Sunday, May 19, 2013

Nebula Time

For the past few days I've been in San Jose for the 48th Annual Nebula Awards, basking in the California sun and running into so many writers  I've known only by their work, as well as a lot of old friends.

 This year's crop of Nebula nominees clearly made the case that (a) SFWA is not an "old boys club" (b)printed magazines are on equal footing with the eMags, and (c) the choices are harder than ever.  Nevertheless we got a good mixture of old and new, fantasy, soft and hard SF - even among the awardees!

The Nebula weekend is always a fun event as the stars and even journeyman writers like me can mingle, discuss markets, drink, shoot the shit, drink, discuss the ideas that drive our genre to depths unobtainable anywhere else, and, oh yes, drink. The hospitality suite and bar is the most interesting hangout for the entire weekend.  It was also an opportunity to sit down with agents, editors, and publishers informally to talk about the direction and changes in the field, although this often ends up fretting over the role of ePublications and what they might do to the print field.

A lot of SFWA business is conducted when officers and Board members are finally able to come face to face with people they've only contacted electronically to discuss some function or other.  A full day is devoted to the official Board meeting that also helps orient the new officers into the organization.  A large catered business meeting was held for members during the day and, at night, the glitteratti flowed into the Nebula Award banquet for the presentation of the beautiful lucite trophies to the top vote getters in each award category: Novel, Novella, Novelette, and Short Story.

What becomes increasingly obvious to newcomers at the weekend is that nearly all of the attendees are fans of the genre and equally awestruck by each other.  One frequent occurence is having one writer approach another for an autograph only to be asked to reciprocate and each walking away thinking they were honored.

It is a wonderful affair.

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