"I'm not the most appropriate person to receive an award for Gene Wolfe. There are many people here who know him much better than I do: his wife Rosemary, his daughter Teri, David Hartwell, Gardner Dozois, Michael Andre-Driussi. I know Gene Wolfe as a scared little man, always groping around for an idea he can use. Not just an idea, but one that will bear fruit. I might plant it, but it is the sun and the rain and the soil and God that do most of the work to make it grow. This is one of the greatest honors of my entire life and standing here before you I feel shaken to my very core, so I hope you will forgive me if I do not stand here any longer."
Wolfe had published Fifth Head and Hartwell had seen drafts of Shadow of the Torturer. So when Hartwell told them he wanted to take an author who was working on an intellectual, literary SF book, the suits all broke into grins and shook his hand. Of course, Wolfe went on to win the Nebula award soon after.
Hartwell said that in his professional opinion, Wolfe's body of short fiction is unequaled by anyone alive. He also mentioned that Wolfe had had a book published almost every year since the 1970s.
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