Campbell Award eligible writers you should pay attention to.

The Hugo nomination period is winding to a close. Voters have until Saturday, March 26 to make their nominations. I’ve already posted my list of eligible fiction elsewhere. Right now I want to draw your attention to the Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

More specifically, I want to draw your attention to some writers.   This is not my ballot, you’ll note, because there are more than five names on this list.  These are writers that I think you should be reading, even if you can’t vote for the Hugos.  If you can, however, and have a space in your Campbell ballot, any of these folks would look nice in a tiara.

Saladin Ahmed was a nominee last year and is still eligible this year.  He is best known for writing smart epic fantasy often with an Arabic twist.  Look for his forthcoming novel Throne of the Crescent. (2nd year)

Dan Wells wrote three of my favorite books in the past year.  He kicked off a series with I Am Not A Serial Killer which is one of the best examples of first person prose I’ve seen in a long, long time.  The series continued with him managing to raise the stakes and not repeat a move through Mr. Monster and I Don’t Want to Kill You.  Incidentally, I Am Not A Serial Killer is also Hugo eligible. (2nd year)

Liz Argall writes dreamy, imaginative short fiction that plays with language. They usually evoke a solid sense of place.  She’s spent years in comics and her short fiction career is just starting to take off. (2nd year)

Lauren Beukes is a South African writer, who has been getting a  lot of attention for her novels.  Sometimes she writes fantasy, sometimes SF, but her works have a clean, interesting narrative line that’s shaped by her years as a journalist. Zoo City is currently a nominee for the 2011 Arthur C Clarke Award and the 2010 BSFA Award. (2nd year)

Keffy R. M. Kehrli is a short fiction writer. “Ghost of a Girl Who Never Lived” typifies his work in that it takes a science-fictional concept and looks at the deeply personal way it can affect lives.  (2nd year)

Shweta Narayan is a current finalist for the Nebula Awards with her short story “Pishaach.” She’s lived on three continents and six countries which definitely shapes her fiction. There is a fairy tale or epic myth feeling to her stories.(2nd year)

Amal El-Mohtar is another Nebula nominee for her story “Green Book.” Her fiction always makes me think of poems written in narrative format. Her use of language is exacting and at the same time flows with inevitable grace. (2nd year)

I’ve also been noticing very good work coming from 2nd year eligible writers Kater Cheek, D. T. Friedman, Lev Grossman, and 1st year eligible writers Tom Crosshill, Helena Bell, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Gray Rinehart, Brad R. Torgenson, Wendy N. Wagner, and Christie Yant.

In fact, you should visit Writertopia, which has a list of writers who are eligible.  Even if you aren’t voting for the Hugos this year, I highly encourage you to check out the work of these up and coming writers.

13 Responses

  1. todd

    shweta narayan is definitely one to watch. her semi-steampunk short stories have me taking notice

  2. Liz Argall

    I admire your elegant, articulate blog posts so much – I haven’t read Lauren Beukes or Dan Well’s work yet, but your description of all the other writers is spot on (and thank you for your kind words).

    And yeah, check out Writertopia and link surf. I love how the Campbell award has introduced me to the work of my peers. It is such a pleasure to be part of this cohort and I don’t know how I’m going to narrow my picks down to five.

  3. Sensawunda

    The Green Book did have a lyrical, poetic quality that isn’t found too often in prose. I love the metafictional romance of it all. For me, the Nebula for Best Short Story come down between The Green Book and Arvies.

  4. Pam Adams

    I saw Zoo City on John Scalzi’s Big Ideas. A great book, and I’m glad to know that she’s Campbell-eligible.

  5. Amal

    Only just saw this — thank you so much, Mary! I love lists like these, and am honoured to have been included.

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