Hertz: Backwards Ran Westercon Until Reeled the Mind

By John Hertz: Westercon LXV “Conclusion” may have been named for the Mayan calendar, or things too fierce to mention, but anyhow it ran backwards. The Dead Dog party (until the last dog is – ) was on Wednesday night. Closing Ceremonies, Thursday. Opening Ceremonies, Sunday. What we had Sunday night must have been a Live Dog party.

For me the starburst was Elizabeth Berrien. Once her wonderful wire sculpture was everywhere in our community. Then we lost touch. Now the Art Show had her work, in every shape and size. In the interim she’s won awards round the world. The electronic can visit her Website <www.wirelady.com>.

Chaz Baden said “Instead of a speech I’m giving a Guest of Honor party,” attended by Bozelee, Hobb, two Wus. The walls were covered with aloha shirts and attempts to answer “Who is Chaz Baden?” One photo showed him with a bear.

Friday morning there was James Daugherty. He said “I thought this was where I needed to be.” The Lonestarcon III table had Rainier cherries. At Regency Dancing a woman said “I always come to watch you teach.” All weekend the Hospitality Suite was very generous.

I led the Canticle for Leibowitz talk alone. Was Lazarus, if that’s who he was, a fantasy element? From the audience: “religious artifact” is our default. What did the barbarian warriors do for the story? I said, this book is knowledge fiction. Berrien, as ever, had wire in hand.

The Tonopah Westercon leaked through the time walls. Kuma Bear gave its party on Friday night. I had brought whole-wheat Goldfish for his birthday. Gaming, 2:30 a.m.; a man seeing a badge I wore said “Trantorcon in 23,309! I love it!”

Saturday afternoon I moderated “The Redoubtable Woman”, iMage, Pierce Ludke who had some fine pictures in the Art Show, Melissa Quinn. From the audience: Susan Ivanova in Babylon 5 is competent and vulnerable. I said Chic Young’s Blondie, who began as a flapper, became the keel of the family, her physical beauty carefully shown and irrelevant.

Jon Rogers, who was in the Art Show with some Buck Rogers – in the Green Room he’d told of getting a license – joined me for Double Star. He’d done the math; a ship from Earth accelerating at two gravities would indeed reach Mars in two days. How vital that Lorenzo really had greatness. How well Heinlein managed the telling detail.

The Wus and I judged the Masquerade, Betty Bigelow the Workmanship Judge. We gave Best Master to “Will o’ the Wisp” (Original; Melissa Nichols; Workmanship Award for Most Creative Use of Materials), its walk truly spooky, its eyes alight. “Prince Zuko” (Master; Re-Creation) won Best Choreography in Class (Torrey Stenmark; Workmanship Award for Best Make-Up) shooting silk streamers for the original’s fire.

Randy Byers tended bar at the London for ’14 Worldcon bid party, with its strange Underground signs, and the Westercon LXVI come-’n’-get-it party with Roche & Trembley’s drink-mixing Thinbot stealing the show. Amy Thomson & Edd Vick gave DUFF a tile from their house, with a color Atom drawing, for the next auction. Tom Whitmore was one of my hall-costume judges. The Other Karen Anderson chatted thoughtfully about dance. I missed Ulrika O’Brien but we talked by phone later.

Sunday, Flatland with Jerry Kaufman. Abbott, as a clergyman, must have intended the analogy between prophecy and the Sphere, and as a grammarian, the pun that the most acute Triangles were the most dull. Kaufman said, right after the Square explains Flatland women have no intelligence his wife speaks up intelligently. I said, how neatly made it all is.

I traded Jon Gustafson stories with Jackie Nilsson, Kelly Freas stories with David Ratti. Mah Jongg, Chinese-style as Gary Louie once found, duly emerged. On my way to the airport I met a man reading Frankenstein. He said “She’s so poetic, so insightful.”

1 thought on “Hertz: Backwards Ran Westercon Until Reeled the Mind

  1. jOHN — I missed your hat. I did not make it to Westercon 65 for personal reasons. I was a member of the Utah 2014 Westercon bid. I did vote for site selection since Charles handcarried several ballots to Seattle. Dave Doering called Saturday with the site selection.

    Bobbie posted a link to your article. I would telephone but do not have your number. The last time we talked by phone was in 2005 I think.

    Plan to see you in Sacramento. What are your books going to be for 2013? For 2014?

    David-Glenn Anderson, Reading4Future @ gmail.com

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