Last Drink Bird Head Award Finalists (2009-2010)

We’re pleased to announce the finalists for the second annual Last Drink Bird Head Awards, as chosen by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer. The purpose of the awards is to celebrate those in the genre community who enrich us with their time, energy, and words, for causes greater than themselves. Finalists for this year’s award were chosen for efforts in 2009 and/or 2010. Thanks for recommendations from last year’s winners.

The winner of the Neil Clark Special Achievement Award, as announced below, is L. Timmel Duchamp. Please join us in congratulating her for her efforts.

The winners will be announced at Capclave in Washington D.C. on the evening of Saturday, October 23, in conjunction with the WSFA Small Press Award ceremony. Winners will receive a bird head figurine, a certificate, and chocolate.

The awards are named after the anthology Last Drink Bird Head from Ministry of Whimsy Press (an imprint of Wyrm Publishing). The proceeds from the anthology benefit the ProLiteracy charity. Contributors include Peter Straub, Ellen Kushner, Gene Wolfe, Tanith Lee, and over 60 others. To buy the Kindle edition, click here. To buy the limited hardcover and support literacy, visit the order page.


Gentle Advocacy
In recognition of individuals willing to enter into blunt discourse about controversial issues…

– Ay-leen the Peacemaker (for Beyond Victoriana)
– Hal Duncan (for blogging and Notes from New Sodom)
N.K. Jemisin (for blogging and commentary)
Jason Sanford (for blogging)

Tireless Energy
In recognition of individuals who selflessly give of themselves for worthy causes, websites, or organizations…

– Rick Kleffel (for The Agony Column)
– Leslie Howle (for Clarion West and Hugo House activities)
– Debbie Notkin (for Tiptree Awards work, Wiscon work, and other activities)
– Victor Raymond (for past Carl Brandon Society and Interstitial Arts Foundation work, as well as other behind-the-scenes activities)

Promotion of Reading
In recognition of individuals whose efforts contribute to the promotion of reading or an increase in reading proficiency…

– Colleen Cahill (for Library of Congress work as a genre fiction advocate and as the library’s representative to the ALA)
– James Gunn (for his work with AboutSF)
– Julia Starkey (for building the Harvard Library’s SF/F section)
– Lynne Marie Thomas (for archiving the works and papers of SF/F authors)

Expanding Our Vocabulary
In recognition of writers whose nonfiction, through reviews, blogging, and/or essays, exposes readers to new words and, often, new ideas…

Matthew Cheney
Anil Menon
Abigail Nussbaum
Adam Roberts

International Activism
In recognition of those who work to bring writers from other literary traditions and countries to the attention of readers in North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia…

– Larry Nolen (for coverage of international fiction, primarily on The Of Blog)
– Charles Tan (for Bibliophile Stalker and The World SF Blog)
– Lavie Tidhar (for The World SF Blog)
– Yan Wu, Guangyi Li, and Nathaniel Isaacson (for Chinese Sci Fi )

The Neil Clarke Special Achievement Award

Winner: L. Timmel Duchamp

The Special Achievement Award is geared toward recognizing individuals who are proactive behind the scenes but whose efforts often don’t receive the measure of public recognition they deserve. The winner will receive an elegant Hieronymous Bosch bird-with-letter figurine, a certificate, and chocolate. The award is named after the first year’s winner, publisher and editor Neil Clarke.

As founder of and editor for Aqueduct Press, L. Timmel Duchamp has demonstrated great creativity, care, and love as the guiding force in creating a strong line of feminist science fiction and fantasy. Although Aqueduct Press is a for-profit publisher, it serves a greater purpose in providing a valuable space for women’s fiction, often publishing otherwise marginalized authors. Further, Duchamp has often set aside her own career and fiction over the past five years to run Aqueduct Press. For these efforts, she is the 2010 recipient of the Neil Clarke Special Achievement Award.


27 comments on “Last Drink Bird Head Award Finalists (2009-2010)

  1. Paul Smith says:

    You’re my boy Larry, you’re my boy.

  2. Oooo, that’s some fierce competition. Congrats to all the finalists!

  3. James says:

    An admirable assortment. If not bird heads for everyone, then at least last drinks. Cheers to the bunch of you!

  4. Jeff: This made my evening. Many thanks!

  5. Wow. Jeff, I am *floored.* ^___^

    Thanks for the nomination, and cheers to all my fellow nominees!

  6. Jha says:

    Squee! Congrats to all!

  7. Ann and I had a fun time going through possible nominees, and already making the start of a potential list for next year. Cheers, Jeff

  8. Larry says:

    As I said elsewhere, I consider it a great honor to be included among so many excellent people. Thanks, again.

  9. Les says:

    Thanks, guys! It’s an honor. Congratulations to all the wonderful folks you so kindly acknowledged and hooray for Timmi! She more than deserves the recognition. Thank you again.


  10. Rochita says:

    Squee. Congratulations to all finalists and an cheers for Timmi. I second Les in saying that she certainly deserves the recognition. I’ll raise my cup to that.

  11. John Kenny says:

    Great nominees for international activism. I wonder if Albedo One was considered, though. It’s an Irish magazine that’s had a programme of international fiction in translation running for a couple of years now. Shameless self-promotion (with a touch of sour grapes, admittedly). :-)

  12. Jeff VanderMeer says:


    There are lots of magazines and publishers who should be up for such awards, but we don’t have a specific category for that. (If there were, Masumi Washington and Nick Mamatas would be up for Haikasoru, for example.) These are service awards that are primarily meant to go to people who are volunteering time and energy in some way.

    We should have a formal nomination process next year, as we recognize that although this is an ad hoc award we created primarily so Ann and I could help fill the gap in SF/F awards with regard to this kind of service, people are going to expect a certain amount of standard process from it. (Others are, of course, welcome to create their own service awards and nominate whomever they like.)


  13. John Kenny says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I appreciate the response. As I hinted at in my post, I’m just in a slightly grumpy mood today. :-)


  14. Jeff VanderMeer says:


  15. I am thrilled to be in such a high-powered and admirable list. I hadn’t been aware of the award, and I hope to stay in touch and nominate and generally participate in such a great idea.

  16. Abigail says:

    Thank you so much! I can’t really top Matt Cheney’s recursively vocabulary-expanding response, so I’ll just link to that.

  17. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Debbie and Abigail–glad you’re both pleased, and thanks again for all that you do.


  18. Bill says:

    Ummm… Capclave is October 22-24 this year with the Awards being given on the 23rd.

  19. Victor Raymond says:

    Goodness, I’m honored. (I really don’t rate it, I think)

  20. Trixter says:

    Who are these people?

  21. Guangyi says:

    Happy to know that we’re nominated. I take this as a great encouragement. Thanks a lot!

Comments are closed.