I want to send a tremendous and very excited THANK YOU to everyone at Worldcon (Chicon 7) who believed in me — and my novelette, “Ray of Light,” — enough to give me your stamp of approval. Now that the official Campbell and Hugo numbers are known, I am PROUD to report that 340 voters picked “Ray of Light” as their #1 choice in its category, and a whopping 293 people picked me as their #1 choice for best new professional writer! That is… astounding! Incredible! It was barely two years ago that I walked up onto a stage in Hollywood, California, as a 3rd-place finisher in the Writers of the Future Contest; just two professional credits under my belt. 24 months later I am able to hold my head high as a contender in this biz. And I want to thank everyone who supported me: friends, colleagues, mentors, and especially readers who didn’t know me from Adam but liked my work enough to say, “This Brad guy, I like what he does, I think he deserves some recognition for it.” That’s hugely gratifying for me. I spent so many years unpublished and wondering if I would ever have a moment in the sun, that to be able to represent on the Nebula, Hugo, and Campbell ballots in 2012 was far, far more than I ever let myself hope for; even as recently as 2009 when I made my first sale. All Worldcon weekend I’ve been having little elevator moments where people — upon reading my name tag in the elevator — have confessed that they liked my story and voted for it. That’s gold in my opinion. Pure, 100% gold. And I am humbled and grateful for the support and the *enthusiasm* that so many people have shown for me and my work this year. Most excellent, and thank you so much everybody!
I also had a remarkable number of friends and friendly associates on the ballot: Stanley Schmidt (who is retiring!) as well as Ken Liu, Howard Tayler, Nancy Fulda, Bob Eggleton, Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Mike Resnick, and someone whom I’ve admired from afar and whose acquaintance I finally made this year: Carolyn Ives Gilman. Like me, most of them didn’t bring home a rocketship. And for them I feel a moment of hurt only because I know how much it would mean to some of them. And in most instances they have labored far longer than I have with more nominations and more disappointments. It’s unfortunate that the Worldcon process forces us all to eliminate down to just one selection per category. Because really, there are so many good writers and worthy artists and so many stories and books that really deserve the acclaim and recognition that a Hugo represents.
Which takes me right back to being thankful for all the people who supported me this year. Especially my editor (the previously mentioned and soon to be retired) Stanley Schmidt, without whom I’d still be languishing in obscurity. And also my mentors: Allan Cole, Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Dave Wolverton, Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, Eric Flint, and this guy who happened to be the Guest of Honor at Chicon 7, Mike Resnick. Mike especially has taken me under his wing as a “Writing Son” and it’s been a thrill to share not only the ballot with him this year, but to walk the halls of the convention and be able to hold my chin up as a Mike’s Kid. Thank you, Mike!
And finally my family: my father Russell, my mother Mona, my little adorable daughter Olivia, and my exquisite and tremendously wonderful wife Annie.
Each of these people have worked without expectation of recompense on my behalf, in ways both large and small. They are my inspiration, my motivation, and they drive me to reach for more.
And I of course also want to thank my many, many, many comrades and buddies from the writing workshops and conventions and seminars I’ve attended these past two years — Writers of the Future Class 26, Life, The Universe & Everything, Superstars Writing Seminar, Kris Rusch & Dean Smith workshops, and my forum mates from the cyberverse: Codex, and Silent Forge.
I also want to thank my Legend of the Five Rings campaign cohort which currently meets more-or-less monthly at bestseller Larry Correia’s house. My nominations have been a topic of playful conversation all summer long, and it’s been tremendous fun sharing a campaign with these guys.
You all have made it a delightful 2012 and I shall return to the real world invigorated and ready to tackle new projects, send fresh work to market, and redouble my efforts for 2013 and beyond.