Robert Legault (1950-2008)

NYC fan, copy editor and proofreader Robert Legault died of a massive coronary sometime last week. Legault was found at his apartment in NYC over the February 23 weekend after failing to respond to the phone or e-mails. He was 58. Quite a few detailed reminiscences about Legault have been posted online, including at Making Light and SF Scope. [Thanks to Andrew Porter for the pointer.]

Update 2/28/2008: Corrected description of Legault’s work.

Arizona Mewsing

Laurraine Tutihasi and Mike Weasner have settled into their new home in Arizona. Photos of the house and the view of the mountains down the street appear in the latest issue of Laurraine’s Feline Mewsings.

Unfortunately, thieves filched Mike’s largest telescope and some other things out of the garage at their old home before he finished transferring all their possessions. Police have been notified.

BayCon’s Founding Fathers, Brothers and Sisters

Victory has a hundred fathers, defeat is an orphan, goes the familiar saying. No doubt that explains how some conventions seem to have no parents, while others could use a Solomon to settle claims about their history.

For example, in Living in Atlantis #2, a lavishly illustrated fanzine filled with autobiographical insights about Seventies fanhistory, John McLaughlin’s editorial reveals a controversy over who founded BayCon, the San Jose convention which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year.

Just 26 concom and staff, and about a dozen gophers, ran BayCon ’82. One of them was Hotel Liaison Michael Siladi, identified as one of the convention’s founders in last year’s program “BayCon Trivia: 25 Years Young.” McLaughlin believes he and Randall Cooper alone are BayCon’s co-founders: “Should, then, those 40 people all be considered ‘founders’ of BayCon? No. Because, before anyone can join a con staff, the convention first has to exist, either as a concept, organizational structure, or business entity.”

There is justice on both sides of the argument. Founder tends to be a pretty elastic term. It may attach to a single individual who conceives an institution, or it may extend to everyone who shares the risk to get a project off the ground. Americans liberally define as Founding Fathers all the signers of the 1787 Constitution – even signer John Dickinson, who before the Revolution opposed John Adams in debate about the Declaration of Independence. (Kevin Standlee will now rise and sing Dickinson’s lyrics from 1776).

Thieves Go First Cabin

Frank Denton discovered his cabin near Mt. Rainier had been broken into when he arrived to prepare it for a New Year’s gathering of friends. Someone using bolt cutters had sliced the Master lock off the back window shutters to get in, leaving the curtains ominously blowing in the breeze. A number of appliances and a lot of blankets were taken.

Frank has published The Rogue Raven for many years, a name he also uses for his blog. I always remember him as the first person to ask me onto a convention program (at that same 1973 Westercon I wrote about a few days ago).

Mirror on the Wall

Francis Hamit points out a chance to “see ourselves as others see us” in this post to a bookseller’s blog titled “Building Your Client Base at Fan Conventions.” The sensible advice by Nora of Rainy Day Paperback in Connecticut includes:

If you make money at the con, that’s great! However, you’re really looking to break even, especially the first time you attend one of these. It’s not about selling books AT the convention. It’s about convincing fans that you are a great source for books about their favorite hobby. 

Stephen Marlowe (1928-2008)

Novelist Stephen Marlowe (a.k.a. Milton Lesser), best known for a series of books featuring private detective Chester Drum, died Friday after a long illness at the age of 79. The AP story (forwarded by Andrew Porter) reports that Marlowe began his career as a writer of pulp and science fiction and wrote more than 50 novels. His series featuring Chester Drum began with “The Second Longest Night” in 1955 and concluded with “Drumbeat Marianne” in 1968.

FAAn Awards Voting Deadline 2/23

Fan Achievement Award ballots are due in Murray Moore’s hands February 23. It’s easy to vote. Download the PDF ballot, fill it out and return it to Murray (via e-mail or paper mail). There will be no votes accepted at Corflu this year, don’t miss out!

The final standings will be announced in Las Vegas on April 27 at the Corflu Silver banquet. The first-place finishers in each category will receive certificates drawn for the occasion by Brad Foster (Won’t they be beautiful?) 

Murray tells voters: “Don’t worry about filling in every blank… Fill out as much of the voting form as makes you comfortable and send it in the usual manner. A partially complete ballot is definitely better than a blank one.”

Perfect Pitch

What’s the best route to success in Hollywood? Cary Grant made it going North By Northwest, now LASFSian Ed Green is having luck with the opposite direction. Ed worked on a spec commerical used in a pitch to Southwest Airlines and the director has posted it on Ed sends along the link “for your amusement (or horror).”

Judkowitz Recognized by Workmen’s Circle

Ruth Judkowitz, long-time LASFSian and “chairmentsh” of the Workmen’s Circle of Southern California district, forwards a link to an article about Edward Asner delivering the keynote address at the Workmen’s Circle Centennial Gala: “See the attached story for a reference to moi. I wrote the parody lyrics for ‘California, Here I Come’ as well as the musical arrangement and I was named Member of the Year — these facts are conspicuously absent from the article, but Ed Asner is the one who sells the papers.” That’s a mistake we won’t repeat.