Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Nebula Awards 2008: speeches and anecdotes

Being in Texas, the Nebula award ceremony had to have some Texas flavor, and that was amply supplied by the MC John Moore and the toastmaster Joe Lansdale. Moore started by explaining Texas dialect to the out-of-state folks. He said, "in Texas you don't say 'I'm going to have a glass of wine', you say 'I'm fixing to mosey down to Hospitality Suite and rustle up a Shiner Bock'. And right now I'm fixing to introduce our toastmaster. He's a kick-ass Texas writer, and I mean it literally: he founded a school of martial arts."

Joe Lansdale's speech was the highly anticipated highlight of the award ceremony. Everyone in the Texas fandom knows Lansdale is pretty damn funny. And his speech was funny indeed, although a bit rambling. I managed to remember a couple of anecdotes Joe told; for the sake of brevity, I'll compress the details which, in my opinion, didn't add much to the story. (Though what do I know? Perhaps readers adore Joe Lansdale precisely because of those details I consider rambly.)

His point was that Texas is such a weird place it can't help but inspire science fiction. Here is an incident that happened to him and an even stranger one, to another Texas writer. Lansdale also listed his rules for the attendees of science fiction conventions.

Michael Moorcock, who was bestowed a title of SFWA grandmaster, gave an acceptance speech I found (rushes to pull on asbestos underwear :-)) as unmemorable as any of his books. I've read three of those before giving up. Moorcock's speech still did not inspire me to read his prose. So shoot me. I think he was saying something about those dark ages when science fiction was despised by the society-at-large, and when the mainstream media viewed SF writers and fans as "geeks with slide rules for genitals" -- the only phrase I remember from his talk. :-)

But he had his own funny stories to tell about life in Texas -- and why he likes it here.

Pictures from the Nebula awards can be found in my photo gallery.

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