2017 Phoenix and Rebel Awards

Winners of three traditional DeepSouthCon awards were announced in High Point, NC on July 15 during ConGregate 4, host of DSC 55.

The Phoenix Award is given to the professional (writer, editor or artist) who has done the most for Southern fandom. The two honorees are authors Simon Hawke and Aaron Allston.

The Rebel Award is awarded to the fan who has done the most for southern fandom. This year’s recipients were Bob Ellis and Mike Pederson.

The winner of the facetious Rubble Award, given to the individual who has done the most TO the Southern Fandom, was the Chattanooga Choo-choo Hotel, for closing down.

[Via Guy Lillian III and George Wells.]

Pixel Scroll 3/23/17 I Fifth The Pixel Electric

(1) SACRIFICIAL FIRST. Camestros Felapton, who has been “Reading ‘Corrosion’so you don’t have to”, files this after-action report:

So with the tune of ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby’, running in my head I descend into ‘Corrosion: The Corroding Empire Part by Johan Kalsi and/or Harry Seldon Edited by Vox Day’.

Servo is a robot working in a cocktail bar, when we meet him. Again, if only this book was a pastiche of new-romantic pop lyrics but it isn’t – I mean how would it have been to have included a cocktail bar in the story?

Instead, we get a bunch of connected not-exactly awful stories set in a technological society run by ‘algorithms’. The style is one I shall now christen ‘Puppy Clunk’. If you read some of the less appalling slated works in 2015, you’ll recognise the style. It’s not illiterate or wholly unreadable but it just sort of goes ‘clunk’ in every sentence.

(2) FLAME ON. Entertainment Weekly’s James Hibbard assures everyone that the “’Game of Thrones’ dragaons are ‘the size of 747s’ in season 7”. Is there a word in Dothraki for “bodacious”?

The dragons are bigger this season. Okay, we say that every year. But this time, they are a lot bigger.

For Game of Thrones season 7, which has Daenerys’ trio of beasts headed to Westeros as part of the dragon queen’s invading fleet, the creatures are more fearsome than ever before.

“The dragons this year are the size of 747s,” director Matt Shakman tells EW. “Drogon is the biggest of the bunch – his flame is 30-feet in diameter!”

Shakman is one of four directors helming next season (the others are GoT vets Alan Taylor, Jeremy Podeswa, and Mark Mylod). He was probably being at least somewhat approximate when comparing the dragons to the venerable Boeing airliner. But for reference, a 747 is about 230 feet long with a 210 feet wingspan. So, really big.

(3) BLIND DATE. I’ve used up my quota of free articles in the Washington Post this month, however, Daniel Dern recommends this article about The Expanse. If you are still on the free side of the paywall, treat yourself to “The best show about international relations on television right now is on – wait for it – Syfy”.

(4) OCTAVIA BUTLER. Fortunately this Boston Globe article hasn’t gone behind the paywall just yet — “Science fiction, black music meet in Toshi Reagon’s opera-in-progress”.

In the parable of the sower in the Gospels, Jesus tells his followers about different outcomes from scattering seeds. Some are cast to the side and eaten by birds, some are planted in rocky soil or among thorns and fail to grow, but the seeds sown on “good ground” will take root and provide a bounty.

Science-fiction author Octavia E. Butler called back to that allegory about the word of God with her 1993 book “Parable of the Sower,” about a young woman in an apocalyptic future America who wanders a drought-stricken landscape, planting the seeds of a new religion fueled by empathy.

Now Butler’s book is adapted into an opera that synthesizes a wide range of musical styles culled from its creators’ deep reservoir of knowledge about black music in America.

(5) TODAY’S DAYS

You get your choice:

Commemorates March 23rd, 1989, when a large asteroid missed the Earth by a mere 500,000 miles – a very near miss indeed! What would you do if an asteroid was about to hit the Earth – how would you spend your last hours, and would you even want to know?

(6) FISHER MEMORIAL. The public memorial service for mother and daughter will take place March 25.

Fans will be able to pay their respects to Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher during a public memorial Saturday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park-Hollywood Hills, where the late stars were buried together in January.

The joint service — described as a “celebration of life” — will begin at 1 p.m., Todd Fisher said in an announcement about the tribute for his mother and sister on his website.

“We will be celebrating their lives with friends, family members, and the people who loved them, you,” he wrote in the announcement.

The memorial will take place inside the cemetery’s Hall of Liberty, which, according to the Forest Lawn website, seats more than 1,000.

(7) GRAVE CONCERNS. Patrick Stewart is among the people campaigning to preserve a piece of Brooklyn history — “Patrick Stewart: Revolutionary War heroes are buried under empty Gowanus lot!”

Starship Enterprise captain and Park Slope resident Sir Patrick Stewart is throwing his weight behind a controversial theory that the bodies of hundreds of Revolutionary War heroes are buried beneath an vacant lot in Gowanus — and he wants a memorial placed there so that history never forgets the name “Maryland 400.”

Stewart claimed in a recent Gentleman’s Quarterly interview that the empty Ninth Street site is the final resting place of the famed band of soldiers — who died saving General Washington’s rebel army from annihilation during the Battle of Brooklyn — and said he has personally petitioned Mayor DeBlasio to install a monument to them there, to which Hizzoner replied, “I’m on it.”

(8) NEAGLE OBIT. Long-time New Orleans-area fan Robert Neagle (1955-2017) passed away March 22 from a massive heart attack. He was active in many local and regional fan groups, and a veteran conrunner. I first met him at Nolacon II 1988), where he was wearing his Porno Patrol t-shirt. Neagle was the Captain of the Porno Patrol and I remember asking for an explanation of what they did, and vaguely remember an explanation involving the French Quarter. I remember much more clearly being grateful that he and his friends were volunteering at the con which needed all the help it could get.

Neagle was chairman of Crescent City Con throughout its 20-year history, ending in 2005. He was one of the founders of the Companions of Doctor Who, chaired DeepSouthCon 37 (1999), and worked on Vulcon, CoastCon and NOSFF, the New Orleans Science Fiction and Fantasy Festival. He was a member of Area 504 and the Amalgamation of Non-Aligned Lifeforms Starfleet.

He was the first Fan GoH of the (relatively new) Gulf Coast convention CONtraflow. He was honored for his contributions to Southern fandom with the Rebel Award in 2001.

Neagle is being cremated and there are no services planned at this time.

(9) COMIC SECTION. Pearls Before Swine has a real groaner today.

(10) STIFLED DISCOURSE. Lela E. Buis, in “Intimidating People Into Silence”, comments on a political trend to threaten and bully people:

In the last blog, I reported on a group (wisely anonymous) who advanced an article challenging Cecily Kane’s 2016 Fireside article that used a statistical analysis to show anti-black bias among SFF editors. Although the anonymous authors agreed there was a bias against black authors, they disagreed on the cause. After threats, they withdrew the article. Fireside then posted the article on their site.

So, what was the problem here? Why were these authors threatened? Was it because they challenged Kane’s specific conclusions about editorial bias? Or was it because they challenged possible gains that might have been made because of Kane’s article? Is this a political issue? Are the anonymous authors misguided statisticians? Or are they really racists trying to undermine black progress?

The interesting thing is that this isn’t an isolated case of attacking and bullying people, not just for their social/political views, but also for research that might contradict the opposition’s conclusions. It’s actually a fairly common theme in US society right now….

(11) KSR H2O NYC. From Scientific American “Q&A: Kim Stanley Robinson Explains How He Flooded Manhattan”

His new book, New York 2140, explores the interplay of climate change and global finance on a warmer, wetter future world

What would you say this book is really about? It’s about climate change and sea level rise, but it’s also about the way that our economic system doesn’t allow us to afford a decent future. As one of the characters says early in the book, “We’ve got good tech, we’ve got a nice planet, but we’re fucking it up by way of stupid laws.”

Finance, globalization—this current moment of capitalism—has a stranglehold on the world by way of all our treaties and laws, but it adds up to a multigenerational Ponzi scheme, an agreement on the part of everybody to screw the future generations for the sake of present profits. By the logic of our current system we have to mess up the Earth, and that is crazy. My new novel explores this problem and how we might get out of it.

(12) WHO OF WHOVILLE. At the end of Daily Beast’s post about coverage of yesterday’s terror incident, “Londoners Reject British ‘Traitors’ Peddling Terror Dystopia on Fox News”, comes a genre reference —

James Moran, a screenwriter who worked on shows including Doctor Who and Torchwood, said the unique nature of London could never be altered.

“The only things that shut down London: (a) leaves, (b) 3 flakes of snow, (c) when you try to get on trains without letting people off first,” he wrote “Now let’s carry on being Londoners. Rude, always in a hurry, and completely ignoring each other, LIKE GOD INTENDED.”

[Thanks to JJ, Cat Eldridge, Stephen Burridge, Martin Morse Wooster, Chip Hitchcock, Daniel Dern, Raymond Boudreau, Andrew Porter, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Soon Lee.]

2016 Phoenix and Rebel Awards

Winners of several traditional DeepSouthCon awards plus the inaugural JordanCon Awards were announced in Atlanta on April 23 during JordanCon 8, host of DSC 54.

The Phoenix is given to the professional (writer, editor or artist) who has done the most for Southern fandom. This year there were two honorees, Eugie Foster (posthumously), and Jana Oliver. Both Atlanta authors have a considerable body of work and were/are noted supporters of local conventions.

The Rebel is awarded to the fan who has done the most for southern fandom. This year’s recipients were Bill Harrison, long time convention volunteer for multiple conventions in Atlanta, Tennessee and more, and Pat Henry, the retired Chair of DragonCon.

The winner of the Rubble, given to the individual who has done the most TO the Southern Fandom, was North Carolina’s governor, Pat McCrory.

The first annual JordanCon awards, called the Hero of the Horn awards, were given in three categories to the volunteers, professionals and organizations that have supported JordanCon.

This year, the Hero of the Horn was awarded to April Moore for her hard work as a volunteer, TarValon.net for its long-standing support as an organization, and Brandon Sanderson as a professional, who was cited for his dedication and support.

[Thanks to Erin DeSimone for the story.]

Rebel, Rubble, and Fleur de Fan Award Winners

The Phoenix and Rebel, two traditonal Southern fandom awards, were presented at Contraflow V/DeepSouthCon 53 in New Orleans this weekend. The Phoenix is for pros and the Rebel is for fans.

Phoenix Award

  • Diana Rowland
  • the late Robert Asprin (accepted by Darlene B)

Rebel Award

  • Frank Sciotta, for being an instrumental volunteer at many conventions
  • Michael Scott, founder of CoastCon

Also presented was the facetious Rubble Award, given by Gary Robe to “The Force of Gravity for taking away Ned Brooks so recently.” The Rubble is decided by previous winners who give it to someone who has done much to Southern fandom.

Contraflow inaugurated its own Fleur de Fan Awards at the same ceremony.

Toni Weisskopf, right, receives Fleur de Fan.

Toni Weisskopf, right, receives Fleur de Fan.

Pro Fleur de Fan

  • Toni Weisskopf, for her support of ContraFlow

Fan Fleur de Fan

  • Area 51 for amazing room parties
  • Walter M. Scott, local fan and volunteer

[Via SF Site News and Jennifer Liang.]

DeepSouthCon 52 Awards

Three traditional Southern fan awards were presented at Contrails, DeepSouthCon 52, in Bristol, VA on May 17.

Rebel Award: Judy Bemis

Phoenix Award: Steve Jackson

Rubble Award: Gary Robe, for screwing up the SFPA ego boo poll

Congratulations to all — and a hat tip to Guy Lillian III for pointing out that this is the third time that Robe, founder of the satirical Rubble Award, has won his own creation….

[Via Warren Buff. Thanks to Judy Bemis for the story.]

Update 05/18/2014: Fixed the headline — from 51 to 52. How bizarre. I spent 10 minutes vetting the convention number on Google to end up with the right number in the text and by then forgot I had the wrong one in the headline. My proofing skills are never good at any time, but seem to disappear altogether as midnight approaches. Bet there is a fantasy novel in this. (One containing many typos.)

2013 DeepSouthCon Awards

The Phoenix and Rebel, two traditonal Southern fandom awards, were presented at DeepSouthCon 51 in Atlanta, GA on April 20. The Phoenix is for pros and the Rebel is for fans.

Harriet McDougal accepted the Phoenix Award on behalf of her late husband, James Oliver Rigney, Jr. after all of his aliases were read off — the one everyone knows being Robert Jordan. The winner of the award was selected by the current year’s DSC committee. When you know DSC 51 was also JordanCon 5 the preference is easy to explain.

The Rebel Award was won by Regina Kirby and M. Lee Rogers.

Also presented was the facetious Rubble Award, which went to Pat Gibbs who often runs the DSC’s traditional Hearts competition. The Rubble is decided by previous winners who give it to someone who has done much to Southern fandom.

[Via Guy H. Lillian III and SF Site News.]

Update 04/23/2013: Corrected location of con to Atlanta.

2012 Rebel, Phoenix Given

Traditonal Southern fandom awards were presented at DeepSouthCon 50 in Huntsville, AL on June 17.

Phoenix Award: John Ringo

Rebel Award: Shelby Vick; and The Zielke Clan: Robert & Becky Zielke and Bill & Linda Zielke

Also this satirical award:

Rubble “Award”: SFPA OE Bob Jennings

The Rebel and Phoenix Awards are given by the con committee of each DSC, (in 2012, a supercommittee of Toni Weisskopf and Julie Wall) for the fan and pro who have contibuted a great deal to Southern fandom. The Rubble is decided by a survey of previous Rubble winners administered by its founder, Gary Robe, and is for a person or entity (corporatiions have won) who has done much to Southern fandom.

[Thanks to Guy H. Lillian III for the story.]

Don Markstein (1947-2012)

Don Markstein, always a colorful and entertaining figure, and early in his fannish career sometimes a controversial one, died March 11 due to respiratory failure following a prolonged illness. Don spent his last years in Arizona but remained deeply linked to New Orleans and Southern fanhistory.

Don was a charter member of the New Orleans Science Fiction Association (NOSFA) founded June 25, 1967. Other charter members were John Guidry, Doug Wirth, Don Walsh, Justin Winston, and Rick Norwood.

He co-chaired DeepSouthCon in 1968 and 1973. Don became official editor of the Southern Fandom Press Alliance in 1970 and was credited by Guy H. Lillian III for a boom in the apa’s popularity. For this Don was honored with the Rebel Award in 1978.

Don’s consuming passion was comics. He collected tens of thousands of newspaper comic strips. In 1981 Don and his wife Gigi founded Apatoons, an apa for research in the field of cartoons. In 1999 he created a comics history resource, The Toonopedia, and wrote for it daily until health prevented him.

Don edited Comics Revue and books on comic history, including The Prince Valiant Companion. He also wrote Walt Disney comic book stories for such characters as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck — and the rather less famous Bucky Bug.

Irv Koch introduced me to Don at the 1972 Worldcon in Los Angeles. The three of us had become acquainted before the con through fanzines. (Mark Evanier also remembers meeting him at L.A.con.)

Don sporadically published issues of Rally, his fannish newzine, during the Seventies. What was surely Rally’s most controversial story ever criticized Harlan Ellison prior to his GoHship at the 1978 Worldcon in Phoenix. Ellison planned to dedicate his appearance to raising consciousness about the Equal Rights Amendment because ERA supporters had declared a boycott of businesses in non-ratifying states after Ellison accepted the invitation, Arizona among them. Louisiana was another, and when Ellison went to New Orleans sometime before the Worldcon Don lambasted the appearance as a violation of Ellison’s pro-ERA stance. Ellison was outraged, for his activities there had included lecturing in support of the ERA.

Don was educated at LSU in Baton Rouge. For a time he worked on the staff of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, writing for the Sunday magazine. Over the years he did restaurant reviews for the Phoenix Business Journal and editing and production work for Arizona Living, Arizona Women’s Voice, Comics Interview, Comics Revue, Phoenix, Phoenix Resource, and Louisiana Weekly Employer.

Don suffered a stroke in February 2011 and had been in long-term care.

Silver: 2011 Rebel and Phoenix Winners

By Steven H Silver: The Rebel and Phoenix Awards were presented Saturday night at Fencon VIII and DeepSouthCon.  I presented the Rebel Award to Brad W. Foster for his work as a fan artist.  Toni Weiskopf presented the Phoenix Award to Selina Rosen for her work on Yard Dog Press and with up and coming authors. Gary Robe presented the Rubble Award to Bill Parker for bringing the Worldcon (and two years of work) to Southern fandom.

Khen Moore Has Passed Away

Ken Moore, long time Nashville fan and founder and chairman of Kubla Khan, passed away June 30 after a long illness. He was 66.

Khen — as his name was fannishly spelled — always seemed bigger than life to me, a Dionysian figure. He was the soul of a good time and known for his friendliness to new fans.

Nashville fandom owes its origins to Khen Moore, John Hollis, and Dan Caldwell, who collected other Nashvillians they met at Worldcons and DeepSouthCons. Their Kubla Khan was reputed to have the best movie event of any convention in the South, with Khen at the projector. Such efforts as these helped Khen win DSC’s Rebel Award in 1974.

The locals became a big, teasing family, remembers Kathleen David:

When Jeanna Tidwell was three or four, John Hollis taught her the names of various Nashville fans – “Who’s that, Jeanna?” “Unca Dan [Caldwell]!”, “Who’s that?” “Aunty Fran [Bray]!”, etc., until it came time to point to Khen Moore and say “Who’s that, Jeanna?” “Unca Nickelnose!”

Khen was a dynamic extrovert among fandom’s many introverts. Usually literally — at one Midwestcon he and Cliff Amos appeared in bikini bathing suits complete with dress cummerbunds in the middle of the Holidome. But pretty much every other time Ken went around in short shorts, no matter the weather, the reason he also won DSC’S Rubble Award (1991) “for having the ugliest knees in fandom.”

He and Lou, then his wife, ran the art shows for the 1978 Worldcon and 1979 NASFiC.

Janice Gelb says her first convention volunteer work came as the result of bringing a slinky dress to Phoenix to help beat the heat: “Art Show head Khen Moore saw it and immediately requested that I wear it the next day to run art for the art show auction. Jobs based more on intellectual qualifications soon followed.”

In the late Seventies Khen and Nashville fandom reached their fanpolitical zenith. Ken Keller published a “Nashville is Neat in 100 Degree Heat” ad in a 1975 MidAmeriCon progress report, a practical joke on Khen. But in fandom, jokes can easily turn into serious bids. Khen became ambitious to run a Nashville Worldcon and investigated potential facilities. However, this was before the Opryland Hotel was a factor and the city wasn’t a viable site. Soon this energy was channeled into a successful Louisville bid for the 1979 NASFiC (a con chaired by Cliff Amos.)

In addition to fandom, Khen loved aviation and was a pilot. He was retired from AVCO Aircraft where he worked as an Aircraft Engineer and Quality Control Inspector.

If you’d like to toast Khen’s memory with a concoction of his own devising, here’s his recipe for Swill, which he served at many a room party:

“Take a clean wastebasket, add a gallon of real orange juice. Real Krogers orange juice that’s got the pulp in it that you have to shake up. A quart of ReaLemon juice. A quart of Welch’s Grape Juice. A half a gallon of cheap vodka. Stir it all up. Take a blender, fill it half full with the mixture, go all the way to the top with ice. Two tablespoons of sugar in the top of the blender. Put the lid on the blender and let it run for about 45 seconds, then enjoy. “

Khen’s obituary appeared in The Tennessean on July 4. A photo of him is in the Fan Gallery.

[Thanks to Joel Zakem and Andrew Porter for the links.]