Sunday, September 05, 2004

News from the Front...

Right. So...

It's been a long, chocabloc and very hectic day which has not finished yet, but I've grabbed a couple of minutes to let you know that

a) I was Master of Ceremonies for the 51st Hugo Awards this evening. It went really well. (I can't post my speech, because it only exists as a bunch of very odd notes to myself about things to talk about, and I no longer remember what I said.) The evening went really smoothly.

b) I won the Hugo award for Best Short Story for "A Study In Emerald". I didn't swear at all in my acceptance speech. I remembered to thank my editors (Michael Reaves and John Pelan) and Kim Newman and Alan Moore, who were my intended audience for it. I forgot to thank H. P Lovecraft and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, without whom there would not have been a story at all.

If the truth be told, it's a lot easier being up for a Hugo when you're MC. You don't worry about whether you've won or not, you don't sit there with slowly rising panic as your category nears. Instead, it's just one very minor thing to worry about in the giant process of making sure the evening runs like clockwork -- some minor logistical worries involved in being the MC and a nominee, but I probably cared less whether I'd won or lost this evening than anyone else in the audience, just because I had so many other things to care about. I cannot recommend being Master of Ceremonies highly enough, for those who suffer from nominee stress.

Lots of people came over and congratulated me on the way the evening had gone, and I told them about the convention staff they couldn't see, who made sure it worked so smoothly while I got to be a sort of ringmaster.

My favorite moment on the stage this evening was Robert Silverberg reminiscing about 50 years of Hugo Awards. He's been to all of them. In the photos I've seen, the younger Bob Silverberg used to look like Jesus. When I first met him, over twenty years ago, he looked rather like I imagine the Devil must look. Now, in his Grand Masterhood, with his beard pure white, he looks rather like God. It's dead impressive.

(And I'd like to insert a small thank you here -- I'm not a great one for formal wear, so it was not that astonishing to discover that I'd packed a shirt that needed cufflinks, but no cufflinks. So while I scribbled notes for my speech and biographical bits on the night's presenters, Anne and Bill Murphy (Anne is helping make sure I'm where I'm meant to be, while I'm here) set off on a cufflink expedition, and came back with a gift of free cufflinks from "Classic Tuxedo" in Boston. So my grateful thanks to the people at Classic Tuxedo. There.)