.There's simultaneously too little and far too much going on for a long posting today. Did everybody catch the stellar lineup of the 2008 Theodore Sturgeon Award finalists list?
Of course, nobody's going to be surprised by most of the names on the list. ("I am shocked -- shocked! -- to learn that Gene Wolfe and Karen Joy Fowler wrote some of the best stories of the year. Round up the usual suspects!") But how pleasant to see Johanna Sinisalo there. Sinisalo is one of Finland's foremost genre writers, but we see only those of her works which have been translated into English. So we owe the presence of "Baby Doll" to James and Kathy Morrow, whose SFWA European Hall of Fame brought many non-Anglophone works to our attention.
Wonderful book, the SFWA European Hall of Fame, in every regard save its title. Which was forced on the Morrows by their publisher. Who thought it would be commercial. And was wrong. This is so very typical of this business.
A Footnote to Literary History
I won the Sturgeon, long ago, for "The Edge of the World," which is still one of my favorite stories, and was bemused to discover that, at that time, at the awards ceremony, the original trophy (shown above) was brought out and shown to the winner -- and then taken away again! The winner's name was added to a plaque on the trophy and the thing itself . . . I dunno. I guess it was kept in a trophy case outside the coach's office.
It was Frederik Pohl who quietly suggested that a certificate should be printed up, so that the winners would have something to put on the wall. A real Mensch, Fred. I spent some time with him that weekend, and he was constantly suggesting small improvements in the way that things are run, ways to make people happier, new angles for promoting the Good.
Starting in 2004, winners of the Sturgeon Award began receiving personalized trophies, designed by Kij Johnson. Beautiful things. The administrators were gracious enough to make them up for previous winners as well, so I was grandfathered in.
And on the Poetry Front . . .
The latest Poem du Jour has Uncle Walt not lying in the gutter, but definitely looking at the stars.