I got the call a few days ago (they give you a call first in case you want to decline the nomination), but now it’s public knowledge: “The New Mother” has been nominated for best novella, on a list with some of the best fiction I read in the last year, and much more that I’m excited to discover. I’m profoundly grateful to all who nominated me, and to Sheila Williams, who believed in me enough to give me a twenty thousand word chunk of Asimov’s. That’s twenty thousand words of ink and paper, twenty thousand words she therefore didn’t give to someone else with fans and a reputation. It’s still hard to believe my imaginary people merited that. But I found out I was a finalist while I was finishing up a treatment for a television series based on the story, so you may yet get to see more of Tess and Judy.
I’m typing this from my parents’ house in San Antonio, where we’ll soon all go out for a celebratory meal. But this afternoon I’m sitting with a book from their library, one that came out when I was twelve. Two decades ago science fiction seemed a naturally occurring phenomenon, something to be admired from afar like a rainbow or mountain range. Now it’s a close, living thing, full of friends and colleagues. I’ve many goals yet unmet, but today it feels nice to turn around and look back at the path trailing into my childhood, appreciate how far I’ve come.