Yesterday I started babbling on about the 68th World Science Fiction Convention, but ran out of space. Today I’m back on the same topic.
One of the major literary events at a Worldcon, aside from the exclusive publishers’ parties (to which I didn’t score any invites 🙁 ) is the presentation of the Hugo Awards, which are the worldwide awards for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy. In a lavish ceremony, entertainingly MCed by Australian author Garth Nix, to the deafening sound of much applause, the winners were announced. Each was presented with a stunning award statuette — the traditional silver rocket on a base designed by a local artist… in this case, the amazingly talented Mr Nick Stathopolis. There was a tie for Best Novel — The City & The City by China Miéville and The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form went to Moon, while Doctor Who scored yet another Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form, this time for “The Waters of Mars”. The announcement that probably got the biggest applause was Shaun Tan winning Best Professional Artist. A complete list of winners is available here.
Also presented at the convention, were the Australian Science Fiction Awards, known as the Ditmars. Although there was less pomp and circumstance, and a smaller crowd, there was no less excitement as the winners were announced. Best Novel went to Kaaron Warren for Slights. Paul Haines took away two awards — Best Novella or Novelette for “Wives” (published in X6) and Best Collected Work for Slice Of Life. Best Short Story went to Cat Sparks for “Seventeen” (published in Masques) and Best Artwork went to Lewis Morley for the cover of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #42. A complete list of winners is available here.
Lots of other stuff happened. I chatted to a few publishers and editors, I signed some autographs and I did my best to promote my book, Gamers’ Quest. I got the chance to meet and talk with a whole heap of interesting people. I collected some autographs from authors I admire, I stalked a few celebrities and I drank single malt Scotch at one of the many parties. All up, I had a fun time.
Let me conclude with some random memories.
Meeting several people who had read and liked Gamers’ Quest; including a 12 year old girl who was also a huge Doctor Who fan. We ended up chatting about Doctor Who for ages, and were equally excited to meet Doctor Who scriptwriter, Robert Shearman, who stopped by the kids programming room during a presentation on books based on television, being given by myself and Ian Mond.
Getting Terry Dowling to sign a copy of his latest book for me, and chatting to him about my favourite of his stories.
Rushing frantically from a panel to my scheduled book signing, and being distracted by a passing platter of sandwiches carried by co-Chair, Rose Mitchell. “Who do I have to kill to get one of those?” I was rather hungry, as I had been on programme items throughout lunch. To my amazement, she handed me one of the sandwiches. Bless her for saving a starving author!
Being asked to sign a giant rubber alien tentacle.
Hearing a lot of buzz about Ben Chandler’s new YA novel Quillblade. So that’s now been added to my reading pile.
I could go on and on and on… but I won’t. So let me finish by saying that if you ever have the chance to attend a Worldcon, either in Australian or overseas… DO IT!
Catch ya later, George