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There were happy tears, no question, tons.There were so many things I was feeling that I had no idea how to process them and I had to sit down. There was absolute joy, and when I rushed over to Jay Lake, one of my favorite people on this planet, and wrapped him in a giant hug, that was probably the moment when the second wave of emotions hit, when I could feel the facts starting to rush in. My Pops was dead. He died ﬁve years ago, about a year after I started the Drink Tank, and I knew that he would have been happier than I was at that moment, that his heaving sobs would have been bigger, that he’d have been jumping up and down and screaming and he would have rushed the stage and there would have been no one who would have stopped him from getting there. That was the moment when that hit. The moment I knew it was real, that it wasn’t a weird dream? I got that it was actually happening when I stared into Tim Powers’ face and he said “You won! You won!” and I hugged him. There aren’t a lot of us who will ever have the chance to have their favorite author in the front row when the most amazing moment of our lives happen. There aren’t a lot of us who can say that they got to hug said author at that time. It was then that I knew, really knew, that I had won a Hugo. In the moments before I knew it was real, I had jumped up, run a little bit back down the aisle away from the stage. All I could think to do at that moment was to move and I chose away from the stage for some reason. At that point, I heard some familiar voices screaming. I remember walking back towards the stage thinking ‘I’ve got to get up there’ and then seeing Patty Wells, the Chair of Renovation, and grabbing her face and giving her a kiss because it was the only thing I could think of. I then moved on to her husband Mark and gave him one too. I’d never met the man, but this seemed like a good introduction. I stopped before I kissed the entire row (I skipped over SilverBob) and then I ran into Tim Powers. And then, like I said, it got real. I have rewatched the video a few times. You can see me wrap my arms around myself before climb the stage. I was in total blinders mode. I didn’t even see James climb the stairs and jump off the stage. I was just feeling everything and when I saw Jay I knew I had to hug the man, and I did and it was a great moment. And then, I needed to take off my jacket. I am still not sure why I threw it off, I’ll never know exactly what I was thinking, but I can imagine that the part of my brain that is usually used to run some primitive aspect of digestion was holding down the fort as all the rational parts had shut down and said “you love your Flintstones shirt, so THAT’S got to be on the outside!” and I threw the Armani coat to the ground. I rejected it like a baboon heart. James grabbed me in a hug that wasn’t quick, it was sudden. He said over and over “You deserve it! You so deserve it!” and I was crying and I was trying to stay standing and I was hoping that I wouldn’t fall and I was thinking about the last name on the slides that showed during the pre-show: Mike Glicksohn. I’d never met the man, but had admired his work, and Taral Wayne had suggested that we put together an issue dedicated to him and that led me to seeking out his work and the words of his friends and after I did it, I didn’t stop looking into his life and found that he was a guy I almost certainly would have liked and most likely would have loved, and that I most deﬁnitely respected. And I didn’t know any of that until after he was dead. I had tears in my eyes during the pre-show and during the moment of silence we held, and when I ﬁnally got to the mic, I had to stop. I don’t remember grabbing the Hugo. I just knew that it had
somehow ended up on the podium, the plague facing towards me, and it had my name on it. And I could see beyond it to the audience, almost entirely faceless, and it was incredible that I was in front of a thousand people accepting an award that had been a dream of mine for years. I had always wanted one, but never expected to win. Guys like me don’t win Hugos. Hugos go to people who know what they’re doing and don’t just go about writing issue after issue. Regular folks don’t win Hugos. Everyone I’ve ever known who has one has been an amazing specimen. Frank Wu. Mike Glyer. Geri Sullivan. Claire Brialey. Dave Langford. The PLOKTAns. J. Randrew Byers. Brad Foster. Talented, amazing humans one-and-all. I’ve written, and mostly memorized, speeches every year, including this one, and I had once recited the one I hoped to give to a few friends, but this was more.This was the moment and I had every single possible thing that I had thought of saying slip away into somewhere else. I think I said “Oh my Fuck!” here, but really, I don’t remember. James made a joke: “Chris Garcia’s regular service has been interrupted and will return momentarily.” “All of the things I could possibly be thinking right now, there are only two names: John Paul Garcia, my Dad, who didn’t make it, and the other is the recently late Mike Glicksohn.” I made it through what I’m told was an OK speech at my Dad’s memorial, my voice breaking the entire time, but this moment was so many many times harder. There was all this joy and mixed with it was a touch of pain from not being able to share this with the man who had brought me into the World of fandom and who had brought me into the World. It was painfully apparent that this wouldn’t go well, though I did manage to say “And my Lovely and Talented, Long-suffering girlfriend, Linda Wenzelburger.” And then I just completely broke. There is no other way to say it. I had nothing. No single way to deal with what I was feeling. The joy was bubbling up, all the other emotions moving to the front, all of them. All the hours I’d spent working on the zine, all the hours I’d spent thinking about the zine, all of it was there at that moment, along with the overwhelming sense of this is AMAZING and the slight hints of missing Dad and fear, utter and complete fear, that this moment was going to be completely lost. “I’m going to let James talk now.” Was all I could manage and I lowered myself to the stage next to the podium and I could tell that whatever part of my brain was doing all the processing didn’t have to worry about keeping me upright anymore, so it just said ‘contract, get the tears out, put every emotion you’ve got out there. ‘ And if you watch the video, you can see that I pull the Hugo trophy in and wrap myself around it and I’m sobbing, and sobbing, and I, at that moment, come back a little.That’s when the hurt of not having Dad around was gone, that it was all the joy I could ever possibly feel being felt all at once, and I managed to look up, and unwrap myself from the Hugo, I give a little smile and then start back up to my feet as James was talking. I ﬁnally got up and I knew that I would not be able to manage a real speech. I must have been thinking ‘get to your feet, come up with a plan’ and the only plan I had was ‘say thanks to the important ones.’ And I did. Mo Starkey, the artist who has done so much art and who is so important to me and who got herself onto the ballot this year. Taral Wayne, a Fan Artist of the ﬁnest kind and a writer whose works have made the Drink Tank over the last two years. Genevieve Collonge, my Ex, and her daughter, Evelyn, who I have struggled to keep as a part of my life, and though at times it’s been the biggest challenge I’ve ever had to rise up and meet, and I once wrote a piece called “Gen and Evelyn Make My Life Hell... and it’s Worth It!” and I had to at least say Photo from Stu Segal their name. I mention my Mom, and I mention
that I’m going to call her, and I mention that she was going to come and then she didn’t and then, ﬁnally thinking at least somewhat coherently, I said ‘Thank you, Fandom.” That one was hard. Fandom’s home. It’s where I live. I’ve always been a Fandom is a Hobby, guy, but the People of Fandom are my People. No question. I broke there again. If I had tried to go on in that vein, to say what the folks at the con meant to me, what people had meant to me, what they’d allowed me to do, I would have totally broken into a million pieces. “I’m going over there to have a nervous breakdown. If you see me, you should hug me.” And I meant it. At that moment, the only thing keeping me going was that James had his hand on my shoulder. I needed human contact. Grant Krueger, after we got off-stage, helped ease me down the ramp. Marc Shirmeister basically carried me to the back of the auditorium. I drank a bunch of water. James and I hugged a bunch. “We won a Hugo, Chris.” He said. “We won a Hugo.”
Photo from Stu Segal
The worst part was that I didn’t get to say thanks. I even wrote a piece for the WOOF APA that listed 49 people I had to thank. The one that bugs me the most that I missed was Bill Burns. Without eFanzines.com, there’d be no Drink Tank, and I am forever grateful for the site he’s started. He’s good people and if I ever win another, his name’s gettin’ said. There are the people who started me down the path towards fan writing and The Drink Tank. Jan Stinson and Earl Kemp are the two most important names on that list. I wrote a piece for Peregrine Nations that was the ﬁrst real fan writing I’d done after giving up on writing ﬁction and Earl got my ﬁrst LoC. There’s also Ed Meskeys, whose zine Niekas was handed to me at the Seattle Westercon and that started me down the path back to fanzines. Arnie and Joyce Katz have to be mentioned too. They’ve always been so good to me and it was Vegas
Fandom Weekly that got me thinking about doing a fanzine. I should have mentioned Lloyd Penney. He’s always so good about writing LoCs and is a great guy. It was nice to get a chance to hang with Lloyd and Yvonne at the con, too! There’s also John Purcell, a mensch if there ever was one. Steven H Silver too, the guy who has been nominated a bunch of times and never managed to win. I don’t think he’ll need to worry, he’s a lock for at least one of the Fan Hugos next year in Chicago. Guy Lillian, whose zine Challenger is a masterpiece, should have been mentioned too. Oh, and there’s Frank Wu. It would be impossible for the Drink Tank to have done anything without Frank. He was the ﬁrst one to write for me and to provide art and support. The man is the rock on which The Drink Tank was built. Thank you Frank, and Brianna, for everything you’ve done for me and for The Drink Tank. I owe y’all BIG! And then there’s the fact that I didn’t say a word of thanks to James Bacon. True, the guy was up there with me, but without James, the Drink Tank is just me doin’ stuff. Thanks, brother! There are so many people who have contributed to The Drink Tank over the years, Steve Green, Mark Valentine, Kevin Roche, Andy Trembley, Claire Brialey, Mark Plummer, John The Rock Coxon, John Hertz, Jay Lake, Cheryl Morgan, Dave Langford, Alastair Reynolds, Barbara & Trey, Greg Trend, M Lloyd, Brad Foster, Steve Stiles, Jay, SaBean, Judith, Kevin Standlee, Art from Frank Wual Cynthia Corral, Jason Wiener, Jaun Sanmiguel, David Moyce, Randy Smith, Beth Zuckerman, Eric Mayer, Mike Perschon, Ken & Jerry, Helen Montgomery, Adrienne Foster, Dann Lopez, Kurt Erichsen, Kelly Green, Liz Batty, Bob Hole,Ted White, Jason Schachat, Espana Sheriff, Jean Martin and so many more. We’ve been very lucky to have so many great people writing for us over the years. And, of course, there are people who haven’t written for us who are also very much a part of the feeling of The Drink Tank. Doug Berry, Chris Barkley, Milt Stevens, Mette & Bryan, Jack Avery, Anders, the other Anders, Eric Zuckerman, Unwoman, Lisa Deutsch-Harrison, Heather Yager, John Scalzi, Greg Benford, John Picacio, Mary Robinette-Kowal, Howard Hendrix, Diana Vick, Murray Moore, Bill Mills, The Bushyagers, Nic Farey, Tycho, Bobby Toland, Father John Blaker, and on and on. And of course, the guys who are gone. I don’t think there’s a better fan writer in history than Harry Warner. Mike Glicksohn was the only guy who came close to being as good a LoCer (though Lloyd is certainly right up there) and he’s the one I’ve always said was the best historian we had. I was lucky enough to get to meet and chat with Jack Speer. I missed getting SaM to write some of his version of history for me. I would have loved to have gotten to know Glicksohn, Bruce Pelz, Bobby Gear, rich brown, Charles Burbee, Walt Willis, Bill Rotsler, Terry Carr, Poul Anderson (who always called me Rich for some reason) and Atom.These are all people who died and I never got to know very well.
Then there’s Forry. My idol in just about every way and I wish he could have been around because no matter how rough things were up there, I’d have made sure to mention his name if I was on stage. I will always be grateful to Forry. Always. He changed my life. So, those are some, though not nearly all, of the people I’d have liked to have thanked. Moving outward a little, the Hugos were a great set this year... for the most part. There were some awesome winners.The ones that pop out at me are Mary Robinette Kowal for her story For Want of a Nail, and Best Long Form Editor Lou Anders. Claire Brialey won for Best Fan Writer, which is amazing. She’s been the best fan writer in the world since the late 1990s and she’s amazing. I’m so glad she has a rocket! Ted Chiang, who is my fellow Guest of Honor at Minicon next year, won for Best Novela over Al Reynolds whose Troika was a delight. I would have loved Al to have won it, but Chiang’s story was great too. The Best Pro Artist was a bit of a disappointment, especially with John Picacio running third. John’s more than deserving. Brad W. Foster winning the Best Fan Artist was both slightly sad, in that Mo Starkey didn’t win, and it also made me happy because he beat Randall Munroe. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the stuff that Brad’s been doing for the last few years has been amazing with the addition of color to so much of his work. That was the best part. Mo ran third and a solid third, which was very nice. Best Fanzine was interesting because StarShipSofa was the one with the most ﬁrst place votes and yet, through redistributes, we got the rocket.That was awesome. File 770 also came 2nd! That was kooky! Several other awards went to the nominee that had the second most ﬁrst place votes. Best Fan Artist, Writer, Fanzine, Semipro Magazine and Pro Artist. That’s a bunch. I also think that this year proved that the Hugo Voters Packets were inﬂuential. I think that Claire and I certainly beneﬁtted from the Packets. I think that there are a bunch of things that were inﬂuenced by the packets and I think that the future of voting will be inﬂuenced by the packets and I’m glad that the WorldCon has beendoing it. The WorldCon itself was really good. I wasn’t a fan of the facilities, there was the Air-Conditioned Death March that was required to get from the Convention Center to the Atlantis, and then about half-a-mile from the Atlantis to the Peppermill. The food at the Hotels was expensive, but quite good for the most part. We found Roscoe’s Oakland-style BBQ and it was just like Roscoe’s in Oakland. I enjoyed it. We also had Jimboy’s Tacos, which were quite good. WorldCon also had a Business Meeting where we debated the merits of adding the Best Fancast category to the Hugos. I spoke in favor of it and it managed to pass after some marvelous parliamentary debate. There was question at ﬁrst if it would have a chance, but as the meeting went by, it became apparent that there was support and that’s when things started happenin’! It was kinda fun to be a part of it, though it was also tedious as all hell! It got a lot of support from the younger crowd and the folks from Chicago. It was a good thing and I am glad it passed. There was some very nice programming, only a little of which I managed to make it to. One thing that I was a part of after winning the Hugo was The Match Game. I’d told Photo from Stu Segal Kevin Standlee that if I won, it was
doubtful that I’d make it to the Match Game. I stuck around and I understand that there was some technical difﬁculty and that meant that when I got there, they had only done two questions, so I came in and played. I had a blast, we were all on our game and got some great laughs. I had a cold adult beverage or two and that might have helped. I couldn’t help but play with the Hugo. I had a set of napkins that I used to fondle the Hugo, often making dirty motions. Then, at a certain point, Kirsten Berry took the Rocket and put it between her boobs. That was awesome! It was a great time. The last 24 hours were both amazing and surreal. Everyone seemed to know me. I got a lot of hugs. A LOT OF HUGS. I Needed them because I was so exhausted in every possible way that I had to hug folks to stay upright. I got a couple of rounds of applause, including one as I walked into the Exhibit Hall. That was awesome! I took photos with folks, let folks take photos of the Hugo statue. One Scandinavian fan, I wanna say Jukke Halme but I’m not sure, used this awesome lens to take some incredible photos of the base in the sunlight. They were amazing! What does this all mean for The Drink Tank? Good question. I’ve got no clue. The main, and usually only. rule is that it’s got to be fun, and that still holds. John Hertz said to me that now that we’ve won, we should use that as a reason to “get better.” I don’t see it happening, though.The stuff that I know John considers getting better is the stuff that’s no fun for me, so don’t expect too much change in that area. We’ll probably get more folks writing for us, and we’ve already seen a bump in the number of book companies willing to send us review copies, so there’s that! So there you have it, my WorldCon with the Hugo win. I’ve been watching the various places that put up the video and the reactions range from “Wow, that was amazing!” to “I’m so uncomfortable and scared right now.” The former is far more frequent than the latter, luckily. The good thing is that people seem to understand that it was a moment when the absolute joy of winning crashed up against just about everything else that I could possibly feel. Am I embarrassed that I broke so heavily? Maybe a little. I’m passionate, like all us Greeks, but it is weird to have thousands of people watching your most vulnerable moment on the internet. Last time I checked, the UStream video had about 50K views. That’s a lot of people to watch you crying. So, WorldCon was great, winning the Hugo was over-whelming, getting to see my friends from around the world was amazing, and largely, I’m down with Renovation! It was a great time. So, what else is in this issue? Well, there’s a piece from Taral Wayne, one of the few I managed to mention in my speech.There’s that ﬁne Mo Starkey cover.There’s this 52 weeks entry dealing with 2001: A Space Odyssey, Photo from Dave McCarty including a wonderful piece fromSteve Stiles and one from Best Fan Artist winner Brad W. Foster!
Did we win a Hugo? By James Bacon
If I wrote to win an award, or edited fanzines to win awards, my return would be pretty dismal. Its not really a good purpose to write for. Now, awards are indeed awesome, and in the last 12 months I have won my ﬁrst Nova and my ﬁrst Hugo, but I wrote in 2003 because I had something to say, and I edit because I either want to hear what people have to say on something or want to see them say what they think should be said. Yet, the award does do something. I have been HYPER since I got home from America. I have worked ﬁve early shifts and the jet lag has been in my favour, work colleagues somewhat aware that I am not at all tired like they are. I feel energised by many things, in fairness all aspects that I would have hoped to have gone well have gone well, and the amount of tangible success, be it the success of the kids programme, the UK in 2014 parties, the staff party, my turn as a barman at the Boston party and the fantastic social time that I had, as well as the fact that I may have seen more programme than I have ever done before has resulted in a great feeling. Of course the awards are weird. I was terrible nervous inside as Chris had kept banging on that I would win one. I didn’t think I would, but I even wrote a few words, and given a strange commitment that I had made, I had prepared it to be bi-lingual. I was pretty sure that Claire should and could win the best writer Hugo, but wanted her or Chris to win. The award process begins not as I don my nice suit in the hotel, all excited not so much about the nomination, for which I am terribly proud, and twice so in this case, but because it is such a wonderful night of celebration. Regardless of what the voters decide, this is a massive event, run by fans, paid for in the tens of thousands by fans, administrated to the highest order by fans, and of course in there amongst all the professionals, are a few that will be won by fans. The Hugo’s for all the times that I have been bitterly disappointed in the voter selection, are an incredible award, and really, although it can be argued the Clarke is more selective, or better read selection of judges, and the sidewise is more reﬁned into exactly my sub-genre, and the Eisners have the skill to recognise those who deﬁnitely deserve it, there is nothing like the Hugos. A little pomp and circumstance is indeed a pleasant thing, everyone enjoys dressing up, and dressing in their own unique style, and the ladies always look stunning and its recognition for some that is so deserved. Yet, as I wondered about a black tie or a green cravat, my black cuff links or Irish tricolour, ensured that my braces were correct and my odd bilingual speech was at the ready, as well as that of Bryan Talbot’s, it was not where it starts. Months before in a darkened room in Staffordshire. I was informed of nomination. I could barely think to be honest, as it was for best writer, I was in a sorta shock and I waited to see if as well as best writer, which was indeed a big honour, if Drink Tank or for that matter Journey Planet had gotten
Photo from Unwoman
one. Well for one reason or another, I sat wondering and waiting. It was a long wait. Something was wrong. I then got really upset.This is, of course, totally irrational.Why would I be upset you may ask, as I sat there nominated. Well it’s a weird thing but I like people to enjoy things, its one of my drivers for con running and fanzine editing, and well, I have some people, friends, who in my head at that moment in time, were suddenly going to be left behind. Like a train leaving a station, my friends had missed it, and I wondered would it be better to also miss that train and join them in whatever adventure that would then befall us, rather than being on the train heading to some sort of honorary bliss, but in solitude and loneliness. Other people have always made the best cons, and best contributors, and it was a weird wash of emotion that over came me. And then my phone beeped and email refreshed and suddenly Drink Tank was on the ticket, and so Chris Garcia was with me, and in the knowledge, and of course as co-editors allowed to discuss the nomination, we were soon, texting and speculating and our speculation proved right some weeks later, at Eastercon and were pleased to see Mark and Claire, and Guy and Mike and Steve all on the ticket. An excellent bunch of people who I have worked for as a low submitter. It’s an odd old thing. Worried that your mates aren’t nominated. Weird eh.
Jeez, can I say thank you now?
So I shall write about the whole speech thing in great detail, and I have already gotten Dave Cake and Grant Kruger at the keyboards typing in their version of events. I have been told that the Ustream clip of Chris has been watched over 30,000 times which is incredible, but then some issues of drink tank have been downloaded in the thousands, by the silent majority who just want to read what we say. Hello there. Do write in some time, won’t you. That’d be nice. But not necessary at all. BUT we never ever never ever ever expected to win. It’s as simple as that. So when I did realise what was happening and get excited and express that excitement as only I could and did that night, it was a sudden red light that ﬂashed in my face, when I saw Chris throw down his coat on the ground. It was not that he had taken it off, so much as the action, and expression and for whatever reason, I knew he was already over that edge, and well, it was now my job to hold on for both of us. I had no speech. I just said what came into my head. I thanked other editors and our contributors and authors, as they are the ones that do inspire much of my fan writing, especially the fan writing about science ﬁction. So ﬁrst off a big thank you to Chris. You see, I am grateful for being involved in Drink Tank, he could have made me an occasional guest editor, or some such, but he didn’t, and I know he feels I have returned that with efforts and commitment and ideas, but even so, he let me play with his toy. Bill Burns, for always getting Drink Tank up online. To Claire for encouraging and helping my writing and giving out when she should and sharing coffee and cider when she should. Mark Plummer for equally being a writer that inspires, Mike, Guy and Steve, cause, well you keep up the standard, and to John, John, Ian, Kat, Doug, Christina, Espana, Jean, Tom, Nick, Rob and all the others who drop in via my post box.You are great. And all the awesome contributors, yep, we ask a lot of you, of a lot, professionals who should be earning a wage, not writing or drawing for free, and people who just go out of their way to add to the fanzine. Readers, Voters and Fans, you are all awesome and brilliant to us, but keep on reading and just send us your opinion, let us know what you think. Even if it’s rubbish and we disagree, we want to know. I am really very grateful. Cheers James
It’s pretty obvious that I love Noir and that the detective story. There’s no kind of story that so beautifully combines the world we live in with the world in which I want to love. There’s nothing that I covet more than simple adventure and detective stories proved an adventure with a hyper-realist sort of setting that I ﬁnd irresistable. Among the best things about Noir are the scripts. Double Indemnity, The Maltese Falcon, Key Largo, and my all-time favorite, The Big Sleep. William Faulkner had a hand in many of the best scripts of the genre, and actors such as Humphrey Bogard, Alan Ladd and Barbara Stanwyck all made the words gleam like a knife sticking out a stoolie’s back. J. Daniel Sawyer’s novel And Then She Was Gone is a solid piece of plot that’s got the voice of those classic Noirs. This is the story of Clarke Lantham, a PI who used to be a Police Dective. The guy’s obviously cut from the same cloth as Marlowe or Hammer, but he’s got the twenty-ﬁrst century vibe to him. His latest client has sent him to ﬁnd her daughter, a teen who lives on the wrong side of just about everything. His search takes him around the Bay Area and into some awesome settings. It may be a bit much, not Woody Allen 1960s too much, but maybe Woody Allen 2005 bit much. A tad over-the-top, and I enjoyed it. It’s a chase, in a way, and many of the areas in which we travel feel the sort of post-suburban angst that Noir has been using over the last two decades. The Bay Area’s quirks are quite apparent and they play well against the characters, most of whom seem either vividly nuts or kinda scummy. In a couple of cases, the scummy is some of that classic dirtbag scummy you read about in works by Eastlake and McDonald. The seedier side of the Bay Area where Lantham searches provides the best of the piece. There’s a great segment in a club in The City that allows Sawyer’s prose to sparkle. If I have one complaint, it’s the treatment of hte City of Danville. It’s a great town and it becomes a sort of gag for Sawyer. I mean seriouly, it’s a great town! Why so harsh? The role of the Bay Area in the story is an interesting one and Sawyer plays with teh geography in a way that almost makes it like a gae of RISK played by the characters against the reader. There are times when the dialogue lost me a bit, I had trouble keeping characters speaking straight. That wasn’t a huge trouble throughout, but it popped up a few times as the novel went along. There are a few constructions that I stumbled over, but that might just be a part of the voice of Lantham and the adherence to the traditional vocabulkary of the PI. Still, the sense of place comes through so beautifully that I didn’t mind a few struggles to get to the marrow. There are also a few typography problems here and there. These things happen, and only one of them really caused me to fumble along as I was reading. The plot is a bit over-the-top, what with the constant shark-like movement of our ‘hero’ and the series of beatings he takes along the way, and at times it seems that there is less-thannecessary spotting of the quarry followed by more-than-obvious clues dropped in our faces, but these all balance out to keep you guessing at exactly what and where things are going. The voice of Clarke Lantham is the voice of those Faulkner scripts and Stanwyck reparte. It’s gloriously snappy and full of the kind of setting-setting wordplay that you expect from an author who obviously knows his Hammett, Spilane and Eastlake. It’s like one of those Hard Case Crime novels that are on the modern lighter side, like the Quarry Novels by Max Allen Collins, but with a stronger sense of the traditional PI tale. I understand that this is a part of a series and I’m ready to dive in the rest of them!
And Then She Was Gone by J. Daniel Sawyer Reviewed by Christopher J Garcia
This is an article on the fannish abuse of egoboo. The egoboo in question was the arrival of a t-shirt from a grateful IguanaCon Committee that sported a retouched reproduction of a certain logo, by a certain Toronto artist for whom I have an understandable fondness. I’d never done an illustrated t-shirt before. I’d never had a reason to. No art I had seen other people wear had any particular relevance to whatever peculiar sort of person I am. Also, being an artist myself, it would have been more appropriate for me to advertise my own work rather than someone else’s. But, the Iggy t-shirt was one of those if-I-hadthe-time projects that I never actually had the time for – until then. When the shirt came – a lumpy, ﬂoppy package – it was an excuse to never have to ﬁnd the time! The art was not quite as it had looked in the Progress Reports. In fact, a local artist had touched it up for black-andwhite reproduction. The rich grey tones and shadings had been reduced to crude stippling. Dark blue ink on grey, enlargement of the art and the giant potato that was apparently used to do the printing also added nothing to the appearance of the art. I felt rather like someone else’s twiltone fanzine once I tried it on. In any case, I was suffused with a warm glow of childlike happiness. Being a fan yourself, you probably know perfectly well why, but what follows takes no chance of leaving anything to the imagination. The ﬁrst thing I thought of doing, after pulling the shirt over my head, was to call on a reclusive fringe fan who lives down the hall from me. _______ _ (for Thomas, alas) _____. We had been fencing with each other for years, in a half-joking, half-serious way. I’d joke; he’d take me seriously. Or he’s be serious and I’d think he was joking. Some odd situations arose, hardly the oddest of which resulted in a threatened lawsuit involving Harlan Ellison that prohibited me forever from printing my neighbor’s name. Hence _______ _ (for Thomas) _____. Tchok, tchok, tchok, I drum on his door. “Is ____ there, Mrs. _____?” (_______ still lived with his mother. I didn’t feel superior about that, because I did too.) “_______!” she calls up the stairs, then adds, “He’ll be down in a second, Wayne.” (“Wayne?” Mothers are so awkward to deal with! Even my own had come around quicker.) After a moment, down comes _______, arrayed in the regal majesty of bathrobe and ﬂip-ﬂops. “How do you like it?” I ask, and throw out my chest to smooth imaginary wrinkles. “I don’t.” Then His Majesty ascends the royal staircase back to his throne. It was just the encouragement I was looking for. The action shifted to an informal Chips & Coffee meeting a few days later, where I appeared again attired in IguanaCon grey and blue. Here there were friends, so the effect was somewhat muted. The shirt annoyed noone, but at least it attracted attention. I divulged to the circle of rapt Chips & Coffeers I would next take my t-shirt to an OSFiC meeting. Certain uppity con fans would notice, and I would revel as it corroded their inner souls with jealousy. The next logical step would be for me to attend one of the local, marginally fannish cons like... oh, say Anonycon or Maplecon, and damage more egos there. In fact, there was no end to the number of fringe and fakefans I could practice my fansmanship on, both gratifying my own ego and extracting no little unsubtle revenge at the same time. Did I say “no end?” Alas, all good things come to an end. There is one place I must never wear my IguanaCon t-shirt, and that’s at IguanaCon itself! Somebody might take me for one of the Committee if I were to wear anything ofﬁcial-looking. That would never do. I might be expected to earn my right to impress people with my importance, and that way I would be no farther ahead than if I were actukally were important. – Taral Wayne
52 Weeks to Science Fiction Film Literacy - 2001: A Space Odyssey
I have a thing for ﬁlms that explore.There aren’t that many of them, really.There are a lot of ﬁlms that take a look at a topic and dig into it, there are ﬁlms that try to uncover secrets or break new ground, but there are few that actually explore, that try and discover something new. 2001 is a ﬁlm that explores. It explores the reaction of man to change and the ways in which new intelligences can only deal in death and pain. It’s an incredible piece of cinema, and perhaps there is no ﬁlm pre-Star Wars that took the art of ﬁlmmaking and so brilliantly applied it to a SciFi mode. Let’s start with Kubrick. I talked a lot about him with Strangelove, and here he’s riding a wave of ﬁlms at that point that are among the greatest movies of all-time. His previous ﬁlm was Strangelove and he spent ﬁve years working on. He co-wrote the script with Arthur C. Clarke based on his story The Sentinel.This was Kubrick being uber-Kubrick, involved in many aspects where you’d rarely see a director working. He was deeply involved with the cinematography and effects, as well as with editing and even sound design. This was a project where Kubrick was the truest form of Auteur. That said, this was a movie that told a story that was very complex, layered, and more than a little bit muddled. The story is about a monolith. That’s something of a simpliﬁcation, but it’s pretty much the case. The Monolith is the reason for the evolution of human consciousness, it seems. We’re ﬁrst shown this when a Monkey-man-type creature gains the ability to use tools after touching the monolith. We then see it again when a lunar team has uncovered it and sends a team. The end brings it back. That’s for later. The ﬁrst hour of the ﬁlm, after we go through the Monkey portion, is almost like Kubrick showing us what the future could and should be. It’s not a ﬂashy future and we’re not shown a big science-y world, but instead are taken to a Space Station with a Hilton and a Howard Johnsons. There’s a lot of talk, some gossiping, and a lot of sitting around. In fact, we see a transport spaceship that is empty save for our doctor, who is traveling and asleep on the trip with the video screen in the seatback.That’s an interesting point, Kubrick and co. foresaw the modern plane seat! The fact that there’s one guy and a stewardess is a sign that this is not an extraordinary ﬂight. It’s just a regular commuter ﬂight that’s not very full. Kubrick brings us to the world of ordinary space ﬂight, and shows us simple things like video calls and neat kinds of chairs. It’s all very interesting and the vision of the Not-Too-Distant Future is enticing. Where things get really interesting is where we see the ship Discovery on the way to Jupiter to ﬁgure out wheat happened to the team that encountered the Monolith. Here, we are introduced to Dave, our hero, in a way, and HAL, the computer that is so famous now.
HAL is probably the most important computer in the history of ﬁlm. While there are been madder computers (the one from Demon Seed comes to mind) and fancier (EMORAC from Desk Set) there are none that are more human or more fully realized. HAL as a character has inspired entire books on its own. There are so many things that HAL represents. The ﬁrst thing is that HAL malfunctions and feels that he has to take charge of the situation after that happens. He doesn’t want to be shut down (and in 2010, the sequel, he asks “Will I dream?” when they tell him that they’re unplugging him) so he kills the three scientists who are in hibernation. The real ending as far as a lot of viewers see it is when Dave goes on a walk-about and re-enters to unplug HAL. It’s a touching scene when Dave undoes HAL’s memory and HAL ﬁrst pleads for Dave not to do it and then the singing of Daisy is positively heart-breaking. And Daisy is an important thing. Arthur C. Clarke was fully aware of the work of people like Marvin Minsky and Max Matthews. Matthews was an important ﬁgure in computer history. Max, along with Lajareen Hiller, was the Father of Computer Music. Matthews ﬁgured out a way to sample his violin playing into the computer and synthesize the sounds and replay them. He was also involved in voice synthesis. There is a record called He Saw The Cat which documents the work that Matthews and folks were doing at Bell Labs. Matthews recorded Daisy (or Daisy Belle or Bicycle Built-For-Two) in 1958 or so, and the most famous version of it was recorded in 1960, which Clarke was certainly aware of. Kubrick visited Bell Labs in the lead-up to the production of 2001, though it’s thought that it was a Clarke addition to use Daisy in that signiﬁcant scene. After that, it gets pretty darn triply.This is called the Starchild Sequence and is one of the most impressive in Science Fiction ﬁlm of the period. It’s a bit ponderous, and eventually we see Dave become the StarChild, which is the next step in the evolution of mankind’s intellect. In a way, it could be seen that HAL is the next step after us, and then the StarChild is the step after that step. Makes sense.That’s the theme that I pick up on hardest - continuity trumped by explosion.Those monkey-men would have kept hoppin’ around, living in annoyed harmony with the tapir if the Monolith hadn’t showed up and given them the ability to use tools.Man would have kept relying on thinking machines like HAL to do their thinking if the StarChild had not appeared. Of course, we’re not sure what the StarChild means, really, we don’t see that, but we understand that this is a hinge, a turning point. That’s the key to the entire meaning of the ﬁlm. Or at least the last part. You see, here’s my thought: it’s not one movie. It’s three movies. The ﬁrst movie is everything that happens up until we get to the ﬁrst space ﬂight. It’s the story of the ﬁrst major evolutionary ﬂash that raises man up from simply being a scavenger and gatherer to being a tool-user and hunter. It’s a very short ﬁlm, and one that ends with a match cut that turns a bone into a shuttle. It’s a brilliant cut, and it shows something that I believe is far more impressive. It wasn’t a slow dissolve, it was a snap-cut. It wasn’t a Monkey-man ﬁnding a bone and using it once, then going away and trying again later, it was a sudden evolutionary leap. He hit some bones, then hit a tapir then hit another Monkey-Man. It was a ﬂash, just like the cut between the ﬁrst and second movies. The second movie starts on that ship that was born from bone. The mission to the Moon, the exploration and then the ﬁlm of the Jupiter mission and HAL’s malfunction. This is a great ﬁlm, and even with nothing else around, it’s still great. It’s poetic, it’s intelligent, it’s brutal and it’s quiet. There’s music, talking, sounds, but so much of it is sound design and mise-en-
scene. There’s so much space, things are so sparse, and everything is surrounded by empty space. It’s one of the reasons why I think that 2001 might be the most honest of all science ﬁction ﬁlms. It gets so much right. There’s not a ton of unnecessary sound. That is most visible in the middle movie. The ﬁnal ﬁlm is what happens when Dave meets Monolith. It’s philosophical to the extreme, almost impenetrable to those who haven’t truly studied it. It’s impressive, innovative ﬁlmmaking for the 1960s, with effects that were incredible for the time. There is so much to talk about. The screens we see throughout the ﬁlm are all rear-projection, ﬁlm being projected onto frosted glass. It’s so simple, and it makes everything look so awesome. Some of it might have been television, but I’m not convinced. The unusual camerawork, including famous tracking shots like the jogging around the ring that is the Discovery, serves to disquiet the viewer. The shots, with cameras tilted at different angles to give the illusion of different gravity situations. It works so very well. The weird thing is that ﬁlm should not work at all. There is a different structure that you have to sort of scratch at the ﬁlm to ﬁnd. It’s not a single ﬁlm, like I said, and that shouldn’t work in a ﬁlm which is serving as an exploration of theory more than a traditional narrative. But the work is so strong that it over-powers structure and story and even meaning and draws you in. 2001 is a ﬁlm that brings you closer with the incredible production values. Kubrick might be the least sense of wonder director I can think of, yet this is a ﬁlm that is fueled by sense of wonder. Why else would you leave so much fabric on the table? This is a ﬁlm that allows you to suck it all in by giving you just enough at a time and not overwhelming you. That is powerful ﬁlmmaking! There is so much more that I could talk about, but if there is one where I hope y’all’ll go out watch it and then debate my take on the ﬁlm, this is the one!
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