Monday 8 May 2023

The Man with the Golden.....Derringer!

I had an extremely surreal moment at Dublin Airport last week as I waited for a connecting flight to Manchester after travelling back from the States. I glanced at my emails and found one sending congratulations, not for the Edgar win, but for something completely different. I was told I'd won a Lifetime Achievement award from the Short Mystery Fiction Society. Or, to give its full name, the Edward D. Hoch Memorial Golden Derringer for Lifetime Achievement. I must admit that for a time, I thought I was imagining this, while carried away on a wave of excitement after the Edgars. But I wasn't hallucinating and now I've had time to take it all in properly, I must say that this award is a source of great pride and delight for several reasons.

First, I look at the previous winners of the Golden Derringer, going back to 1999. The only previous British winner is the great Ruth Rendell (all the other winners have been Americans, including such notable names as Lawrence Block, Loren D. Estleman, Ed Gorman, Bill Pronzini, and S.J. Rozan). It's wonderful to be in such company.

Second, I knew Ed Hoch and he was a delightful man. He and his wife Pat showed me a number of kindnesses on our occasional encounters at Bouchercons. He was also a brilliant and incredibly prolific short story writer who wrote a wonderful story, inspired by Alice in Wonderland, for my anthology Green for Danger. We took part in the 1995 Bouchercon Mastermind quiz together - a photo of that memorable occasion is to be found in Marv Lachman's book The Heirs of Anthony Boucher - see above. It's a real privilege to win this award named in his honour. And I like to think Ed would be pleased.

Third, I really love short stories and reading the short stories of others, as well as writing my own, is a source of continuing pleasure. I've used the form to experiment and to try to develop as a writer and this has worked really well. They have brought me a few prizes and nominations, starting with my very first story, 'Are You Sitting Comfortably?', which was the first fiction I had any success with. To be recognised now by my peers in this way really is amazing.

Fourth, it occurred to me, once I'd got over my jetlag, that I've now won lifetime achievement awards for fiction (CWA Diamond Dagger and the Dagger in the Library), non-fiction (the Poirot award), scholarship in the mystery field (the George N. Dove award) and short fiction (the Golden Derringer). I must admit I find it hard to believe that I've been so lucky. It's something I never expected, even in my wildest dreams as a would-be crime writer, but it really is extremely gratifying . And truly humbling.    


Fiona said...

Who was it who said "I find the harder I work the luckier I am"? It isn't luck, Martin - it's lots of hard work, dedication and talent in abundance. And you deserve every award you receive

Anonymous said...

Well deserved, Martin! 👏👏👏👏👏

Liz Gilbey said...

Luck has got nothing to do with it!
Thinking of getting a new mantelpiece for putting all these awards on? It's a bit like falling dominos, isn't it? One award leads to another. And another. Oh! And anoher. Just goes to prov the old adage that nice guys do win!

Bill Selnes said...

Congratulations Martin. A lifetime of work being recognized is a special honour.

Maggie King said...

Congratulations, Martin! Well-deserved.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

As President of the SMFS and Chairman of the Golden Derringer Committee, congratulations on your well deserved 2023 Golden Derringer win. You certainly deserve it, sir!

Arthur Vidro said...

Success and acclaim isn't just handed out. It's earned.
Martin, you've earned it.

There aren't many successful mystery writers who are also successful mystery scholars. Dorothy Sayers, Ellery Queen, Edward D. Hoch, Jon Breen, and Francis Nevins all come to mind.

And, of course, Martin Edwards.

Take a bow, but don't exit the stage. You have more books in you.

Leslie Budewitz said...

Congratulations, Martin! From an engraved oak beer cask to a golden gun, you're a winner -- but it's the mystery-loving community that is the true winner, getting to savor and learn from your work.

Martin Edwards said...

I'm very grateful to all of you for these kind comments.