Matthew Goff was kind enough to Facebook me on this tonight. I’d known for at least a month, but was sworn to secrecy by Dr. Schmidt until the magazine officially made it public. So, without further delay, I am proud — beyond description — to announce that my novelette, “Outbound,” which appeared in the November 2010 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, is the 2010 winner of the AnLab award! This is one of two Readers’ Choice awards that Dell Magazines does for both Analog and Asimov’s. Click to view the scan that Mr. Goff sent me! As you can see, I’ve got some amazing company among this year’s winners. Including the estimable and beyond-talented Kristine Kathryn Rusch, who is both a friend and a teacher going back several years. Also on the winners list is Bob Eggleton, who is one of my favorite professional artists in the genre. To be able to stand with these fine individuals, especially as a newcomer to the magazine and to the field, is satisfying beyond belief. Almost overwhelmingly so. I once quipped that I’d never win another award beyond my Writers of the Future award. I guess it didn’t take long for me to make a liar out of myself. (sheepish grin)
HUGE thanks to ALL of the readers who read this story, and liked it enough to give it the top nod when the AnLab ballots went out. Many of you have written me to say how much you enjoyed this story — indeed, that it had touched you on an emotional level or had otherwise been an emotionally uplifting experience. That kind of “fan mail” is worth platinum in my book, because I believe what Tracy Hickman believes: that a story can and will impact lives, and if I’m going to write a story, then by golly I want that impact to be a meaningful one. And it seems I’ve succeeded, with this my first effort for the English language’s oldest, most venerable science fiction magazine. Big kudos to Stan Schmidt for trusting me with his page space. I think it paid dividends, for everyone involved.