a few days left.

SF Signal Podcast on the Hugo Award Best Novel Finalists (with me!)

Episode 53 of the SF Signal podcast is now available online for your listening pleasure. This week’s installment includes a panel discussion on the 2011 Hugo Award for Best Novel finalists, and among the panelists involved in the discussion is yours truly. Take a listen to it, if you are so inclined, because it really is a good discussion and gives you a good feel for the great books on the final ballot this year.

The Business of Science Fiction is a Hugo Finalist!

I saw that the Hugo Finalists were announced yesterday and I was so glad to see that Barry N. Malzberg and Mike Resnick‘s wonderful book, The Business of Science Fiction made the final ballot in the category of Best Related Book. As I’ve said before, I think this is one of the most important books to come along in a very long time. I know it is up against some tough competition in the category, but the service that the columns collected in this book perform for preserving our genre and providing sound advice from experienced veterans is unmatched. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the book, do so. It is well worth it.

I was also glad to see that Analog/Asimov’s dominated the Novelette category. And of course, I was very pleased that Connie Willis’ brilliant novel, Blackout/All Clear is also a Hugo finalist.

Congratulations to all of the nominees. I can’t wait to see where things will end up in August–right about the time that our little girl is being born.

SF Signal is a nominee for the SFX Blog Award for 2011

SF Signal is a nominee for the SFX Blog Award for 2011 in the category of Best Literary Blog. Anyone can vote for these awards and I’d heartily recommend a vote for SF Signal in this category. These guys provide amazing content on the science fiction and fantasy genre from news to blogs to podcasts and mind-melds and their posts are always worth reading. So go vote! And while you are there, check out the other categories you can vote in.

And since I’m on the subject of SF Signal and awards, I might remind everyone that the deadline is rapidly approaching to make your Hugo award nominations. I have already made my nominations and I picked SF Signal as my nominee for Best Fanzine. If you like the content they provide, you should consider it, too.

Oscar nominations for 2011

The Oscar nominations for 2011 were announced this morning. Here are the nominations for Best Motion Picture:

  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • The King’s Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter’s Bone

Such is my state of affairs and my growing indifference to visual media, that I have seen exactly none of the movies on the list. I think this is the first time in my life that I haven’t seen at least one of the films up for nomination.

I decided to scan through the rest of the list, consulting every title that appeared and as it turns out, the only movie I’ve seen on the list is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 which appears to have received two nominations (for Art Direction and Visual Effects). And the only reason I saw that movie is because Kelly and I happened to find ourselves with a few hours of time, unencumbered by the Little Man.

Considering all of this careful, I find that I am completely unmoved by the fact that I haven’t seen these films, and the thought of going to a movie is no longer very appealing. At home my DVR is clogged with episodes of TV shows that I haven’t watched, and about which I am rather dubious if I will ever get back to. There is some good TV writing and acting going on out there, but as a whole, movies and television appear to be going in a direction that I just don’t care for.

(I will admit, however, that I find myself scanning TCM more and more and recording things from 50, 60, 70 years ago. Those movies I don’t mind watching at all.)

I’d feel rather alarmed about this if I thought I was missing something, but something tells me that the movies being made today generally aren’t worth my time. I’d rather write, read my Astounding’s or hand out with the family.

The Business of Science Fiction for Best Related Book Hugo


There are a few good “related” books out there this year, but I want to make the case why I think one in particular is most deserving of a Hugo award: and that one is Mike Resnick’s and Barry N. Malzberg’s The Business of Science Fiction (McFarland). The book is a collection of 26 of the more than 50 Dialogue columns that these guys have collaborated on over the last dozen or so years and their importance to science fiction cannot be understated.

The Hugo award is voted on by science fiction fans: members of the World Science Fiction convention. “Fan” is a very inclusive term. It includes those people who read and enjoy science fiction for pleasure. It also includes probably close to everyone who has written or attempted to write science fiction. While I call myself a science fiction writer, my motto has and always will be “fan first, writer second.”

There are three reasons why I think this book is important enough to deserve not only nomination, but to garner enough votes to win the Hugo:

  1. Many of the essays in the book are attempts to save science fiction–our history, and our roots–from obscurity. The columns within the book are written as “Dialogues” and are, in their way, a kind of oral history preserving the memory of aspects of science fiction’s history that might otherwise be doomed to obscurity. Twenty-six of these Dialogues are collected in The Business of Science Fiction and strewn throughout them are gems that give us insight into the evolution and history of the field. They ensure that they audience reading won’t forget writers otherwise doomed to obscurity, good or bad. It is our history and it is a part of us.
  2. The Dialogs in the book are a frank and realistic picture of the life of a science fiction writer. I’ve said in other places that reading this book is like having two seasoned agents, masters of the field, standing over your shoulders, telling it like it is. They don’t pull any punches, but new professionals (among whose ranks I currently count myself) can only benefit from the words of wisdom on a range of topics near and dear to the hearts of writers.
  3. The book is a fascinating roadmap through the careers of two of the most experienced, respected and admired professionals in the field. Mike and Barry are both writer’s writers and though I am relative newcomer in the field, when I mention their names to other professionals as being among those writers I take as role models, I am told time and again that I have chosen wisely.  The anecdotes they provide in their Dialogues show a beginner how another one-time beginning managed to blossom into a successful science fiction writer.

There are other important books that will certainly get nods in this category, most notably the Heinlein biography by William H. Patterson and the Kornbluth biography by Mark Rich. And both books certainly deserve nomination. But Heinlein is in no danger of being forgotten. And Rich’s book has already done much to resurrect Kornbluth. In each case, however, we are talking about one writer. The Business of Science Fiction and the columns on which they are based is an attempt to preserve all of science fiction. The book is half of the result of a more than decades long collaboration, demonstrating a deep fondness for a genre whose most distant past is already being lost to obscurity. There is a nobility in this book, attacking the problem on two fronts: education fandom of the history of the genre and preserving it for future generations; and teaching the new generation of writers the tricks of the trade so that there will be a future generation.

I’m nominating The Business of Science Fiction for the Best Related Book Hugo and it’s the book that is getting my vote, as well. I’d encourage you to pick up a copy and read it. If nothing else, you’ll learn something about the genre you never knew. And if you are anything like me, once you’ve read the book, you will agree that it is the book that deserves the Hugo this year.

The Hugo Winners

First, congratulations to all the winners.

This was my first time voting for the Hugos. One of the stories I voted for won a hugo, matociquala‘s “Tideline”. I also voted for Rob Sawyer’s Rollback, Stanley Schmidt for Best Editor, Short Form, and Barry N. Malzberg’s excellent Breakfast In the Ruins. None of these won, and I would be lying if I did not admit that I was disappointed. Especially about Barry.

I’ve read Michael Chabon’s stuff before and enjoyed it. But I simply couldn’t get into The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. I tried, really I did. I think this marks the first time that I was not able to get through a book that ultimately won both the Hugo and Nebula awards. I’m sure the fault is with my tastes and not Chabon’s writing or story-telling ability.

I find it remarkable that Stanley Schmidt has been editor of ANALOG for 30 years and never received a Hugo award. F&SF is a great magazine and Gordon Van Gelder published outstanding stories. But so does ANALOG, especially their recent serials (like the Hugo Nominates Rollback or the Nebula-nominated Marsbound by Joe Haldeman).

Barry Malzberg should have won a Hugo back in the early 1980s for Engines of the Night. (He should have won for Beyond Apollo also, but the competition was particularly tough that year.) Breakfast in the Ruins was an improved and expanded version of Engines and I was certain that there was no way he could lose this time. Clearly I was wrong.

I was torn over the novella category between “Rescuing Apollo 8” and “All Seated on the Ground”. Ultimately, I voted for the former because I have a particular fondness for the Apollo program. But Connie Willis is a brilliant writer, and I was ultimately happy to see her recent Christmas story win.

We had a late dinner with a friend last night, and when we got back home, I began searching the internets for word of winners. Finally, just before we went to bed, I saw mabfan‘s post on the results.

I had more invested this time than ever before since (a) it was the first time voting and (b) I know some of the people nominated. I think it made it that much more exciting and I think the thing that I was most disappointed about was that I couldn’t be there in person to watch it all unfold.

Nebula award recommendation!

When I got home today I had issue #221 (June 2008) of the SFWA Forum waiting for me. The Nebula Awards report is included in these issues and I always skim through that section. So I’m skimming the section on Novelettes and whose name and story should I see but my own! That’s right, there is (at this time) one recommendation for “When I Kissed the Learned Astronomer“. I think I know who the culprit is, but I have to say, wow, that’s pretty cool!

And speaking of stories, the latest issue of InterGalactic Medicine Show (issue 9) is available today. This issue has a story by davidbcoe called “Cassie’s Story“. The price of admission ($2.50) is worth it just for that story, let alone all the other good stuff in the issue. (I met David and hung out with him and Edmund Schubert at RavenCon in 2007.)