Brad Torgersen in the running for the Hugo

I first met Brad Torgersen at Salt Lake ComiCon 2013. He's been nominated for two Hugos this year.

Dan first met Brad Torgersen at Salt Lake ComiCon 2013. He’s been nominated for two Hugos this year.

Last year, I made a fortuitous find at the Salt Lake ComiCon: Brad Torgersen.

This year, Torgersen is getting some Hugo love, with two nominations.

Nominated for the Campbell, Hugo, and Nebulaall in the same year (2012)and 2010 winner of the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest, Torgersen’s science fiction is a breath of fresh air.  His stories convey a hope and vision of the future that is reminiscent of the golden age of science fiction, but without losing the tension and drive of a well written story.

Let me reiterate that by saying it different: With Torgersen, the story always comes first. Yes, it is science fiction (or speculative fiction, if you will), but the story never sacrifices plot or character for a cool gimmick, politics, or an agenda.

Don’t get me wrong. The stories have rockets, robots, and lots and lots of great science, but you never get distracted or bogged down trying to understand what’s going on with the science.

Take, for example, “Life Flight” published in the March  2014 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact. It tells the story of a boy raised on a “generation ship,” a space ship designed to carry humans to another planet so far away that an entire generation will pass before they arrive. While his family sleeps in hibernation for the journey, the boy takes his turn assisting in the maintenance of the ship with other young passengers. When something goes wrong, he finds out what it means to change while those around you remain the same.

Lights In the Deep by Brad TorgersenTorgersen has been writing for years, but only recently has started to see the fruit of his labors. After missing the Hugo in 2012, Brad has two chances to win this year: in the novella category for “The Chaplain’s Legacy” (Analog, Jul-Aug 2013) and in the novelette category for “The Exchange Officers” (Analog, Jan-Feb 2013).

Both are great pieces, and I’m very excited to see Torgersen in the running, not the least because he’s a local, but also because of what I believe he represents for the future of science fiction writing.

Good luck, Brad!

If you’re looking for a good place to start reading Torgersen, pick up his collection, Lights in the Deep. Not only does it contain both of the stories for which Brad has been nominated, it also has “The Chaplain’s Assistant,” the predecessor to “The Chaplain’s Legacy” and the story on which Torgersen’s forthcoming novel, The Chaplain’s War, is based.

You can also find out more about Brad Torgersen at his site.

[UPDATE: 4-23-2014] Dave Butler, whose writing I’ve also reviewed and and enjoyed, has a great post about Brad up, as well. Check it out.

About Daniel

Daniel Burton lives in Salt Lake County, Utah, where he practices law by day and everything else by night. He reads about history, politics, and current events, as well as more serious genres such as science fiction and fantasy. You can also follow him on his blog where he muses on politics, the law, books and ideas.


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