Shell shock


Awake. Hungry. Still in shock that the Nebula Award on my table hasn’t done a vanishing act…

This will be very brief as I need to pack before leaving for the airport, but wow. Apparently I looked grey for about 30 minutes after the awards were done, to the point where N.K. Jemisin very kindly badgered someone into brewing me orange herb tea (and I remembered the half-consumed bar of cereals in my bag). Pregnancy memo: NEVER ever forget your blood sugar levels… (also, that adrenaline rush that I was counting on to keep awake? I think the pregnancy hormones screw up with that…)

If someone had told me I’d win a Nebula when I was younger and marvelling at all those books and short stories that had won the award… I would probably have laughed in their face, to be honest (which just goes to show how wrong you can be). Like I said yesterday, thanks to Neil Clarke, Sean Wallace and the rest of the team at Clarkesworld; to everyone who spread the word, nominated and voted for “Immersion”; to all my fellow nominees (it was a really strong ballot this year full of strong stories, and I wouldn’t have minded losing to anyone in my category!)–to Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, without whom this story wouldn’t have happened; and finally to my family–to Matthieu, my parents and sister, for putting up with me and my crazy ideas; and a particular thanks to my maternal family in Vietnam who made our visit there such a great experience, and planted the seeds of what would later become “Immersion”.

Thanks I didn’t have time the coherence to give in the speech: to everyone who read and critiqued it (Glen Mehn, and the crew of the 10th VD workshop: Ruth Nestvold, Sylvia Spruck Wigley, Floris M Kleijne, Stephen Gaskell, John Olsen, Nancy Fulda); to everyone who kept me awake and coherent and encouraged me yesterday; and everyone with whom I’ve been having conversations on this topic of cultural identity and cultural imperialism over the last few years (you know who you are!). And big big thanks to everyone who helped put the Nebula Awards weekend together and made it such an awesome experience (special mention to Steven H. Silver, who spent a lot of the weekend making sure I was OK and offering me chairs to sit on–which is much, much appreciated when you can’t really stand still for long…).

I have to admit to some intellectual curiosity as to what other non-native Anglophones won a Nebula? (as in, English not their native language, and not currently living in the US/UK/Anglophone West?) I know about Italo Calvino, Johana Sinisalo, etc., but it looks like they were non-winning finalists?


  1. This is amazing. Fantastic. Huge. I can’t find the words. Big congratulations !

  2. Huge congratulations, Aliette, and well-deserved.

    Now I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you at the Hugos…;-)

  3. Oh, well done you! Immersion was a fantastic story–the first one that drew me in to your work. Congratulations!

  4. Aw thank you everyone!

  5. Very well done. It’s a great story. Just read on the World SF blog that you’re the first European to win. Congratulations

  6. How wonderful for you! Congratulations!

  7. Bravo!
    A Nebula award, wow! Impressive for a girl who live in France and write in english.
    Just read the story and I love it: both compelling and “immersing”, if I dare usurp your title.
    Have you ever thought of trying writing in french, as well?
    And good luck with the pregnancy and after, as well. You’ll probably need a lot of organization and motivation to keep writing regularly during the next few years. I know it’s possible, especially as some mother-writer manage it, but I can’t see how. Maybe I’m just inefficient…

  8. Thank you everyone!
    @Pascal: have not tried writing in French, basically because it’s hard enough to manage the trick in English..
    (and yes, I highly doubt much writing will be done in the years to come…)

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