People have asked me, as they do every year, to put together a list of what I had published last year that could qualify for a Hugo nomination. I don’t normally get my act together enough to do this, but a combination of elements, including
1. Worldcon is in Dublin this year!
2. I’m very proud of last year’s novel! and
3. Somebody else did the hard lifting and I’m able to use that for the basis of my post
means I’m doing a proper one this year. I’ll put the cold hard facts up front, and then go into greater detail below.
The following books & stories are suitable for Hugo nominations in the listed categories.
Best Short Story:
Family Ties (collection: KISS OF ANGELS)
21st Century Ghost (collection: KISS OF ANGELS)
Threnody (collection: KISS OF ANGELS)
The Old Races by C.E. Murphy (KISS OF ANGELS qualifying collection)
Best Cover Artist:
Tara O’Shea (for KISS OF ANGELS art, & for REDEEMER design)
Lindsey Look (REDEEMER art)
Okay, that’s the cut & dry version, up above. What follows are more details and my own thoughts about the works, I guess.
Suggestion for Best Cover Artist nominee: Lindsey Look
The war is over…but for Rosie the Redeemer, the homefront battle is just about to begin!
It’s July 1945, and more than just the boys are coming home from war–monsters are coming with them, and Rosie Ransom learns she can redeem a damned soul–but she may lose her own in the process. And yet, without her Redeeming ability, the scare started by a few demons may turn into a full-fledged nightmare…
This was a very difficult book to write, partly because I challenged myself to several things that I’d never done before in terms of writing (not just ONE, oh no, but SEVERAL, because let’s NEVER DO ANYTHING THE EASY WAY, CATIE), and also (not to lean in to a personal sob story in awards season or anything @.@) because my mom, after whom the main character was partially named, died while I was working on it.
I honestly didn’t think, while I was working on it, that I had done well, or that I would ever want to return to the Redeemer world. Then my copy editor emailed, 3 chapters in, and said, “If the rest of this is as good as the opening, WOW,” which is not…normal. :)
Then my book designer, who is normally very, very fast, took *weeks* to lay the book out, because she was actually reading it as she laid it out, which, she says, she never ever does.
Despite all that, honestly, I still wasn’t at all sure of the book until I did the final round of copy edits on it, and I gradually realized I’d done what I wanted to with it. The writing challenges I’d set myself–no semi-colons! (the horror!!!!) limited use of ‘was’ in non-dialogue prose! (oh god that’s hard) improving my descriptions!–had succeeded, and the kind of story I wanted to tell, one about female friendships, one that reflected not just the social expectations and restrictions of the era but also shone light on the same problems today…had made it onto the page.
And then it turned out that because the book was so very late, with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement, with the huge surge of women elected to Congress, with the upheaval of the past few years…REDEEMER had become timely in a way it wouldn’t have if I’d turned it in when it was due. Heh. Go figure. :) So in the end I’m actually really proud of this book, and I’d honestly love to see it nominated for a Hugo.
KISS OF ANGELS
Suggestion for Best Cover Artist nominee: Tara O’Shea
The laws that governed the Old Races for time immemorial have been broken. Ancient rivals are scattered. Friendships are ended. What was hidden begins to step out of shadow and into the light.
And after millennia of imagining this moment, even the Old Races discover they are unprepared for what it brings….
KISS OF ANGELS is covering a loooooooot of territory for this year’s Hugo nominations, carrying, as it does, the possibility for nomination of the titular “Kiss of Angels” as best novella; for best short story with “Family Ties” and “21st Century Ghost”; best novelette with “Threnody”, and, finally, best series for the entire collection as part of the ongoing saga of the Old Races, which, with the publication of KISS OF ANGELS is now some 650K words long.
The KISS OF ANGELS collection is set after the Old Races trilogy, and the titular novella, Kiss of Angels, is the teased-at and long-promised story of Grace O’Malley (yes, that Grace O’Malley). I think it stands alone reasonably well, but it also brings the entire Old Races saga to a point where I could, and someday will, write more full-length books in the world. (!)
“Threnody”, at an 8800 word ‘novelette’ length, is possibly my favourite of the collection. I think it stands alone pretty well, and I’d be thrilled to bits to see it nominated. ♥
“21st Century Ghost” is a first date story about the difficulties of dating the supernatural, and amuses me. :) “Family Ties” is a short Janx story and honestly belonged in the BABA YAGA’S DAUGHTER collection, but I didn’t write it for like two years after that book was published, so… :)
Seeing the whole book nominated as part of the Old Races series would be REALLY COOL, I’m not gonna lie. That would be…REALLY COOL. :) :) :)
And I would really, really like to see Lindsey Look and Tara O’Shea nominated for their cover art work, which is reliably fabulous! ♥