It was a very good Eastercon; and it was also a very frustrating one. Due to several other commitments, my roommate (the awesomely talented Rochita Loenen-Ruiz) and I arrived late on Friday evening, and as a result I ended up missing most of the action until Saturday morning (whereupon I had a brief moment for breakfast with Tricia Sullivan, Paul Cornell and Lauren Beukes, before I was whisked off for my signing, where I spent the rest of the afternoon). I watched the new Doctor Who episode, which was awesome but slightly frustrating–it’s all well and good for those who have BBC at home, but I’m going to have to wait for it to air in France or go to DVD before I can know the ending (interestingly, I prefer Matt Smith’s Doctor to Tennant’s Doctor, though Eccleston remains my favourite of those incarnations I’ve seen).
Then it was time for the BSFA Awards. As you can see, I hadn’t had much time to myself till then, so I wrote a very hasty and illegible speech on the back of a piece of paper while in the queue for Doctor Who, secure in the knowledge it wouldn’t ever be pronounced.
You can see this coming a mile off, don’t you. “The Shipmaker” won Best Short Fiction. Once I got past the OMG OMG moment, I just knew I was going to have to improvise something. I have no idea how it all went, because it’s a bit of a blur, but let me thank once again, everyone who voted in the short fiction category, the tireless people of the BSFA for organising the Awards, Paul Cornell and David Weber for presenting it to me, and Andy Cox, Andy Hedgecock, Roy Gray and the rest of the Interzone team for publishing the story in the first place. (I do have a shiny trophy, but due to various logistics problems it’s, er, temporarily elsewhere. Will take pics and display them when I have them). Major congrats as well to Paul Kincaid, Joey Hi-Fi and Ian McDonald for taking the prize in their categories; and finally, kudos to my fellow nominees, Nina Allan, Peter Watts and Neil Williamson. It was an honour to be with you guys.
Sunday, very fortunately, was quieter, allowing me time to browse in the dealers’ room, hang out with friends in the bar, and steel myself for the evening. Namely, something I had been sitting on for a couple of weeks–the Hugo nomination of “The Jaguar House, in Shadow” for Best Novelette.
The announcement is also a bit of a blur, but fortunately no speeches were involved. Very happy to see a number of friends on the ballot such as Lauren Beukes, Rachel Swirsky, Eric James Stone, Ian McDonald, and Mary Robinette Kowal. And very very happy to see Alastair Reynolds finally up for a Hugo (you’d think he’d have been nominated before, but apparently not). And also very happy to see so many women up for awards, especially in the fiction category. Though we were talking it over with the H yesterday, and we weren’t entirely sure that nominations would transcribe into wins due to the way the ballot was structured (not sure about the others, but I expect Ted Chiang to win the novella, and I also suspect that all the proponents of traditional science-driven SF–of which there are many–will vote for Ian McDonald, giving him a strong edge in terms of votes). I very much hope I’ll be proved wront there.
So, at any rate, the complete list of Hugo nominees is here; lots of good stuff to check out; and thanks to everyone who nominated me, or supported me, or cheered for me when the announcement came out. And if, you know, you happen to want Jaguar Knights to win the shiny rocket trophy, you know what to do
Other than that, it was a great but exhausting con. I did my reading (the cookies went down a treat at that one–and my deepest thanks to everyone who turned up to show support); got on a couple of last-minute panels on Monday about Race and Gender in SF and Self-Promotion for Writers; met lots of people–old friends, new acquaintances–and generally had tons of fun and many productive discussions. I’m only sorry it was so short, and that there were some people I managed to miss altogether. But hey, here’s to next year.