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23 September 2009 @ 06:29 pm
the fissure in the rock  
A curious thing. I had a letter from some foggy entity called the British Fantasy Society to say I was short-listed for an award for my book Memoirs Of A Master Forger. The ceremony was scheduled this last weekend at what passes for a hotel in the hell-hole known as Nottingham, which is less a city than a series of cavities in the earth. Well I don’t like the spotlight at the best of times and I certainly wasn’t going to this grubby little fissure-in-the-rock populated by troglodytes just to be disappointed when the award is given to some tome about a damned magic sword stamped out by a goofy autistic teenager. So I asked my Creative Writing tutor – himself a troglodyte of this or some nearby wind-blasted death colony - to stand in for me in case it won. I penned him a short speech thanking my grandmother’s corsets and all that to be read out in the unlikely event.

Anyway, the Saturday came round and I started tipping back the rubicund relief and rescue, and then after a while began to regret not going along to what might be my only moment of literary glory. An hour later I somehow found myself on a train hurtling to the blighted North Midlands, but I fell asleep and missed my stop. I had to get off in the horrible orc-settlement of Sheffield. Really there were animal like howls going on outside the station, followed by unpleasant industrial-scale gurgles. I’ve no idea.

By the time I got back to Nottingham I thought I’d missed the awards altogether, but I finally stumbled in to the ghastly low-rent venue hosting the “festivities” to find a banqueting room packed with odd-looking types. Who should be on the stage posturing and pontificating into a microphone but my Creative Writing tutor. He seemed to be in the middle of some acceptance speech but it was certainly not the words I had penned for him. I felt dizzy and disoriented. I almost had the impression he was claiming the award for himself. I asked someone what was going on, only to be shushed by a female the size of grain-silo.

A few moments later and to my utter astonishment he was then invited to join the award winners as they gurned and struck attitudes for the melee of assembled photographers, cameras flashing and whirring. I began to feel most unwell. Later I approached him to find out what the hell was going on, but he saw me coming and marched off to the bar surrounded by an ugly posse of lithe young men and one or two rather unsavoury looking women. Someone pointed at me and made an obscure remark. I staggered out of the hotel with the sound of oafish laughter ringing in my ears. I felt so disoriented I hurried back to the train station and caught the first available train south. I’m going to have to get to the bottom of this, but I never want to have to go to a British Fantasy Convention again.
Current Mood: distresseddistressed
mylefteyemylefteye on September 23rd, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
Um, congratulations...I think.
ginger_gary on September 24th, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC)
Belated congratulations, William. My wife, Ly, and I were there and saw the Creative Writing tutor make an arse of himself - he had clearly been at the bar before the awards.

Perhaps we'll see you at FCon next year...?
(Deleted comment)
butforthegrape - William Heaney in reposebutforthegrape on December 30th, 2012 11:58 am (UTC)
satire bypass?
satire bypass?
Nat Quintos UhingNat Quintos Uhing on August 18th, 2013 09:34 am (UTC)
Just read your book...you've a great way of stringing words together, and it was over much too quickly (I try to pace myself with a good book, but it's hard) Some paragraphs were so resonant, I had to copy them out for myself. Thanks for doing a vanishing trick with my Sunday afternoon...;) Wishing you well.
Graham JoyceGraham Joyce on August 18th, 2013 12:54 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed the William Heaney persona. I keep promising myself he will return!
Best regards
Graham Joyce