Need to Cut Back on Chocolate?

As I roamed around Denvention on Saturday afternoon, looking into program rooms for something interesting to watch, I saw Mark Olson raining green-foiled Andes Mints on a small audience of fans playing “Trivia for Chocolate.”  Steven Silver and Jim Mann were the other quiz masters. I stepped inside.

It didn’t take long for me to decide that “Trivia for Chocolate” ought to be renamed “Mike’s New Diet Plan.” I managed to win only two pieces.

At first I sat behind David Goldfarb. The scouting report on David Goldfarb expressed in baseball terms would be: great bat, bad glove. He knows, by a conservative estimate, well, everything. David’s only weakness is fielding. If he actually had to catch the chocolate the competition might be closer.

I spent some time watching David’s winnings bounce past me, til they asked a question that I should have gotten – seeing that I was the answer. We all realized how little of the proceedings I was hearing and I moved to the front row, to the seat nearest Tom Galloway that was not already occupied by his own hoard of chocolate. After that my main handicap was ignorance, but that’s when I scored my two pieces. Knowing Mack Reynolds wrote “Adventure of the Extraterrestrial” was worth one Tim-Tam, a chocolate-dipped biscuit imported from Australia.

Marty Massoglia arrived halfway through the program and from then on scored heavily. Ah, the golden memories of once upon a time when Marty, Bruce Pelz and I entered a team trivia competition as the “LA Smog” and did so well. What decade was that? Hm, another piece of trivia I’m forgetting.

Note: David Goldfarb has posted a LiveJournal entry about “Trivia for Chocolate” that also tells how he pillaged Tom Whitmore’s book collection as the winner of another trivia game at Denvention.)

Worldcon Ends with a Party

Tonight’s “Former Worldcon Chair Party” was a blast for all the usual reasons, as I went around comparing notes on Denvention, asking people’s plans for the next couple of Worldcons, and seeing a few people for the first time who’ve been on site for days (Kevin Standlee, for one example.) The food and wine was good, but I’d say the cold bottled water probably went as fast as anything — so much for the legend of hard-drinking smofs.

A great treat for me was meeting for the first time Erle Korshak, not just a well known fan, but one of the very few surviving members of the first Worldcon in 1939. (Two of the several others are LA locals Forry Ackerman and Ray Bradbury.) Erle filled me in on the revival of his historic Shasta Press, as Shasta/Phoenix. Shasta was a famous publisher of hardcover sf decades ago. I’ll be watching for new developments there. 

This is the final entry for my live Worldcon coverage, though I’ll have more to report based on my notes when I get home tomorrow.)  

Update 8/12/2008: Corrected spelling of name.

2008 Hugo Winners

Best Novel: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon (HarperCollins; Fourth Estate)

Best Novella: “All Seated on the Ground” by Connie Willis (Asimov’s Dec. 2007; Subterranean Press)

Best Novelette: “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate” by Ted Chiang (Subterranean Press; F&SF Sept. 2007)

Best Short Story: “Tideline” by Elizabeth Bear (Asimov’s June 2007)

Best Non-fiction Book: Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction by Jeff Prucher (Oxford University Press)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Stardust Written by Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn, Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman Illustrated by Charles Vess Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Paramount Pictures)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form Doctor Who “Blink” Written by Steven Moffat Directed by Hettie Macdonald (BBC)

Best Professional Editor, Long Form: David Hartwell

Best Professional Editor, Short Form: Gordon Van Gelder (F&SF)

Best Professional Artist: Stephan Martiniere

Best Semiprozine: Locus, edited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong, & Liza Groen Trombi

Best Fanzine: File 770, ed. Mike Glyer

Best Fan Writer: John Scalzi

Best Fan Artist: Brad Foster

Campbell Award: Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette Kowal’s winning the Campbell Award was a real audience pleaser, one of the most loudly cheered events of the night. Adding interest, she not only received the award plaque, she received the “Campbell Award Tiara,” an elegant piece of jewelry that went well with her yellow gown.

A more esoteric audience pleaser,  that fans approved once it was pointed out to them, was the selection as the sample clip from Heroes of the scene where LASFS member Tadao Tomomatsu in his role as a detective questions one of the series’ regular characters. Outstanding!

Update 8/10/2008: Made change reflecting David Levine’s correction.

Thank You So Much!

My deepest thanks go out to everybody who supported File 770 for the Best Fanzine Hugo. It’s very much an honor to win, and a pleasure to know fans like what they’re reading in the zine and here online.

And it was great to experience that moment together with my wife, Diana. I’d have loved for her book to win, too, but we have been very happy to hear from people here at Denvention who came up to tell her how much they enjoyed it.

Life Found on Denver

Worldcon coverage on the Internet – Eureka!

Fast Forward: Contemporary Science Fiction has posted a several-minutes-long video blog about Denvention Day 1. It’s rather good, too, mixing brief interviews with various fans (among them, Michael Walsh and Phil Foglio), shots of a Registration line already made notorious by Cheryl Morgan, and excerpts from Opening Ceremonies and a Rick Sternbach program item. The small-format video came through with jewel-like clarity on my computer. Highly recommended.

Not Ready for Company

I don’t really have all this time on my hands. There’s lots I need to do before I fly off to Denvention. Like pack my suitcase full of something that’s worth the $15 those pirates at United Airlines are going to charge me for checking a bag. Help Sierra pack up stuff for her overnight stay with a friend’s family. A whole list.

So naturally I chose this moment to load Google Earth. I scanned the route between my hotel and the Colorado Convention Center. Then before shutting down I checked out my home address. Turns out they have a new satellite image of our neighborhood. Unfortunately, it was taken when my car wasn’t at home. So if you’d like to see the big oil stain in my driveway, tell Google Earth to look up Latitude 34° 9’14.25″N, Longitude 117°59’25.99″W.