Monday, August 10, 2009

Thank you kindly, Charlie Brown.

I'm really starting to like Google Voice. The 3 cents a minute calls to Russia from Canada through my cellphone are rather wonderful for a start. It has its little foibles, though: it sends a voice-to-text text message to your phone if someone leaves you a message. That's good. If an American leaves a message it's going to be pretty accurate. If an English person leaves a message, it might as well be random words. That's not good.

Did two panels today -- a conversation with Gary Wolfe, where we talked about reading fiction and criticism and reviewing and Gene Wolfe and such, and a conversation with Cheryl Morgan where we talked about dogs and bees and pumpkins and Doctor Who and things like that.

I presented two awards -- Best Graphic Fiction and Best Artist, and I won what feels like the heaviest Hugo there ever was for The Graveyard Book. I thought the Best Novel award would and should go to Neal Stephenson's Anathem (and still think that it might have done if that book had actually been included in the Hugo Voters Reading Packet that John Scalzi organised, where every Hugo voter was able to read all the Hugo nominated stories etc, thus, at least in theory, giving a much more educated voting base, who would vote on the basis of things they had read, rather than on name recognition or without having read things that were published in out-of-the-way places). I didn't have a speech prepared, but thanked everyone except one person.

You get about a week between being notified that you are nominated for a Hugo Award and the nominations being announced. This is to allow you to say "No, thank you" if you wish, and to decline the nomination. (I did this a few years ago with Anansi Boys.) The late Charles N. Brown called me during that week having found out by his own methods, or possibly just guessing, and told me not to decline the nomination. He was astonishingly firm and bossy about it, and while I had been wavering, after that call I emailed the administrator of the awards to let them know that I accepted. I should have thanked Charlie, and I didn't. So I am, here.

The Hugo results are here. Here are the pdfs on the nominations and voting results.

I was, with Chip Kidd, Irene Gallo and Geri Sullivan, a judge in the Hugo Logo contest. We got over 400 submissions, many of them amazingly good. Here's the winner.

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