Thursday, January 10, 2008

Patrick Rothfuss NOT eligible for Campbell?

Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Name of the Wind, may not be eligible for the John W Campbell award for Best Writer. (info cribbed from Joe Abercrombie and David Louis Edelman)

This is news because I had expected this year's Campbell Award to be between Patrick Rothfuss and Scott Lynch, with some Joe Abercrombie and perhaps David Louis Edelman thrown in.

From Abercrombie's post:
It would appear that, regrettably, Patrick Rothfuss isn't elligible because of some short fiction published way back when (Yes! Yes! Fist Pump!)
Now, I found an interview where Rothfuss reveals that he hasn't published short fiction before, but his webpage does reveal that he won the Writers of the Future contest in 2002 with a short story that was really an excerpt from the book which would be come The Name of the Wind.

Confused? Me, too.

Here's where it gets easy. Edelman linked this page about the Campbell. Follow over to the eligibility rules here.

To qualify for the award a writer must have published in the last two years in a qualifying market. Publishing includes short fiction (so, should I sell to Strange Horizons I'm eligible) and in 2002, that winning story which constitutes the entirety of Rothfuss's short fiction output? It was published in the Writers of the Future Anthology: Volume 18.

Which means that Rothfuss was eligible for the Campbell in 2003 and 2004. Before anyone else had heard of him or The Name of the Wind.

What does this mean? That Lynch / Rothfuss scrap fight for the award? It ain't happening.

My Lineup (based on name recognition and actually reading some of the work:
Scott Lynch
Joe Abercrombie
David Louis Edelman
Mary Robinette Kowal
Alex Bledsoe

Lynch doesn't need the bump, so I'll give it to Kowal over Bledsoe. Haven't read Abercrombie or Edelman (makes things unfair, huh?)


Amy Sisson said...

The thing with the Campbell is that a lot of the timing is luck. Writers of the Future is a great first sale for a lot of people, but not enough people read (or think highly of) the contest's anthologies to be aware of or want to nominate any of those authors (Jay Lake notwithstanding, but I believe he had a lot of publications right after his WOTF publication). If a couple of years go by without some visible sales, well, them's the breaks. Lots of authors have experienced the same thing as Rothfuss, so I can't get particularly upset about it for any one author.

Everyone's voting philosophy differs, and that's fine, but personally I would rather vote on who I think the best author is, as opposed to who does or doesn't need the boost.

Joe said...

Last year was the first time I had put any thought into the Hugos or knew anything about the nominees at the time the nominations were announced, so I don't have too much of a history with the awards...except in a general sense that I was aware of them.

But, I get what you're saying and I'm sure any writer who specializes in short fiction and sells to the Big Three will still get short shrift on the Campbells, let alone Writers of the Future.

I'm not upset about Rothfuss, just surprised. I haven't even read his book! :)

If I actually had the ability to nominate and vote for the Campbell (which I don't because I'm not paying for the right this year or next year), I would almost definitely vote for Scott Lynch (given that I haven't read Abercrombie or Edelman). I love, love Mary Robinette Kowal's short fiction and I would love her to have the potential career boost that the Campbell could give her, but if I was actually voting I'd go with Lynch. I just place a higher premium on novels and his two have both been outstanding.

I'd still like to see MRK at least pick up a nomination.

Greyweather said...

I have read both Lynch's Lies and Edelman's Infoquake. I enjoyed them both thoroughly, but between the two I'd pick Lynch. I'm waiting on my copy of Abercrombie's first book, so he still has time to wow me.