The Nominations post.

January 19, 2017 § 1 Comment

This is never a good look on someone and I’m not thrilled I’m doing it now. theaandthomas

I did a post back on the 4th covering my family situation. It’s actually gotten slightly worse, but people have done what they could and I appreciate every bit of help we got. This is only tangentially related to that post. In that post I mentioned that I was eligible for a Hugo award this year for both Nameless and Heartless, the two novels I published in 2016. I then asked folks to nominate me.

Being that I was a trifle stressed (still am) I failed to notice that it costs $165 US to become a member of Worldcon75, and thus be eligible to nominate someone for a Hugo award. That’s money I don’t even have myself, so asking people to spend that money just to nominate my books for an award is hubris writ large. That kind of kicked me in the stomach when I saw it.

So I apologize to anyone who felt like I expected them to spend that kind of money just to nominate me. That’s absurd. I don’t expect that. I should have realized what I was asking, and I apologize.

However, if you’re going to Worldcon75, or you already went to MidAmeriCon 2 (which was the 2016 Worldcon) or you’re going to Worldcon76 (the 2018 Worldcon) that means you’re already eligible to nominate. If that is the case, I’m still willing to ask you to consider nominating me. Why?

Well, first off, both novels are good. That’s not just me saying so. You can look at the reviews for Heartless on both Amazon and Goodreads and do likewise for Nameless as well. I’m not really very good at self promotion, as this post clearly attests, but I believe I’ve done good work and will be able to do better work in the future if I’m allowed to.

Frankly, one of the things that might stop me is Diabetic Retinopathy. This isn’t a “Please vote for the blind man” appeal, but rather a bare statement of fact. I only have a few years left at the current rate of degeneration, and as a result I’m focused on the now instead of a few years down the road. I get that many authors in my position would wait and hope to build buzz by putting out more works, but I don’t know that I have that kind of time. In a field where we saw last year outright racist, sexist, bigoted trolls unleash armies of sockpuppets to get books nominated, I’m just asking for consideration from decent people who want SFF to be a more inclusive place.

My work deals with identity, family, love, loss, and dealing with who you are and who you turn into. It includes LGBTQ characters because that’s what my life has included and it’s who I am as well. I want to tell the stories of people like the people I’ve known, sometimes I’ve loved, sometimes I’ve hated. Do I believe that either of my novels were the best that came out last year?

No. I’m not that good yet. I have serious stylistic hobbyhorses that I’m working on, I spent 12 of my prime writing years crippled by depression and self loathing and I’m not on top of my game yet. I’m good, and I’m working to get better, but I’m not the best yet and I know it. But frankly, I really am good. And my books are unique, distinctive, I don’t think you can honestly point to that much else out in the Weird SFF world that is like what I do.

I at least deserve your consideration.

I neither believe I will win nor even believe I will actually be on the short list. No one’s heard of me. I’ve only sold a few thousand copies of my books. I’m extremely obscure, even my one Publisher published book came out over a decade ago and that publisher has since moved into comic books. I’m not under any delusions about how widespread my name is or my chances. And I’m certainly not willing to ask anyone to spend $165 US just to nominate me for an award.

But like I said, my time is running out. I have to do the few things I can do to spread the word about my work while I’m still capable of producing it. Thus this post. This isn’t even a Hail Mary at this point. It’s more like trying to make a basket from the stands of the stadium next to the one the game is being played in. This is me just whipping that thing up into the air and praying it hits a comet. When the nominations period closes and I’m not nominated, I’ll shrug and get back to writing and hoping something breaks for me and my family.

If you feel moved to read my work and consider it, then thank you. That’s really all I can ask.

§ One Response to The Nominations post.

  • Jessica says:

    Hi Matt,

    I’ve long been a fan of your work at WoW Insider/Blizzard Watch (even when I strongly disagreed). I just stumbled across your blog, and I’m so sorry to hear about your health problems.. I wish I had the money to help you out, but for what very little it’s worth I’ll for sure be checking out your books on Amazon.

    I wish you the best, to whatever extent possible…

    PS, great choice on Last Call for one book to recommend! Tim Powers is so damn good.

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