My luggage was a little heavier when I returned from Readercon a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately the extra poundage consisted mainly of a few books picked up at the con, and not one of those nifty hunks of highly polished glass bestowed by the Shirley Jackson Awards jury. I console myself by scanning the list of nominees (and winners) and recognizing just how stiff the competition truly was.
But I didn't come away from the awards ceremony empty handed. The jurors F. Brett Cox and Paul Tremblay, along with Awards Administrator JoAnn Cox (no relation to F. Brett Cox, by the way), paid homage to one of Shirley Jackson's best known stories, "The Lottery", by "stoning" the nominees who were present. Behold my rock (please see above photo, my dear Ozymandias) and despair! All kidding aside, I'm very proud of and very thankful for this keepsake. This engraved river stone now occupies a prominent spot on my desk, close to the wireless mouse, as a reminder that my anthology, Bound for Evil, was numbered with the best works of 2008. It's also a souvenir of the wonderful time I had at Readercon, hanging out with the finest people I know, readers and writers---book people. Um, it makes a nice paperweight, too!
"The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes." ---Agatha Christie