Connie Willis won her ninth Hugo at WorldCon last weekend. The novella, Inside Job, is available to read online. Go witness her genius.
Back when I was an angry black little girl, I started reading science fiction magazines. Inside these magazines were advertisements for the Science Fiction Book Club, which I joined. Every year SFBC sent me the latest Year’s Best Science Fiction edited by some mysterious person named Gardner Dozois. I read each and every one cover to cover because I thought that’s what you were supposed to do. I was so young, then.
I don’t remember a lot of those stories. In fact, I believe I can name you three that I do: Bears Discover Fire, the one whose title I can never remember but it was about dancers and by Nancy Kress, and Even the Queen by Connie Willis. Had you asked me, 10 years ago, what my favorite SF story was, I would have said “Even the Queen”. No hesitation. Today I might say, “Well, I really love Kelly Link’s stuff, and Derrick Bell makes me cry, but I’ll always love Even the Queen the best…”
I have probably reread the story a dozen times by now, but I could have told you the plot down to minute details after the first reading. It impressed me that much. Ever since then I have wanted so badly to meet Ms. Willis and tell her “You’re one of the reasons I wanted to write and read SF. You are so very awesome.” Lucky me, I’ve had the chance to do that several times now. She’s still one of my favorite writers even though my reading list has expanded beyond what the SFBC decides to send me.
She deserves every Hugo and Nebula win. And she deserves to be a record setter – no one has won as many Hugos as Connie all by themselves (one other person has 8 by himself and another jointly, so it doesn’t count ;) ). She is still one of the best this genre has to offer.
I want that to be the first thing people say about her this week. Connie Willis won nine Hugos.
ETA: Blogger Mirtika went out and did a heck more research than I did and uncovered more amazing facts about Connie Willis:1 – she’s been nominated for a Hugo 22 times
2 – she’s won 6 Nebula awards
3 – three of her stories have won both the Hugo and Nebula (including my fave, Even the Queen)
4 – she’s won the most Nebula awards of any author
5 – she won those awards in every fiction category
I think it’s safe to say that Connie Willis is one of the (if not the) best SF writers in the world today.