To Eligibility Post or Not to Eligibility Post?

Photo of speculative fiction writer Cat Rambo with Cinderella's Wicked Stepmother at Disneyworld.

In my position as SFWA President, sometimes I have to confer with fictional characters.

Let us begin by acknowledging that this is a rancorous period, full of clashing agendas, bewildered onlookers, and all too many innocents caught in the crossfire (although it is not the first time we’ve seen these storms, nor will it be the last.). And that right now making an eligibility post particularly mentioning Hugo Award categories like Related Work is something that some of us are circling and wondering about.

And my answer is yes. Yes, you should. Why?

Because it helps people discover the work that you’re proud of. You know what you wrote. You know what you want to make sure they see. It’s okay to say, “Hey, if you’re looking to read something by me, I would try this.”

Because it helps people read widely. Every writer in F&SF should — well, I don’t want to make it seem mandatory so I won’t say that you must do this, but you should at least feel free to make eligibility posts. So when someone’s poking around, they can find your stuff and read it.

Because you shouldn’t self-censor out of modesty when talking about your work. You are its best champion. Go ahead and help people find the best examples of it. Be humble and lovable in some other way. (Thank you to Erin M. Hartshorn for the link to the piece of self-effacement.)

And so, I’ve finally been prodded by a Twitter conversation into doing my own in part because I want to say to you, no matter where you are sited in the bizarre and incredibly wordy conflicts, that you should do it. Let’s have lots of wonderful reading lists, the more the merrier, and part of creating those is making readers aware of what you (and others, sure) have done. Please feel free to post a link if you’ve made an eligibility post. Yup, even if you think you’re not welcome. You are.

I published a bunch in 2015. You can find the full list elsewhere, but here are my best of recommendations:

  • Related work: I co-edited Ad Astra: The SFWA 50th Anniversary Cookbook with Fran Wilde. (Hard copies are available here.) I remain inordinately proud of the work, which contains recipes like Charles Brown’s Turkey Turkey Turkey and Octavia Butler’s Pineapple Fried Rice. (I think these two essays #PurpleSF and On Reading the Classics are also eligible.
  • Novel: Kevin J. Anderson’s excellent Wordfire Press published my first novel, Beasts of Tabat, the first in a fantasy quartet. SFWA members can find a copy of it up in the 2015 Fiction forum. There have been some nice Amazon reviews, but I know the book isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and there’s been some awesome awesome novels published in 2015. *goes back to read that self-deprecating piece again and quickly moves on*
  • Novella: Nothing this year, but wait till you see the one Bud Sparhawk and I have coming up in Abyss & Apex!
  • Novelette: Also nothing this year.
  • Short story: As always, plenty of stuff here. The pieces that I am proudest of are Primaflora’s Journey, which appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, “The Subtler Art”, which appeared in Blackguards: Tales of Assassin,s Mercenaries, and Rogues, edited by J.M. Martin, and “Marvelous Contrivances of the Heart,” which appeared in Fiction River: Recycled Pulp, edited by John Helfers. I am glad to send a copy of the latter two to any requester.

Please feel free to comment and include a link to your own eligibility post. In this coming week, I’ll also be posting a list of my favorites from 2015, but there are so many it may take a while, plus I’m still reading a few.

Peace out,


P.S. Here are some additional eligibility posts. I’ll add more as I get them. Please note that A.C. Wise has a great post here where she’s collecting these as well as book recommendation posts.

John Joseph Adams
Mike Allen
Robin Wayne Bailey
Nicolette Barischoff
Helena Bell
Brooke Bolander
A.C. Buchanan
Beth Cato
Nino Cipri
Gwendolyn Clare
Fred Coppersmith
Seth Dickinson
Andy Dudak
Scott Edelman
A.J. Fitzwater
Sam Fleming
T. Frohock
Nin Harris
Maria Dahvana Headley
Kate Heartfield
Jim C. Hines
M.C.A. Hogarth
Annalee Flower Horne
Alexis A. Hunter
José Pablo Iriarte
Heather Rose Jones
Jason Kimble
Mur Lafferty
Rose Lemberg
Natalie Luhrs
J.M. McDermott
Seanan McGuire
Kris Millering
Lia Swope Mitchell
Sunny Moraine
Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Linda Nagata
Mari Ness
Daniel José Older
Carrie Patel
Sunil Patel
Laura Pearlman
Andrea Phillips
Sarah Pinsker
Adam Rakunas
Jessica Reisman
Kelly Robson
Sean R. Robinson
Merc Rustad
SF Signal
Skiffy and Fanty podcast
David Steffen
Penny Stirling
Bogi Takacs
Shveta Thakrar
E. Catherine Tobler
Uncanny Magazine
Unlikely Story
Ursula Vernon
Marlee Jane Ward
M. Darusha Wehm
Martha Wells
Fran Wilde
A.C. Wise
Alyssa Wong
Isabel Yap
Caroline M. Yoachim

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About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
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