Today, I get to be officially jealous.
One of my classmates at Orson Scott Card's Literary Boot Camp in 2005 got some good news this evening. Mary Robinette Kowal, who I noted just yesterday as being a non-male SF writer to check out, earned a huge trophy for her shelf this evening at Worldcon. Mary just won the Campbell Award for Best New Writer.
I met Mary online in Orson Scott Card's web site, Hatrack River, where he has an area for aspiring writers. I met her in person at Boot Camp, and read a marvelous story about a planet lacking in sodium where salt is something to fight wars over.
We did group critiques on this story and I spent considerable effort trying to find a hole in the world she developed. I'm sure it must have got on her nerves, but I wanted to see how thoroughly she thought it out. She very quickly filled any potential hole I could think of. Sodium vapor lamps in the streetlights? No, they use mercury vapor lamps. Mary is very thorough in her understanding of her world building.
Needless to say, Mary was one of several writers that had that special something to their writing. It was noticable then, when Mary was still honing her craft. It was very evident in the latest story I read that she has taken it to the next level. Campbell award? Obviously so.
I'm sure Mary has a fine career ahead of her. I smell at least one Hugo or Nebula in her future, too. Probably both. She has already had nominations.
So, today I will be officially jealous. Tomorrow, I'll work on my novel with no malice. I'm no longer eligible for the Campbell, but awards don't really mean that much to me. Sure, it would be cool to win one, but having somebody tell me they enjoyed one of my stories gives me satisfaction.
Don't get me wrong about the jealousy thing. Mary works very hard. Aside from her career as a puppeteer, she volunteers with SFWA, goes to conventions, networks every chance she can, and darn it, she's an extremely pleasant person to be around, too.