Monday, November 5, 2007

World Fantasy Con -- Day 4

Morning found many bewildered people wandering around the lobby of the Saratoga Hotel, trying to meet up with people who weren't there. Daylight Savings Time had changed back to EST overnight, and half the con attendees had forgotten this and half remembered it. Check-out time was an inconvenient 11:00 a.m., so everyone tripped over suitcases and other in-transit baggage. I had breakfast with Jeanne Cavalos of Odyssey, since I am teaching at that New Hampshire workshop next summer, and learned how the drill will work.

I did a reading at 11:00 -- astonished that anyone was present instead of eating, checking out, or dressing for the banquet -- of a story coming out in 2008 in Lou Anders's FAST FORWARD 2, "The Kindness of Strangers."

The 2007 World Fantasy Awards and banquet were hosted by Guy Gavriel Kay, whose speech was divided into two parts: a reverent tribute to the late Robert Jordan and then a fun "fairy tale" using all the names of the nominees, which was then immediately given a funny and negative on-stage critique by Gary Wolfe. After this the room grew hushed, the envelopes were produced, a jillion cameras flashed, and the winners are:

Special Award, Non-Professional: Gary Wolfe, for reviews and criticism

Special Award, Professional: Ellen Asher, for her work at SFBC

Artist: Shaun Tan

Collection: Map of Dreams by Mary Rickert, who cried and thanked Gordon Van Gelder "for finding me in the slush pile"

Anthology: Salon Fantastique, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

Short Fiction: "Journey Into the Kingdom" by Mary Rickert, who by now was having a very good afternoon

Novella: "Botch Town," by Jeffrey Ford, in The Empire of Ice Cream.

Novel: Soldier of Sidon, by Gene Wolfe, who received a much-deserved standing ovation.

The ceremony closed with speeches by the two Life Achievement Award winners. Diana Wynne Jones could not be present; her charming acceptance speech was read by Sharyn November. Betty Ballantine was present. She urged everyone to "teach a child to read, and encourage those children to teach others to read, and then writers will have readers and the country will never have another Bush in the White House." She, too, received a standing ovation.


bluesman miike Lindner said...

Hee-hee! Nancy, I find it wonderful in the finest sense that sf people lost track of time.

bluesman miike Lindner said...

Dear me. Was Betty Ballantine saying only non-readers voted for Bush? Clearly the literacy problem is worse than we thought.

Lou Anders said...

Nancy, I didn't know you were at WFC until after I got back. I am appalled we didn't meet!