VESSEL is a Norton Finalist!
And I got a phone call.
"Here" was the Bahamas, where I went on a big family gathering vacation. "Here" had sunshine, beaches, pools, and pina coladas. Also dolphins. (I HUGGED A DOLPHIN!!! THESE ARMS. HUGGED. A. DOLPHIN.) "Here" also had very spotty Internet access and very expensive international long distance rates.
We had tried and failed (twice) to buy a phone card that worked, but we discovered that we could use Skype to check our voicemail from our hotel room on certain evenings when the wind was blowing just right and the moon was aligned with Jupiter. We figured that was good enough. After all, we were in the same hotel as half the people who call us (his family) and the other half (my family) knew we were there.
Still, though, just in case, my husband did the traditional please-work-Wifi dance and called our answering machine... and there was a voicemail message. From Rachel Swirsky. Calling on behalf of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. She left a phone number and no other details.
We knew the nomination process for SFWA's Andre Norton Award had closed a few days prior. And we knew that voting is scheduled to open in March. So we hoped. Crossed fingers. Maybe a few toes. Possibly did a dance for luck (just possibly -- I'm not admitting anything). And then I called. The conversation went something like this:
ME: Hi, this is Sarah Beth Durst, returning your call.
RACHEL: I'm sorry, but the phone connection isn't good. Who is this?
ME: Sarah Beth Durst. You called me earlier?
RACHEL: The phone keeps breaking up. I didn't catch your name. Who is this?
ME: Oh, sorry, it's my fault. I'm out of the country. It's not a very good connection. [insert nervous laugh] This is Sarah Beth Durst.
RACHEL: I'm sorry. I can't hear you. But I have your number on the caller-ID. I'll call you back.
ME: That won't work. This is a Skype... Oh, I think she's gone.
HUSBAND: What did she say? Are you a finalist?!?
ME (wailing): I DON'T KNOW!!!
We then concocted various plans for how to quickly obtain a phone card since calling directly from the hotel would cost the equivalent of all the cursed gold in the Pirates of the Caribbean. None of these plans were particularly feasible so we settled on the much-more-sensible option of emailing her. Which I did. And she wrote back almost instantly that.......
VESSEL is a finalist for the Andre Norton Award!!!!!!!! (Note: the superfluous exclamation points are mine.) She asked, "Do you accept the nomination?" And I wrote back the (hopefully) professional equivalent of YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As soon as the news was public, I sacrificed a few pineapples to the Wifi gods so I could tweet and update Facebook, which involved accidentally posting the same thing three or four times -- sorry, Facebook friends!
Twas quite an awesome week. Dolphin Hugging + Norton Nom = Very Happy Sarah!
Click here to see the full list of finalists. I feel so incredibly lucky and honored to be among such great company. Congratulations to all the awesome Norton and Nebula finalists! Looking forward to seeing you at Nebula Awards Weekend in May!