mark morris - news & views

Friday, November 02, 2007

Hooray for Conrad!

The winners of the 2007 World Fantasy Awards were announced last night at the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs. Cinema Macabre was nominated in the Best Non-Fiction category, making that a hat-trick of nominations for the book this year, but it didn't win. However, my slight disappointment (and never believe anyone who tells you they're not at least a bit disappointed if they don't win an award for which they're nominated - they're lying) was assuaged by the fantastic news that the prize for Best Novel went to my old mate, Conrad Williams, for The Unblemished.

I first met Conrad almost twenty years ago, back in the days when we were young and handsome (now, of course, we're old and handsome). In fact, I hope Conrad won't mind me saying this, but our first contact came when he sent me a fan letter, in which he asked whether I would mind reading and commenting on some of his stories.

Needless to say, I loved the stories he sent me, and suggested he come along to the British Fantasy Convention to meet other writers, and to introduce himself to editors, publishers and agents. This he duly did, and as soon as we met we got on like a house on fire, and have barely looked back since.

(Blimey, we've had some times! Remember the Mars Bar and the dolphin, Connie? What a night that was!)

Whilst Conrad has always been widely admired within the field, the accolades and - most importantly - the commercial success he truly deserves for his stunning body of work have, until now, always eluded him. But I'm delighted to report that at last he has made the breakthrough into the mass market by selling not one, but two of his novels to mainstream publishers! Plus he's now plopped a very large cherry on to the top of an already magnificent cake by walking away with the biggest single prize in our genre!

Woo hoo! Go Conrad! (as our American chums would no doubt say)

Whilst I'm at it, I'd also like to congratulate fellow Brits Steve Gallagher & Paul Finch, who also won awards. Fantastic, guys. Well done.

Right, better get back to Hellboy. 80,000 words in and heading towards the finishing line.

Until next time...