Bradbury Estate Auction Begins Online

Charles Addams painting done in 1946.

Charles Addams painting done in 1946.

The Ray Bradbury estate auction has gone live on the Nate D. Sanders Fine Autographs & Memorabilia site – see the full catalog here. It includes paintings by Charles Addams and Hannes Bok that hung on Bradbury’s walls and items from his collections of Disney animation cels, comic strips and original illustration art. The auction continues until September 25

The minimum bid on the Charles Addams signed painting is $32,500:

”Addams Family” cartoonist and creator Charles Addams original 1946 painting personally owned by Ray Bradbury. True to Addams’ whimsical and macabre tone, painting depicts a landscape scene at twilight with a Gothic mansion overlooking a shore, and with ghoulish creatures and spirits ascending towards the house. Signed, ”Chas Adams” at upper right. Mixed media on illustration board was selected to be the cover image for Bradbury’s book, ”From the Dust Returned”, which was released in 2001. Painting measures 17” x 12” and is matted and framed to an overall size of 24” x 19”.

They’re asking at least $6,000 for the iconic Dean Ellis painting commissioned for the cover of The Illustrated Man published by Bantam Books in 1969.

Dean Ellis Illustrated Man COMP

Ray Bradbury's 2004 Retro Hugo for Fahrenheit 451.

Ray Bradbury’s 2004 Retro Hugo for Fahrenheit 451.

The Retro Hugo Award that Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 won at the 2004 Worldcon could be yours for $5,000 (if nobody bids higher). That might be a reasonable asking price — Harry Warner Jr.’s Hugo went for $2,000 at auction in 2012. The association of this Hugo with a more famous winner ought to drive up the value.

Hugo Award presented to Ray Bradbury at Noreascon 4, the 62nd World Science Fiction Convention in 2004. Trophy honors the great author as part of the Retrospective Awards in the category of Best Novel for ”Fahrenheit 451”. Iconic sci-fi trophy features a sleek figural metal sculpture of a rocket pointing skyward, mounted to a wooden base with the information plaque affixed to one of the three sides. The other two sides are studded with rings of 13 stars. To the underside, the name of the trophy’s designer, Patrick J. O’Connor is engraved. Measures 17” in total height; base sides each measure 7”.

(In contrast the minimum bid for his Saturn Award is $500 – hear, hear!)

The hundreds of items of art going under the hammer include works by Joseph Mungiani, Hannes Bok,Milton Caniff, Al Capp, Ron Cobb — and Joseph Lane’s portrait of Bradbury from the Hollywood Brown Derby.

Bradbury receives autographed "Ice Cream Suit."

Bradbury receives autographed “Ice Cream Suit.”

Plus all the minutiae accumulated throughout his life — handwritten poems and doodles, Bradbury’s annotated copy of the 1977 Academy Award script, and checks he signed in 1960. There are two unopened bottles of French wine from the same vineyard, vintage 1945 and 1946. Furniture, lamps, silverware. Even his personally-owned Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, autographed by the cast. (I ran of photo of his receiving that just a couple weeks ago.)

Medusa Harryhausen 47916_med

One final hidden gem is this Medusa Mask:

Ray Bradbury personally owned Medusa mask. Rubber cowl features a hideously delightful green textured face with pointy teeth and a wide-eyed, open-mouthed expression. Snakes emanate from the head in conformity with the myth. Possibly a movie prop from the 1981 film ”Clash of the Titans”. Measures 11” x 13” x 9”. Near fine. With a COA from the Ray Bradbury estate.

It was indeed made by Ray Harryhausen (though the catalog doesn’t say so), and once sat on top of the refrigerator in Bradbury’s Palm Springs home according to John King Tarpinian.

Marty Gear (1939 – 2013)

Marty Gear at 2009 Arisia. Photo by Daniel P. Noé.

Marty Gear at 2009 Arisia. Photo by Daniel P. Noé.

Legendary costuming fan Marty Gear, whose fanac spanned six decades, died in his sleep on July 18 at the age of 74.

Marty and his wife, Bobby (who predeceased him in 2005), won many awards in masquerade competitions. He founded The Greater Columbia Fantasy Costumers’ Guild, a forerunner of the International Costumers’ Guild, was the ICG’s first Executive Director, and was honored with the ICG’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.

One of Marty’s earliest fannish experiences, when he was 14, was traveling from Columbus, Ohio to Philadelphia for the 1953 Worldcon. Marty was unprepared for what he found there, felt overwhelmed and said he would have gone back to his hotel room to hide but for “a tall, white-haired man [who] came over and began to talk to me about what I liked to read. I had just bought a copy of Skylark of Valeron in the dealers’ room… and began enthusing about this ‘new’ writer that I had just discovered, E.E. Smith, Ph.D.” He soon discovered it was Smith himself he was telling this to, and Doc and his wife took Marty in tow, introducing him to other authors and artists. “For the remainder of the weekend, whenever either of them saw me alone they made a point of checking to see if I was enjoying myself, and of somehow including me in whatever was going on.”

Despite this friendly encounter with one of the field’s most loved writers, Marty did not attend another SF con until 1977 when Page Cuddy and David Hartwell “conned” him into going to a Balticon in order to meet Philip Jose Farmer.

After that Marty rapidly developed into a fannish leader. He ran programming for Balticon 13 in 1979 and became a regular fixture as the con’s masquerade director beginning in 1981. He chaired CostumeCon 3 (1985) and Balticon 21 (1987).

He held major committee posts on 4 Worldcons. Michael J. Walsh, chair of the 1983 Baltimore Worldcon where Marty ran the masquerade, likes to tell the story – “In 1981 when I called him from Denvention to let him know we had won: ‘Marty, bad news!’ [He answered] ‘We won?’”

Marty was famous for presiding over masquerades in costume as Count Dracula. And he was infamous for filling time with terrible vampire jokes such as —

What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?

Frostbite!

One of his most challenging moments came while directing the 1998 Worldcon (Bucconeer) masquerade — at the start he stumbled against a table of awards and took a four-foot fall off the stage. Quite the trouper, Marty got right back up and did his job without visible problems. He even looked in pretty good shape the morning after at the masquerade critique where he had nothing to say about his mishap except an apology for detracting from the costumers. He did use a cane for awhile afterwards, though.

Marty was a fiery advocate for his beloved event. Even at a Worldcon he refused to concede first place to the Hugo Ceremony, protesting during the Bucconeer masquerade post-mortem, “To the Worldcon committee the Masquerade is not the most important event…. It’s just the best-attended, and has the most people involved, but to the committee it’s a secondary event.”

When he was feeling more mellow he’d deliver the message humorously, saying things like, “Costuming is the second oldest tradition in sci-fi fandom. The first is drinking beer.”

Marty remained an active member of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, and at the time of his death was parliamentarian of the BSFS Board of Directors, coordinator of the Jack L. Chalker Young Writers’ Contest, and liaison to the school for the BSFS Books for Kids program.

Over the years he was a guest of honor at Unicon 87, Disclave 34, Sci-Con 8, Genericon 2, Arisia 9, and Balticon 30.

Professionally, Marty managed his own company Martin Gear Consulting Ltd.

Other than dressing as a vampire, Marty said one of his favorite costumes was “Cohen the Barbarian” a prize-winner at the 2004 Worldcon as “Best DiscWorld Entry.” His Cohen wore a fur diaper, a very long white beard and an eyepatch — and not much else. In one hand he carried a sword and in the other a walking cane.

To the end Marty continually mentored costumers and passed on his enthusiasm for the costuming arts. He told an interviewer, “I probably won’t stop costuming until I am dead, and maybe not even then.”

***

See Marty in his Dracula garb start the 2008 Balticon masquerade with a horrible joke.

In this interview at Anime USA 2012 Marty explained how he judges anime and reproduction costumes in terms that would be at home on Project Runway — “Clothes have to fit.”

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.

Tyson’s Starry Vest

I gather that the starry vest is astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s signature outfit. I wasn’t aware of that when I first saw this panel from Action Comics. My reflexive response was to wonder, “Why is Tyson wearing a Friend of the Boston in 2001 Worldcon Bid vest?”

The history of those vests was explained in an an ad for Boston’s next (2004) bid:

Our “Ladies Sewing Circle…” got together their sewing machines, scissors, pin cushions, and a couple of hundred yards of starry fabric and began to make vests (for the SurRealEstate brokers, of course). Eventually, they custom-made about 300 vests for committee, friends of the bid, and potential guests of honor of the 2001 Worldcon.

Peter Grace wearing his starry vest at L..A.con IV (2006). Photo by Chaz Boston Baden.

Worldcon Event DVDs

The official Anticipation Masquerade video is available on DVD from CreateSpace for $9.95 plus shipping, reports Video Director Syd Weinstein.

Quite a few videos of North American Worldcons (and the latest Arisia) are for sale via CreateSpace.

Anticipation Masquerade: Edited video of the event complete with the awards.

Denvention 3 Masquerade: Denvention 3 Masquerade hosted by Wil McCarthy — 31 entries including 3 in the young fan category. Includes the presentations, the half time slide show of past masquerade entrants over the years, and the awards ceremony.

Noreascon 4 Opening/Closing/Highlights: Opening and Closing Ceremonies, plus a highlight reel of all of the events.

Noreascon 4 Time Machine (Retro Hugos): Includes the 1954 Retrospective Hugo Awards Ceremony hosted by Bob Eggleton and interviews with the Noreascon 4 Guests of Honor hosted by Peter Weston.

Noreascon 4 Masquerade and Awards (Two Disks): Masquerade hosted by Susan de Guardiola. Disc one includes the masquerade presentations and a montage of the awards. Disc two is the masquerade awards including young fan, special Discworld, and the main awards.

Noreascon 4: Hugos: Hugo Awards Ceremony hosted by Neil Gaiman.

Noreascon 4: Five Disk Set: Official 5 DVD set of the entire week’s programming in the main auditorium. Bonus feature: time lapse video of the entire week, including build, shows, and teardown.

Arisia 2009 Masquerade: Boston-area convention masquerade.

Weinstein adds that the video of Anticipation’s Hugo Awards ceremony is still in production.

[Thanks to John Hertz for the story.]

Footnote to Fanhistory

Before Mapquest, fans depended on Kevin Standlee’s feet.

In 1993, people going to the Worldcon wanted to know how far their hotels were from the Moscone Center. The ConFrancisco committee told them how many blocks, told them how many linear feet, and still had to admit “neither measurements have satisfied many people.”

Having made the admission, Kevin Standlee realized the only other thing he could do was personally pace off routes from the hotels to the Moscone entrance. He counted his steps and published the results under the title “ConFrancisco – Step by Step.” Fandom learned, for example, that the Parc 55 was 968 Standlees from the convention center, a Standlee being the length of a stride by a man 6’3″ tall, or about a meter. The Standlee became part of the fannish lexicon, and Leah Zeldes Smith wrote that the term deserved to be in the next Fancyclopedia.

Not very many fans have been immortalized by having their names attached to a unit of measurement. Two others I can name off the top of my head are both NESFAns.

According to the NESFA Bureau of Standards, a “Drew” is “the unit of displacement needed to move Drew Whyte from Boston to Cambridge.” Volunteers from the club, er, I mean the NESFA Displacement Authority, required five trucks about 20 feet long, packed absurdly tightly, to shift all or Drew’s stuff to his new home.

Another time, Mark Olson told a NESFA business meeting that new bookshelf extensions had been installed and in the process people had coined a new measurement — “the Paula.” The new shelves were three Paulas high.

You would expect such ideas to appeal to NESFAns, having the example before them of MIT’s Oliver Smoot, a fraternity member who was laid end to end (wasn’t that every frat boy’s dream in 1963?) to measure the length of the Mass. Ave. bridge. Today, Google Earth allows users the option of measuring distances in Smoots. And, of course, the image of Smoot on the Mass. Ave. bridge was celebrated at the Noreascon 4 Opening Ceremonies.

Noreascon 4 Hugo Nominee Stats

Noreascon 4’s Hugo Administrator, Rick Katze, has posted the top 15 vote-getters in each category on the Worldcon’s Hugo nomination details page. Here’s the chance to satisfy your morbid curiosity — how close did you came to making the final ballot? (Finalists already know how far from winning they were, because Katze unveiled the 2004 Hugo final results on the night of the awards.) This is everyone else’s chance to rise up in righteous indignation and declaim the nonentities standing between our friends and the finalists. (Hangin’s too good for ‘em!) And if all you’re interested in is the fan Hugo categories, we’ve got the stats and a list of their links just a click away …

Click Read and Comment for more of Migly’s article

Note: The names above the dashed line were finalists.
Best Fan Writer (260 people nominated)
John L. Flynn

— 55
Jeff Berkwits

— 45
Bob Devney — 42
Dave Langford

— 39
Cheryl Morgan — 35
—————————————————
Lloyd Penney

— 25
John Hertz

— 18
Evelyn Leeper

— 17
Teresa Nielsen Hayden

— 16
Guy H. Lillian III

— 13
Steven Silver

— 13
Daniel Kimmel

— 12
Bruce Gillespie

— 11
Karen Bennett

— 10
Ernest Lilley

— 10

Best Fanzine (211 people nominated)
Emerald City

— 48
Challenger

— 41
Plokta

— 39
Mimosa

— 26
File 770

— 25
—————————————————
SFRevu

— 20
Devniad — 19
Bento

— 17
Voyageur

— 17
Science Fiction Commentary

— 16
Chunga

— 12
Fortean Bureau

— 12
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet

— 9
Alexiad — 9
MT Void

— 9
Trap Door– 9

Best Fan Artist (190 people nominated)
Frank Wu

— 75
Sue Mason

— 33
Teddy Harvia

— 32
Brad Foster

— 26
Steve Stiles

— 20
—————————————————
Taral Wayne

— 15
Bill Neville– 15
Alexis Gilliland — 14
Sheryl Birkhead

— 10
Kurt Erichsen

— 10
Marc Schirmeister — 10
Dan Steffan — 10
Alan White

— 9
Mel Vavaroutsos

— 8
Stu Shiffman

— 7

The links are included as a public service to anyone whose shouting “Who in hell is that?” is more than a rhetorical question. The list is incomplete, unfortunately. Joe Major’s Alexiad and John Hertz don’t have websites. Also, if Alexis Gilliland, Sue Mason, Marc Schirmeister, Dan Steffan or Steve Stiles keep up a website we didn’t find it, though we added a representative link in a couple of instances anyway. A Google search on the fanartists’ names also will lead to numerous individual examples of their art.

You are right if you suspect two of the top 15 fanzine nominees are obvious semiprozines getting votes from people confused about the categories. The Fortean Bureau is a magazine of speculative fiction. Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet actually got nominations for both semiprozine and fanzine, but reveals online it is a market for fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and black and white art.

The administrator explains, “We validated the eligibility and names/titles of all nominees who might have affected the final ballot, but did not attempt to validate nominees who received fewer nominations.”