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A Night at the Nebulas

There's nothing like an awards banquet to get folks dressed up and schmoozing. Yes, I went to the 2003 Nebula Awards on Saturday, hosted by SFWA and featuring Neal Stephenson as toastmaster. Even before the banquet proper, I hung out in the lobby and the hospitality suite, saying hello to Ted Chiang, Peter Orullian, and frabjousdave. I lunched with the McKennae and the friendly and colorful Jay Lake. Jay bought us all light-up glo wands (the better to amuse ourselves with at the banquet).

The banquet itself honored Robert Silverberg as Grand Master, with a keynote speech by Rick Rashid, Microsoft VP of Research and an introduction by Harlan Ellison. I had never actually seen Harlan before; his public persona makes him out to be some sort of ogre, but really he seems to be a harmless loudmouth in a field of passive aggressive introverts. Anyway, he added some comic relief to the proceedings, and seemed genuinely pleased to rib Silverberg about being inducted.

I chatted with W.R. Yates about Kepler and Africa, and with Egan about the Cayman Islands and pirates. Actually, it was a night of chatter, which I enjoyed far more than I usually do. I congratulated Pierce Watters, caught up with Sue and Monte Cook, exchanged a few words with mckitterick and kijjohnson, and learned that Erik Bear is a gamer. Ok, there's a million folks at this sort of occasion, so as long as I'm dropping names I'll just mention Bob Kruger, Jim Lin, Patricia Macewan, John Pelan, and Kathryn Haines. It was one of those social butterfly occasions that I usually dread but that (perhaps because of the smart, geek-friendly crowd) this time I enjoyed.

Oh, and they presented some awards. Elizabeth Moon won the Nebula for Best Novel, with The Speed of Dark. A complete list and photo of all the winners is on the Locus site.

Comments

( 7 sutras — Your wisdom )
saycestsay
Apr. 20th, 2004 12:03 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry I missed the show! Seems you had a great time.

I'm one of those who *likes* Harlan and his abrasiveness. But I like his writing more.
the_monkey_king
Apr. 21st, 2004 02:03 pm (UTC)
Well, there's some pictures by Doug Herring available, for the whole feel of it. Shelly and I are in the first photo on the right.
mighty_mongo
Apr. 29th, 2004 08:40 pm (UTC)
Harlan Ellison
I've been a big Ellison fan, ever since I first read "Repent, Harlequin!...." way too many moons ago. I met him at a convention a few years ago, where he read his (then) new short story "Mephisto in Onyx". He read it to the wrong crowd - all the fanboys wanted to know was how the soul-switching thing worked (so they could steal Brad Pitt's body?); instead of just sitting back and listening to Harlan's subtle, elegant, outrageous prose, cloaked in science fiction....
mysticalforest
Apr. 21st, 2004 12:15 pm (UTC)
What's new with Pierce?
the_monkey_king
Apr. 21st, 2004 02:01 pm (UTC)
He's working as an agent at the Barbara Bova group. Which is pretty cool.
mysticalforest
Apr. 21st, 2004 02:03 pm (UTC)
Augh! That website! My eyes! My eyes!
the_monkey_king
Apr. 21st, 2004 02:05 pm (UTC)
It is completely hideous and lame. But then, they are agents, not webmasters, and do most of their work by phone.

But yeah, not that impressive.
( 7 sutras — Your wisdom )

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