A Rocket for Writing Excuses

Sunday September 1st the 71st World Science Fiction Convention, run by LoneStarCon 3, was home to the annual presentation of The Hugo Awards.

I got a rocket! Thank you, WSFS voters, Writing Excuses listeners, and our interviewed guests!

I was on the ballot twice, and expected to win exactly zero rockets. I was, in fact, resigned to this, and quite comfortable with it. Having looked at the historical statistics, I was aware that Schlock Mercenary had never done better than third place in its four appearances on the ballot, and that Writing Excuses had only ever been in fourth place. 

So, yeah, when Paul Cornell said "Writing Excuses" I was pretty surprised. We all were. Fortunately, "surprised" is not the same as "flat-footed." Brandon, Mary, and I had the skeleton of a speech worked out, and since it was built on letting me riff our usual intro I managed to not mess it up. But I hadn't actually planned to give it, and really, there's a huge difference between "this would be fun to say" and actually rehearsing something. Which is why there was this one moment where my face shows the transition in my mind between the "I got a rocket!" thought and the thought that goes "Brandon and Mary asked YOU to give the speech, remember? It's time for that part, now."

I think this photo captures that.

None of that is important, however. The rocket trophy itself is not important (but no, you may not have it.) I speak only for myself here, but I don't believe Writing Excuses was awarded a Hugo for anything the four of us said last year. 

No, I think the Hugo Award for Best Related Work went to the Writing Excuses team as an extension of an unwritten, unspoken compact between us and the fandom for which we, our numerous expert guests, and our listeners write. The rocket for Writing Excuses says to me, "you must keep doing this, because there are important works out there waiting to be written, and the only people who can write them need these fifteen-minute nudges." 

That's why I like this next picture so much. This is the photo of a hard-working guy who has shed his fancy suit, set down his trophy, and gone back to work. He's working so hard, in fact, he doesn't even get to be in the picture.

Okay, the truth of the photo above is that it was taken on my hotel bed, and the "work" that had to be done was "move this off the bed so you can sleep because it's 3am and you have a thing at ten." And the OTHER truth is that I didn't bother to move it all off the bed, and did, in fact, sleep with the trophy on the pillow next to me. We did not take pictures of that.

There are other pictures from Sunday, September 1st. I've been led to understand the Internet has them. There'll even be video posted of the full ceremony, and it's remotely possible you'll get to see that moment where I skipped offstage before I was fully out of sight, clutching my rocket as if it was a magic vessel able to take me to all of the places.