Nebula Awards Weekend 2008 Trip Report (Part 1 of 2)
I'm back from Nebula Awards Weekend. The results are in. And alas, I did not win the Andre Norton Award. J.K. Rowling did. (Isn't it wonderful to finally see good things happening for her career?) But as I'd hoped, I had an absolutely awesome time losing in person. Plus, now I have a better idea what it's like to be Voldemort. Both of us were beaten by Harry Potter. And we were both wearing little black dresses when it happened. (Okay, so he called his a "wizard's robe". Whatever.) And like Voldemort, it turns out that I can also summon fireballs in the palm of my hand:
(Especially while I'm trying to take a flash photo of myself in the mirror.) And yes, that is the dress, though the picture above is (for obvious reasons) not the best. Here's a better one:
Anyway, Voldemort did not attend the 2008 Nebula Awards Weekend in Austin. But lots of really amazing people did attend, and I talked to anyone who was foolish enough to make eye contract with the curly-haired girl who was grinning as broadly as a dolphin all weekend.
Let me recap...
Arrived late. The hotel was overbooked, so they upgraded me to a suite! And this was a "Texas-sized" suite. You entered in Austin, and by the time you reached the bedroom, you were in Houston. It had a living room (with two couches and a dining room table for six), a kitchen (full refrigerator plus washer and dryer), a walk-in closet, two bedrooms, and three bathrooms. Significantly larger than many apartments I've lived in.
Woke early and fetched my name badge. It came with a black ribbon that said "NOMINEE" in gold letters. Because I am a total dork, I immediately ran back to my room, hiked across the living room, and tried to take photos of myself with the badge by stretching my arm out with the camera. I am NOT posting those photos. Turns out that taking photos of yourself by stretching your arm out is an even worse idea than taking a flash photo of yourself in a mirror. Who knew? So here is just a photo of the name badge with ribbon:
I then returned downstairs and tried to keep from doing cartwheels across the hotel lobby while the little Sarah inside my head was shrieking, "Nom-i-nee! Nom-i-nee! Nom-i-nee!" in a very cheerleader-esque fashion.
I then proceeded to talk to many, many fabulous people, including Vera Nazarian, Russell Davis, Jane Jewell, Gay and Joe Haldeman...
Late afternoon, I checked out the room for that night's mass autographing. The booksellers from BookPeople were all set up, and they had two giant stacks of the paperback edition of Into the Wild. I didn't even know the paperback existed yet! It's not due out until May 29th. But there it was! I did a little Snoopy Dance of Joy before remembering that I'm supposed to look professional. Oops.
I talked with more fabulous people: Delia Sherman, Ellen Kushner, Rosemary Clement-Moore, Candace Havens, Shanna Swendson, Elizabeth Wein, Geoffrey Landis, Gordon Van Gelder... I'll show pictures in just a second, but first... the Nominee Ceremony!
During the Nominee Ceremony, Jane Jewell announced the name of each nominee, Michael Capobianco presented the certificates, and Cheryl DuCoin affixed the "Nebula Nominee" pins. And I grinned like a deranged dolphin the entire time. A very, very happy deranged dolphin. Here's a photo of me receiving my certificate:
And here's a photo of all the nominees:
After the ceremony, I was lucky enough to sit between Delia and Ellen for the autographing session.
I was also lucky enough to score a giant chocolate chip cookie, as seen in above photo. Certificates, pins, fabulous writers, and chocolate chip cookies... what more can a little Sarah ask for? Here's a photo of me with more fabulous writers:
The answer to "what more can a little Sarah ask for" turned out to be dinner. Candace (Candy), Rosemary, Elizabeth Wein, A. Lee Martinez (Alex), and I ventured out into Austin for dinner, and I had the most fantastic time. I adored my dinner companions. I even got extra bonus time with them -- after dinner, it began to rain. And when I say "rain," I mean that the Hoover Dam broke over our heads, and the entire Colorado River crashed down on Austin in a torrent of water. We hid out in the restaurant lobby until the dove, the rainbow, and Noah said it was safe again.
And then came Saturday, the day of the awards ceremony itself, which I promise to tell you all about. But for now, I am exhausted and must sleep. Much more coming soon...