This is my first time on the Nebula Nominations ballot. But you know whose first time this ISN’T? My friend, Amal El-Mohtar.
Now, Amal . . .
I have know Amal for nine years now. Nine. That’s an auspicious number, is it not?
She’s one of my oldest friends in-genre, and certainly the first good friend I ever met and made at a con. She’s also one of the most luminous, the most garrulous, the most welcoming, and hard-working, and people fight duels over her, and also she fights her own duels.
This is documented.
What else is documented about Amal El-Mohtar? Oh, you can find much of it here. Formidable woman.
Her story, “Madeleine,” published last year by Lightspeed Magazine, is a Nebula finalist in the short story category. Hernandez and I are trying to make a point of reading them all out loud, before working our way up to longer work. But if we never finish, at least we’ll have started with Amal.
. . . And we did read that wicked funny one about cat pics. That may get its own song.
But here is an idea I had this morning while driving to work. You all get it in its drafty-ass form, with a romantic smudgy filter, right from my MacBook’s PHOTOBOOTH.
I’ve been narrating all day in the studio, and that shows–but I won’t apologize for my voice. It’s just a voice. This is just a song. And it’s all meant in love.
by C. S. E. Cooney
A tribute to Amal El-Mohtar
Madeleine, where are you going?
Madeleine, where you have you been?
Madeleine, what are you looking for?
Where are you going?
Madeleine, I see you standing there
Is this present or is this past?
Madeleine, what does it matter?
Our love here is meant to last
Touch me, my distant Madeleine
Come, open up your glass
Touch me, is this a memory?
I hear you laughing
Madeleine, I know you’re grieving
Your heart’s so wild and sore
Madeleine, you have a friend in me
I’m your friend forevermore
And I’ll find you
I will find you
On the other side of dreaming