British conrunner Martin Hoare died July 26, reportedly from infection following an emergency surgical procedure. He was 67.
Born in Newport, Wales in 1952, he went to the same nursery schools as Dave Langford who remembers him as “My oldest friend.”
In that capacity Martin gained fannish fame as the familiar accepter of Langford’s many Hugos won at overseas Worldcons. When he accepted Langford’s Best Fanwriter Hugo at Chicon 2000, he promised that an sf blockbuster based on “The Collected Hugo Acceptance Speeches of Dave Langford” was already in production as a movie.
He read Physics at Oxford and developed an interest in beer. He started working in the computer industry in 1973.
Dermot Dobson recalls another memorable accomplishment:
In the 1980s, I had an idea for a medical tele-radiology system for emergency management in neuro radiology. I developed the hardware and it was to Martin that I went to form a partnership for which he wrote the software. It spawned over a dozen academic papers, including ones that reported ImageLink had been instrumental in saving the lives of hundreds of patients and improving the outcome of many hundreds more.
Anders Bellis told Facebook friends, “He also had a law degree. He was a Welshman who moved to England. if I remember correctly some time during the seventies, but he was always proud of Wales and of being a Welshman.”
In his fannish career, Fancyclopedia 3 credits him as co-chair of Seacon ’84 and Helicon 2, the 1984 and 2002 Eastercons. He worked on innumerable convention committees, including acting as Division Head at ConFiction (1990 Worldcon).
Martin said he was on more Eastercon committees that anyone else. He also was known for organizing fireworks shows at British conventions. And the real ale bars he hosted were legendary. Eastercon members voiced their thanks for all by voting him the Doc Weir Award in 2015, traditionally given to good guys and unsung heroes.
Martin was predeceased by his wife, Jean, in 1999.
Update: David Langford adds that nursery school was just the beginning — followed by their years together in “junior school, secondary school and Oxford college (Brasenose). After some divergence caused by job choices, we also ended up living in Reading. I was best man at all three of his weddings, the last to Jean; it was pointed out today that he died exactly twenty years after her.”
[Thanks to David Langford and Marcia Illingworth for the story.]