Of Nebulas and New York City

Just a quick post before I go back to my busy-busy mode.  The Nebulas were an interesting experience, especially as I went not having entertained winning as a possibility for even a moment, and so this provided me with more of an anthropological view of the event.  The hotel was snazzy and expensive, the drinks and beer way overpriced, the banquet food decent, the ceremony way too long, but interesting to be at for the first couple of hours, when I still had a lot of energy.  The closer it got to midnight though, the more I wanted to put my head down and sleep.  I’m glad I didn’t, because I got to see Jim Kelly win his first Nebula, which was like watching a mechanical wind-up toy that’s been wound really really tight go crazy as it ran across the floor and up the stairs of the stage.  Also, when my name was announced in the novelette category, the good people at the Realms of Fantasy table sent up a little cheer for me.  This made me smile and feel really good.  There were some other interesting things to see too:  presenters who either didn’t know how to pronounce simple names of nominees, even though they’re well-known in the field and have won many other awards, as well as presenters who left off naming some of the nominees at all.  I thought this was a really avant garde demonstration of professionalism.  Along with this, the Bulletin of SFWA printed my first draft of my essay on my novelette, rather than the corrected version that I revised here on my blog with the help of some smart readers, and of course they’ve posted it online as well.  I wrote and asked if I could have the one online replaced at least with the revised essay, but this was days ago and no one has responded to me, so I guess my first draft is what will be etched in the records.  Who said nothing was set in stone? 😉

I had a good time nonetheless, visiting old friends and acquaintances, eating a vast array of gorgeous meals in the city, attending my first KGB Fantastic Fiction reading series event, meeting my editor for the most amazing Japanese food I’ve had in many months and indulging in a pineapple-anise flavored sorbet, visiting my publisher’s offices near Columbus Circle and being amazed at how publishing offices actually look like how they’re portrayed in movies.  I felt for several moments very much like a boy off a farm again, surrounded by those high walls of famous books published over the years by the various imprints of Random House and being told by a man behind a really high desk at the foyer to take the elevator to the twenty-fourth floor.  This was really cool. 

One of my highlights of the week was finding out I’d been a highlight of Peter Beagle’s Nebula weekend, as when he and I and Delia Sherman, all novelette nominees, were asked to take a picture together and introduced ourselves to each other, I nervously stuttered his name when I told him it was nice to meet him, then after the picture apologized because of my nerves.  He was very gracious and said he had done the same thing years ago when he met Jessamyn West, and thought it was great that he got to be in the other position finally. 

New York is one of my favorite cities in the world.  There’s so much to do and see and eat and buy.  I can’t wait to go back for another visit later this summer.  But now in a few more days it’ll be time to go to Madison for Wiscon, and that’s another favorite little city in my register of favorite cities.  Can’t wait to see more old friends and acquaintances there at the end of this week.  I fly in on Friday morning.  Everyone get ready to sing some karaoke and have a beer or two (or three). 

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