I went to the room party for the CBS the night before, and I didn't win any of the free books, but I did have the pleasure of meeting in person one of our contributors, Stafford Battle (of The Lynching fame) and his wife Diane Williams with whom, along with Stafford and several other people, I participated in a podcast in October 2008 through the Black Author Showcase. Due to some awesome coincidence, the launch month of the first Expanded Horizons issue was also Speculative Fiction Month over there. (How cool is that?)
So we hung out with ktempest, kino_kid, shadesong, yendi, and a whole bunch of other awesome cool people involved with/running CBS whose LJ handles/irl names I do not know and I feel embarrassed because I should. (So if you were there, drop me a note, ya? I want to give you all credit and a shoutout!)
The award ceremony itself included readings from the winning books, by the authors, and introductions by Gardner Dozois. Discussion was had after the awards about a) how the upcoming Carl Brandon Society awards for 2008 and 2009 (tentatively scheduled for Wiscon in May and then Arisia 2011) can be better publicized in fandom and b) how Expanded Horizons can be involved in the ongoing outreach for, and growth of, the diversity movement in speculative fiction. (I think we're a movement.) Ideas: incorporating as a non-profit (other online speculative fiction magazines have qualified), getting a grant from Arisia Inc., setting up a Cafe Press store, running a room party for Expanded Horizons at next year's Arisia, my being on panels at next year's Arisia, and my volunteering a bunch of time with the CBS in some capacity to help organize stuff. The conversation goes on.
Most folks I talked to at the con didn't have too much of an idea about SF outside of the USA and the UK (sigh), but a few did. We need to keep getting the word out on that, too.
Gosh, I want to go to Wiscon this year. My day job didn't allow for it last year, and may not allow for it this year, but I will try.
Also: anyone interested in reviewing any of the CBS winning books for Expanded Horizons? We'd be open to reviewing other books by PoC authors or about PoC protagonists as well, but these books are particularly a propos now.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE CARL BRANDON SOCIETY WINNERS!