I'm delighted to report that my novelette in the April/May 2012 issue of Asimov's SF magazine, "Something Real," won the Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History-Short Form. I found out on Saturday, Aug. 31st, at a ceremony at LoneStarCon 3, the World Science Fiction convention, held in San Antonio. When I heard the news I stumbled forward to accept the plaque (it's a beauty, and I'll post a picture later) and made sure to thank, in order, Moe Berg, Sheila Williams, my wife Robin and daughter Samantha, and my parents.
The story features my alternate-history take on a famous encounter that the real Moe Berg had with German physicist Werner Heisenberg during World War II. Moe was a baseball player who became a spy for the OSS in World War II. He was a quirky character, brilliant and with multiple Ivy-League degrees, who turned to baseball for a living then, ultimately, became a spy because the OSS thought that his facility with several European languages would serve him, and the OSS, well. In my story, Moe gets involved in alternate universe-struggles to stop Heisenberg and the German A-bomb program from creating their superbomb and winning the war.
Award-winning editor Sheila Williams at Asimov's SF magazine liked the story, gave me some very important editing advice (which I gratefully took) and got it into the magazine for the start of the 2012 baseball season. Sheila has since published a second Moe Berg story of mine, "At Palomar," which appeared in the July 2013 issue of the magazine. Both stories got excellent reviews and they've been so well received -- and I'm enjoying writing them so much -- that I'm work on a third Berg story (working title is "Alternating Currents"). Eventually I hope to have a Moe Berg quartet of novelettes/novellas that will be available online and in print through one fine publisher or another. We're marketing the idea now.
I was especially happy to have my wife, Robin, and my daughter, Samantha, in the audience when it was announced that I'd won the award. Both of them are avid readers, and Robin is an excellent first-reader for me while Samantha (Sam) is not only a graduate student in biology but a great science-fiction fan, reader, and writer, and always has good advice for me as she keeps me tuned in to what readers her age are getting excited about.
And I thanked my mother and father for giving me the opportunity to have a great childhood in the game. Dad was a major-leaguer as a player and coach and a longtime minor-league manager, so I grew up with my brothers and sisters in the dugouts and clubhouses of major-league and minor-league ballparks all around the country. It was a wonderful way to grow up and no doubt it's that marvelous childhood that so informs my writing as an adult. I've published a -lot- of baseball fantasy and science fiction, along with a lot of more traditional sf/f stories and novels, and I plan to stay at it.