Clarke, Morgan, Tiny Trousers

May 1st, 2008

I was at the Arthur C. Clarke Awards last night. Richard Morgan won, for Black Man. Wooooh! Go Gollancz! Etc. Here he is, with award:

Thanks to Jon Weir for the picture, and many congratulations to Morgsy, couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke. I know what you’re thinking. They give you a book? Surely the one thing a writer could never need more of. But don’t worry, they actually give you money as well for this one. Actual money. I’ll be hitting him up for a loan later on today…

It was good, in a way, to see an award that gets some stick for leaning too far towards the literary extremes of the genre, go to an unashamedly sci-fi book from an unashamedly genre publisher. After the ceremony, folks associated with Gollancz repaired to a Chinese restaurant to bask in the reflected glory and ingest a lethal cocktail of msg and saturated fats. Mmmm. Smells like victory.

A cornucopia of award-winning SF writers were in attendance, including the aforementioned Morgan, Roger Levy, Adam Roberts, Paul McAuley, Geoff Ryman, Chris Wooding, Stephen Baxter, and none other than Harry Harrison, whose Stainless Steel Rat and Bill the Galactic Hero I well remember reading as a kid, in his 80s and still going strong, talking of collapsing short-story markets and immense Russian print-runs.

At one point in the evening I very definitely saw a pair of tiny trousers, in a poor quality plastic bag, passed from Adam Roberts to Roger Levy. A gesture the precise significance of which escapes me. Perhaps a kind of Sicilian insult from one Literary SF writer to another?

“Your writing has no balls.”

Posted in news by Joe Abercrombie on May 1st, 2008. Tags:

5 comments so far

  • Bob Lock says:

    Excellent choice, I didn’t think I’d warm as much to Marsalis as I did to Kovacs but he did grow on me. I like Morgan’s writing and am looking forward to seeing how he handles the fantasy genre.
    Only thing I’d complain about (well perhaps complain is too strong a word) mention then, is the fact that the title had to be changed from Black Man to Thirteen, I suppose due to the sensitive nature of those two words? A pity really because I just cannot see why it is necessary. I’m white and Welsh and wouldn’t give a hoot if I picked up a book titled White Man or Taffy etc…

    re: tiny trousers – could he be saying, ‘your writing is pants?’ hehe…

    Hey, Joe BTW there is an interesting discussion going on over on Jeff Vandermeer’s site about the possibilities of civilizations evolving in the eyes of giant fire salamanders. Needless to say I’ve added my tuppenceworth!
    Got any ideas?


    you’ll need to scroll down to find it, Jeff blogs quite a lot 🙂

  • Perhaps the one is researching a character driven epic about a very tiny man who’s forced to wear poor quality trousers, which unfortunately, drives him quite mad. Possible Title: “Terrance The Terrible and His Tiny Trousers”.


  • Swainson says:

    Joe, I’m surprised you missed it; It’s all in the cheap bag. All that nano technology being passed around under your nose. It’s in the handles, takes your bio readings and reports back to junk central with your details so you can get even more shit through your letter box. The tiny trousers are a ruse thought up by the post office so they can reap the profit from delivering crap no-one wants.

    Black Man is a very good novel and thoroughly deserves recognition. I took black man to mean outside the loop, as in black ops. Not skin colour, so agree with bob lock on that point. PC gone mad again.

    The thing about Black Man, for me anyway, was that as a male you can just imagine being Marsalis, then the real nastiness starts and then you’re quite glad you’re not. Which I suppose was the point of the novel. Compulsive reading. I’m assuming you have read Altered Carbon. If not, please do.

    The awards looked like a supperior bash, how many pots of camomille tea had the table in the backgroud drunk??

  • Den says:

    I did enjoy Black Man quite a bit… but the world building and general noirish-ness (not a real word clearly) of the Kovacs novels has me hook, line and sinker every time.

    And yes, couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke. I met him at an Forbidden Planet signing.

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