By John Hertz: The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society on October 3 voted its annual Forry Award to Barbara Hambly, author of science fiction & fantasy and indeed a graphic artist of no small ability.
Her first published book was Time of the Dark (1982); forty more. Those Who Hunt the Night (1989) won a Locus Award. She’s written originally for Star Trek, Star Wars, Beauty & the Beast, the DC Comics Metaverse. She’s been translated into Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Russian. She was President of SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America) 1994-1996.
Writing outside our field she’s done – among others – a dozen and a half historical-fiction novels about Benjamin January, starting with Free Man of Color (1997), i.e. him; Lady of Perdition is expected in February 2020.
She’s been a teacher, model, waitress, technical editor, all-night liquor-store clerk, and Shotokan karate instructor (she has a Black Belt).
When someone asked me about her fantasy writing, I said “If she sends a man of today into Swordland, and he has to pick up a sabre and use it, he’ll have been athletic enough already to defend himself, but afterward he’ll realize his hand is blistered.”
The Forrest J Ackerman or Forry Award has been given by the LASFS each year since 1966 for lifetime achievement in the SF field. It is decided by a vote of members at a club meeting, usually in the fall, and currently presented at Loscon, the SF convention hosted annually by the LASFS since 1977. The eponym of the award – you were waiting for me to use that word, weren’t you – was a pioneer of SF, fandom, and the LASFS in particular.
This year’s nominations and voting were conducted by Program Chief Charles Lee Jackson II, assisted by Christian McGuire. The names of all previous winners were posted. They can be seen listed by year here and alphabetically here (LASFS Website).
Each attending member was allowed three nominations; this resulted in twenty nominees. In the first round of voting, members were allowed three votes; eliminating the lowest gave a list of ten; a second round, with members allowed two votes, gave a list of five; a third round, with one vote, gave a list of two; a fourth round gave the winner.
Most winners have been pro SF authors, illustrators, editors; some have been fans. Some people are both. A Forry Award anthology was published in 2016; see here; the LASFS motto De profundis ad astra (Latin; “From the depths to the stars”) is reflected in the title.
The LASFS is the oldest SF club in the world – founded 1934. This was its 4,286th meeting.
LASFS President Marty Cantor announced he would present the Forry Award at Loscon. This year’s Loscon will be Loscon XLVI, held 29 November – 1 December (United States Thanksgiving weekend) at the L.A. International Airport (LAX) Marriott Hotel; see here.
That’s my SF club. How’s yours? Anything to report?