And Now, About The Hugo(s)

Clearly, I’m all about the quiet dignity.

(Photo once again by Tom Suter)

I have a few comments to make about Hugos won and lost, so if you’ll indulge me (and you’ll have to, because this is my site), and allow me to do it in an entirely artificial Q&A format:


So, uh, which Hugo did you win?

Best Fan Writer.

Aren’t you a professional science fiction writer?

Indeed I am.

I sense contradiction.

Not really. In science fiction, nearly all pros are fans, and some fans are pros. One needs to be careful, as Patrick Nielsen Hayden would say, to note that “fan is not the embryonic form of pro”; nevertheless, the streams, as we might say, do cross.

So for what writing did you win this Hugo for?

You’re looking at it. I write about science fiction and the science fiction community all the time here on Whatever, and I try to promote science fiction literature on a regular basis.

Is this is a first?

Sort of. Others have won Hugos for online sites, although technically they were editing awards. In 2004, Cheryl Morgan won the Best Fanzine award for Emerald City, which was online as well as in print, and there was a one-off Best Web Site Hugo in 2005, which was won by late, lamented SciFiction, and given to its editor, Ellen Datlow. And Dave Langford, who has won the Fan Writer Hugo for the 20 years previous to this one, distributes Ansible electronically (I know this because it pops up in my e-mail on a regular basis).

However, as far as I and anyone else I’ve asked can see, this is the first time a writing Hugo, much less a fan writing Hugo, was given out for writing done exclusively on a blog (there was once a Best Novel nominee which was originally published on a blog, but it didn’t win). So in that regard, yup, it’s a first.

How do you feel about this award?

I’m over the friggin’ moon, thank you very much. And more than that, I think it’s entirely in keeping with the frankly weird and Whatever-centric manner in which my science fiction career has developed. You know, I have a science fiction career because of Whatever; it was here I posted Old Man’s War, which is how the book was sold. And at this point, I am equally known as a blogger and as a science fiction writer. The idea that an award from the latter portion of my life is commorating what I do in the former is just six different and tasty flavors of cool. I mean, dude: I get a Hugo for writing on Whatever? What’s not to like?

But it’s not the Best Novel Hugo.


Well, that’s the big one.

Sure, and I’d like to win one. In the meantime, I get to be the first guy ever to win a Best Fan Writer Hugo while being simultaneously nominated for the Best Novel. I get to be the first Campbell Award winner ever to win the Fan Writer Hugo. I get to be the first guy ever to win a Hugo for what he writes on his blog. And I’m the first guy in two decades to win the award who is not the guy who won it the year before. You know, all this is fairly damn cool. Allow me a moment of pure creamery ego to have pulled all this off. Because I feel pretty good about it.

So, go on. Tell me, if you dare, that this Hugo isn’t a hell of an achievement in itself. I’ll laugh, and then beat you with the trophy. And then you will fall. Because the thing is damn huge.

How does it feel to topple Dave Langford?

I didn’t topple him; I believe he still stands upright.

No, I mean he won the Best Fan Writer Hugo for 20 years consecutively until you won.

Well, look. There’s Dave Langford, the absolutely lovely man who writes the absolutely indispensible Ansible, and then there’s the Langford Streak, which is in nearly all ways an entirely separate thing. Am I happy to have broken the Langford Streak? I am; it’s nice to have a Hugo. Am I under the illusion that I’ve somehow replaced Dave Langford in any meaningful way? Don’t be silly. I can’t replace him; he’s irreplaceable. Also, I don’t think his clothes would fit me, and he has more hair. I try to replace him, people would notice. I’ll just continue to be me.

It’s not out of school to note that Dave Langford was one of the very first people to send me good wishes on my win, because he is just that much of a class act. My response to this was to note the singular honor it is to follow in his footsteps. Because it is.

Are you planning to work on a streak?

With a careful caveat that what follows is not a commentary on Dave Langford or his list of consecutive wins: Hell, no. My ambition is not to win Best Fan Writer again; my ambition is to see Best Fan Writer won by lots of different people. Because you know what? There are lots of people writing lots of excellent stuff about science fiction and its community, both online and in the traditional fanzines, and what I think would be excellent is if the Hugo voters would open their eyes to these writers.

In my acceptance speech for the Fan Writer Hugo, I stressed how honored I was that the Hugo voters had connected me to the line of fan writers, because the first pro writers of American science fiction were indisputable fans first, and it was an unfathomable honor to able to stand in that line. And having stressed how genuinely honored I was to have the award, I asked the people in the audience to please not give it to me next year. Instead, they should spread it around. That’s what makes for a vital award category. Repeat winners? From time to time, sure. Dynasties? Really, let’s not.

Now that you have a Hugo, should we expect to see “HUGO WINNER” on the cover of your next novel?

No. Both I and Patrick Nielsen Hayden (my editor at Tor) feel strongly about this. If I am ever lucky enough to get a Hugo for my fiction, then yes, I will put “Hugo Winner” on the cover of some other piece of fiction. Until then, it gets put into the jacket flap bio.

To be clear, it’s not that I think that the Fan Writer Hugo is a lesser award, not to be celebrated. Trust me, people, I’m feeling pretty celebratory, and I don’t intend to be shy about noting my Hugo status when I feel it’s appropriate. But it’s not ethically correct to pimp out the Fan Writer award for my fiction work. There’s also the small matter that if I did, I’m pretty sure that fandom assassins would stab me to death at the next convention. And they would be right to do so. I’d rather not be stabbed.

So, no. To the extent that I have any control over marketing (which, as an author, is not always a sure thing), you’ll not see “Hugo Winner” on my fiction covers until I win a Hugo for my fiction.


So, you lost the Best Novel Hugo to Michael Chabon and The Yiddish Policemen’s Union.

I sure did.

By nine votes.

That’s right.

So if just ten more people would have voted for you, you’d have won.


Out of almost 750 voters.

Sounds about right.

So you missed winning by just a little over 1%.

Is this going somewhere?

Well, how do you feel about that?

I feel fine.

Oh, come on. You don’t have to lie to us.

How dare you accuse me of lying, you figment of my imagination!


That’s better.

But, okay then, tell us why you’re not pissed.

All right:


1. Rumor has it The Yiddish Policeman’s Union is a fine novel. Losing to a novel that sucks would suck. Losing to a novel that is excellent is fine. In this regard, I would have been fine with any of my fellow nominees winning over me.

2. So, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist writes a #1 bestselling novel that receives glowing awards in the national press, sucks up major awards, is nominated for others, and sells hundreds of thousands of copies, and I’m supposed to feel bad about losing to him by single digits? Really? No, really: Really?

3. You know, if I had spent the evening being depressed that I had lost a Hugo award, all the while cradling another Hugo Award I had won in my arms, you know what would have happened to me? I would have been tossed out an eight-story window by an enraged mob. For starters.

4. I think people forget this, but my first novel came out in stores only just a little over three and a half years ago. So in the space of less than four years since the functional start of my science fiction career, I’ve been nominated for four Hugos (including for Best Novel twice), the Campbell and the Sidewise award, and won the Campbell and a Hugo. And, thing is, the books sell pretty well, too.

So, look, people: I do not deserve pity. And if I were to display self-pity in this regard, I should be bludgeoned to death, with hammers, as an object example for every other science fiction writer who ever got astoundingly lucky and then became a miserable bastard about it.

5. This year’s Hugo trophy, while really quite beautiful, is also unwieldy. Carrying two around would have simply been impractical.

So there you have it.

Let me know if you have any questions for me about the Hugos, won and lost; I’ll be happy to answer.

88 Comments on “And Now, About The Hugo(s)

  1. I know it’s a trophy and apparently quite hefty, but would you ever consider wearing it around your neck, ala Flava Flav, on more formal occasions?

  2. Oh, of course, congratulations sir. Well deserved indeed.

  3. I don’t think my insurance would cover the neck spasms that would ensue. Also, thanks!

  4. So, you know how in Buffy the Vampire Slayer the vampires look all normal-like and friendly and stuff?

    And then, when the moment is right and they’re ready to strike their face changes into the “vampire face”?

    I’m just sayin. ;)

    Congrats, John. Well earned and well deserved on the Hugo.

    And on the plus side, I think the Hugo can be used to slay vampires.

  5. I have a few questions for your interviewer, if you’d be so kind as to pass this along (if you’re no longer on speaking terms with yourself I’ll understand).

    What’s it like interviewing a Hugo winner?

    Do you prefer written Q&As (ala email) or face to face? If the former, did you use a different email address than the interviewee? If the latter, did you use a mirror, and did you tape the interview?

    If you taped it, do you plan on posting am mp3?

  6. What about the appropriateness of a Hugo mention on the cover of Hate Mail?

  7. I understand not promoting your books with a Hugo Winner cover splash, but what about putting a logo or blurb in the header of Whatever? It was your writing here which won the award for you after all.

  8. Tell your imagination that if only 5 Chabon voters had switched their votes you would have won.

  9. I think Gentleman Of The Road was far more Hugo worthy than Yiddish Policeman’s Union.

    Agree? Disagree?

  10. Congratulations again!

    And I think that picture should go in your banner for awhile.

    It’s promotes your Hugo won for this site, while also providing a warning to the unwary.

  11. Congratulations – it’s a well-deserved award. I’ve discovered dozens of writers I’ve never read before by hearing about them and their works on your site. I made a list from last December’s posts and took it book shopping with me! I think that’s pretty much what you intended with your site and I appreciate all the effort.

    And also – your attitude rocks. :) Go forth and kill vampires (and zombies!) with your Hugo.

  12. “…there was once a Best Novel nominee which was originally published on a blog, but it didn’t win…”

    Um… wasn’t that… er… yours? Seems worth a mention.

    Also, I am totally disappointed that you passed up the chance above to use the word “defenestrated.” It definitely need to be used whenever possible.

  13. One of the things I noticed was how humble everyone was. Praising their fellow authors and influences within the community. Wil McCarthy was excellent as were all the other presenters. This is the first Hugo award ceremony we have attended and we hope it won’t be the last.

    It is awesome that you won for Fan Writer, and Mary for the Campbell!

    It was so cool that we were apart of the nominating and voting for a major award and I wish I had heard of Hugo Golf prior to the ceremony.

    I did double bogey the Best novel.

    So question: How do we get more people to nominate and vote?

  14. If I may add some things as someone John beat…

    I spent time with John after the ceremony. In fact, I provided him with the document showing how the voting worked in both categories.

    I’ll confirm that John was over the moon with elation and only let go of the Hugo at rare intervals when he gave it to the trusted Yanni. The intervals at which he would let go of it were even more infrequent if I was in Hugo-snatching range.

    He seemed positively giddy that he came so close to Michael Chabon in the Novel (ganze megillah) category. Remember, he came within one vote of defeating Dave Langford last year and he won by more than 100 votes this year. But John poured over the results of the novel category and the nominations as eagerly as anyone else with a vested interest in the Hugos.

    Finally, there is only one case of a Best Fan Writer winning a Best Fiction award the same year, some guy named Langford in 2001. And the only other time someone was up for both Fan Writer and Novel in the same year, 1970, he didn’t win a Hugo (and hasn’t since)…Piers Anthony.

  15. I feel fine.

    You didn’t sing that whilst wearing a labcoat and goggles, did you?

  16. Rather than just beating people with the trophy, you might want to consider flipping it around and stabbing them with the pointy bit at the end of the rocket.

    Congratulations on your win, and as you said, no shame in losing to Chabon’s novel, which really is quite good.

  17. So how did you get it home and where will the Hugo live?

  18. Gratz! I was at the Hugos (in my hometown), and your acceptance speech was everything that it should be–humble, grateful, and full of pride. Plus, you are correct that writers come out of fandom–no vise versa.

    Each year, we should see a new fan writer, and hopefully wiht the internet getting more and more visible, that will change. It is hard to be a fan writer and be noticed. Good job being noticed and wrting well. :D

  19. I said it below, but it bears repeating: Congratulations.

    Oh, and there’s a fun little blog award making the round. Since I felt in a whimsical mood, I gave you one. It’s not as big as the Hugo, but you can post it in your sidebar, and you can award ten other bloggers. :)

  20. With two, I think you’re supposed to carry one under each arm, for balance. ;)

    Congratulations on your Hugo, it is well deserved.

  21. I’ll laugh, and then beat you with the trophy. And then you will fall. Because the thing is damn huge.

    There’s also the small matter that if I did, I’m pretty sure that fandom assassins would stab me to death at the next convention.

    You know, if I had spent the evening being depressed that I had lost a Hugo award, all the while cradling another Hugo Award I had won in my arms, you know what would have happened to me? I would have been tossed out an eight-story window by an enraged mob. For starters.

    And if I were to display self-pity in this regard, I should bludgeoned to death, with hammers, as an object example for every other science fiction writer who ever got astoundingly lucky and then became a miserable bastard about it.


  22. Congratulations! You definitely earned it. Now, for my question: Just how big is Dave Langford’s mantle to be able to fit 20 of those things?

  23. A Question if I may:
    How does one travel with a Hugo ? Does one ship it instead or does one enlighten the airport folk as to the essence of the thing.
    Also you must be better off not having lost the best-novel award to one of the Harry Potter books, but to Chabon instead…

  24. Re: How to travel with a Hugo:

    In this case, I didn’t. I shipped it. And I shipped it overnight, so it’ll be here tomorrow. For this, I paid stupid amounts of money. But you win your first Hugo only once.

  25. Bobson @28: I think John has already said he shipped the Hugo trophy itself. That thing, with the fancy mountain base, is friggin’ HUGE.

    And I might’ve cut John’s margin of loss to only eight, but I had to go and vote for Halting State instead. Not that John would fault me for doing so; in fact, it was his praise of that book that caused me to pick it up in the first place. Which just justifies his Fan Writer Hugo all the more. :-)

  26. I’m curious: Did Chabon attend the awards ceremony? Did he give an interesting acceptance speech, if so?

  27. Oh, and, you know, congratulations on your hugo :) I can’t imagine how great that feels

  28. Chris:

    No, he had a prior commitment, but he did send an acceptance speech which I understand was very well received (I was backstage).

  29. Uh,

    Someone upthread mentioned that the Hugo was effective for killing Vampires. This is completely untrue and I wouldn’t want to hear that you had come to a bad end due to bad advice. The traditional means are the only ones useful when battling vampires.

    Zombies, however. They’re a different story altogether. A Hugo will do nicely for beating the (un)-living crap out of a Zombie.

  30. This year’s Hugo trophy, while really quite beautiful, is also unwieldy. Carrying two around would have simply been impractical.

    Absolutely impossible to do what you’d threatened to do, for certain.

  31. I feel the need to ask the same question Stephen Colbert’s director asked of Rush:

    Do you ever get tired of being so awesome and kicking so much ass?

  32. You should give your cool trophy a unique name like “Jasmine” and then when you feel depressed you can just “go spend time with Jasmine”.

    Huzzah and all that.

  33. Yes, John – your award is very nice.

    But Mary Robinette Kowal’s dress is what I’ve been squeeing over since you’ve started posting stuff from Denvention.

    I mean – a gorgeous yellow (not a color everyone can wear, let alone ROCK – which she does), beautiful cut, it goes wonderfully with the Campbell tiara…

    ..But yes, nice award. And in the tradition of all red carpet interviewers everywhere, “Thanks, Mr. Scalzi. Now Ms. Kowal – who are you wearing this evening???”


  34. When Patrick Nielsen Hayden won his Hugo, he purchased a seat on the plane for it to make sure it arrived back safe.

  35. Do you have a place of honor already set for the Hugo? Will you let your wife and daughter touch it? How many of the other Hugo winners did you feel not worthy to be on stage near (beside Mary Robinette Kowal)?

  36. I was already glad you’d won–but reading this just kind of sustained the pleasure.

  37. Something else to note:

    As I understand it, Whatever is not your day job. From what I’ve gleaned from reading here, your workflow goes something like this: work on next novel-story-whatever is coming due/take a break, drink a coke zero/do some photoshopping/post something cool on Whatever/diddle around with the internets/castigate yourself into getting back to work on the novel/repeat. This obviously works well for you, and I can understand why. It seems that it keeps you from going bonkers. That being said, Whatever seems to be basically a hobby. Sure, you definitely use it as a vehicle to drive sales, but more often than not, it’s just a place to discuss issues, news, music, movies, and other cool geekery. You know your audience (probably because your audience likes many of the things you like).

    Ok, I’ll get to the point. It seems to me that you just won a Hugo with your HOBBY. If that’s not chock-full-o-awesome I don’t know what is.

    (this is not to demean or belittle the importance of Whatever… I mean, it’s got quite a track record, scadzillions of readers, and I keep it open on a tab and refresh it often. I’m just sayin… congrats again)

  38. See, Scalzi, this is why I couldn’t do your Hate Mail thing a while back. You *do* have these little eddies of insecurity that I was afraid I might venture into without meaning to. Only a right bastard would poke at that Hugo Award you got and find it wanting. Me, I’m all congratulations to ya! But I still need to know: Is it Sir Scalzi now or anything of the like?

  39. Just “Scalzi” as before is fine. Although you may throw rose petals in my path when next you see, if you so desire.

  40. great photo, great innerview, great win. congratulations!

  41. Scalzi: Congrats, once more, sir. Regarding the Hugo’s heft this year, did you or any other winner attempt to track down the designer of the trophy to inquire thusly: “It’s beautiful, but seriously, WTF?”

    For those who are interested/weren’t aware: the trophy design changes every year. Here is a gallery of Hugo through the decades. You’ll see a maple-leaf base for Canada, for example, and an art deco theater marquee for Los Angeles. My favorite is last year’s, in Japan — Ultraman!

  42. Jill, I agree, that dress is definietly squee-worthy.

    Damn, I need to lose ten pounds, finish that damn novel and get it published, have it nominated for some cool award, and then I can get me an awesome dress as well for the ceremony. :)

  43. Lisa Mantchev:

    “Absolutely impossible to do what you’d threatened to do, for certain.”

    HA! Well, yes.

    For everyone else, this is an inside joke between me and the superfabulous Ms. Mantchev. You really don’t want to know.

  44. Congratulations, John!!! For the novel Hugo, so close and yet so close. If it’s any consolation, I couldn’t get through “Yiddish Cop’s Co-op” on CD. And after I read “The Last Colony,” I read the first two in rapid succession.

    So does anyone have a photo of your facial expression as you left the stage? Great look!!

  45. Congratulations on winning, John. Your joy is contagious. And your classy acceptance speech reflects the consistent generosity of your many efforts to share the spotlight with other good writers.

  46. And now John wanders around the house murmuring “Denvention bean veddy, veddy good to mi.”

    Congratulations sir. May I suggest you and your family (and any friends or acquaintances in attendance) take a conga line tour of the house in celebration, with you in front holding the trophy. “Everybody Hu-GO!”

  47. John @#31: Yeah, that doesn’t look like the kind of thing you can leave room for in the suitcase. And even if you have room, how are you going to pack it? Padded with all of your used unmentionables?

  48. Congratulations, Sir, on your win, and on this post.

    I hadn’t read you before; I will now.


  49. Congratulations! Well deserved!

    You do realize, of course, that for many years the generally accepted adage was that people who talked to themselves were not quite all there (ok, crazy). Even more so if you answered yourself…

    However, your interview with a HUGO winner fits neatly into a caveat I learned from an individual who was clearly an expert on the subject, and it goes something like this:

    You can talk to yourself.
    You can even answer yourself.
    However, you can answer yourself if and only if you don’t say “WTF?” when you do!!

    So, I believe, for the moment, you are still all there. For the immediate future, should any evidence arise to the contrary, we’ll blame it on extended euphoria from the awards ceremony!

    See you in Atlanta!

  50. Congratulations on your win! I would say that your blog more than anything else led me back to SF in a big(ger) way. Since high school I probably averaged 1 or 2 genre books per year. Reading your work here reminded me how much I enjoyed SF, and helped me find new authors; I’m probably up to 10-15 SF books annually.

    I don’t know if that’s the best criteria for judging fan writing, but it certainly reawakened the fan inside me, and for that I thank you.

  51. Hi John – congratulations once again. You were probably wise to ship it home, though we had all been looking forward to you trying to take it through security. Talk to Frank Wu about that sometime.

    JustAnotherJohn: winning Hugos for your hobby is what the fan Hugos are all about.

    Jeff Hentoz: I did a video interview with the base designer before the ceremony. I haven’t had a chance to look at it as yet, but if it turns out OK I’ll put it on YouTube and link to it from the official Hugo Award site.

  52. Congratulations. That was a classy speech you gave. And you still looked pretty stunned the next morning at the Hyatt.

  53. So, this is now the Hugo Award Winning Blog Whatever? Coolness. Time to update my bookmarks!

    @9 Josh Jasper

    I think Gentleman Of The Road was far more Hugo worthy than Yiddish Policeman’s Union.

    Agree? Disagree?

    Eh, disagree.

    I loved the book, don’t get me wrong. But it’s fantasy, not sci-fi.

    Granted, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union is only marginally sci-fi by dint of being set in an alternate history, but it does pass. Gentlemen of the Road, however, is strictly Jews with swords, as Chabon will affirm. Great story, cool characters and all. But definitely not sci-fi.

  54. Er, @65 was me. Sorry. Just reinstalled my OS and still missing a few bits and pieces.

  55. Hugo schmoogo. Where’s that Olympic gold medal you promised us? Or has writing all of a sudden become more important to you than men’s water ballet???

  56. Classy, John. And now totally obviates any need to hit you over the head with that enormous phallic symbol. Though watch out for alien abductions when you have it in hand.


  57. ‘Now that you have a Hugo, should we expect to see “HUGO WINNER” on the cover of your next novel?

    No. Both I and Patrick Nielsen Hayden (my editor at Tor) feel strongly about this.’

    So I guess we will be seeing ‘HG WNNR’ instead? After all, if you feel strongly about not having something printed, dsmvwllng is recommended and defended by such professionals as Patrick Nielsen Hayden.

  58. What a fabulous post that really gives a sense of the sheer euphoria of winning a Hugo. It would be excellent if the Hugo voting population took heed of your exhortation to read and vote for lots of different fan writers, too.

    And yay for the first win for blog writing, too.

    Jeff @52: There’s a design competition each year, so the Worldcon Committee is to blame for the weight, not the designer per se. It’s interesting that we’ve had two mountains in a row, isn’t it?

    The design does require a certain amount of heft, though, because of the very substantial weight of the rocket. The base from 2005, patterned after Charles Rennie Mackintosh, is beautiful, but the Hugo feels fragile as a result. That designer went with a heavier base for her next (2006) design.

    Billd @27 — Years ago, Plokta published a photo of Dave Langford’s mantelpiece. Of course he has a lot more Hugos now! I sometimes wonder if these people who have loads of Hugos start to get tired of all the dusting, but I am reliably informed that the answer is ‘no’.

  59. John

    Many congratulations on both winning the Hugo and your near success in the best novel category.

    Your ‘interview’ is great and I have only one little question.
    Do you have the voting breakdown for the Hugos.
    I’ve looked on the official Hugo site and can’t find them.

  60. Cheryl@63: That sounds interesting. I’ll keep an eye out.

    Alison@70: Oh, certainly I appreciate the challenge, and love the result. I probably should have included a winky, tongue-sticky-outtie thingie with my comment, thusly ;p, not to mention, XD .

  61. Congratulations, John. I am married to one of the concom, and I understand that the company who fabricated the Hugos was so pleased with the results that they had to be told that “no, you can’t put the photos on your website before the awards ceremonies.”

  62. Congratulations, John! And thanks for the outstanding writeup. Intelligent euphoria is a wonderful boost to the reader’s good mood, too. (At least this reader.)

  63. “My ambition is not to win Best Fan Writer again; my ambition is to see Best Fan Writer won by lots of different people.”

    If you’re serious about not wanting a streak, you could voluntarily withdraw from contention. I’ve been advocating, for a number of years, that the Hugos which are for a body of work–Best Fan Writer, Best Professional Artist, Best Semiprozine (ahem), etc.–should be lifetime-limited, say, three awards and then you’re retired. But I go to too few Worldcon Business Meetings to seriously shepherd this idea through the process.

  64. “My… PRECIOUS!!!”

    Honestly, first thing I thought of.

  65. There is no shame in losing to the Yiddish Policeman’s Union; that book is insidiously awesome. You start reading it, and then you look up 3 hours later and realize it’s too late for you not to be in love with it. You and everyone on this thread should read it John, cuz you’ll quickly realize that you went toe to toe with a monstrous big dog. Also, it’s difficult to read it without suddenly developing a craving for potato kugel. Check it out.

  66. Kevin J. Maroney:

    “If you’re serious about not wanting a streak, you could voluntarily withdraw from contention.”

    Well, I can’t stop people from nominating me. However, what I will do when I am asked by next year’s Hugo co-ordinator if I accept the Fan Writer nomination will be instructive.

    What’s really cool about this, of course, is that if I don’t actually make the ballot next year, I can just sit back and say “yes. I planned this all along.”

  67. Hmm. I’ve heard this sort of thing called an intraview, if that’s of any interest.

    Congratulations! Well deserved, and well deserved also is the place in history it will earn you. First new Best Fan Writer of the 21st Century (both technically and technologically)!

  68. Although you may throw rose petals in my path when next you see, if you so desire.

    Would next year’s WorldCon in Montreal be an appropriate venue for this ritual, or do you recommend Wiscon instead?

    (Hey, don’t look at me, I didn’t even manage to buy you a Coke Zero this time, even knowing where all the corner stores on the 16th Street Mall were–you think I can manage flora?)

  69. Now I feel guilty that I voted for Rollover for best novel.

  70. JJS:

    Why? If you liked it, you liked it. Don’t feel guilty.

  71. JJS: More to the point, provided that you voted John’s book ahead of Chabon it made no difference. When Rollover was eliminated your vote would eventually have come to John.

  72. Congratulations! I wasn’t there for your speech, but this blog post was certainly a very classy way to address the pro-v-fan thing. Of course, it’s also worth noting that you are by no means the first pro nominated.

    One question for you: I have overheard a little bit of debate about your award, and I’m curious as to whether you think there’s a difference between “being a fan” and “being in fandom” and if so, how you might clarify that distinction, and also if so, whether you consider yourself the latter as well as the former? Might be an interesting topic for a different essay, actually. Hmm. Maybe I should find someone to write that essay for IROSF…

  73. BTW, Cheryl and JJS, the name of Sawyer’s book is Rollback, not Rollover. :)

    And I also voted Rollback #1 and TLC #2, in a very close race in my mind. I actually had to go into my email archives to remember which one I voted #1. As I said to Sawyer’s Yahoo group yesterday, “both books cost me a night’s sleep each, as I could not go to sleep until I finished them. The others, while very good, did not keep me up all night.”

  74. First, congrats!

    Second, that word “commemorating.” I want it to /mean/ something. In funny computer shorthand, perhaps


  75. [My previous comment would have been /so/ much funnier if I’d pasted the right string of characters into the scare quotes.]