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Yes: I survived Torcon 3, the Toronto Worldcon, but my ego is somewhat crushed by the introduction of the George R.R. Martin Hugo Award Metric. As a guest of honour, George led up to his presentation of the best-novel Hugo by defining this award in leering, lip-smacking tones, as The Big One. Almost he seemed to be talking about something else altogether. 'All Hugos are created equal and free — but Joe Haldeman has the big one. Connie Willis also has a big one. Ursula Le Guin has two big ones. Fortunately, Gardner Dozois has twelve little ones. Howard Waldrop has ... none at all.' The inexorable logic of this Hugo hierarchy has collapsed my own record into one little one. Plus 22 utterly infinitesimal ones.

Hugo Awards.

    The Big One: Robert Sawyer, Hominids. 'I'd like to thank J.K. Rowling for being late delivering her MS ...'

    Novella: Neil Gaiman, Coraline.

    Novelette: Michael Swanwick, 'Slow Life'.

    Short Story: Geoffrey A. Landis, 'Falling onto Mars'.

    Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers — Peter Jackson sent enthusiastic thanks on video, confessing to being a long-term fan who cut his teeth on Famous Monsters of Filmland.

    Related Book: Judith Merril and Emily Pohl-Weary, Better To Have Loved: The Life of Judith Merril.

    Professional Editor: Gardner Dozois of Asimov's SF Magazine. He exulted: 'The golden age of science fiction is right now!'

    Professional Artist: Bob Eggleton.

    Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (a new category): Buffy the Vampire Slayer,'Conversations with Dead People'.

    Semiprozine: Locus.

    Fanzine: Mimosa ... whose final issue was distributed at Torcon.

    Fan Writer: Dave Langford. Has the man no shame?

    Fan Artist: Sue Mason — a first win for this cuddly British cartoonist who's appeared in the UK National Portrait Gallery.

More Stuff at Worldcon. The Los Angeles (Anaheim) bid for the 2006 event defeated Kansas City by 74 votes. Kansas held its victory party anyway, with the outline of the bid's corpse prominently chalked — well, taped — on the floor. Sidewise Awards for alternate history: Long Form was a tie between Martin J. Gidron's The Severed Wing and Harry Turtledove's Ruled Britannia. Short Form: William Sanders, 'Empire'. Cruellest item in the traditional spoof newsletter's Lost and Found column: 'David Brin lost the Best Novel Hugo. Could whoever has it, please return it to him?' (His Kiln People placed second.) The final Torcon attendance count that I heard was 3,725. At the closing ceremony, George R.R. Martin's ill-concealed longings were gratified at last. In the form of a glittering, inflatable Hugo rocket — liberated from the Noreascon 4 party and fully seven feet long — George received The Even Bigger One.

Thog's Masterclass. Dept of Pained Looks. 'My eye snagged on Nettle again as she drifted through the festive throng.' (Robin Hobb, Fool's Fate, 2003)


He Do the Time Police in Different VoicesDavid Langford is an author and a gentleman. His newsletter, Ansible, is the essential SF-insider sourcebook of wit and incongruity. His most recent books are Up Through an Empty House of Stars: Reviews and Essays 1980-2002, 100 pieces of Langfordian genre commentary, and He Do the Time Police in Different Voices, a short-story collection that brings together, for the first time, all of Dave's SF parodies and pastiches. (This is a scary thought. Are you ready to laugh that hard?) Both are published by Cosmos Books and are available through Amazon.

Dave lives in Reading, England with his wife Hazel, 25,000 books, and a few dozen Hugo awards. He continues to add books and Hugos.

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