Thank You! – Karl Edward Wagner Award 2017

For those who where in the banquet room and wondered at my tongue-tied floundering, believe me when I say that I was so totally unprepared for it all that my mind was, at that moment, a total blank! Stunned, bewildered and just plain gobsmacked only begins to describe my winning the Karl Edward Wagner Award from the British Fantasy Society; truly, it came totally out of the blue.

bfa

So many people were crammed in to watch the awards ceremony that, despite extra chairs being parachuted in, it was standing room only at the back. Suffering lack of sleep, as you do at these convention weekends, and knowing my poor old knees where not going to survive that long on my feet, I had elected to sit in the bar, (which was close enough to hear the applause). Besides, I knew that all the details would reach us bar flies soon enough along the con-telegraph.

When the announcement was made, I am told that somebody shouted out ‘She’s in the bar!’, which was greeted with tolerant laughter. Karl would have been proud of me.

The first I knew, however, was Pauline Morgan hoving into view shouting, ‘Oi, you – get in there! Pronto!’

Now, when Pauline tells you to move you don’t ask questions, so as I hurried into the banqueting room, I was totally unprepared for what was to come. I paused for a moment, realising by the way everyone was looking in my direction, that something was afoot.

I hadn’t any pre-composed speech (well, why would I?) nor had even time to think far beyond the instant.

‘Get to the platform,’ Pauline hissed from behind me. I took several bows to cover my confusion and raced on, arriving at the podium to broad grins from Ramsey Campbell and Phil Lunt. Still totally at sea I whispered to Phil, ‘What’s going on?’

‘You have an award,’ he whispered back.

‘Me? What award? What for?’

‘It’s the Karl Edward Wagner Award…’

I hadn’t any pre-composed speech (well, why would I?) nor even time to think far beyond the instant. I ‘believe’ I managed to stammer something along the lines of ‘Gosh… Thank you…’ before reeling away, beaming, bemused and bewildered beyond mere words.

All of the above aside, let me take the time now to say a proper thank you to the British Fantasy Society and the Fantasycon committees.

To receive the Karl Edward Wagner Award is an honour that I am still not convinced I deserve, but I accept it with humble thanks. I have been around long enough to recall Karl and his unstinting support of Fantasycon and the BFS. His imposing presence and impeccable Southern manners were always a delight, as was his impish sense of humour. (And as I have already said he would have been highly amused by the above events.) As a writer of fantasy fiction and editor of so many fine anthologies, promoting and supporting writers along the way, his passing was and still is keenly felt, which for me, at least, makes the award all the more poignant.

So, once again, my heartfelt thanks to all of those responsible for the honour and privilege of having a British Fantasy Karl Edward Wagner Award – and indeed, my heartiest congratulations to all of this years’ recipients of various British Fantasy Awards. (pics to follow

 Best Fantasy Novel is The Tiger and The Wolf by Adrian Tchaikovsky from Pan MacMillan

Best Magazine/periodical went to tor.com

Best Nonfiction goes to The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley

Best anthology is People of Colour Destroy Science Fiction, a Lightspeed publication edited by Nalo Hopkinson and Kristine Ong Muslim

The award for Best Indie Press was presented to Grimbold Press

Best Collection goes to Some Will Not Sleep by Adam Nevill published by Ritual Limited

Best Novella was given to The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle from StMartin’s Press

Best Short Fiction is White Rabbit by Georgina Bruce from Black Static 50

The August Derleth Award for Best Horror novel went to Disappearance At Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay from Titan Books

– Daniele Serra was Best Artist

Best comic/graphic novel went to Monstress Volume 1. Published by Image Comics,  written by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

The Sydney J. Bounds for Best Newcomer went to Erica L Satifka

Best film/TV is Arrival, directed by Denis Villeneuve and distributed by Paramount

Fantasycon specific award, The Legend of Fantasycon Award, was presented to David and Sandra Sutton for their work in organising past Fantasycons. It is not part of the BFAs and was presented just before the main ceremony. Next year’s BFAs will also feature an audio award.

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