Worth the Price

If wifi were water, this place would be Arrakis. Free bandwidth is an alien concept in Australia. A minute of internet is treasured more than the rarest jewel (or at least, it costs as much).

Notwithstanding which, this country rocks.

I could go on about the fact that the neurotoxins that developed in this place are, for reasons which remain unclear, the most powerful on earth. I could rave about the fact that — at least here in the east — nonhumans have rights, that there are strict limits on how far you can displace a marsupial that’s living in your chimney because after all, they were here first. I could go on about how it must rock to have a prime minister who is female, single, childless, and proudly atheist (often all at the same time), except for the fact that this country has not actually had a prime minister the whole time I’ve been down here. (I’d be more than happy to give them ours, but I like these guys too much.) I could reflect on the nature of an sf community that actually has an award for “Best Fannish Cat”, that categorises their lower-end contributors as “Cheapskate Members”, the $50-contributors as “Rescuers of Kittens”, and officially designates $100-plus contributors as “Absolute Fucking Legends”. I could talk about clean streets, and street art (all following pics are courtesy of Cat Sparks, btw, unless otherwise noted):

…and the sheer joy of dealing with Australian border guards.

I am not being ironic. I would almost be tempted to purchase an Expedia vacation package that consisted entirely of going back and forth through Australian Customs for a few days straight. Yes, I got rerouted to Secondary (they pretty much had to, given the check mark in that little “Are you a felon?” box), but the whole lot of them were friendly and welcoming even so. Mostly they spent my wait time chatting with me about the kind of books they liked to read. (I mean, just imagine: literate border guards. Not a species you’re gonna find anywhere in the US, I’m betting.) And finally, when they waved me through and I pointed to the big sign saying Your Luggage WILL be X-rayed and wondered why they weren’t doing that to mine, the nice lady’s response was “Would you like me to?” She was willing to go out of her way to be extra intrusive, just to make me feel at home.

And we haven’t even got to the con itself yet.

This is Cat Sparks and Rob Hood (not to be confused with the guy in the green tights):

they are writers and photographers and graphic designers and bloggers and reviewers and fans (“Strange Attractor” subspecies) respectively. They live with a trinity of cats at various stages of disrepair, in a house jammed with Godzilla models, enough Ditmars and Aurealises between them to build an igloo out of, and a plastic donkey that shits cigarettes out its ass when you squeeze it the right way. They hang out with shapeshifters who appear to be muppets and martial-arts instructors but who are really visceral horror-fantasy authors underneath. It was Cat Sparks who is entirely responsible for my presence down here. She had the idea to get me to Australia; she spearheaded the fundraising; she booked my hotels and scammed me a comp membership to Aussiecon, and she and Rob put me up in their home for a couple of days before we flew down to Melbourne. Without her, this would still have been The Summer I Do Not Take For Granted; but it would not have eclipsed 1981 as The Best Summer Evar.

Some highlights of the past few days:

  • Finally getting to meet China Mieville, fellow Ceph-head.
  • Hanging out with the likes of Charlie Stross and John Scalzi. I’ve run into these guys before, but I’m still vaguely surprised when they talk to me.

  • (Cory’s different: I’ve known him since he was just a little tyke.)

  • Learning from John Clute that an updated edition of the Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction is in the works.

  • Gregory Benford. Who knows my stuff. Who wanted to pick my brain on consciousness issues!
  • A good half-dozen talks and panels on climate change, with a heavy emphasis on geoengineering stopgaps. Got me all excited about writing Intelligent Design again.
  • Americans stopping me in the hall to shake my hand and apologise (needlessly, I assured them) on behalf of their whole country. Australians stopping me in the streets of Melbourne (literally, in one case; I nearly got ran over by a tram) to tell me how glad/relieved they were that I’d been able to make the trip. Someone of indeterminate origin stopping me to say that Oreo or Orzi or Azreal or someone was an idiot. (Not quite sure what that was all about.)
  • Comparing notes on international diplomacy with Cheryl Morgan, and wondering what it would take to reach critical mass for a “Banned In America” Cub.
  • Getting to talk to an actual Doctor Who Screenwriter over omelets;
  • Pointing out to Charlie Stross that I am more of an optimist than he on the subject of human nature;
  • Discovering the work of Shaun Tan;
  • Oh, and there was that Hugo thing.

I honestly wasn’t expecting to win. I would have at least worn a shirt with buttons if I had (although the whole Squid-Overlord thing actually seems to be going down pretty well in Twitterville). And looking afterwards at the voting trail, I almost didn’t: I was running a distant second to Charlie Stross for the first four rounds. It was only in that fifth and final shuffle, when everybody else’s favorites had been stripped away and their second choices divvied up amongst the survivors, that I managed to pull ahead. By three measly votes.  As victories go, it was razor- thin.

But you know what? I don’t care. I’ve got a fucking Hugo, and so do my new friends. The complete list is here, but Charlie took home the prize for Best Novella, China Meiville and Paolo Bacigalupi tied for Best Novel (China’s acceptance speech kicked ass with a scathing indictment of the illicit trade in Sea Monkeys), Clarkesworld and Starship Sofa (both venues in which is has been my privilege to appear) won for Best SemiPro and Best Fanzine respectively. Not to mention the fact that Cat won this year’s Ditmar for Best Short Story; Rob won for Best Fan Writer, Kaaron Warren (the muppet shapeshifter) for Best Novel (and I got to present that one) — and Janine Stinson from Michigan, whom I still have not met after a decade of pixelpaldom, co-won a Ditmar for Best Fan Publication.

Cat, Kaaron, Rob: their winnings

We all won. I would have won anyway, I would’ve won even if “The Island” had come in dead last; I win by virtue of simply not being an involuntary guest of the state of Michigan right now (speaking of which, those cocksuckers are still trying to bill me for room and board. Good luck with that, fellas.) But we won.

(That last pic, by the way, is from Allan Weiss.)

And now it’s over. The disease that “Hairy Lemon” has been holding at bay all week (oh yes, Australia is just full of things that aren’t available above the equator) is starting to get the upper hand. My sinuses are congesting, my throat is sore, I’ve lost half my voice. When I blew my nose a few minutes ago, it started bleeding. And I’ve got a 26-hour trip ahead of me tomorrow. Perhaps I’ll give Ebola or Andromeda Strain or whatever this is to the whole damn airplane; if I’m lucky, it’ll kill the inevitable screaming baby that always seems to end up one row behind me before we pass Hawaii. Maybe the whole plane will go down, its pilots felled by contagion.

Doesn’t matter. We won. Suck on that, Beaudry, you miserable fucktard.

Here are some more of Cat’s stream-of-con pictures. Cat is an extremely talented photographer. I hardly look Banana-headed at all in these…

Ellen Datlow judging Allan Weiss and finding him wanting.

Me and Jonathan Strahan, purchaser of “The Island” and personal patron.

Me and Jetse de Vries (after the appearance of the Mysterious Black Eye), receiving Plush Cthulhu Communion.

Kaaron Warren judging me and finding me wanting

The lot of us. I really do stand head and shoulders above these folks, don't I?

Rah.

Finally, a few repeats for those of you who haven’t been following along on facebook:

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Monday September 06 2010at 06:09 am , filed under On the Road, public interface . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

80 Responses to “Worth the Price”

  1. It’s so good to see an update again! I’m glad to see you working hard. ;)

    A quick off-topic side note here, Paolo Bacigalupi authored my favorite short–”The Fluted Girl”.

    Anyway, a big congratulations on the win! Your work was very good. I’m glad to see you fitting in with the crowd too. Not only the tallest in the lineup, but the only one comfortable enough to be casually dressed. Or, so one could argue.

    Thanks for the update, us fans were getting antsy to see if the friendly border patrol officers of Australia were just pretending to be nice, just to hunt you down and savagely beat you at another place and time.

  2. HUGE congratulations Peter! I was thrilled to see you’d won when the winner’s list hit the ‘net. The Island is a great story and the Hugo is well deserved.

  3. Peter. Congratulations.

    I’ve spent the last 10 minutes trying to think of what to say, and all I could come up with is ‘congratulations’. Anything else seems unnecessary or complicated.

    Many of us might confuse your receiving the Hugo for being a stand-up guy, kind and funny and smart. Many of us might say that you deserve it for all of the needless bullshit that you’ve gone through this year. Many of us might say that you deserve it for the friendly and down-to-earth contact you have with your devoted fans. You make us feel like old friends.

    That fact is that you deserve it because you are a world-class science fiction writer, and it has been OUR pleasure to read your work.

    For all of these reasons, you have my heartfelt and giddy congratulations. If anything, this win is going to light a serious fire under the asses of TOR, and other publishers, who have dragged their heels and procrastinated when it came to striking a fair deal for your next work.

    From this day forth, you shall be know as “Hugo Award winning author, Peter Watts.”

    You deserve it man. I swear, one of these days I’m coming to Toronto, and the beer is on me.

  4. Congratulations! I loved The Island!

    The picture with everyone dressed up, holding their award is absolutely hilarious.

  5. Congratulations, Herr Watts! Well deserved!

    PS pls pls rite moar of ur stuff… must read state of grace…

  6. > Learning from John Clute that an updated edition of the Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction is in the works.

    Bah. They’ve been saying that work was in progress for years. _Duke Nukem Forever_ and _Chinese Democracy_ will come out first.

    (Wait, Chinese Democracy was released? Just DNF then.)

  7. [...] story written in the last five years. More details, along with disturbing photos, at Watts’ blog.  And you can (and should) read the “The Island” here . . . a harrowing tale of first [...]

  8. Congratulations!! This does appear to be, finally, justice done and seen to be done ;)

  9. HAhahaha – that cat doesn’t look in the least concerned at being near your teeth.

  10. Let’s see . . . I’ll refrain from complicated stuff since that’s the the forum is for right now.

    1. What Ken said.

    2. I’d be really interested to hear either you opine on Ted Chiang’s recent explorations of consciousness or the two of you do a panel on it some day if you’re at the same convention . . . a computer scientist and a biologist coming at the topic from different angles would be nifty. Especially since I enjoy both of your work — although I’ll admit yours is what I’ll read when I’m really depressed to rise out if it.

    3. And now for random chitchit
    *1981?
    *Hairy lemon? (googled) Ah. Basically powdered energy drink. Next time you see Glenn at a convention hit him up for some Guru (he always seems to bring some) I suspect it’s fairly similar.

    *Love the pic where you’re wielding the Hugo like a machete. *snerk* Either that base isn’t as heavy as it looks, or you’re fairly strong.

    *Am utterly amused that you seem to have the same reaction to plush Cthulhu that I have seen on peoples faces in pictures where they’re interacting with babies, so much so that I did a doubletake because I wasn’t sure that it was in fact a plush Cthulhu (maybe I’ve just seen so many of them that I’m blase).

    *The cat eating pic wasn’t on facebook! I swear!

    * wow you’re tall! knowing this beforehand, I will be less likely to flee in terror when I attempt to say hello at SFContario. Less likely.

  11. Hooray! Congrats from Russia too (you have readers there as well =)!

  12. About effin time! Congrats on a well deserved honor. Now get your azz back to the computer and write some more. No rest for the wicked!

  13. Outstanding, and well deserved. I would have picked The Things myself, as that is one of the best stories I have ever read (er. heard). But maybe it missed the cutoff date and will be on the ballot next year.

    I’m glad to see you get some recognition and I hope this will help you put last year behind yourself.

  14. Congratulations! When I found out the winners yesterday I actualy let out a little yelp of delight. About damn time!

  15. Yay Peter! Congratulations on the Hugo.

  16. Peter, if you don’t stop name-checking me people will start to talk…yeah, like I’d be so lucky as to have my name mentioned in the same breath as yours.

    Very kind of you to mention my Ditmar co-win with Bruce Gillespie; he was as surprised as I was, having reconciled himself to the greater probability that SET would lose to one of the other worthy contenders. I am, as some Brits are wont to say, dead chuffed at it all. Looking forward to getting my certificate, too. Bruce says I can have the trophy, if he can figure out how to ship it without it getting damaged.

    Has it *really* been ten years? Good grief. I must get to Toronto soon!

  17. Congrats on the win, Peter, it was well deserved.

  18. Congrats!!!

    Really Peter that’s wonderful news, and an excellent excuse for a party here in the Sunny Southland. Your Hugo is well deserved, and undoubtedly the first of many!

  19. Congratulations, Peter. I voted for ‘The Island’ in the Hugos and of all of the winners last night, it was probably that one I was most happy to see take the silver rocket. But leave some room on the shelf next to it, pretty sure it won’t be alone for all that long.

    (Incidentally, I was 4/4 for voting on the winners – not sure if that indicates good taste, or very average taste.)

  20. Congrats! It sounds like a blast, and I’m thrilled on your behalf about the Hugo. And I love the rocket-wielding photo.

    I have a great fondness for biology PhDs who go on to become successful SF authors, being halfway there myself. Not sure yet if I’ve accomplished the hard half or the easy half.

  21. “If wifi were water, this place would be Arrakis. Free bandwidth is an alien concept in Australia. ”

    Sounds similar to my recent trip to Cologne, Germany, except I wasn’t clever enough to come up with something this witty.

  22. Peter, that’s awesome!!! Congratulations!! :) Australia looks awesome!
    I’m kicking myself for not searching out China Mieville at San Diego Comic Con! Ah well :)

  23. Wow, I wake up late to read this. Outstanding news Peter!

    Agreeing with the points made by those above me, the pictures are indeed awesome, and the fact that I also have that shirt (I believe my squid/ceph shirts number around 10) makes them it all the better to me.

    I agree that Australia seems euphoric, although it does have a worrisome history of controversial censorship laws (from deeming breasts being illegally small to internet-censorship proposals that border on proto-Chinese) do cause some concern in my book. Either way; I would have a difficult time claiming that it’s worse than my current country, as you have learned first hand.

    Ah well, I’m rambling now in my waking state. Again, great news Dr. Watts, have a safe, baby-free trip home.

  24. Wonderful! What a blast. I had a feeling The Island would be the one for you. Congratulations Peter!

    What really matters of course, is not winning or losing, but the efforts to do what you love and make a life of it, carving out and sculpting that life, and being recognized for your efforts at a particular moment in time for a particular piece of work that you have created, makes it all the sweeter for your efforts, sacrifices and choices you made to get to this point.

    It is a climax to a long journey of fulfilling the decision you had made decades ago at that crossroads of what you probably should do and what you needed and wanted to do.

    It is so much easier to follow one’s head rather than one’s heart, for it seems the most reasonable path to take, to be safe and relatively secure in a profession, job or career that will inevitably become a routine of boring comfort and predictability that tethers you to a life of being able to support yourself and living that life that may not ever enable you to achieve your hopes, aspirations and dreams.

    But in doing what your heart has summoned you to do you have charted a course for your life that has been a journey of an assortment of good and bad, positive and negative, happiness and pain, belief and doubt, and everything that runs the gamut between, above, below, sideways and diagonally.

    One does not truly live by being static and safe. One has to take risks and make efforts to navigate along in order to get anywhere that is so desired in one’s life. There is nowhere to hide in order to avoid anything that may or may not happen to any one of us in this world, and it behooves each and every one of us to choose to live the life we are meant to live as who we truly are, or at least make a bloody hell effort endeavoring to do so, and not sleepwalk along stumbling as some shade of a life form living a halflife going along buffetted by the forces of conformity and the controlling dictatiton of others asserting how we should live and be.

    You have to be the captian at the helm of your ship that is your life and grip the steering wheel by both hands in confidence and certainty.

    It is never an easy way to follow your own path. To take risks to be who and what you truly, actually are. Whether it is going against the sociocultural norm to not be the nail that sticks out above the hammered down others in rebellious nonconformity or to be the crab that actually makes it out of the bucket despite a more numerous group united in their mob mentality that tries to pull you down into their wallowing abyss with their claws, it takes the firm and fearless realization that you have only one life to live.

    But this one life can be lived in so many ways.

    Life is way too short and hard not to do otherwise.

    It has been quite a rollercoaster of a ride for you, especially since this past December 8th, with a whole lot of downturns and very long hard uphill climb, but you are at the moment, at the top of the peak and can now at least take a breather and survey your view from here for the rest of the course that is your life with renewed hope and dream evoked possibilities.

    As it is, everything came together such that you have finally been officially recognized for your talent, efforts and contributions to the genre and realm of science fiction and writing. It is not as if you were not recognized and known for these things anytime before Hugo, that was always there and evident. It is what it is and it is terrific. Savor it and finally realize, that even in your humble and self-deprecating way of being, it is more than all right to be happy, joyous and stoked to have won your award.

    Well deserved and wonderfully so.

  25. Hey, great. When I saw Charlie Stross had won I sort of assumed you wouldn’t be getting one, but they seem to have more than one of those things! Amazing! :)

  26. Congratulations from Italy! F.

  27. As I posted on Whatever (where I first heard the news), this was my favorite win of the whole Hugo set this year. Well-deserved – ‘The Island’ was an awesome read….

  28. That cat has the patience of God.

    In some of these pictures you look horrifyingly similar to Douglas Adams. Secret government cloning project? Changeling (also explains the age gap)? I think we should be told.

  29. Congratulations, Peter. The Island’s a damn good story.

  30. Congratulations.
    Both you and Charles Stross winning made my night.
    I think that the State Library has free WiFi and some of the local libraries may too if you’re
    still around Melbourne, but it’s a hike from Jeff’s shed. We may have been able to arrange the loan of a
    3G modem from Linux User’s group members had you asked…

    Gregory Benford’s Geoengineering talk was great. Should we be lobbying for more studies of sinking farm waste for C sequestration around the world, like the one he mentioned ?

    Robert A. Metzger and Gregory Benford
    Climatic Change (2001) 49(1-2) 11-19, DOI: 10.1023/A:1010765013104
    Sequestering of Atmospheric Carbon through Permanent Disposal of Crop Residue
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/n3t2198q717p7752/

    Robert A. Metzger, Gregory Benford and Martin I. Hoffert
    Climatic Change (2002) 54(3) 369-374, DOI: 10.1023/A:1016136202309
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/587mdhl4y2wquxup/
    To Bury or to Burn: Optimum Use of Crop Residues to Reduce Atmospheric CO2

    This may be the one he talked about
    doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2010.07.007
    Burial of agricultural byproducts in the deep sea as a form of carbon sequestration: A preliminary experiment

    He’s speaking at Singularity Summit AU http://www.singinst.org.au/singularitysummit2010au/ tonight.

  31. A quick google scholar search suggests this one for Benford’s main point.

    Global and Arctic climate engineering: numerical model studies
    Ken Caldeira, Lowell Wood
    doi: 10.1098/rsta.2008.0132 Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A (13 November 2008) 366(1882) 4039-56
    http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/366/1882/4039.full

  32. Congratulations again. It was great to meet you (and get my book signed), but the highlight for me was your expression. Well deserved.

  33. Congratulations.

    I hope winning the Hugo makes up for losing the sunglasses.

  34. [...] This is going on the fridge at home as my motivational picture to keep me writing and keep the Grudge Monkey at bay. One day I won’t have to put my finger over Peter’s name, as I’ll be holding my own. I’m practicing my winner’s expression too. Hey, fuck it, aim high, that’s what I say. I couldn’t be happier for Peter. You can read his thoughts about the whole trip to Aus, the con and his win here. [...]

  35. The close votes make me glad I joined and voted this year – while my voted (just barely) didn’t actually influence Peter’s win, China wouldn’t have tied without my vote for The City & The City! Clearly, I should be looking for bribes.

  36. D00d. Gratzi!

  37. Also, plz don’t eat any more kittens. They’re very high in cholesterol.

    Though if you use that pic for your author portrait on the back flap of your next novel, that would be incredibly awesome.

  38. Congratulations on your well-deserved honor!

  39. Congratulations! Shockingly enough, I haven’t read The Island yet, I guess there’s no putting it off any longer if I want to hang with the cool kids.

  40. You win the Hugo and so does Paolo Bacigaluppi, AND the script for Moon.

    This is like my Hugo Christmas, or something. Fuck yes.

    Congrats, Peter! :)

  41. Congratulations again!

    I was very happy to be able to say hi in person & glad that your southern hemisphere experience has been memorable for really good reasons. Perhaps yopu’ll be able to make it to New Zealand one day. We’d love to have you.We too have a resident squiddy.

  42. Damn the lack of preview:

    …you’ll…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_O'Shea

  43. *sigh*

    That’s Steve O’Shea, not Steve O…

  44. And the next time some bugger utters the phrase “mid-list author”, you can poke ‘em with that pointy thing!

  45. Congrats on the Hugo, Peter!
    Welcome to the place above the midlist, it’s safer there (well, as far as I can judge from over here ;) )

    P.S.:
    I suggest that you show those sinuses of yours to a doctor – a combination of congested sinuses and nasal bleeding doesn’t sound very good to me, but I’m a shrink, not an Otolaringologist

  46. Congratulations!

  47. Congratulations on winning the Hugo. \\\\o////

  48. Congratulations!

  49. Peter,
    Words cannot express how happy I am for you. Way to go!!! Hope your return flight turns out to be uneventful, and the rest of your “Summer you didn’t take for granted” is as fruitful as the rest of it was. As always, wishing you well from the cesspool.

  50. I just saw this:
    The lot of us. I really do stand head and shoulders above these folks, don’t I?

    Jesus Pizza, you really do. *sympathy* Long flights must be agony. Here’s hoping you get the emergency exit row…….

  51. Jetse looks WAY different than I imagined. Crazy sauce.

    Also congrats and yay for the border guards.

  52. Oh, well done! I’m looking forward to more good works. (No pressure at all, just get back to work!)

  53. Congrats, Peter. It’s long overdue. Hope you get the big one as soon as Dumbspeech hits the streets!

  54. Congrats on winning a giant Hugo phallus! ( http://www.thehugoawards.org/2010-hugo-award-trophy/ ). No doubt big piles of JK Rowling money and Gaiman-esque rock stardom are imminent.

    Of course, now that you’re all officially “mainstream” and popular, I’m afraid you’re no longer “hip” enough for me to read.

    Huuugoooooo!!!! *shakes fist in air*

  55. Peter,
    Congratulations on your award! And enjoying your whole trip to Australia in general. It’s nice to see you getting some more good news. Now hurry up with the new fiction!

    Cheers

  56. Congrats for the Hugo!

    I’m happy for you, You earned it.

    BTW, who took the photo with the Opera House behind? Can I use it for my evil purposes? (See my spoof of the recent Suprematie novel by Laurent Mc Allister, on my savantefolle.wordpress.com site)

    Thanks!

  57. What Ken said. Plus, “The Island” kicked ass. Congratulations!

  58. Congratulations Peter – it was worth getting drunk with you the night before.

    So glad Cat organised to bring you out and over the moon that it had such a fabulous ending.

    Iain (who also can’t enter the US for awhile.0

  59. HI Peter

    Three cheers for Cat. Glad you had a great time, I didn’t realise you had also won a Hugo! But then, I didn’t make it to any of the evening events, due to having a small baby to look after an all. Glad that I got to meet you if ever so briefly, after hearing Cat rave about you.

    Cheers
    Alison.

  60. Congratulations!

  61. Congratulations, and may your path be filled with edible cats.

  62. All cats are edible.

  63. It might have been a different story at the border if you’d brought any fruit or vegetables in. Glad you enjoyed Australia, though – hope you come back soon.

  64. but all cats are not chocolate.

  65. There exist things that are edible but are not chocolate.

    QED

  66. Congratulations Peter. You seem high on a happy vibe. Your life sure has been a roller coaster the past while! What can you do but enjoy the ride, right?

    I was at the U of T bookstore picking up my course books and I noticed a huge stack of “Blindsight” for some course. I need to take that one! Clearly it has a prof who appreciates good books, or at least good ideas.

  67. @Sunday Artist: all those pics were taken by Cat Sparks. As to whether you can use them, I don’t know. I’ll pass on the request and get back to you.

  68. http://www.english.utoronto.ca/undergrad/201011timetable/eng237h1sl5101.htm

    required reading indeed

  69. What? No Capek? No Verne? No Stapledon?

    Hmph, I say.

  70. Congratulations on the Hugo! — and the pic by Allan Weiss is awesome.

  71. Congrats. You are sexy smoldering hot!

    FYI: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1312406/Into-deadly-deep-How-James-Cameron-plans-film-Avatar-sequel-7-miles-seas-surface.html

  72. Now that’s just overkill. What can he get from filming at 7 miles that he can get from filming at, you know, two or three? Dude’s compensating for something.

    Also, thanks for the smoldering remark. At my age, that almost means more than the Hugo.

  73. I also smell this – Dude’s been rich and famous for so long, no one near him dares say, “Jimbo, that’s a dumb idea, man.” That’s what killed Michael Jackson, if I recall.

  74. [...] Watts reports that his experiences with Australian border guards were very pleasant. Also there are some rather [...]

  75. Just my luck. I have read all of the fiction that you have published except The Island. I guess that I will have to remedy that.

  76. http://www.thehugoawards.org/2010/09/hugo-award-ceremony-video-online/

    You may see Dr. Watts’ Hugo Award acceptance speech at the 1:22 mark.

    Even though we all told him The Island was good and was gonna win, he was so sure he wasn’t that he wore the WELCOME SQUID OVERLORDS tee to the ceremony. First words at the podium:

    Yeah, um. *pause* I never actually expected to win this award…

    Go watch it. It’s really nice.

  77. Great that you could visit Aus, Peter. and yeah our border guards do rock – one of the best things about returning home.

    ‘Suck on that, Beaudry, you miserable fucktard’ – almost spat out my coffee laughing

    PS – thanks for signing the Kindle!

  78. http://www.jonathanstrahan.com.au/wp/2010/09/17/engineering-infinity-table-of-contents/

    Jonathan Strahan announces a short story “Malak” by Peter Watts in his new anthology Engineering Infinity due out in January 2011.

  79. I’m curious. Why no mention of the best living aussie sf writer?

  80. Wow – I missed all this excitement… BELATED CONGRATULATIONS on the Hugo! That is awesome news….