I have never been more surprised in my life. So convinced was I, for several good reasons, that I was going to lose, that I didn't have my shoes on when the winner for Best Novella was announced. I had just glanced at my watch to see when the ceremonies would be over. I had no speech prepared. But then presenter Elisabeth Vonarberg announced, "The winner is 'The Erdmann Nexus' by Nancy Kress."
This year's Hugos, designed by Dave Howell, are a chunk of rock representing an asteroid, with the Hugo blasting off from it. Below the rocket itself is an inset "firebase" of orange and red, in the rough shape of the Canadian maple leaf. The name of the winner is engraved on an encircling, detachable metal band that, when worn over the eyes, makes one look like a character from STAR TREK. The statue is beautiful and very, very heavy. My thanks to Jack Skillingstead and Daryl Gregory for carrying it around for me most of the night.
The other fiction winners were Ted Chiang for "Exhalation" (Best Short Story), Elizabeth Bear for "Shoggoths in Bloom" (Best Novelette), and Neil Gaiman for THE GRAVEYARD BOOK (Best Novel). Here are winners and presenters on stage at the Palais de Congres:
Before the Hugos, I had been at a dinner arranged by Robert Silverberg, an annual event. The conversation ranged from a discussion of the nominees to a brain-wracking session of trying to remember the names of all seven of Snow White's dwarfs (thank you, John Kessel). Out of focus below are George R..R. Martin, Paris, Jim Kelly, Bob Silverberg, Karen Haber, Connie Willis, Jack Skillingstead, Walter Jon Williams, and John Kessel.
Earlier, the day had included a kaffeeklatsch, yet another panel, and lunch with my Tor editor, Beth Meachem. This means that once more I have attended a Worldcon without seeing much of the city in which it was held. But it's been a lovely Worldcon anyway.