Last night I had the privlage and pleasure of Accepting the Minnesota Fantasy Award on behalf of my father, Steven Brust, at Arcana 44. Below is the text from my planned remarks; I have some some pictures and video also which may turn into something, which case I’ll add that.
At age 19, while on a convention tour, Dad took me to see the Grateful Dead at what would turn out to be their final Mardis Gras concert with Jerry Garcia. Late in the first night of the show, right at a dramatic moment, a decrescendo, he leaned over and whispered to me a few words that have stuck with me since, just as he intended, I’m sure. He said: “How far do I have to go, and what do I have to do, to have this happen to me again?”
I have to say, that’s rather the feeling I get when I reach the end of one of his stories.
To say I was exposed to the works of Steven Brust at an early age, would be putting it mildly. I can still recall Mom’s intonation as she would read early passages from Jhereg as bed-time stories. It was in middle-school, perhaps age 13 or so that I fell in love with Dragaera, the Houses, the various competing systems of magic, and with Vlad Taltos and his many friends and allies. And I have been either waiting with bated breath or actively devouring each subsequent novel, whether of the Dragearen, or not- since. I’m a voracious re-reader.
Usually, when I offer someone “My Dad’s book” to read, I give one of the one-off novels; some unordered favorites being To Reign In Hell, The Sun The Moon and The Stars, The Gypsy and Agyar. Now that I have two complete loaner sets of the Vladian, those are the first to go, when they are around. A few days ago, on a smoke break at work, I bumped into a colleague who currently has such a set from us.
I most often see her in her car with her e-virtual-vaporizer thing in one hand, and her Kindle in the other. Talking with her, she reads all the time, as does her husband. When I gave her the big paper sack full mostly of paperbacks she reciprocated with a book for us to borrow, and also by admitting that her husband reads more fantasy than she these days. She’d let let me know what he thought. When he got to them.
She was much more excited to talk about the first of the “Jedi Academy” series by Jeffrey Brown she had brought us, for consideration by our seven year old son Miklos, and especially the admiration in which their daughter holds those. (Miko loves this, by the way. Right buddy?) When I found her the next Thursday to give her one of the copies of _Hawk_ that had shown up for the loaner set, she still hadn’t touched them.
That did it, I think. She brought home the first few books that weekend and by Tuesday had the rest of the bag at home. And she was hunting me down to talk. I love it when a middle age woman gets bouncy while talking about shoulder dragons.
“He’s an Assassin – with a shoulder dragon! What’s not to love?”
Indeed, it has been rather a fine week to be president of the fan club. Here are a few random quotes I pulled off the internet this week:
Some books are entertaining. Some are thought provoking, and once in a while, a book transports you to a place for a full on vacation.Steven Brust’s works are a guaranteed backpack adventure into a different dimension. Every single time.
I’ve never met your father, but would love to shake his hand some day ,buy him a pint, and thank him for the many, many wonderful stories.
many congratulations to you both. p.s. Still rereading Hawk, on my 6th or 7th go. Please thank him for me.
Sorry. Let me walk that back just a tiny bit — when I say “random” and “this week”, naturally, I mean these were said to me specifically, and this morning when I posted to Facebook and Twitter I’d be here tonight.
To all that then, I add this: Dad writes fantasy that stays interesting and current to us as we get older.
Of course, you’d expect me to say that.
With great pleasure, and equal humility, it’s my honor this year at Aracana 44 to accept The Minnesota Fantasy Award on behalf of my father, Steven Brust. Personally, and on behalf of Steven and our entire family, thank you.