Harry Warner Jr.’s Best Fan Writer Hugo from 1972 is part of a fanhistoric lot on the auction block through June 28. The high bid at this writing is $700.
Part of Warner’s collection acquired by the late Jerry Weist, the Hugo is in an archive lot with a –
printed bound working draft proof and dust jacket mock-up (folded over a reprint copy of All Our Yesterdays hardcover) for A Wealth of Fable: An Informal History of Science-Fiction Fandom in the 1950, [and] the second edition of All Our Yesterdays in VG condition….
The Heritage Auction website misidentifies it as a 1971 Hugo. Harry only won the Best Fan Writer Hugo in 1969 and 1972, and it’s clear from the nameplate this award was given at L.A.Con (1972).
The website’s large image of the Hugo also shows one fin of the rocket and the nameplate are spattered with brown discoloration. That might clean up. On the other hand, the pits on the chrome rocket are quite possibly original – complaints from winners in the old days suggest that was a chronic manufacturing problem before Peter Weston took over making them.
Edd Vick comments, “I feel so conflicted. On one hand I’d hate to see it consigned to the dustbin, but on the other I’d certainly rather it wound up where it will be appreciated. I hope it winds up in the collection of a trufan.”
I expect he speaks for most fans on this subject.
[Thanks to Michael Walsh, Edd Vick and Andrew Porter for the story.]
By Edd Vick: I just got back to Seattle from a three-day visit to Larry McMurtry’s bookstore, Booked Up, in Archer City, Texas, with Tom Whitmore and (the other) Karen Anderson. We had a really fine time and I found a lot of books, including volumes by John Kendrick Bangs, August Derleth, and Walter Machen. Luckily, they ship. Tom found a folio of prints signed by its curator, his grandmother!
Booked Up fills four storefronts scattered around the central square of Archer City, which Google tells me has a population of 1,791. One store is entirely filled with foreign books and their translations, and pre-1925 books. Every night we would drive to Wichita Falls, a half-hour away, to eat.
I felt like it would be vital to visit the store soon, since there had been rumblings about it closing up for years. McMurtry is getting up there in years, and the bookstore biz isn’t what it used to be. When I saw on their minimalist website that they were having a 25% off sale, I figured the sooner the better. Our trip could not have been more timely. The word is just now getting out, and I think the signs went up the day we got there: they will be auctioning off three-fourths of their books in early August. They’ll give up three of the store locations and concentrate what remains of their stock in the largest building.
We also shopped at the second-best used bookstore in Texas, Recycled Books in Denton. Soon, they’ll be in first place.