Pulpfest, the pulp magazine convention held annually in Columbus, Ohio, has renamed its service award — formerly called the Munsey — in honor of Rusty Hevelin. Hevelin died December 27. Writes Jack Cullers, one of the organizers of Pulpfest:
The Munsey is a prestigious award given each year at PulpFest to the person deemed most worthy by the majority of his or her peers. It recognizes the efforts and ongoing involvement of the recipient in the improvement, elevation, and continuance of keeping the pulps alive and well. As a result of the recent death of one of the organizers and stalwarts of the hobby, PulpFest is announcing that henceforth the award will be called The Rusty Hevelin Service Award, or, in short, the Rusty. Hopefully, this will be accepted as a tribute and memory to a man who was influential in making PulpFest and its predecessors as successful as they are today.
I’m not sure how Rusty would receive this development, though I mean only that I’m not sure. Today’s PulpFest was launched a few years ago after a division among the conrunners who used to put on Pulpcon. Two rival groups announced events for 2009 both named Pulpcon. Litigation resulted in the newer – and now, only surviving – one being renamed PulpFest. Rusty, to my knowledge, had a stronger bond with the people whose attorney prevented the offshoot group from using the Pulpcon name (but whose event did not survive).
However, it’s self-evident that the honoree of a memorial award isn’t around to have an opinion. A better question is what will fans think of renaming the award for Hevelin? My guess is they will be pleased that Rusty’s memory will be honored at an important event in the specialized field which held his interest for a lifetime.
Pulpfest will be held August 9-12 at the Hyatt-Regency Hotel in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]