By Mike Glyer: When the crowds watching the roundup in Times Square saw the last tag scroll off the news ticker (“…Lis Carey…”) there was complete silence for a moment.
Then an ancillary in the throng of unnervingly ambiguously gendered people lifted her voice and led everyone in singing, “May auld acquaintance be forgot….” People linked arms and swayed. Tears ran down their faces.
Mike watched Google Analytics until the Real-Time overview showed the first person had clicked on the roundup. After that she tabbed the edit page and checked the proper names again. She knew Jon F. Zeigler didn’t like seeing her name misspelled, and Laura could never understand why Mike always messed up “Tegan” yet seemed to have no problem with Gjovaag.
When that was done Mike stepped aside to let the carpenters through. Under the watchful eyes of a Smithsonian Institute curator they chopped the File 770 banner art free of its moorings at the top of the page. It fluttered into the arms of JJ and Kurt Busiek who rolled it up and hermetically sealed it in a case for shipment to Washington D.C., where it would be stored beside the Ark of the Covenant.
The band began to play. Commenters of every nation paraded into the stadium behind their national flags, smiling and waving. Simon Bisson, who had expected to carry the Isle of Jersey flag by herself, was surprised that some Alabama fans were eager to help.
When they passed the reviewing stand, Mike reached into a display case and gave Kyra and Alexandra Erin each a Hugo Award. Mike said how proud she was of the way they upheld the highest traditions of fannish humor. They hesitated until Mike reminded them she could easily spare a couple — she still had 48 more.
Meanwhile, Meredith served the cake Rachel Swirsky’s agent had sent to thank everyone in social media for giving “If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love” the third-highest Q-score after Shakespeare and the Bible, and gaining her client a new $3.4M contract for her next short story.
Soon Lee asked Peace Is My Middle Name for an autograph. Taking back the signed album she was pleasantly surprised to learn Peace’s first name was Love and her last name was Hope.
Simon Bucher-Jones won the swimsuit competition. Kary English was voted Miss Congeniality.
As Brian Z and Tuomas Vainio sat on the slopes of Mount Doom watching for eagles, Tuomas asked, “I wonder if we shall ever be put into songs or tales?” Brian promised they would, “Because I intend to write them.”
The Imperial Star Destroyer aligned with the airlock. The seals blew and the door flew off in a cloud of white smoke. All the trolls whose first comments had never made it out of moderation were loaded aboard lifeboats and fired toward the surface of Tatooine.
Then Mike woke up. She wasn’t back in Kansas. It hadn’t been a dream.
[Hat tip to Ian Frazier’s “The Last Segment.”]