The upcoming World Fantasy Convention has just announced the winners of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Awards:
MEGAN LINDHOLM and HOWARD WALDROP.
I could not possibly think of two more worthy winners.
Megan Lindholm, writing under the name Robin Hobb, is one of the premiere fantastists of the last thirty years. Her Farseer novels, featuring Fitz and the Fool, are classics of the high fantasy. If you have not read them, you don’t know what you are missing. And that’s not the only arrow in her quiver; she has also done some great work under the Megan Lindholm byline, stories that fall more in the realm of urban fantasy and magic realism, just as engrossing and memorable as her epics. She was long overdue for some major recognition.
And Howard Waldrop… what can I say about Howard Waldrop? (That I have not already said in my introduction to his collection HOWARD WHO?) What can anyone say about Howard Waldrop? H’ard (as Gardner Dozois liked to call him) is one of a kind. There has never been another writer like him, in fantasy, in science fiction, in literature. Over the course of a career just as long as my own, he has only produced two novels… and one of those a collaboration… but he has turned out reams of short stories.
And WHAT short stories! “The Ugly Chickens” won the Nebula and the World Fantasy Award (a long time ago, when it was still the Howie) and lost the Hugo. A great story, but Howard has produced many other tales just as good. “Heirs of the Perisphere.” “Night of the Cooters.” “Custer’s Last Jump.” “Black as the Pit, From Pole to Pole.” “A Dozen Tough Jobs.” “Fin de Cycle.” “God’s Hooks.” “Save a Place in the Lifeboat for Me.” “Do Ya, Do Ya Wanna Dance?” “Flying Saucer Rock ‘n Roll.” “Mary-Margaret Road-Grader.” “Heart of Whitenesse.” “Ike at the Mike.” “Man-Mountain Gentian.” “Thirty Minutes Over Broadway.” Oh, and more, and more… I could go on and on.
Waldrop never writes the same story twice. He writes stories that no one else could possibly write. Funny, and sad, and whimsical, and erudite, and… words fail me, but they never fail H’ard. In a just world, he would have a dozen Nebulas and as many Hugos by now. SFWA would have named him a Grand Master ten years ago, and some worldcon would have made him its Guest of Honor. But such accolades seldom come to short story writers, no matter how singular and amazing they may be. This year’s World Fantasy Award panel of judges deserve kudos for recognizing this genius in our midst.
This year’s World Fantasy Convention will be in Montreal in early November. I hope that both Howard and Megan will be able to make it, to accept their Trees in person. I doubt that I will be able to make it myself… though I am tempted, I am so tempted… but that sound you hear will be me, applauding madly from afar.
(Oh, and watch this space. I hope to have some more exciting Howard Waldrop news soon).
Current Mood: happy