I did what I said I was going to do, and made a one-day trip to NYC for the Nebulas, the annual award event of the Science-Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). It was a good trip. Also, an exhausting trip. Out early Saturday morning, and back at around 8:30 Sunday morning, with an hour or two of what you might laughingly call “sleep” on the train ride home. On the other hand, the trip down on the Acela was very nice—quite comfortable and pleasant. (I was also surprised to discover that Amtrak gives a discount to AAA members, so I earned back a bit of my annual AAA fee.)
The affair itself was a pleasure: a ballroom filled with writers, editors, agents, various other people including folks who were just plain fans. I saw some friends I hadn’t seen in a long time, made some new friends, saw my agent and publisher (not my editor, who wasn’t able to be there, but Tom Doherty of Tor), and finally met Ronald D. Moore, of Battlestar Galactica. He was there as toastmaster for the awards, and carried out his role with charm and a disarming sense of humor. I was asked by Jane Jewell, SFWA’s Executive Director and an old friend, if I would handle the reading aloud of the “In Memoriam” list, the annual remembrance of members of the SF community who have died in the last year. It was an unexpected privilege. The list was sadly long, and though only a couple of the names were of people I’d known personally, I found myself moved by the reminder of the toll that time takes on us, with the passing of loved and respected members of our field.
This was the second year for the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult SF/F novel, an award I helped to write the rules for (in my dual role as member of the YA special interest group and chairman of the SFWA Awards Rules Committee). Despite the hifalutin’ sound of that latter role, I don’t usually have anything to do with running of the event or the preparation of the trophies; but in this case, I helped to unpack the beautiful Lucite blocks before the ceremony. We had a problem. The Norton Award trophy hadn’t arrived with the others. But we had a spare Grandmaster trophy—one rejected by the manufacturer because of flaws in the Lucite—so we quickly decided on our out. We taped a label over the flawed Grandmaster: “Redeemable for one (1) Andre Norton Award trophy,” and set it out with the others. As it happened, the winner wasn’t able to make the trip from Australia, so I hope she’ll get her real trophy without much more delay than would have been the case anyway.
Here are the Nebula Award® winners:
- Novel: Jack McDevitt for Seeker
- Novella: James Patrick Kelly for “Burn”
- Novelette: Peter S. Beagle for “Two Hearts”
- Short Story: Elizabeth Hand for “Echo”
- Script: Hayao Miyazaki, Cindy Davis Hewitt, and Donald H. Hewitt for Howl’s Moving Castle
Andre Norton Award winner:
- Justine Larbalestier for Magic or Madness
Grandmaster Award winner:
- James Gunn
- D.G. Compton
Congratulations to all of the winners and the nominees. But especially, congrats to Jack McDevitt and Jim Kelly, who between them had—until last night—racked up something like 20 nominations without taking home a win! Last night was a biggie for both of them.
Read more about it at sfwa.org, and see pages of photos starting here. Or, if you want to skip ahead to the page with my photo—though I don’t know why you would, unless you’re related to me—that would be here and here.
Next up: I’m teaching next weekend, Thursday through Sunday, at the New England Young Writers Conference, at the Breadloaf campus of Middlebury College in Vermont!