I Volunteer to Master the Ceremony

BRB Rates so Low (even on my café’s bulletin board)


I was working out some thoughts on the 2015 Hugo nomination short list when it occurred to me, “This year is your year to host the awards ceremony.” In fact, what better year could there be?

I’m a Science Fiction author that nearly no one knows. My books and stories rate so low on pretty much any publication list that their mere mention can be counted on to elicit an underwhelming “What, who?” from anyone unlucky or bored enough to be reading reviews that far below the fold. Because of this I am peerless and practiced at holding my head up just high enough to pass below the hangman’s knot. I know the perils of invisibility all too well, and as such I’ll be able to represent those nominated without outshining or upstaging.

I can remain pleasant, nay even jovial, in the company of uncomfortably narcissistic people. You can find asshats in any workplace, but I’ve spent more than two decades working at places unnaturally blessed with them. My scorn for their ostentatious choices in everything from cars parked below the office block to project timelines remains necessarily obscured. I have a demonstrable track record of being able to separate myself from crazy; quietly look on with a smile while not partaking from the kool-aid.

We’re located so darn close, a measly 279 miles from Spokane, and thus my speaking fee would be necessarily be a fire sale bargain. I drive a Prius, which is powered by weasel farts, and I can complete the round trip drive in less time than it would take to get through a TSA inspection line on a single tank of stoat emissions. Plus, I’ve already bought my ticket.

This year’s Hugo award script is going to be a cinch to write. In fact, I’ve already worked out the basics.

I’ll open a tastefully off-white envelope as if I’ve never looked inside. “The 2015 rocket for best novel,” I’ll say, “goes to Ann Leckie, Ancillary Sword.” Everyone will clap and cheer, Ann will walk across the stage and accept her award, thank a few people for her successes, and then return to her seat.

This announcement will be followed by about five minutes of me saying, in a dead pan voice, “No award.” I will wait for applause, holding my breath and counting to twenty-seven, knowing that they’re just not going to happen before moving on to each subsequent envelope. I’m telling you I’ve got this.


2 thoughts on “I Volunteer to Master the Ceremony

  1. I realize that not everyone who reads my blog may be at all aquatinted with the annual shenanigans of the Hugo Awards and the erstwhile Sad Puppy voting block. Below I give you some augmentative reading material which should, I hope, clue you into the sardonic narrative above. Read what you will, all of these are authors I enjoy and respect. People I hope to spend time with come Hugo award time even if I’m not elected Master of Ceremony for the awards.

    This short list is by no means inclusive, but these are people that I read regularly and who have recently offered up an opinion on the topic. If you have an opinion and haven’t expressed it yet, please feel free to post it in the comments. That said, Wes you promised them and I full intend to collect.

    Wes Chu and the Promise of Cookies

    Charlie Stross and the terrible, no good, completely bad publishing company of doom

    Jim C. Hines and 10 Deep Thoughts

    Chuck Wendig’s Denial of Service (good piece, but his web site is acting wonky)

    John Scalzi wants you to keep your pants on

    The Dan Wells is caught in the middle

    GRRM isn’t writing the next Song of Ice and Fire

    Mary Robinette Kowal once again nails the last one in

    Some excellent flow from Tobias Buckell

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