Monday, May 21, 2012

The unlikeliness of the long-distance golf-ball-headed chisel-wielder...

I've been thrilled how many people have watched and reblogged the commencement speech.

If you want to read it, there's a transcript up at the UArts website, here.

I went by train from Philadelphia to Arlington, where SFWA was holding the Nebula Awards weekend. I wasn't actually nominated for a Nebula: I was nominated, along with director Richard Clark, for a Ray Bradbury Award for the Doctor Who episode "The Doctor's Wife".

(I'd been nominated once before, in 1998, for writing the English language script to Princess Mononoke. And I lost.)

I hoped I had a chance, but didn't think it was a shoe-in: all the other things nominated were major Hollywood movies, including Midnight In Paris and Source Code. But I thought, seeing I was in the area,  and that I had lots of friends I would see who would commiserate if I lost, and forgive me if I won, that it might be a fun trip.

I went. It was a wonderful ceremony. Connie Willis was made a Grand Master, and I kvelled.

The Bradbury Award is unique: a man dressed as a diver with an old IBM selectric "golf ball" for a head, holding a mallet and chisel to carve the happy and sad faces of drama out of a pyramid on top of a book. There's nothing like it.

And yes, Richard and I (and Doctor Who) won. I thanked everybody, Richard, the amazing cast and crew, Steven Moffat, and then I thanked Verity Lambert and Sydney Newman, who put a cranky old time-traveller into a police box almost half a century ago, and sent him off across time and space.

Here is a photograph of me and John Scalzi dueling with Bradbury Awards:

I flew home this morning. I put the award above the desk beside my Jim Henson Creativity award, and surrounded it with poppets...

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