Fagan Wins Gaughan Award

Kirbi Fagan was presented with The Jack Gaughan Award for Best Emerging Artist during the NESFA Awards ceremony at Boskone on February 19.

The Gaughan Award “honors the memory of Jack Gaughan, a long-time friend of fandom and one of the finest SF artists of the 20th century.” The winner is selected by a three-person jury appointed by the President of the New England Science Fiction Association (NESFA).

A gallery of her art can be viewed here.

Skylark Award Goes To Walton

SF/fantasy author Jo Walton was presented with the E.E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction (the Skylark) during the NESFA Awards ceremony at Boskone on February 19.

The award is given annually by vote of the Regular members of the New England Science Fiction Association to a person, who “has contributed significantly to science fiction, both through work in the field and by exemplifying the personal qualities which made the late ‘Doc’ Smith well-loved by those who knew him.”

The Boskone Blog outlined Walton’s career for a recent interview —

Jo Walton has published thirteen novels, three poetry collections and an essay collection. She won the John W. Campbell Award in 2002, the World Fantasy Award for Tooth and Claw in 2004, the Hugo and Nebula awards for Among Others in 2012, the Tiptree Award for My Real Children and the Locus Non Fiction award for What Makes This Book So Great in 2014. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal. She reads a lot, enjoys travel, talking about books, and eating great food. She plans to live to be ninety-nine and write a book every year.

 

Arnold Receives Gaughan Award

First Kill by Tommy Arnold.

Tommy Arnold was presented the Jack Gaughan Award for Best New Artist at Boskone 53.

The New England Science Fiction Association gives the award annually to an artist who has become a professional within the past five years. The recipient is chosen by a panel of judges.

More examples of the winner’s artwork can be seen at his website.

Doug Hoylman (1943-2015)

Doug Hoylman.

Doug Hoylman.

Doug Hoylman’s six championships in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament are the exclusive focus of his Washington Post obituary, however, the longtime sf fan, who died on November 2, once was an active fanzine editor.

He grew up in the small town of Kalispell, Montana. He earned a B.A. in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1964, and went on to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Arizona in 1969.

God comics HoylmanHoylman would have been a freshman at M.I.T. when he and Al Kuhfeld, another M.I.T. student, published God Comics #3: The World’s Most Blasphemous Comic Fanzine, with contents that included a Justice League parody called the “God Squad” featuring Thor, Mercury, Mary, Poseidon and Ball. The cover shows Batman removing his mask to reveal Wonder Woman.

Later, while editing the M.I.T. Science Fiction Society’s Twilight Zine, Hoylman advocated a viewpoint that so sharply contrasted with his contemporaries’ he is quoted in Peter Justin Kizilos-Clift’s 2009 dissertation “Humanizing the Cold War Campus: The Battle for Hearts and Minds at MIT, 1945-1965” –

While most science fiction readers were still men, more women were becoming readers, writers, and fans, and were being welcomed as equal participants into the MIT Science Fiction Society and the vast universe of science fiction. “Coeds are welcome in the society,” wrote Twilight Zine editor Doug Hoylman in November 1962, “in fact we have a disproportionate number of them. Our vicepresident and our treasurer are coeds. The views held by V—D— [Voodoo, the notoriously anti-feminist MIT humor magazine] and other forces of evil regarding Tech Coeds are not subscribed to by the Society.”

The first sf convention Hoylman attended was Pacificon II, the 1964 Worldcon in San Francisco.

He moved to the Washington area about 1970 and worked at Geico Insurance until the 1990s.

I’m missing some connecting history, but he was involved with NESFA closely enough to have been designated part of the club’s faux Fanzine Review Board in 1972, whose responsibilities were recorded in his apazine —

The Fanzine Control Act of 1971 is a little-known part of the Phase 2 economic program designed to fight fanzine inflation. Fanzines are important to the economy, particularly as regards the manufacturers of duplicating equipment and the United States Postal Service, and it is in the public interest to see that fanzines do not become so inflated that their publishers are unable to maintain them (the recent collapse of Science Fiction Review is a case in point).

The job of the Fanzine Review Board is to see to it that the President’s guidelines are enforced (these include a maximum permissible increase in number of pages of 5.5% per annum; any editor going from mimeograph to offset must have FRB approval).

The Board consists of five fans, five pros, and five large contributors to the Republican Party….

Hoylman also wrote a Holmes pastiche for the NESFA genzine Proper Boskonian, “Moriarty and the Binomial Theorem.”

When Minneapa was founded in the early 1970s he became a member, and was in the famous 1974 Minneapa group photo (as was Al Kuhfeld).

Wheile living in the DC area, he participated in the Washington Science Fiction Association. Google shows he was an active host of area gaming groups in his last years.

His dominance in crossword tournaments began with his 1988 championship, followed by others in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997 and 2000. He also had three second-place finishes and three third-place finishes.

I hope File 770 readers who knew Doug Hoylman will add their memories about him in comments.

Moshe Feder Wins Skylark

2015 Skylark Award

2015 Skylark Award. Photo by Moshe Feder.

Congratulations to Tor editor Moshe Feder who was presented the 2015 Skylark Award tonight at Boskone. The Skylark is given annually by the New England Science Fiction Association to a person who, in the opinion of the membership, “has contributed significantly to science fiction, both through work in the field and by exemplifying the personal qualities which made the late ‘Doc’ Smith well-loved by those who knew him.”

Although Boston has been under stormclouds and buried in snow this weekend, once the weather clears Moshe is well advised to  heed Jane Yolen’s traditional warning about displaying the award…

Ways to Keep Your Club Vibrant, Tip #207

The fan who sent me the link hoped I’d headline the story — “NESFA’s Hosting a Gaming Con, Possible Sign of Impending Apocalypse.”

But as much fun as it is to tease NESFAns, I know from their clubzine, Instant Message, the venerable New England Science Fiction Association has been holding game days for awhile. Deciding to host the New England Gaming Convention is growing an interest they already have.

The con runs September 22 from Noon til Midnight at a VFW in Somerville, MA, with members playing board games, card games, tabletop games, RPGs, and dice games.

“Great tournaments, awesome prizes, and epic freebies” are promised. Memberships are $20. Full details on the web page.

[Thanks to Anonymous for the story.]

Pam Fremon, F.N. Passes Away

Pam Fremon died November 7 of a heart attack reports Deb Geisler. Fremon, a long-time NESFA member, lived in Waltham, MA. She chaired the 2002 and 2006 Boskones, served several terms as Clerk of the NESFA, and was selected a Fellow of NESFA in 1990.

“She brought together MCFI and Bill Neville who did all our Lens-Family art, and was a major force in the group that did the starry vests that you showed in a recent item,” Chip Hitchcock recalls, adding this praise: “She was invariably calm when people around her got more and more tightly wound.”

“At Noreascon Four, [Pam] was the goddess of signs, pumping out many, many signs for the convention while not-quite chained to the large-format printer we had bought for the task,” said Deb, pointing to the photo below.

I remember the deftly humorous meeting reports she wrote when Clerk of the NESFA – some bits so funny I had to share them in File 770. Here are two examples: each begins with my couple of lines of introduction, followed by Pam’s quotes.

From 2000:

Hardly anyone is embarrassed to be seen entering a NESFA meeting anymore, but there seems a good reason not to attract attention on the way out. Clerk Pam Fremon says at the end of the January 23 meeting:

     “We stole away into the night, mindful of the wolves.

     “Through the years, many creatures have, of course, chased NESFAns on the way to Other Meetings — such a common occurrence that it has never seen mention in Instant Message….until now.

     “Wolves are fairly typical predators for winter meetings, but going a little further north (say, Andover, MA), polar bears are not uncommon, though they don’t usually appear until January (in December they’re too busy with Coca-Cola commercials.) In most of the rest of the year the chasers vary: moose, snakes, coyotes, pigeons. In one notably hot day when even cars were so hot that they could manage just 15 mph, members were chased by turtles.”

From 2003:

Instant Message 711 (and what issue could have a luckier number than that?) Clerk Pam Fremon reported the menu of NESFA’s November 24 Other Meeting:

     “Deb [Geisler] and Mike [Benveniste] fed us to the gills with an enormous tray of lasagna (containing 5 lbs. of meat and 2 lbs. of mushrooms). It was a free-range lasagna that had been humanely slaughtered and carried no trace of fur, feathers, nor scales. Deb acknowledged that this year she hadn’t also made an emergency back-up lasagna, figuring that this one would be enough. As she said, people had brought enough sweets for 27 courses of desserts. At the end of the meal there was only one helping of lasagna, and Dave Grubbs (after some coaxing) valiantly threw himself onto it.”

Pam Fremon with the large-format printer at Noreascon 4.

Facelift for NESFA Clubhouse?

The New England Science Fiction Association has voted to spend over $20,000 to cover the front of its clubhouse with James Hardie sheeting. The minutes of the August 5 meeting frankly state —

People question the value of this project. However, our front is uninviting; it looks abandoned.

Google Maps’ snapshot of the property doesn’t show much, but if the Clerk of the NESFA says it’s so, who’s going to argue?

Strange to think I’ve never visited there. I must add put that on my bucket list.

NESFA Clubhouse, Movie Star?

The NESFA clubhouse is in the running to become a location for Ben Affleck’s next movie, The Town, announced Tim Szczesuil at the June 7 meeting. A location manager for GK Films inquired about the possibility of renting the property, and took photos of the clubhouse that the producers will use to make their selection.

Wnd what kind of movie will this be? “Calling all thugs with a Boston accent” was the lead in one website’s announcement of a local casting call. The Town is an adaptation of Chuck Hogan’s novel Prince of Thieves, and as Affleck explained in a recent interview:

It’s based on a true fact that there is this neighborhood in Boston called Charlestown where there are more armed robbers per capita than anywhere else in the world.

So now you see what comes from allowing too many hucksters to loiter on NESFA’s premises.

Dues and Don’ts

The first reason more clubs don’t own their own clubhouses is that they can’t come up with the price of the building. So they never confront the second reason, which is that it costs a lot to maintain a place to meet.  Membership dues, alone, don’t come close to covering what the NESFA and LASFS require to keep their clubhouses operating year after year.

The New England Science Fiction Association analyzed its finances in Instant Message #819, revealing that it had taken around $100,000 to deal with the clubhouse oil tank line. The club had the accumulated resources to do this. On the other hand, the report concludes, “The NESFA Press pays the bills. The non-Press activities of the club show a $30K annual deficit.”

The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society’s activities are on a comparatively modest financial footing (their Form 990s on Guidestar show LASFS’ revenue is about one-quarter of NESFA’s), so it still hurt when they had to approve $5,000 for new asphalt on the driveway last year.

LASFS does not run its annual financial reports in the club’s newzine, but I know from my years on the Board of Directors that LASFS depends on the Loscon surplus in the same way that NESFA depends on its book publishing surplus.