17 March 2005
Mífriend Chrissie writes to point out that I let my own (yes, yes, long-admitted) prejudices blind me to the truth last night - the four awardees-in-waiting are actually two poets and two novelists, which does adjust the maths a little. Iíd simply forgotten who number four was, to be honest: nobody who knows me could conceivably expect me to remember four consecutive names, recited once.
And they are all four of them friends of mine, so I do still have one reason to apply again, and keep applying, just to help keep the award in motion. Perhaps the whole feeling-second-class thing last night was just an internal defence, to protect me from the truth, that I am in fact second-rate and nothing more. Itís oddly easier to admit to if there is something else as well that you can point to, ďIím second-rate but it doesnít matter, because look, I wouldnít have got the award anyway...Ē
I do still think thatís true, though. Technically genre fiction is a qualifying category, itís actually spelled out in the rubric; in reality, though - well, the whole tendency of the award thus far is to take it down the other end of town. And I still think itís crass, to announce a list of preferred applicants for future years; and I still think it will prove counter-productive, because other people will give up hope and stop applying. Not me, perhaps, but not everyone has my selfless devotion to the welfare of my friends. I have of course given my life over to this cause: who was it who said that to be truly happy, it wasnít enough to succeed, you also needed to see your friends fail? Well, here I am...
Hmm. Still bitter, I see. Still ranting, a little. No matter. I have pretty much a week now where I donít have to do anything stressy; Iím going to work and shop and plant things in the garden, cook and feed people and read books and watch Bab 5 and stuff.
© Chaz Brenchley 2005
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.