Monday, June 28, 2010

Amazingly gratified...

The Locus Awards were given out this weekend. They're the SF/Fantasy awards with the largest voting base, the readership of Locus, the monthly news magazine of the field: is the complete list of winners and nominees. I was surprised and thrilled to discover that my short story from SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH won best short story.

This is what I asked Gardner Dozois to read out at the awards ceremony.

We, the people who make Fantasy and SF, live in houses other people built.

They were giants, the men and the women who made the houses we inhabit. They started with a barren place and they built Speculative Fiction, always leaving the building unfinished so the people who came by after they were gone could put on another room, or another storey. Clark Ashton Smith dug the foundations of Dying Earth stories, and Jack Vance came along and built something high and glorious on it, as he made so much that was high and glorious.

Being invited to build a storey on Jack Vance's structure was an honour for me, just as I am certain it was an honour for the other authors who accepted the challenge. I see this Locus award as being as much an award for Jack Vance as it is for my tale.

I'm enormously grateful to George R R Martin and Gardner Dozois for extending the invitation, and for nagging, nagging, always nagging. The demanding emails. The threatening phone calls. The strangled cries in the night. The time my dog went missing with no clue as to his whereabouts but for a cheery note in Gardner's handwriting suggesting that if I ever wanted to see the pooch again I just had to please, just finish the damn story, what was I trying to do, give them both heart attacks? These men are fine editors who take their jobs seriously.

I am grateful to them, and to the Locus voters, and to Locus magazine. And most of all, thank you a thousand times to Jack Vance.

(I also recorded a small video talk about Roger Zelazny for his SF Hall of Fame induction. Which I may put up here at some point.)

Oh! And for those of you who want to read my story "The Truth Is A Cave in the Black Mountains", currently only out in STORIES, it's also online on the rather wonderful 52 Stories Website. One Free Story a Week. You can read it at and follow the site at:

Right. Back to words...

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