Nebula Over Austin
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America honors del Toro, Chabon, Moorcock in Austin
By Richard Whittaker, 9:56AM, Tue. Apr. 29, 2008
The ballroom at the Omni Downtown is a small room to contain a lot of genre-defining authors, but this weekend the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America held their annual Nebula Awards there. From a cinematic view, the big win was Guillermo del Toro for his script for Pan's Labyrinth. Even though he couldn't be there, he thanked those he called “Not my peers but my mentors ( ) from the bottom of my cholesterol-clogged heart."
For the geek-out crowd, the big guest was new SFWA grand master Michael Moorcock (even novel of the year winner Michael Chabon seemed pretty overwhelmed when he found himself between Moorcock and SXSW regular Bruce Sterling). Moorcock's speech concentrated on how often science fiction and fantasy novels, even though they are regularly pillaged for the screen, are regarded as second-tier literature by the critical establishment. As if to prove the point Chabon, whose novel Wonderboys has been adapted for the screen and has another (The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay) on the way, thanked his editors for not realizing that his last novel was "at its dreaming, counterfactual core a work of science fiction."
The absence of del Toro possibly meant that one possible argument was avoided: it would have been interesting to see what the ever-feisty Moorcock, possibly the most vociferous critic of J.R.R. Tolkien, would have had to say to the newly-announced director of The Hobbit. Full 2008 Nebula winners' list below the fold
Novel: The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon
Novella: "Fountain of Age" by Nancy Kress
Novelette: "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" by Ted Chiang
Short Story: "Always" by Karen Joy Fowler
Script: Pan's Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro
Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
Damon Knight Grand Master for 2008: Michael Moorcock
SFWA Service Award: Melisa Michaels and Graham P. Collins
Author Emeritus: Ardath Mayhar