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.”