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Hell of a Ride

When we got the news in April, Beth and I didn’t quite believe it. Shimmer was a Hugo finalist — and after thirteen years, that was a hell of a thing.

But in accordance with prophecy, Uncanny Magazine won for the fourth time, and Shimmer came in last. Those voting numbers will really fuck with your head, no lie. The prophecy also said that the late Gardner Dozois would win the short-form editor category, and he did. I came in last there, too.

One of the hardest things is that everyone suggests you write a speech, in case the impossible happens, in case you win. You spend weeks wondering how you can condense everything that happened in thirteen years into a few moments, because this is it — this is the end for Shimmer, there are no more chances, and how can you convey everything. You cannot.

Here’s the speech I wrote for my short-form editor nomination, in case you wondered how I tried. I started with Audrey Hepburn’s Oscar’s acceptance speech, as one must.

I want to thank everybody who, in these past months and years, have helped, guided, and given me and Shimmer so much. First thank yous to Beth Wodzinski, who took me on as a slush reader thirteen years ago, and then offered me an opportunity to edit. I would not be here without her. The #AHugoForElise hashtag was filled with such kindness and love—my thanks to everyone who was involved, especially Wren Wallis and Maria Haskins—we do so much of our work alone, and it was remarkable to hear how Shimmer impacted readers and our writerly community.

Thank you to my fellow finalists: Neil Clarke, Gardner Dozois, Lee Harris, Julia Rios, Lynne Thomas, and Michael Damien Thomas. You are all changing our community for the better, every day with every story. Thank you, too, to Matt Dovey and Alex Acks for going above and beyond, and being in Dublin to accept the award when I could not be.

Thank you all.

Today is hard, but we pick up and go on. It’s what badgers have done for thirteen years, and I’ve still got a World Fantasy Award to lose!

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