Something astonishing happened to me over the weekend.
I was given the Aelita Award.
The Aelita was named after the 1923 science fiction novel Aelita by Alexei Tolstoy and is presented at Aelita, (also named after the novel), Russia's oldest science fiction convention. The award was created in 1981 to honor a lifetime contribution to Soviet science fiction. Later, this became Russian science fiction and last year it was decided to expand the remit to cover SF globally.
I am gobsmacked, as our British cousins say, to be the first American ever to receive this award. For reasons that are all too familiar to everyone, the Aelita conference was virtual this year so I didn't get to return to Ekaterinburg, a city I am very fond of, But that didn't make the honor any less sweet.
I'll be posting the recipients of the other awards given at the convention as soon as I can get a translation from the Russian.
Above: That's what a typical Aelita trophy looks like. Ekaterinburg is in the Ural Mountains, ten miles into Asia, an area famed for its mining.