The Samuil Petrovitch trilogy named winner of the Philip K Dick award
April 7th 2012
My lovely wife (and this just shows how lovely she is) watched the live streaming content and then phoned me up to tell me I’d won. Having staggered to conciousness, because let’s face it, 4am in the morning is not my best time, she played me the relevant bit over the phone, and yes – there it was: Ellen Wright reading out my acceptance speech, some of it in Russian.
“Yobany stos! I appear to have won. What I have failed to do, however, is appear in person to collect the award and thank the judges, for which I sincerely apologise.
I’m reasonably certain that any author sitting down to write an award-winning novel would be in the grip of massive hubris – and therefore almost certain to be destroyed by the gods – and winning anything, let alone the Philip K Dick award, couldn’t have been further from my mind when I wrote Equations of Life, Theories of Flight and Degrees of Freedom.
What I did do was set out to have a huge amount of fun. I hope that showed through, even as Petrovitch lost yet another body part to be replaced with shiny, shiny metal. I appreciate that the series isn’t exactly ‘high art’, and the books have been on the receiving end of brickbats as well as bouquets. Apart from writing them – and there’s a tip right here: don’t write something you’re not enjoying, because life is genuinely too short – what I’ve enjoyed most is hearing from people who Get It. Not that I’m suggesting for a moment that “What would Petrovitch do?” is any way to approach decision-making, but the sparks of recognition some of you have been kind enough to tell me about, or just post on the internet, have meant a great deal to me. Every author seeks an audience, and I’m very lucky as I have the smartest and best audience in the world, people who read science fiction.
It’s probably a good thing I’m not actually on stage at the moment because I would be blubbing like Gwyneth Paltrow, and no one wants to see that. Thank you for this tremendous honour. I’m going to let Ellen sit down now: vyp’em za to, chtoby u nas vsegda byl povod dlya prazdnika! (May we always have a reason for a party!)”
Which pretty much sums it up. Thanks to everyone involved over in Seattle, judges, organisers and audience. Onwards and upwards.