Last Drink Bird Head Awards

This is a quickie from World Fantasy in San Jose: the results of The First Annual Last Drink Bird Head Award. The awards are named after the anthology Last Drink Bird Head from Ministry of Whimsy Press (an imprint of Wyrm Publishing). The proceeds from the anthology benefit the ProLiteracy charity. Contributors include Peter Straub, Ellen Kushner, Gene Wolfe, Tanith Lee, and over 80 others.

The awards, both the categories and the finalists, were chosen by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, who edited the anthology. I found these categories interesting, as they focus on aspects of the field that are very different from your typical awards. Given that, the categories are highly specific and range from the slightly sarcastic (i.e., Gentle Advocacy) to the very serious (i.e., Promotion of Reading).

Without further ado (winners in bold):

Gentle Advocacy
In recognition of individuals willing to enter into blunt discourse about controversial issues…

K. Tempest Bradford
– Nick Mamatas
– John Scalzi

Tireless Energy
In recognition of individuals who selflessly give of themselves for worthy organizations or causes…

– Natania Barron (for the Outer Alliance)
– Leslie Howle (for Clarion West and Hugo House activities)
Rina Weisman (for SF in SF and the Variety Children’s Charity of Northern California)

Promotion of Reading
In recognition of individuals whose efforts contribute to the promotion of reading or an increase in reading proficiency…

– Colleen Cahill (for her work at the Library of Congress as an advocate for genre fiction and as the library’s representative to the ALA)
– James Gunn (for his work with AboutSF)
Susan Straub (for her work as the creator and director of the Read to Me program, the goal of which is, in part, to “stimulate the imagination”)

Expanding Our Vocabulary
In recognition of writers whose fiction or nonfiction exposes readers to new words and, often, new ideas…

John Clute
– Hal Duncan
– Catherynne M. Valente

International Activism
In recognition of those who work to bring writers from other literary traditions and countries to the attention of readers in North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia…

Charles Tan (for Bibliophile Stalker and various ad hoc efforts)
– Lavie Tidhar (for internet advocacy and for editing The Apex Book of World SF)
– James and Kathy Morrow (for editing The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent and continuing advocacy efforts)

Special Achievement Award

The winner of a Special Achievement Award also will be announced at the Last Drink Bird Head party. This award is geared toward recognizing individuals who are proactive behind the scenes but whose efforts often don’t receive public recognition. The winner will receive an elegant Hieronymous Bosch bird-with-letter figurine, a certificate, and chocolate. Starting with year two, the award will be named after the first year’s winner.

Neil Clarke

Congratulations to all the winners!


John Klima is the editor of the Hugo winning zine Electric Velocipede as well as the upcoming fairy tale reprint anthology Happily Ever After.

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