Category Archives: awards

Being Thankful.

Quite frequently, something happens in my life and I think, “I should mention this on my blog.”

This is one of those unpleasant truths that I’m reluctant to come to grips with.

I think part of the problem is the word “blog.” I never felt this way when I would think similar thoughts about the humor column I wrote, or when I think, “I’m going to put that in the novel.”

I know a lot of people who struggle to think of material to put on their blogs. I’m the other way around. If I went with my natural tendencies, I’d be writing little stories up here every day, maybe more. Slowly I would move all my writing energy into the blog, then it would start eating into other parts of my life too. Drawing time and energy away from vital activities like eating and playing videogames. Eventually they would find my shriveled husk in front of the computer.

Because I don’t blog all the things I think of, sometimes interesting little stories get left by the wayside. This ensaddens me.

For example, months ago, I was driving around with Sarah. We were bickering, which is like arguing, but cleverer. We’re really good at bickering. We could bicker for our country if they ever made it an Olympic sport.

The key to our successful bickering is the fact that we argue about stupid shit. We’re also articulate, witty, and in love. Lastly, I am funny as hell, and Sarah is absolutely batshit crazy.

This leads to great bickerings. Honestly, I wish I had a lot of them on tape.

So we’re driving around, bickering, and Sarah says, “Whenever you call me a rule utilitarian it makes my womb clench.

And I thought, “I’ve got to mention this on my blog.”

Not the reason for the bickering, which I can’t remember. Not any of the context, which really isn’t that important. I just wanted to share that sentence because I knew if I didn’t, you’d never run into it at any other point in your lives. Ever.

Sometimes the blogs that get put off are more substantive. I put those off because they’ll take a lot of time and energy to get right.

And sometimes they aren’t hard to write, they just get buried in the ephemera of daily life. Then when I rediscover them, I think, “Shit. I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything about that yet…”

This is an example of something thus belated.

Those of you who have been on the blog for a while probably remember Captain Joe. If not for his comments on the blog, then for his strong showing in the photo contest last year….

After last year’s minor debacle with the Locus Award, I posted a blog wherein I generally lamented the unfairness of all God’s creation.

In response to that blog. Captain Joe sent me this.

And a close-up of the wordage.

Later, I found out he actually made it. Found the wood, burned it and glazed it. Installed the clock….

In short, it was some serious above the call of duty coolness.

So I just wanted to take this opportunity to share this coolness, and thank him for it in a very belated way. If I had my way, I would have them write “Winner of Captain Joe’s Most Kickass Novel of the Century Award,” on the new version of the book when it comes out. But I’m pretty sure the marketing people have their hearts set on the whole NYT bestseller thing….

Later folks,


Also posted in blogging, fan coolness, Sarah | By Pat71 Responses

Interview – Fantasy Literature

I can’t remember if I mentioned this before, but a little while back, picked my book as the Best Book of 2007.

Now we’ve done an interview too, because we looove each other….



Also posted in Interviews | By Pat23 Responses

On not being a winner

A week or two ago a fan wrote in with the following:

Mr. Rothfuss,

Sorry to hear you didn’t win the Locus award for Best Debut Novel of the year. Still, I hope you got to rub elbows with the famous people and wear a tux at the Locus awards.

I’d already had a handful of people send me their condolences about not winning. Some were gentle commiserations, while other folks were frothy with rage, upset at the sheer injustice of me not winning every award in existence. Even the ones that were given out before my book was published. Even the ones that were given out before I was born.

Regardless of the tone, all the messages were sweet. And I told them the same thing: the winner, Heart Shaped Box, was a good book. A really good book, actually. I enjoyed it a lot. (Though I did something I rarely do, and listened to it as an audiobook without actually reading the paper version first.)

For the more morally outraged folks, I explained that Joe hill has actually been writing short stories for a while, so he had a bit of a pre-established readerbase even before his novel came out. Plus, he writes in the thriller/horror genre, which tends to have a bigger readership than epic fantasy. Both of those things, I explained, couldn’t help but get him more votes, and that’s the cool thing about the Locus Award – everyone gets a vote. It’s like a democracy or something.

Plus, Hill’s acceptance speech was very gracious. He mentioned all the other nominees, myself included. That’s classy.

As for the Locus Awards themselves – they really weren’t a tuxedo sort of affair. They’re more of a Hawaiian shirt deal. Which, personally, I found kind of refreshing.

I also didn’t get to do much elbow rubbing while I was out there. I had some sort of strange fever that left me exhausted and sweaty. Really sweaty. There were occasions where I was literally dripping, and that’s not the best way to make a good impression on folks. So, for the most part, I just hung out.

I did get to hear William Gibson talk, which was pretty cool. And I got to hang out with Peter S. Beagle for a while (for reasons that I will discuss in a later blog.) That was terribly exciting despite the fact that I didn’t feel very well. My only anxiety is that I looked like I was having the worst panic attack ever. But sweaty exhaustion aside, the fact remains that getting to talk with Mr Beagle made the whole trip worthwhile.

And that, I thought, was the Locus awards in a nutshell.

But it wasn’t. Just a couple days ago, someone sent me an e-mail saying it was a shame about the awards. I was robbed, etc. etc.

I bounced them back the same response: Lost to a good book, established writer, classy speech.

Then the fan replied and said, “You do know that they changed how the votes were counted after the polls were closed, don’t you?”

To which I said, “What?”

So he sent me a link or two explaining what had happened.

For those of you without the inclination to click and read the details on your own, here’s the short version. After the polls closed, Locus apparently decided to count their subscriber’s votes twice when tallying things up.

Which changed the results, obviously. Cory Doctorow’s story collection Overclocked would have won first place if everything was even. But after they weighted their subscribers votes double, he came in third.

And, apparently, if they hadn’t changed things, I would have won in my category.

So now I really don’t know how I feel. Honestly, it would be way easier for me to form an opinion if my book weren’t one of those affected by the change. (or should that be “effected?” I can never remember….)

Changing the way the votes are tallied after the polls are closed looks pretty dodgy though, no matter how you shake it. It makes it seem as if things got counted up, then folks started saying, “Hmmmm…. Well, how does it turn out if everyone who lives in New Hampshire gets two votes? No. Not what we’re looking for. How about people with a GED only get three-fifths of a vote? Still no good. Starbelly sneeches get ten votes? Yes. Perfect. That works. Let’s go with that.”

I don’t really have a good note to close on. The fact remains that Hill’s book is still great and his speech was still classy. If I didn’t mind losing to him before, logic says that it shouldn’t bother me now.

On the other hand, winning awards is cool. Aside from the warm fuzzy, it creates publicity, and that helps spread the word about the book.

Plus, this award was a plaque of some sort. I could have used that for all sorts of things. Obviously it would be useful for decorating the barren walls of my house and intimidating my enemies, but that’s just for starters. I could have also used it for serving drinks when company comes over. It also looked pretty heavy, so I could have used it as a projectile in the eventuality of a zombie attack.

Meh. That’s all I’ve got. I should get back to working on the book.

Later all,


Also posted in conventions, recommendations | By Pat38 Responses

Concerning the Hugos

Since the Hugo nominations for this year were announced, I’ve received a surprising amount of mail on the subject. So far it has ranged from friendly consolation to frothy outrage over the fact that I’m not one of the contenders for the “best novel” category.

I won’t lie. I was hoping for a nomination. It would have been extremely cool. What’s more, it would have given me an excuse to wear a tuxedo at Worldcon. I like wearing a tux.

Alas, it was not meant to be. But I did want to thank everyone for their kind words, the messages y’all have sent have been very sweet, and they have eased the sting.

But what I realized just today is that each of these e-mails I’ve received shows people at different stages of the grieving process. Take a look. (All items in quotes are from actual letters or comments left on the blog.)

1. Denial. “I can’t believe you weren’t nominated.”

I can. The truth is, I’m really, really new to the scene. I’ve been a published author for almost exactly one year. And while it’s been a great year, most people don’t even know I exist. That makes it hard to win an award that’s based on a popular vote.

2. Anger. That’s bullshit that you’re not on there…seriously.”Dude, you were totally fucking robbed on the Hugo nods.” “I feel like punching someone in the neck about this!”

There were a lot of these. However, please do not punch anyone in the neck on my behalf. Remember: Anger, fear, aggression… the dark side of the Hugos are they.

3. Bargaining. “Is there a write-in option for the Hugos? I would have voted, but I was sur [sic] that you were a shoe in.”

Thank you, but there’s nothing to be done at this point. The nominations themselves are exclusively write-in, but voting for the the award itself is not. Even then, only people who are attending Worldcon get to vote in the Hugos.

4. Depression. “The more I learn how these things work, the more I realize I have no respect for awards that are given out by popular vote.”

Well, you know what they say about Democracy. It’s the worst form of government except for every other one that’s been tried….

5. Acceptance. “Let’s hope that The Wise Man’s Fear will be of the same quality and that it’ll receive the nomination TNOTW clearly deserved.”

I hope so too.

For those of you who are still stuck in the anger or bargaining stages, you could burn off a little of that energy in a productive way if you want. Namely, by casting your ballot in the Locus awards over here.

The Locus awards are a little different in that anyone can vote, not just a specific group of people, like the Nebulas or the Hugos. Plus they’ve been around for over thirty years, and are fairly prestigious in their own right.

Just make sure you follow the directions on the page before you cast your ballot. Anyone can vote, but anonymous votes are tossed out. And while there are pull-down menus, you can also write in your own votes in each category.

My book is eligible for both the “Best Fantasy Novel” AND “Best First Novel.” Just in case you’re interested.

Later all,


Edit 9:45 PM: I’ve noticed a pleasant, but slightly unnerving trend in the comments on this note. While I’m flattered that people would vote for my book, I really hope that people aren’t just hopping over the Locus Ballot just to vote for me.

I tend to assume that the vast majority of the people that read this blog tend to enjoy a lot of fantasy and sci-fi. So what I’m really hoping is that you hop over to the Locus Ballot and vote for ALL your favorite books and stories of the last year. All of them. And if it turns out you like five other books better than mine… well… then tough shit for The Name of the Wind.

I know this probably goes without saying, and that most of you understood what I meant the first time around. But I’d rather make sure of it than come off as a dirty vote-grubbing whore.


Also posted in fanmail | By Pat21 Responses

Did I mention that I love librarians?

A while back, some helpful little elf sent me an e-mail telling me I’d made it onto a reading list. I took a quick peek at the link, thought “that’s cool,” then bookmarked it and wandered away to do other things. (I think it was a particularly heavy e-mail day.)

But today I went back and looked at it, and realized that it wasn’t just some list. In a lot of ways, it’s THE list. That’s right. It’s superlative.

The list is put out by “The Reading List Council” which “seeks to highlight outstanding genre fiction that merits special attention by general adult readers and the librarians who work with them.”

From what I hear, the Reading List Council is an elite branch of the American Library Association. In order to join their selection committee you have to be able to kill a man with paperback copy of Animal Farm book while wearing a blindfold, bend a spoon using only the power of your mind, then deal with ten obnoxious library patrons in a row while smiling and being polite the whole time.

Yeah. Like I said. These folks are badass. I hear Rupert Giles washed out with them and had to settle for joining some other council instead.

Anyway, it turns out that there’s just one reading list every year, and only one book from each genre gets selected. Stuff like Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, and, of course, Fantasy.

And I’m their fantasy pick for 2008. You can see the list HERE.

I thought this was plenty cool all by itself, until I scrolled down the page and saw some of the other fantasy titles that had been nominated. I recognized every name on the list: Jim Butcher,
Jacqueline Carey, Guy Gavriel Kay, Terry Pratchett. Rowling. Tolkien.

That’s right. Folks like Rowling and Tolkien tied for second place.

And who’s number one?

Me, baby.


Also posted in Achievement Unlocked! | By Pat32 Responses

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,


Also posted in fanmail, geeking out | By Pat21 Responses

On the coolness of Librarians

So I just found out The Name of the Wind won a new award….

YALSA announces 2008 Alex Awards

PHILADELPHIA – The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest growing division of the American Library Association (ALA), has selected 10 adult books that will appeal to teen readers to receive the 2008 Alex Awards.

I can see the headlines now: “Patrick Rothfuss appeals to teens.” My friends are going to have a field day with this…

Seriously though, I’m terribly flattered. When the American Library Association likes your book, you know you must be doing something right. Librarians kick ass, and the more of them you get together in one place, the more powerful they become. Like Voltron.

This will also help me feel more comfortable answering a question that I’ve been getting asked on and off for the last several months. Namely, “Is your book for kids?”

Up until now, the only answer I’ve had for this has sounded extremely dodgy. I say, “Well, it kinda depends on what you mean by “kids,” and it kinda depends on what you mean by ‘for.'”

Do you see what I’m getting at? I read the Lord of the Rings when I was 11 or so. I don’t know if it was *for* me, but I certainly enjoyed it….

Up until now, when someone asked me this question try to pin down the specific age of the kid they’re asking about. Sixteen? Sure. Fourteen? Yeah, probably. Twelve? Hmmm…. I’m not sure…

I even know some families that have read my book to their kids who were 5-6 years old. Apparently, the young-uns dug it. I wouldn’t have anticipated that in a hundred years. Those kids must have some kick-ass vocabulary….

Now, however, I don’t have to feel strange about answering this question. The professionals have weighed in on the subject. Huzzah.

For more information, and to see the other Alex award winners, you can check out the press release HERE.

That’s all for today. I’ve been putting together the announcement-type newspost I’ve hinted at a couple times, but it won’t be ready until tomorrow. I’ve got AFK busyness all today….

Forshadowingly yours,


Posted in awards | By Pat24 Responses
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