News and Appearances

A Statement upon Winning a Hugo

I won a Hugo!

Yes, all right, this wasn't my first. Technically, I've won five over the past six years. But let nobody tell you that it's possible to get jaded about these things. It just doesn't happen.

Afterwards, because Jack Dann asked if we'd ferry Gardner Dozois's best editor Hugo back to Philadelphia, both Marianne and I were carrying rocket trophies through the halls from party to party. Seeing her coming, people would smile and say, "Congratulations!"

Terry Pratchett was the guest of honor at Noreascon, which gives me an excuse to tell the story of my first Hugo. That was the year the Worldcon was in Australia, and I went to bed wondering if I would be awakened in the middle of the night by the traditional drunken phone call that absentee winners get from their friends.

Alas, the night passed without event. I got up and said to Marianne, "Well, I lost another one." Because this had happened so many times before, Marianne just said, "Too bad." And we went downstairs.

Our son, Sean, had had his D&D buddies over that night, and the floor was littered with pizza boxes, plastic bottles, and teenaged male bodies. So we started tidying up, clearing away trash, and making coffee. In an excess of gaming frenzy, the young men had knocked the phone off the hook, so we put that back too. We didn't think anything about it until five minutes later, when the phone rang.

It was Jack Dann calling from Australia. "You putz!" he said. "I've been calling for hours and your phone is always busy."

Carefully, I said, "Do you have anything to tell me, Jack?"

I listened. Then, to the gamers, who were staggering up out of sleep, I said, "Hey, guys! I just won a Hugo!"

"That's nice, Mr. Swanwick, congratulations," they said, being well-brought-up young men. I listened to Jack some more.

"Terry Pratchett presented it to me!"

Their eyes grew wide with awe.
(September 2004)

Writing life has been hectic:

"Always scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh, Gibbon?" So said the Duke of Gloucester to the author of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and I know how the poor ink-stained wretch must have felt. I was feeling overwhelmed with work the other day, so I decided to get organized by sticking up post-it notes with the title of everything I was actively working on. Which turned out to be two novels, four stories, two essays, three introductions (one for Michael Swanwick's Periodic Table of Science Fiction, forthcoming from PS Publications, and the others for collections to Lucius Shepherd and James Tiptree, Jr.), and six separate collaborative stories. "Well," I said. "There's my problem."

As problems go, though, it's a good one. And I'm anxious to get all these books and stories written and out of the way so I can get to all the other stories I've been meaning to write. As my wife says to me, from time to time, "Type faster, Swanwick!"

My most recent book, Cigar-Box Faust and Other Miniatures (Tachyon Publications), a collection of short-shorts or flash fiction, has been garnering uniformly glowing reviews. Which is cause for speculation and wonder. After all, no book, no matter how good it is, will be liked by everybody. So why no dissenting voices? My theory is that short-short fiction is an inherently modest form. It has neither pretense nor sub-text. It's only there to entertain you. So panning a collection of the stuff would be like kicking a puppy. Any critics with an animus toward my work will be patiently awaiting my next novel.

My newest publication is the introduction to Henry Wessells' Another Green World, which has been posted here so you can read it. It's been published by his own imprint, Temporary Culture, in an edition of two hundred and fifteen copies, so most of you will never even see the book. And yet it has three blurbs, one taken from my introduction, and the other two by Hugh Kenner and William Gibson. Henry works in the rare book trade, and he's definitely created a rarity here.
(Spring 2004)

Public Appearances

Reading and Book Signing at the Science Fiction Museum
Tuesday, July 26, 2005 - 7:30pm
Science Fiction Museum, JBL Theater, 325 5th Avenue N, Seattle.
Sponsored by Clarion West and the University Book Store. Because the event is being held at the Science Fiction Museum, tickets are four dollars, three dollars for seniors and students. But I don't get out to the West Coast very often, so if you've got a stack of first editions whose value you want to enhance with autographs, it may well be worth it to you. And I'll be doing a reading. My readings are legendary.

Interaction - the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention and 2005 Eurocon
4-8 August 2005
I'll be in Glasgow, along with almost every other living SF writer you've ever heard of, for the annual meeting of the clans that is the Worldcon. I'll be there Friday through Sunday and Peter Crowther of PS Publishing swears that The Periodic Table of Science Fiction will be available in the huckster room. If you're at Interaction and you happen to see me, say hello. I'm not nearly as surly as my publicity photo makes me look.

Context 18
October 7-9, 2005
Holiday Inn on the Lane, Columbus, OH
Not only am I guest of honor, but Gordon Van Gelder is editor guest of honor, Gary Braunbeck is  horror guest of honor, and Mike Resnick is ... well, Mike Resnick. The world would be a much poorer place without him. So it looks like it'll be a good con.

October 14-16, 2005
Hilton Silver Spring, 8727 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Maryland
I'll be just another guest among many here. But Howard Waldrop is the guest of honor! And he gets out to the East Coast even less often than I go to the West. If you can make it, you should. How often do you get to meet a living legend?

Delaware Valley Paleontological Society
October 27, 2005
Yes, I'll be talking to the DVPS about dinosaurs! After which, I'll proceed to Newcastle to tell the folks there all about coal.

December 9-11, 2005
Mariott Center City, Philadelphia
This is my home-town convention. I never miss it.

April 21-23, 2006
Zagreb, Croatia
Believe it not, I'm going to be guest of honor at Sferakon, Croatia's biggest SF convention. This has got to be the coolest thing I'll be doing in 2006.


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