by Helena Bell
Since I could not attend the Nebulas this year, Ken Liu graciously offered to accept on my behalf should it be necessary. This required that I write him a speech. This is that speech.
Choose Your Own Nebula Speech Adventure (A Shameless
Theft Homage of Tina Connolly’s Hard Choices)
A. You’re sitting at a banquet table in San Jose, CA when the Nebula Winner for Best Short Story is announced. If your name is called, proceed to B. If Helena Bell’s name is called, go to C. If neither of those names is called, go to G.
B. You give a stirring speech about death and honor and bookmaking. Men weep. Women faint. The world is healed and made whole. If you are satisfied with your speech, go to Z. If there is more you want to do, go to I.
C. If you’re ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY CERTAIN that you are not suffering from an auditory hallucination and Helena’s name was actually called, you may recite Helena’s prepared Nebula Acceptance Speech. If you choose the real acceptance speech, go to D. If you choose the acceptance speech that is much more accurate of Helena’s thoughts and feelings, go to E. If you would like to ensure that Helena is never nominated for an award again, go to F.
D. On behalf of Helena Bell I would like to thank the Nebula voters, the editors and staff of Clarkesworld, as well as Cat Rambo. Hel is honored and humbled to receive this award and wishes she could be here tonight.
E. On behalf of Helena Bell I would like to thank the Nebula voters, the editors and staff of Clarkesworld, as well as Cat Rambo. Hel is honored and humbled to receive this award and assures you she is in no way jumping up and down and screaming while watching this on U-Stream.
F. Hel was consumed by a flesh eating robot and can’t be here to deliver this speech, but she would like to thank X, Y, Z, Neil Clarke, Cat Rambo, Clarkesworld, the Nebula voters, the alphabet, and her college economics professor Charles Wheeler and also shout hysterically OMG OMG OMG YOU PEOPLE REALLY LOVE ME I FEEL SO VALIDATED.
G. If you sit quietly at the banquet table, go to Z. If you rush up on stage anyway, go to H.
H. You drop everything you are holding and rush the stage, knocking down Aliette de Bodard in the process. You are tackled by Gordon Van Gelder, John Joseph Adams, and Sheila Williams but shake them off one by one in your mad, frenzied rush to the microphone. Men weep. Women faint. They are very, very confused by your actions and wonder if this is some sort of performance art they are too weak-minded to understand. But it’s okay because your plan is…
If your plan is to stage a coup, go to I. If your plan is to educate writers on allowable Schedule C deductions, go to J.
I. Stage a coup. When completed, go to Z.
J. You begin with a brisk overview of the Federal Income Tax system. Using prepared lecture notes and slides, you take the members of SFWA (and other ceremony attendees) from the darkness of tax ignorance into the light of the constitutionality of the 16th Amendment, realization events, timing issues, and the breathtaking sibilance of possessory interest. The world is healed and made whole. There are no regrets, no misunderstandings. Nothing is left, except to go to Z.
Sash, tiara, the Internal Revenue Code, Forms 1040, Schedule C, Schedule SE, Lexis
printout of Burnet v. Sanford & Brooks Co., Nerf Guns and/or Super Soaker, Alcohol,
Water Bottle, this speech, AA Batteries, the written consent of Major League Baseball
Helena Bell is an occasional poet, writer, and international traveler which means that over half of what she says is completely made up, the other half is probably made up, and the third half is about the condition of the roads. She has a BA, an MFA, a JD, and a Tax LLM which fulfills her life long dream of having more letters follow her name than are actually in it. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Clarkesworld Magazine, Shimmer Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, and Rattle.