Schrödinger’s Hugo Finalist – and Some Birthday Stuff

Hugo finalists are not exactly common in Germany (I think there are only three German Hugo finalists altogether and none of them live in North Germany). And so, I was interviewed/profiled by both local papers in my region last week.

Here is Alexandra Penth’s article from the Weser-Kurier (local paper for Bremen and surroundings) and here is Lara Terrasi’s article from the Kreiszeitung (local paper for the Syke/Bassum/Diepholz region), which also appeared in the Delmenhorster Kreisblatt (Delmenhost local paper, which is paywalled). When I sent out a press release after the Hugo finalists had been announced, I expected maybe a small sidebar article, but not an in-depth feature. So I’m really thrilled about the coverage.

One thing both interviewers asked me was how I felt once I learned that I was nominated for a Hugo and whether it was difficult not to talk about it until the official announcement.

I have to admit that the two weeks from the moment I got the e-mail from CoNZealand informing me about the nomination and the official announcement of the finalists were a really strange period. For while you know that you’re a finalist, almost no one else does. You feel very much like Schrödinger’s Hugo finalist, simultaneously a finalist and not a finalist, until the box is opened/the nominations are officially announced. There is also that little niggling voice in your head that wonders whether that e-mail you got is a hoax or mistake and they’ll e-mail you any moment now to say, “Sorry, we miscounted and you’re not a finalist after all.” From talking to other finalists, particularly first time finalists, I know that I am not unique in this. A lot of first time finalists feel this way.

Only when the nominations were officially announced, it finally felt real. Though during the announcement, I cheered more for other finalists than for myself. Because while I knew I was on the ballot, I didn’t know who else was.

The two newspaper articles took the finalist experience to a new level. I had gotten a lot of congratulations before, mostly from people in the SFF community. But suddenly, I also started getting congratulations from neighbours, family members, colleagues, translation customers, etc… – people who are not part of the SFF community and have probably never heard of the Hugos before, but know me in day to day life. In fact, I had people congratulate me on having articles in both local papers about me rather on being a Hugo finalist. Oh yes, and I have to buy everybody a drink at the next translators meet-up, whenever that can take place.

Meanwhile, I also have acquired a Fancyclopedia entry, which is something else that happens when you’re a Hugo finalist. This is the third edition of Fancyclopedia BTW, which is online. The first edition, published in 1944, is a finalist for the 1945 Retro Hugos. I already had an ISFDB entry, but it was updated without hours of the finalist announcement.

ETA: The Facebook page of newleaf, the magazine which published my very first story and where I was the sales manager for many years, also has a brief post about my Hugo nomination.

ETA II: The winner of the 2020 Going Under Fan Fund (GUFF) has also been announced. No, I did not win, though I did respectably. And I’m very happy for winner Alison Scott from te UK, who is a highly deserving candidate.

With all the Hugo related excitement, I also forgot to mention that I have a new article out at Galactic Journey, where I talk about exciting new trends in interior design – in 1965.

Furthermore, April 18 is also my birthday. There wasn’t much in the way of celebrations, because inviting friends and extended family members or going out for lunch/dinner or just for an ice cream is quite impossible at the moment. However, there was sailor’s curry and there were presents:

Birthday presents wrapped

Wrapped birthday presents

Unwrapped birthday presents

Unwrapped birthday presents. Lots of books as well as a bottle of red wine, which is not pictured, because it showed up on the doorstep (literally) after I took the photo.

Sailor's curry

Birthday lunch was sailor’s curry with basmati rice and the traditional side dishes.

And because the weather was nice, I took a drive in the afternoon to enjoy the springtime nature. The rapeseed fields are currently in full bloom (uncommonly early this year), which is beautiful to look at, though not at all good for my allergies. Luckily, there is antihistamine.

Rapessed field in full bloom near Dünsen

Rapeseed field in full bloom near Dünsen. Note the communications tower on the horizon.

Rapeseed field in bloom near Dünsen

Another shot of a rapeseed field in full bloom as well as a farm house and a country road. Also taken near Dünsen.

Rapeseed field in full bloom

Rapeseed field in full bloom with trees on the horizon and by the roadside near Nüstedt.

Ornamental cherry tree

An ornamental cherry tree in full bloom.

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