The Paramount of Glory is Mine!!

Well, I admit a felt a moment of angst when my arch-libertarian book THE GOLDEN AGE lost the gold coin of the arch-libertarian Prometheus Award to the arch-monarchist THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

And a twinge, perhaps, of melancholy that I did not win the Nebula Award for ORPHANS OF CHAOS, but instead that honor went to Joe Haldeman: the SWFA rules in their charter I believe contain an oft-overlooked provision that when Mr Haldeman writes a book with the word FOREVER in the title, he is automatically the winner for that year.

But this is not to say my career as a sciencefictioneer is not without glory. I got write the authorized sequel to my favorite science fiction book by my favorite author, and to speak to his kindly widow; I got to sit at the same table with the guy who wrote my favorite episode of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA; I went to Mass with Gene Wolfe, who explained to me all the secrets and ambiguities in his New Sun series; and when Harlan Ellison thought it funny to insult the whole room he was addressing, by calling us all pussies for being unwilling to stand up and walk out on him, I got a bigger laugh by standing up and walking out on him.

(Okay, I am kidding. Wolfe did not explain beans about his series to me. We talked about GK Chesterton, whom we both admire. But I did outsmartaleck Harlan Ellison.)

But, I say thee, all this is naught! Awards from prestigious organizations, moments of shared mutual faith with prestigious authors, or moments of shared mutual smartaleckery with prehensile authors, this is not what authors crave!

We crave cash!

Er, aside from that, we crave just one thing: cosplayers dressing up as our characters, and ‘shippers discussing our characters’ love lives!

(I realize, that, technically, that counts as two things,  but if two cosplayers dressed up as characters and discussed their relationship in a role playing game or something, it would be one thing! Sort of.)

Well, it has happened to me! A kindly reader has sent me a photo of himself dressed up as Quentin Nemo from my ORPHANS OF CHAOS. Behold!

Quentin and Victor

Quetin in Fugelin

Better still, a reader with the somewhat cartomantic name of WildCard4 discusses the relationships of the Orphans:

Amelia and Victor are my preferred ship, though I find Vanity and Quentin to be odd. Personally I see them as friends more than lovers. Quentin overall seems uninterested in romance and never displayed any clear lust, though he may have implied it when complimenting Vanity. I think they had a connection, but I doubt it would have proven romantic at all if they had more people of the opposite sex to in their social circle. This may have something to do with Quentin’s transgender (possibly inaccurate term) nature.

I enjoy Colin as a character, but I do not think that he and Amelia fit as a couple. I tend to ship him with a crossover or original character with varying degrees of seriousness.

I see the point of Colin and Amelia, though I do not support it. The reason it could work is that they both want adventure in their future. Amelia wants to explore strange places, while Colin wants to explore himself and his own nature. If anything Colin’s lust for Amelia pulls the two apart rather than together. I would say that Colin and Amelia would be the two closest Orphans if that was removed.

The reason I prefer Victor and Amelia to Colin and Amelia is that the two are happy with themselves and know who they are. I think Colin needs to find himself, as silly as that always sounds. Colin has not reached the final point in his evolution as a character. In contrast, Victor and Amelia have stability and senses of duty that are likely to mark them for the rest of their lives, and that will enable them to grow in a stable fashion while in a relationship.

Quentin is closer to Colin than anyone in that regard. He’s clearly not happy with who he is. He has more of a sense of self than Colin, but also enjoys his life less. Quentin is also less capable of change, given that his social role has certain limits based on his paradigm. His ability to switch bodies may come into play in his own evolution. I half think that he is using being a warlock as a cover for something he finds less acceptable in himself.

Vanity? She’s odd, very odd. She’s the most normal of the Orphans, which may or may not be due to being a native of our universe. I would be curious to see how she stands up to trying to live a normal life. She clearly is with Quentin out of conscious choice for wanting a boyfriend more than anything. That is not to say she does not love Quentin, or even that it is a bad reason to be with Quentin. She chose between Quentin and Colin, weighing their strengths and weaknesses. I would say she chose the right one, in their current states. I could see Vanity and Quentin either staying together or having a very amicable breakup and remaining friends, depending on their futures. I doubt either one would be torn up by stopping their romance, though they would hate to lose each other from their lives.

BWAHAHA! The glory of geekdom shines round about me!

True, two more and greater glories than this still elude my grasp. First is a movie deal where a fast food joint, as part of a promotion campaign, gives away toys or dolls based on props or characters from your novel (it happened to Holly Black for SPIDERWICK). Second is an TV series (it happened to George RR Martin and to Terry Goodkind.)

This is the golden age of science fiction. Let no one tell you differently.