(Disclaimer: English is my second language, so I want to apologize in advance for there may be mistakes in the text below. If you find any, please let me know so that I can correct it. I'd really appreciate it. Thanks.)
I confess that I usually have a lot of problems to decide which authors to include in my John W. Campbell Award ballot (as you know, this award is voted together with the Hugos, but it is not a Hugo award) as I find it very difficult to find two or three, let alone five, new authors whose work I've read and liked. However, this year I've had exactly the opposite problem: there are many interesting new authors to choose from.
After some thinking, I've settled on these five writers, presented here in alphabetical order:
- Madeline Ashby (1st year of eligibility): her debut novel vN was one of my favourite reads of 2012 and I may even include it in my Hugo ballot. You can read my review of the novel and my interview with the author.
- Adam Christopher (1st year of eligibility): I really liked Seven Wonders when I read it a few months ago (I should write my review someday) and I've also heard very good things about Empire State, a novel I really looking forward to read.
- Tim Maughan (1st year of eligibility): one of the most interesting short fiction authors of the last few years. I reviewed Paintwork and the excellent "Limited Edition" and I also interviewed the author.
- Jeff Salyards (1st year of eligibility): his Scourge of the Betrayer was a wonderful surprise for me, since this is not the kind of novel I usually like. I'm looking forward to Veil of the Deserter, the second installment of the saga.
- Courtney Schafer (2nd year of eligibility): Her novel The Whiterfire Crossing was another strong debut (and I should also write about it soon) and The Tainted City has received even better reviews.
If you are a Hugo voter I strongly recommend you to check these authors' work and to consider including them in your John W. Campbell Award ballot. They really deserve it. And you can find more eligible authors on Writertopia's list and even read some of their fiction for free on the Stupefying Stories anthology.