Sunday, August 27, 2006


...Kim Newman and I didn’t win a Hugo for our little performance piece at last year’s Hugo award ceremony in Glasgow, but at least we lost out to one of the best episodes from the terrific first series Doctor Who; it’s been a while since a British TV show has been nominated for, let alone won, a Hugo, and the revived Doctor Who has been British TV at its best. Good to see, too, that Robert Charles Wilson won a Hugo for his novel Spin - a well-deserved tick mark for a fine, thoughtful and imaginative writer.

I wasn’t at Anaheim, and thanks to the time difference between the UK and California, I slept through the award ceremony. But I’ve been to enough of the things to know how it goes. The only sensible and sane reaction to having your work put on the short list for an award is to think how nice to be noticed, but of course I won’t win, not when when I’m up against relentless self-promotor X, the tremendously popular Y, or the unfairly talented Z. But if you attend the ceremony, you can’t help feeling, as the moment approaches, that perhaps you really do have a chance of winning - why else would you have put yourself through all this? Not that you tell anyone that you fancy your chances of course, knowing full well that hubris is a lightning conductor for fate, but despite the fact that the sensible part of your brain continues to list the cold hard reasons why you aren’t going to win, your serene self-belief continues to persist right up to the moment that the grinning envelope-opener announces that the award has gone to someone else. In fact, for a split-second, as X, Y, or Z leaps up and lopes for the stage, you exist in a parallel universe where you have won, but then applause for the winner collapses that still-born reality, and it’s time to congratulate the winner and find a stiff consolatory drink to calm your nerves. Having spared myself that ordeal, all I have to do is thank everyone who nominated and voted for us.


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