When Paolo Bacigalupi walked up onto the dais at the Hilton Riverside in New Orleans, there was an endless sea of screaming. A very large portion of it came from all over…but there was some serious excitement coming from the corner he later pointed toward when thanking his fabulous people at Little Brown Publishing. There was a little fuss and photography as he received his award–a beautiful bronze upright placard–and then he moved on to speaking.
He began with the idea that standing in front of all five hundred of us was both beautiful and terrifying, as a writer’s place is behind a computer screen, hidden from faces. But he fell into things with a few fascinated looks at his new trophy and a few well-placed expletives (“I just won a f*cking Printz award!”), and moved on to thanking everyone who stood with him during production and publishing of Ship Breaker, no matter how crazy and different and unsettling things got, including his wife, his editors, and the Posse at Little Brown.
The biggest thank you was to his father, who introduced him to Science Fiction–or more, to reading. Science Fiction was not just his gateway drug to reading, but the drug.