Watch this space! The action starts around 8:15 p.m. Eastern Time… in theory. In past years it’s run a little late. I’ll also be livetweeting on @Genreville. Alas, I can’t set the page to auto-refresh, so keep your mouse poised over that refresh button.
19:14: The doors open on time for dinner! Amazing.
19:27: Walter Jon Williams, our toastmaster, takes the stage. ON TIME. Is this allowed? He patiently teaches the nominees how to politely applaud and say “It’s an honor just to be nominated”, which they dutifully recite in unison.
19:40: I finish uploading “red carpet” photos and get down to the serious business of eating.
20:00: I circulate around the room chatting with people and pretending I’m not just looking for an excuse to say hello to Neil Gaiman.
20:07: I casually say hello to Neil Gaiman. He hugs me. Have I mentioned I love my job?
20:28: The lights dim and Walter comes back. Now running 15 minutes late. The universe is back in order.
20:31: Walter decides the safest way to entertain without offending is to poke fun at himself. He’s not wrong.
20:35: Astronaut Mike Fincke comes to the stage and declares himself “a true fan”. What a sweet guy.
“At NASA, we actually believe everything that you write.” Laughter and huge applause. “And we fall for it every time.”
Now he’s showing hilarious videos from the space station. Those astronauts are total cut-ups!
Oohs and aahs for videos of Earth from the ISS. I suspect many people are getting teary-eyed.
Now predictions. ISS flying until 2020, maybe 2026. Commercial space flight, freeing NASA from focus on low earth orbit. Launching new vehicles in 2014, with people in 2016 or 2017. Six or seven people, new launch system, going to the moon and Mars. (Lots of applause for that.)
“Please keep it coming…. You bring out the best in humans so we can go off and do what humans do well.” A well-deserved standing ovation.
20:50: Silence for a tribute to the recently departed.
20:56: Walter Jon Williams introduces Michael Capobianco to present the Service to SFWA Award. Capo suggests Walter should run for president; more applause than laughter. An interesting idea…
The award goes to Bud Webster, for his work tracking down the heirs and estates of deceased SF/F authors and making sure that rights-holders are findable and can get paid for reprints. Bud accepts with a very nice speech. “Do you have any idea how proud I am to stand up in front of you guys and get this award for something I would do anyway?”
21:03: Walter returns and says, “As for being SFWA president, I would like to remind you all that I do not preside–I reign!”
He introduces Eileen Gunn to present the Solstice Award for the late Octavia E. Butler. Eileen gives a brief tribute speech, fighting tears, and shows a montage of photos of Butler and her book covers. Cynthia Felice accepts the award on Butler’s behalf and talks about their nearly 30 years of friendship. “She would have been so proud and so pleased.”
Walter then introduces Lee Martindale to present the Solstice Award for John Clute. Joe Haldeman accepts on John’s behalf and reads John’s tribute to Octavia Butler, “a writer of strength and fervor.”
21:15: Walter introduces James Patrick Kelly, who brings up Johnny Atomic, Ken Chapman, and Phil Elmore of League Entertainment, the creators of a piece of tribute art for Connie Willis, the newest SFWA Grand Master. “Many of her works are very good and someday she should get an award of some kind.” They created “a burnt piece of newspaper” from an alternate World War II–it’s spectacular!
Jim Kelly gives a sweet and funny tribute to Connie and her husband and daughter. “I don’t know whether the SFWA brain trust has ever laid out exactly what one has to do to be a Grand Master, but whatever the qualifications are, Connie has them… Comedy is but one of Connie’s many modes. She has written some of the saddest and angriest stories I’ve ever read.” Big standing ovation, of course.
Connie Willis accepts her Grand Master award with a smile and a charming, funny speech. “I watch the Oscars for the acceptance speeches. All this research came in handy over the last couple of weeks.” She thanks a great many people, especially her friends who are fellow Grand Masters: “Is that cool or what? Like Robert Silverberg. Ooh, he’s gonna be so mad.”
She concludes, “As Sally Field should have said it: I love you. I really really love you. Thank you.” Not a dry eye in the house.
21:35: And now on to the awards! I have brought extra handkerchiefs in my purse in case I sit next to either a tearfully delighted winner or a tearfully disappointed finalist.
Myke Cole takes the stage to give the Bradbury. The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation nominees:
- Attack the Block, Joe Cornish (writer/director) (Optimum Releasing; Screen Gems)
- Captain America: The First Avenger, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (writers), Joe Johnston (director) (Paramount)
- Doctor Who: “The Doctor’s Wife,” Neil Gaiman (writer), Richard Clark (director) (BBC Wales)
- Hugo, John Logan (writer), Martin Scorsese (director) (Paramount)
- Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen (writer/director) (Sony)
- Source Code, Ben Ripley (writer), Duncan Jones (director) (Summit)
- The Adjustment Bureau, George Nolfi (writer/director) (Universal)
And the award goes to… Neil Gaiman and Richard Clark for “The Doctor’s Wife”! No surprise there; it’s a favorite for the Hugo too. None of the Bradbury nominees appeared at the reception last night, but Neil made a surprise appearance today, and now we all get to watch him be bashful onstage. He does a very good bashful. He also says very sweet things about Doctor Who and its effects on tiny little Neil hiding behind the sofa.
The Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book nominees:
- Akata Witch, Nnedi Okorafor (Viking Juvenile)
- Chime, Franny Billingsley (Dial Books; Bloomsbury)
- Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Hodder & Stoughton)
- Everybody Sees the Ants, A.S. King (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
- The Boy at the End of the World, Greg van Eekhout (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
- The Freedom Maze, Delia Sherman (Big Mouth House)
- The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Rae Carson (Greenwillow Books)
- Ultraviolet, R.J. Anderson (Orchard Books; Carolrhoda Books)
This is a really outstanding slate and I expect the voting was very close.
And the award goes to… Delia Sherman for The Freedom Maze! Delia told me yesterday that she didn’t expect to win, so I’m greatly enjoying the look on her face. “I cannot tell you how much this means to me.”
I’m shamelessly copying the short fiction finalist lists from SF Signal’s post, since they went to the trouble of finding links to all the works available online. Do follow those links when you have some time for reading.
The short story Nebula nominees:
- “Her Husband’s Hands” by Adam-Troy Castro (Lightspeed Magazine, October 2011)
- “Mama, We are Zhenya, Your Son” by Tom Crosshill (Lightspeed Magazine, April 2011)
- “Movement” by Nancy Fulda (Asimov’s Science Fiction, March 2011)
- “Shipbirth” by Aliette de Bodard (Asimov’s Science Fiction, February 2011)
- “The Axiom of Choice” by David W. Goldman (New Haven Review, Winter 2011)
- “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” by E. Lily Yu (Clarkesworld Magazine, April 2011)
- “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March/April 2011)
And the award goes to… Ken Liu for “The Paper Menagerie”! Jamie Todd Rubin accepts on his behalf. “I’m glad this story struck a chord with so many.”
The novelette Nebula nominees:
- “Fields of Gold” by Rachel Swirsky (Eclipse 4, Night Shade Books)
- “Ray of Light” by Brad R. Torgersen (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, December 2011)
- “Sauerkraut Station” by Ferrett Steinmetz (Giganotosaurus, November 2011)
- “Six Months, Three Days” by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor.com, June 2011)
- “The Migratory Pattern of Dancers” by Katherine Sparrow (Giganotosaurus, July 2011)
- “The Old Equations” by Jake Kerr (Lightspeed Magazine, July 2011)
- “What We Found” by Geoff Ryman (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, September/October 2011)
And the award goes to… Geoff Ryman for “What We Found”! Geoff came over from England for this and I’m sure he’s very glad he did. “I vowed I would never write another story set in someone else’s country, but it seemed like such a little low-key kind of story that I didn’t think anyone would notice.” He and Rachel Swirsky do a cute little generic acceptance speech: “I’d like to thank my agent, my editor, my stereo, my refrigerator…”
The novella Nebula nominees:
- “Kiss Me Twice” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s Science Fiction, June 2011)
- “Silently and Very Fast” by Catherynne M. Valente (WFSA Press; Clarkesworld Magazine, October 2011)
- “The Ice Owl” by Carolyn Ives Gilman (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November/December 2011)
- “The Man Who Bridged the Mist” by Kij Johnson (Asimov’s Science Fiction, October/November 2011)
- “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary” by Ken Liu (Panverse Three, Panverse Publishing)
- “With Unclean Hands” by Adam-Troy Castro (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, November 2011)
And the award goes to… Kij Johnson for “The Man Who Bridged the Mist”! Something of a surprise there; I’ve heard much more buzz about “Silently and Very Fast”. Alas for Adam-Troy Castro, with two nominations but no wins.
John Kessel accepts on Kij’s behalf. “Gosh, I’m so pleased! And I’m guessing Kij will be too.” He reads her note: “I started this story so long ago I can’t remember all the people who helped me with it.”
Michael Swanwick gets up to give the novel award. He claims to have hours of material for roasting Connie Willis, and is very sad she’s not up for Best Novel.
The novel Nebula nominees:
- Among Others by Jo Walton (Tor)
- Embassytown by China Miéville (Macmillan UK; Del Rey; Subterranean Press)
- Firebird by Jack McDevitt (Ace Books)
- God’s War by Kameron Hurley (Night Shade Books)
- Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine (Prime Books)
- The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
And the award goes to… Jo Walton for Among Others! No shock given its unabashed sentimentality for an era that’s dear to many of the voters. Standing ovation, and much hollering.
Jo, astonished: “I would like to quote Neil Gaiman: ‘Fuck!’” She thanks her mother for being “such an evil person” as it gave her valuable experience in writing about evil people.
22:05: And that’s it! Congratulations to all the nominees and winners. Here endeth my liveblog; thanks for following along.