Worldcon Site Selection Vote Count in 1966

Site selection at Tricon. Photo taken by and (c) Andrew Porter.

Site selection at Tricon. Photo taken by and (c) Andrew Porter.

‘Tis the season to count ballots, inspiring Andrew Porter to send along a photo of site selection votes being counted on stage at Tricon, the 1966 Worldcon.

Fans had to choose between four competitive bids seeking to host the 1967 Worldcon. New York won, defeating rivals from Boston, Baltimore, Syracuse (and a comic relief bid for Highmore, SD).

The New York committee were Fanoclasts — Ted White, rich brown, Mike McInerney, Dave Van Arnam, and Arnie Katz.

The Syracuse bid was co-chaired by Jay K. Klein and Dave Kyle. Ruth Kyle was Secretary, George Heap was Treasurer and the rest of the committee included James Ashe, Ann Ashe, and Jack Smith.

Two of the losing bids had invited Fred Pohl as their Guest of Honor — he would finally get the nod in 1972 (L.A.Con).

Jef Murray (1960-2015)

Boromir Fallen by Jef Murray

Boromir Fallen by Jef Murray

Artist Jef Murray, known for his illustrations of works by Tolkien and Lewis, died unexpectedly August 3 at the age of 55. Carl Hostetter announced his passing on The Mythopoeic Society’s Facebook page. He is survived by his wife Lorraine.

Murray loved the writings of G. K. Chesterton used his work to explore the connection between myth/fairy tales and Christian thought.

He was Artist-in-Residence for the St. Austin Review (StAR). His writings appeared Amon Hen, Mallorn, Silver Leaves, the St. Austin Review (StAR), the Georgia Bulletin, and Integrated Catholic Life. Coincidentally, today, August 4, his short story “Beginnings” posted to The Integrated Catholic Life —

“And that is how the people of Orbaratus destroyed themselves.”

Charles sat looking at the old man across the table. Thunder rumbled outside the diamond-paned windows of Charles’ Oxford flat, and the deep purple light of the approaching storm contrasted eerily with the flickers of gold and red from the fireplace and the lighted candles on the mantel. Upon the table, between the two friends, sat an ancient book, bound in black leather, that Azarias had brought with him. It was a medieval collection of spells, he had told Charles….

Murray was nominated for the Imperishable Flame award in 2006.

Pixel Scroll 8/4 The Dead Wallaby of Clown Town

Money, money, money – we cover the spectrum from scarcity to infinite wealth in today’s Scroll.

(1) David Pascoe (“Trekking With The Green-Eyed Monster” on According To Hoyt) knows something that nobody else knows. ‘Cause he made it up:

It occurs, what with the Hugo voting just finished, and the results to be announced in a couple of week, that most of the Puppy Kickers are suffering from an excess of envy. I mean, think about it: the prospect of Jim Butcher (or Kevin Anderson, etc.) receiving a shiny, rocket-shaped object is so painful to them that they’re willing to ruin the award’s (remaining shreds of) credibility to prevent it. It’s accepted wisdom at this point that a move to limit voting to attending memberships will be advanced at the WSFS business meeting at Sasquan. While there’s a good deal of speculation over whether such a motion will even get approved (what then, would supporting members get for their hard earned filthy lucre? How could WorldCon possibly garner any kind of diverse, international support by shutting out anybody who can’t afford to fly across an ocean to come to the majority of conventions?), that it’s not reduced to backroom rumor mills is a sign of how strong the desire is to keep out the undesirable types.

Use this link to keep track of new business actually submitted to Sasquan.

(2) Bob Eggleton has some more anecdotes and critiques about Worldcon art shows, and in the last paragraph alludes to professional shows that are competing effectively for artists’ attention, which may be the most important influence on the fate of the Worldcon art show.

Illuxcon had risen in 2008 and, it started being for many pro artists the model for such a quality artshow. Security, professional hangings, a sense of overall quality to the show and one where artists, art fans and art collectors could come and be treated all well. No politics or stupidity or getting caught in some “fan” feud or political battle. Everyone gets on. Everyone does fairly well. Spectrum Live also fills a similar need. So maybe there is hope, but it requires a new and consistent sustainable model for such shows.

(3) Ahrvid Engholm’s post about Girl With The Dragon Tattoo author Stieg Larsson at Europa SF reminds readers about Larsson’s beginnings as a fanzine fan, and draws attention to a successor’s work on a new Millennium series novel that is coming out late this month.

An avid science fiction reader from an early age, he became active in Swedish science fiction fandom around 1971; co-edited, together with Rune Forsgren his first fanzine, Sfären, in 1972; and attended his first science fiction convention, SF•72, in Stockholm. Through the 1970s, Larsson published around 30 additional fanzine issues; after his move to Stockholm in 1977, he became active in the Scandinavian SF Society where he was a board member in 1978 and 1979, and chairman in 1980. In his first fanzines, 1972–74, he published a handful of early short stories, while submitting others to other semi-professional or amateur magazines. He was co-editor or editor of several science fiction fanzines, including Sfären and FIJAGH!; in 1978–79, he was president of the largest Swedish science-fiction fan club, Skandinavisk Förening för Science Fiction (SFSF).

The Swedish morning paper Dagens Nyheter August the 2nd published an “exclusive diary” by David Lagercrantz, covering his work with writing the new Millennium novel.

(4) Responding to a report that “Most of the [Hugo] votes were cast in the final week before the deadline, over 3,000,” Vox Day suggests —

Something to consider: on July 24th, I posted my complete Hugo recommendations. I am NOT saying those are all Puppy votes, only that there may be a connection.

(5) J. A. Micheline explains “Why I’m Boycotting Marvel Comics” at Comics Alliance.

First, came your quiet decision to hand the new Blade book over to two white creators. To be clear, I have no reason to think either creator will do a bad job on this book, but I was disappointed that one of Marvel’s most prominent black heroes would be handed to white people yet again.

I feel like I have to say this five or six times. Whenever this comes up, I get a tsunami of white people wondering what my problem is and suggesting I’m racist for saying white people can’t write about people of color. It’s not that white people can’t; it’s not even that they shouldn’t (except in some circumstances that I have written about almost ad nauseam recently) — it’s that white people are the ones who, historically and systemically, are consistently offered the opportunity. And in 2015, perhaps the right thing to do is to let people of color have a turn.

But that wasn’t the dealbreaker for Micheline, it was the string of gaffes that followed, beginning with —

The moment you and I really started having a problem, Marvel, was when your editor-in-chief all but laughed off the numerous critiques of the variants. Axel Alonso’s interview with CBR was unspeakably condescending and horrendously dismissive. From using scare quotes to frame the discussion to referring, to outcry from David Brothers and other readers/critics as a “small but very loud contingent,” to — and this is the part that I pretty much can’t forgive — indicating that we had suddenly learned the phrase ‘cultural appropriation’ and were eager to use it in an essay.

(6) Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam will appear at Live Talks Los Angeles on October 19, 2015 at the Alex Theatre. It’s the launch event for Gilliam’s memoir.

Gilliamesque-hc-s-227x300In Gilliamesque, his “pre-posthumous memoir,” he offers an intimate glimpse into his world in this fascinating book illustrated with hand-drawn sketches, notes, and memorabilia from his personal archive.

From his no-frills childhood in the icy wastes of Minnesota, to some of the hottest water Hollywood had to offer, via the cutting edge of 1960s and ’70s counter-culture in New York, L.A. and London, Terry Gilliam’s life has been as vivid, entertaining and unorthodox as one of his films.

(7) Larry Correia is selling a second series of challenge coins. Jack Wylder gives the details at the link.

2) Instead we’re doing it through the MHI Swag page: Important: Do NOT order yet! Wait until all 12 designs are finalized and up there so you only have to order once. Even if you’re planning on buying a complete set, hold off- we have a few other items we’ll be introducing along the way that might interest you. In fact, I’m not even going to put them on the site until all has been revealed…

This is the first of the series —


(8) At Bloomberg, Noah Smith writes about “Star Trek Economics: Life After the Dismal Science”.

I grew up watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (easily the best of the Star Trek shows). There’s one big, obvious thing missing from the future society depicted in the program. No one is doing business. There is almost no one buying and selling, except for a few species for whom commerce is a form of traditional religion. Food and luxuries are free, provided by “replicators” — machines capable of creating essentially anything from pure energy. Recreation, provided by virtual reality, is infinite in scope. Scarcity — the central defining concept of economics — seems to have been eliminated.

Is this really the future? Is it possible? Is it something we want?

Wait ‘til Smith discovers the Culture novels of Iain M. Banks…

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kurt Busiek.]

Dublin in 2019 Plans Local Events in Ireland

010 COMPThe Dublin 2019 Bid Team will run a Site Selection Event for Worldcon at a popular cafe bar in Dublin called the Twisted Pepper on August 15. They recommend the tea and Guinness – there’s cake, too.

Bid volunteers and some members of the committee will be on hand to explain how bidding and voting works, why WSFS membership is important, and to encourage people to vote and get involved as Worldcon supporters. Gareth Kavanagh, who is attending Sasquan, has agreed to transport any 2017 Site Selection voting papers with him for filing at the Worldcon.

Check out the Facebook event page for the August 15 event which runs from 13.00-18.00. The Twisted Pepper is located at 54 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1.

“Dublin 2019 is keen to spread the word about of the Bids for Worldcon in 2017 and wishes all of the teams the best of luck,” says bid Secretary Esther MacCallum-Stewart.

The Dublin 2019 Worldcon bid will also be running a SFF Books Outreach at Dublin Comicon on August 8-9, giving away over 2500 free books to attendees, spreading the word about the bid, and the various different conventions currently taking place in Ireland.

Ada Initiative Announces Shutdown

The Ada Initiative leadership has announced the organization will end its activities in mid-October.

The group, founded in 2011 to support women in open technology and culture by producing codes of conduct and anti-harassment policies, advocating for gender diversity, teaching ally skills, and hosting conferences for women in open tech/culture, has been influential among science fiction conrunners.

The lack of a successor to the founders drove the decision.

In late 2014, after nearly four years of leading the Ada Initiative, co-founder Valerie Aurora wanted to step down as Executive Director and focus solely on running training programs. Our Deputy Executive Director and co-founder Mary Gardiner did not want to succeed Valerie as the Executive Director, and thus the board, in November 2014, launched a search for a new ED. After a long and thorough search which attracted more than 130 applicants, the board hired a new ED. Unfortunately, that hire didn’t work out.

Crystal Huff was selected as the Executive Director in March but left the position at the end of May.

That brought us to a decision point. It would have been unreasonable to expect Valerie and Mary to continue with the Ada Initiative forever. We considered running a second ED search, but it had become clear to the board that the success of the Ada Initiative was very much a product of its two founders, and was a direct result of their experiences, skills, strengths and passions. We felt the likelihood of finding a new ED who could effectively fit into Valerie’s shoes was low. We also considered several other options for continuing the organization, including changing its programs, or becoming volunteer-only.

The Ada Initiative will use its remaining funds to fulfill scheduled workshops and classes, and wind down the organization properly. They intend to keep the Ada Initiative’s web content online and available. Any residual funds will be donated to an aligned non-profit.

Sasquan Sets New Hugo Voting Record

Sasquan logoSasquan received a record­ 5,950 valid ballots for the 2015 Hugo Awards, surpassing the mark of 3,587 votes set last year at LonCon 3.

Nearly all voters cast their ballots online – only 36 were mailed in.

Sasquan had the highest level of participation in the past decade with over 57% of eligible members voting.

Most of the votes were cast in the final week before the deadline, over 3,000. (Approximately 2,900 votes had been submitted as of July 24.)

The new vote total record is a 65% increase over LonCon’s record.

The Hugo Award winners will be announced Saturday, August 22 at a ceremony hosted by authors Tananarive Due and David Gerrold. The ceremony will be livestreamed free of charge at There will also be a text stream available on the Hugo Awards webpage at

Sasquan will release the final runoff vote counts and report the nominating votes through its website at the conclusion of the ceremony.

Straight to Ale Will Send You Into Orbit

Wernher von Brown Ale

Huntsville, Alabama is home to Redstone Arsenal, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center museum – and the Straight to Ale brewery which celebrates the city’s connection with space exploration in the names of its beers.

  • Monkeynaut (“Named in honor of Miss Baker and the other monkey astronauts who bravely paved the way for manned U.S. spaceflight….”)
  • Werner Von Brown Ale
  • Illudium
  • Rocket City Red
  • Redstone
  • Dark Planet
  • Laika (“Named for the heroic Russian space dog…)
  • Gorillanaut
  • Rocket Bock

MonkeynautCanFlatBIG-1030x564 COMPStraight to Ale began as a way for its hobbyist founders to evade Alabama’s law against homebrewing (really!) but the owners just broke ground in July for a new facility that will make theirs the largest brewery in the state, and produce enough beer to begin distribution throughout the southeast region.

You can download a complete list of Straight to Ale products here [PDF file].

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster for the story.]

Haffner Press Will Commemorate Brackett Centennial

The 100th birthday of Leigh Brackett arrives December 7, 2015 and publisher Stephen Haffner says that the Haffner Press plans something special to observe the occasion – though you’ll have to wait to find out what.

Behind the scenes we’ve been preparing for every contingency to celebrate the Centennial of one of America’s unique literary voices.

As of this writing, it’s too soon to share our final plans, but rest assured that we will spare no expense or care in designing a finished product that honors the First Lady of Space Opera as well as a hallowed addition to your personal library.

Meantime Haffner drew his Facebook readers’ attention to this blurb from Startling Stories, April 1952 for Brackett’s “The Last Days of Shandakor,” a story collected in the Haffner Press edition Shannach – The Last: Farewells To Mars:

Master Painter Brackett Haffner