Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Official Announcement: The Campbell Award

A couple weeks ago, I got the following piece of fanmail...

Mr. Rothfuss,

I've been reading your blog for a while now, and I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that I really loved your book. I mean REALLY loved it. Probably the Best I've read in five years.

In fact, I loved it so much, I just nominated you for the Campbell award. I thing [sic] that there's going to be a bit of a showdown between you and Scott Lynch, but personally, I think you're a shoe-in.

Keep on Truckin,

I've removed his name for confidentiality reasons, so for simplicity's sake let's call him.... Susan.

Anyway, I replied to Susan and told him that while I was really flattered, I wasn't actually eligible for the Campbell Award.

For those of you who don't know. The Campbell Award is awarded at Worldcon. It's given out to the best new Sci-Fi/Fantasy author to appear on the scene. While it's not a Hugo itself, it *is* given out during the same award ceremony, and it's a pretty big deal. Honestly, I'd love to win it.

Unfortunately, I can't. You see, the Campbell is only awarded to new authors. You're only eligible for the first two years after your first publication, and "The Name of the Wind" wasn't the first thing I ever had in print. Back in 2002 I published my first and only short story, "The Road to Levinshir."

Very few people actually know about that story, but it still counts. That means my eligibility started in 2002, and ended in 2004. I was out of the running long before "The Name of the Wind" ever saw print.

I sent Susan an e-mail thanking him, explaining why I couldn't win, and letting him know that, generally speaking, calling me "Pat" is fine, as "Mr. Rothfuss" sounds oddly formal to me.

He e-mailed me back, saying:


Thank you for e-mailing me back. That was unexpected. I just wish that I would have known earlier, or I wouldn't have wasted my time voting for you for the Campbell, and would have gone straight to nominating you for the Hugo instead.

Unfortunately, I've already sent in my Hugo nominations for this year, so I'll have to settle for rooting for you from the sidelines. Rest assured that if you make it onto the final ballot 'Best Novel' you'll have my vote.

And that, I thought, was that. The thought that anyone would nominate me for the Campbell or the Hugo filled me with lovely warm feelings. I didn't give much thought to winning, because honestly, those awards get won by huge authors like Gaiman and Rowling and Susanna Clarke....

Then I got another e-mail that said pretty much the same thing as Susan's. They loved the book and nominated me for the Campbell. I e-mailed them back and told them the truth...

Then I got a third e-mail and realized I needed to put out an official statement of some kind....

So here's the official announcement:


If you're thinking of nominating me for the Campbell, thank you very much. I'm flattered.

But I'm not eligible. It makes me feel bad that people are wasting their votes on me when there are other cool new authors out there that would love your nominations. (Folks like Joe Abercrombie, the aforementioned Scott Lynch, Kat Richardson.... There's too many to mention, check out a full list over HERE.)

That said, if you're absolutely dying to nominate "The Name of the Wind" for something, feel free to mark me down on your Hugo nomination ballot for "Best Novel." I am eligible for that.

Truthfully, the odds are vastly against me winning the Hugo, but I'll admit that even the thought of making it onto the preliminary ballot makes me all tingly. I mean seriously, look at the award itself....

It's a frikkin rocket. How cool is that? All phallic jokes aside, I swear if I won that thing I'd carry it around with me for a solid year, making rocket noises and flying it through the air.

Then, when my arms got tired, I would affix it to a gold chain and wear it around my neck, not only would it be the most badass author bling imaginable, but it would protect me from accidentally dying before book two comes out by stopping bullets and deflecting laserbeams.

Okay.... At some point that stopped being an official announcement and turned into me being a total geek about something shaped like a toy. I think I'm going to stop blogging now and put this energy into revising The Wise Man's Fear....

Later all,


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posted by Pat at


Blogger Mary J. said...

Must not make phallic jokes...
So hard! Oh no- too late!

Also, you so deserve a Hugo- you rock!

January 23, 2008 9:08 PM  
Blogger Bin Bin said...

Teehee, awwww who wouldn't want a penis-shaped necklace? It would be cool if you could fix it so it would shoot lasers! Back to work Pat, no more dilly dallying, although it's super sweet of people to nominate you for so many cool things :)

January 23, 2008 9:14 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I'm just imagining you around Point going "3... 2... 1... BLAST OFF!!!!!!!!!!" and running off somewhere.
And that mental image seriously just made my day.

January 23, 2008 10:04 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Be sure to let the makers of your Pat Rothfuss action figure know that you need to have a Hugo award to carry around. It might come in handy if the manly fisticuff fan defense doesn't do the trick!

You know, maybe some day someone will be nominated for a Rothfuss. I like it.
Best Action Hero/Author Bling
Best Fan Cake
Best Airport Chainsaw Action....
You just never know.

January 23, 2008 11:17 PM  
Anonymous Jillian said...

The real question about the Rothfuss Action Figure is: should The Bejewelled Midget on a Leash come with the action figure, or be sold seperately? I'm personally in favor of him being included in a limited-edition special version. What serious collector could resist?

January 24, 2008 1:37 AM  
Anonymous Gareth said...

I may be asking a silly question here but I just hope that if you won one you'd never do a Roman impression with it. IE fall upon your Hugo. LOL

Seriously though I suppose if youre going to go at least you could take it with you. LOL

On another light note, Ive noted that theyre making Flash Gordon figures based on the art of Alex Gordon. Whilst theyve only currently made Ming and Flash (based on the film) it might be worth you mailing asking if there was a chance of modifying the Vultan one so that you did get a PR Action figure out. LOL

All the best,


January 24, 2008 2:04 AM  
Anonymous Gareth said...

Dagnabbit, its was Alex Ross, got certain things going through my head now. Damn.

January 24, 2008 2:05 AM  
Blogger Captain Joe said...

This post has been removed by the author.

January 24, 2008 3:58 AM  
Blogger Captain Joe said...

Hey, Pat,

If there's an award for "Greatest ever... something" then you should win it with only a small amount of bloodshed. That way, people know you're serious.

And also, still on the Action Pat figurine kick, I think I may have stumbled upon an early conceptual piece of just how badass and awesome said action figure would be:

That's right, folks, not even the might of what could possibly be a heavily-muscled Jesus Christ can hold back the power of our silver-clad author Action Pat. Early days yet, but retail price is expected to be about $59.95 and YOUR IMMORTAL SOUL!

If Pat wins the Hugo then he can bludgeon that clown holding him back with no trouble at all. Imagine the Christmas rush when this baby hits the stores.

This will inspire a whole new generation of children to pick up a book and read, of that I'm sure. And also any intellgent person would learn to be afraid of such an awesome toy... wait for it...

Yes, they would have a wise man's fear... ha, damn my sparkling wordplay!

All the best,

Captain Joe

January 24, 2008 4:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Bessom said...

Hey there!

Don't know if you are aware, but John Scalzi posted a picture of you guys from ConFusion. You're definitely going to have to explain that nickname.


January 24, 2008 5:53 AM  
Anonymous Kalligenia said...

Ooooh! A rocket! I have never seen an award so cool! Your action figure could ride on it and imaginary flames that only us Rothfuss fans can truly see will burst out the end of the rocket.

January 24, 2008 8:35 AM  
Anonymous Jillian said...

Hey, I likes the long leather-esque coat! Although your head seems somewhat disembodied and your pocket is full of... something... and you seem to be asleep (or trying to hide the fact that you're asleep) in this one...[email protected]/2212356194/in/set-72157603776824919/

Keep practising that "serious author" look, though. I think you're on to something there.

(PS I apologize for the cacophony of ellipses. I've had a *lot* of cab sav tonight... oh look, there's another one!)

January 24, 2008 8:36 AM  
Blogger Shawn C. Speakman said...

Can you imagine Pat carrying that thing in his pants pocket, pointed downward...

... and the dozens of women who would be following him, and not due to the luxurious beard? hehe

January 24, 2008 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Simon said...

I already nominated you for the Hugo, Pat. And I'm sure I'm not the only one....

January 24, 2008 12:28 PM  
OpenID suziko said...

Can everyday people nominate authors for the Hugo? I should look into this. If so, you definitely get my vote.
Your blog is also my current favorite. I think I'm starting to drive my husband crazy because I keep dragging him over to the computer saying things like, "You have to read this post. It's SO funny (he liked the Vultan one. My 5 year old liked it A LOT).

January 24, 2008 12:42 PM  
Anonymous Fanboy or should it be Fanboi? said...

I'd like to nominate you for the hugo too! Can a regular joe like me do such a thing? Or do you have to be some sort of connected person on a comittee or something?

January 25, 2008 1:43 PM  
Blogger O.G.N said...

The Hugos are awarded by the members of the World Science Fiction Society. Joining the WSFS is done by buying a membership in the annual World Science Fiction Convention. As explained here, nominations can be done both by members of last year's
, and by those who join this year's Worldcon before the end of January.

January 25, 2008 4:36 PM  
Anonymous Tapio said...


First time reader here. Just picked up your book yesterday. I'm usually really picky about the kind of books I like, or at least I've found very few that I truly enjoyed. If I'd have to name a few I'd say that Robin Hobb's Farseer/Golden Fool trilogies and Ender's Game are at the top of my list. But when I saw your book at the bookstore and read the back cover, I took me about a 15 seconds to make the decision to buy it. I just knew I would love it.

And boy, was I right. I finished it in one go without even taking a break to eat - that hasn't happened since I read Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb several years back.

So, while I can't nominate your for anything - I thought I'd just add my voice to the multitudes of others singing your praises. Keep up the good work - I'll be looking forward to...April 2009, was it?

PS. English is no my first language, so please ignore any spelling errors and such. :)

Best regards,


January 25, 2008 7:51 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I'm nominating your for the Hugo, too. I read Scalzi's blog and he mentioned a while back that you weren't eligible for the Campbell, so I knew not to nominate you for that.

I'll be going to Denvention. Hope you make it there.

January 25, 2008 10:52 PM  
Anonymous cameron said...

That's one sexy rocket. But, I'm thinking maybe you should hold out for the '09 model. Friends tell me that they're still working out some bugs... I mean, think of all those poor sods that won Yugos in the 80s...

January 26, 2008 2:18 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Cha-ching! We sold our last copy of NOTW today. I'll have to order more!
My strategy is simple.
I just open the book, and have the customer read the first page. The three types of silence ensnare them, just like they did me.
I love that.
As I always do, I told the customer the only way it could be improved would be if they were sitting around a fire, or in a caravan, and hearing the story aloud.
Hey, are they going to do an audio?
Borders Zafarano,
Santa Fe

January 26, 2008 11:32 PM  
Blogger Althalus said...

I would take it apart and play with it constantly. I <3 rockets.

January 27, 2008 12:13 AM  

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