Dear Nebula Voters,
I know what your real purpose is with the nominees for this year's award. Don't think you can hide your secret, conspiratorial goals from me! I know what you really want to do is cause me immense angst by putting some of my favorite people up against each other in your various (nefarious!) categories. You know when it comes to awards I root for the people I know and like before I even consider anything else, because of course the people I know and like are all the greatest writer in the world, but what am I supposed to do when you, for instance, put VanderMeer up against Barzak in the novel category?!
I'm safe, at least, with the short story category. Jim Kelly is the only writer I know well there, so obviously he should win. Novelette is worse -- Paolo Bacigalupi is the one person whose short stories have caused me to write a long essay, and he's a really nice guy (well, as long as you don't burn lots of hydrocarbons in front of him. I tried digging an oil well at the World Fantasy Convention in 2005, and he threatened to punch me). Rachel Swirsky I've communicated with regarding Best American Fantasy (we reprinted her story "How the World Became Quiet: A Post-Human Creation Myth" in BAF 2, and all of the BAF contributors feel like family to me, even if I never talk to them, which is mostly what makes them feel like family...) And then there's Mr. Bowes, who once attacked me with a stiletto-heeled shoe when I suggested that Cats is not the greatest musical of all time. I've forgiven him, even though Starlight Express is obviously the greatest musical of all time, and in learning forgiveness, I have learned to appreciate the man himself, and so of course I want him to win as much as I want Paolo and Rachel to win. Maybe they all can. (Voters! Coordinate your efforts to please me!)
Novella is actually easy, too, because the only person there I've met is John Scalzi, and he's alright, even if I remain dead to him.
But the novel category ... it's killing me. I'm going to have to freebase my entire collection of pill-bottle cotton tonight just to calm my aching soul. Not only are Messrs. Barzak and VanderMeer, two of my favorite people, present there, but Paolo Bacigalupi is hanging out in that category as well, and so is China Mieville with The City & The City, a book I adored. And though I don't know Cherie Priest, I know her editor, who is also one of my favorite people, and thus is, by definition, the greatest editor in the world.
Okay, Nebula voters -- I give up! Uncle! Please please please start nominating more works by mean, nasty people I don't like! Or at least people I don't know! I'm working hard to be a recluse, so it shouldn't be all that difficult to locate more people I don't know. It will save me agonized nights of writhing on the floor, my loyalties pulling me in all directions, my heart torn asunder.
What's that you say? It's not all about me? Yes, I've heard that before, many times. Conspirators always deny their conspiracy. I know the truth, though, and in the immortal words of Bob Dylan: "I don't believe you!"
Meanwhile, congratulations to all!
Patient #45403892, New Hampshire State Home for the Criminally Bewildered
Whoever has my tinfoil hat, you'd better return it! Bowes! BOWES!!!!