Fri
Aug 15 2008 9:33am

Late Evening, After the Hugos

As Patrick mentioned earlier in the week, I won my second Hugo Award, following some decades of losses, last Saturday night in Denver. The first time, a couple of years ago in Anaheim, was an utter shock, and this time it was still quite a fine surprise. It was good to win, but after all these years I still feel a strong connection to the nominees who do not, and to the deserving people not nominated. I also lost a Hugo that night, for a magazine I have devoted twenty years of unremitting effort to publishing, and which has received twenty Hugo nominations without ever winning. And I had been told earlier in the day that all the magazines in our category had been defined out of Hugo eligibility henceforth that morning at the business meeting. (Pending ratification by next year's Worldcon.) So I felt a certain schadenfreude....

Anyway, after midnight, making my way back to the Westin, ten blocks from the party hotel, carrying my Hugo with a necktie on it, I encountered more people admiring my award than I had expected. There were fans on the street at the bus stop, pleased to see a Hugo up close, and generally happy to see me, whoever the hell I was. On the bus, fans waved and smiled, and made their way over to look closely and offer friendly comments. A few stops down the mall, the bus became crowded, and three teenage girls in tank tops and shorts got on by the Rock Bottom Cafe, sort of jammed in front of the Hugo trophy. They said , “Wow, did you win that? What for?,” and I said “Yes,” and explained that it was for editing, and the little blonde one swayed a bit and said, “Maybe I'll get an award for drinking.” “Perhaps you will,” I said. And thought to myself: I hope it is not in the form of an unanticipated baby boy or girl...

The bus stopped and I got off at my corner and walked up the block to my hotel lobby, actually feeling as good as I had felt all evening. It has just been a pleasant ride. As I entered the lobby and started walking toward the elevators, down the stairs came a young bride, attended by bridesmaids on either side holding her train. They were headed out to a limo in the front driveway. They were hefty, healthy young women obviously in good spirits from the happy occasion. They stopped and exclaimed, “Gee, is that an award, did you win it?”

I said “Yes” and “Yes,” and the maid of honor said, “That’s great! Want a hug?” and I said “Yes,” again, and got a big hug from a big girl in a red dress with tattoos on each shoulder. Then they hustled out the door and I went to the elevator, and was the happiest I had been all evening. Except for the absence of my wife and children, this is how I would have wanted my evening to end .

The next day I felt like celebrating. It was a good way to end a Worldcon.

9 comments
Fred Coppersmith
1. FCoppersmith
Congratulations on the win. Sounds like a near-perfect way to end the night.
Kerry Kuhn
2. Kerry
Congratulations!
I missed the Hugos (that's the price one pays for being on the art show staff), but wish I had been there to be able to congratulate all the winners.
Randy Byers
3. Randy Byers
Congratulations, David. I hope your Hugo was also wearing a jacket that clashed with the tie.
Mitch Wagner
4. MitchWagner
That's a great story. Congratulations, David!

The one WorldCon I attended was in Los Angeles in 2006. I was walking with Cory Doctorow and we passed someone carrying a Hugo, who encountered someone who didn't know what it was and wanted to know if you could buy one anywhere around here. We walked by before I heard the Hugo-winner's answer, but I thought of the scene in "Starship Troopers" after Johhny got out of boot camp but before his first battle -- he encounters a soldier wearing a skull-and-crossbones earring. Johnny likes it and wants to know if he can buy one in the PX. Only later does he learn, to his embarrassment, that the earring is an award for surviving battle, you get a new crossbone for every battle you survive.

I don't usually hang out with fans, so I suppressed the thought, because usually I hang around with people who haven't read Heinlein -- but then I remembered that I was with fans today, and so I said it out loud. Which is why I like hanging around with fans when I do.
Alex Swavely
5. helifino
So I felt a certain schadenfreude....

Well then, how about some pie?
Randy Byers
6. David G. Hartwell
5.helifino

Thank you for the link, which is pure fun. But that old schadenfreude had gone away by the time I got that hug.
Randy Byers
7. grnchile
Congratulations on another well deserved win. I'll miss the running count of nominations without a win in the back of your anthologies, though.
Greg Morrow
8. gpmorrow
What's the rule change that's affecting NYRSF?

If NYRSF is no longer eligible, I suppose this means that Kevin's not in any danger of losing his 3rd place on the most-noms-without-winning list the good way.
David Goldfarb
9. David_Goldfarb
They're talking about dropping "Best Locus^H^H^H^H^H Semi-Prozine" entirely. Denvention passed the resolution, and if Anticipation ratifies it, it'll happen. I can't honestly say I'd weep to see it go.

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