This was written two weeks ago, but I could not post it until after Hugo Nominations were publicly announced:
Through the joys of caller ID, I knew it was Howard calling before I picked up the phone.
“Hi hon. How is Canada?” I asked, cheerful to hear from him while he’s off at a convention and I am home with the kids. He was out in the world, giving presentations and promoting the comic which pays our bills.
“Canada is good. Email is better.” He answered. I could hear the smile in his voice and I knew what was coming next before he said the words. “Schlock Mercenary Massively Parallel was nominated for a Hugo.”
I smiled through my sigh of relief. The comic has been nominated for this Science Fiction award for the past two years, but it came in last place both times. Howard had all but convinced himself that he wouldn’t even make the ballot this year. The fact that he did, that we did, is a boost. One that apparently doesn’t get old.
“Yay!” I said into the phone. It doesn’t say enough, but Howard knows what I mean.
“Know what else? Writing Excuses made the ballot too, best related work.”
My smile inched into a grin. We’d been hoping for this. The wording on the best related category had changed so that podcasts were eligible. I could think of nothing more worthy than the weekly podcast Howard did with Brandon Sanderson and Dan Wells.
“Oh wonderful!” I said. It was just as inadequate as yay, but words really can’t express the rush of good feeling I was trying to send to my husband so far away from me. It seems we’re always sharing the Hugo nominations over the phone. The second weekend in April is popular for events which involve Howard.
I thought ahead to August and the award ceremony which would be held at the World Science Fiction Convention in Reno. During the nomination period I’d silently told myself that if Howard made the ballot, I would get a new dress. He’d made the ballot twice. I’d stick to one dress, but my feet fairly danced with joy. I would have friends with which to share the emotional crucible of award nomination. Instead of feeling slightly misplaced at the pre-Hugo party, I would have good friends to stand with. If the nomination ended with an award, we could rejoice together. If not, group commiseration was built-in.
But all that was in the future. Standing in the kitchen, pushing the phone to my ear, and grinning, I could only feel the joy and honor to be nominated. It meant that out there in the world of Science Fiction, people liked Howard’s work enough to put his comic on the ballot. That truly matters, because we love this genre and we love the people in it. The fact that they love Schlock is heartwarming.
“The hard part,” Howard continued “Is being here at a science fiction convention, with people who would love to rejoice, and not being able to tell them yet.”
“So call Brandon and Dan. You can all be glad together.”
We talked of other things for awhile before he had to go, both of us smiling more than the conversational topics called for. Then we hung up and my feet did another cheerful little dance as I walked over to return the phone to its charger. In two more days he would return home and we could celebrate together.
Congratulations to all of the Nominees!