Martin Hoare (1952-2019)

David Langford’s caption: “A photo by me of Martin in his natural habitat — a pub — on the occasion of Curt Phillips’s visit to Reading as part of his 2014 TAFF trip.”

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.

Martin Hoare (left) and Mike Glyer (right) at Noreascon 3. Photo from site.

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.”

Martin Hoare at MagiCon (1992).

[Thanks to David Langford and Marcia Illingworth for the story.]

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15 thoughts on “Martin Hoare (1952-2019)

  1. Oh hell oh hell oh hell.

    Someplace I have a photo he took of me with Panda tucked into my cleavage. Which makes sense only if you know we’d been hanging out together at a party in Glasgow.

    Not a profound comment, a memory which sparks so many others.

  2. Never met the man, but obviously benefited from his work by tasting the excellent real ales provided in many Eastercons.


  3. Martin provided tech at many Novacons; indeed, several shifted their planned date to avoid clashing with his Bonfire Night commitments. Never less than excellent company, I can recall many a night together propping up assorted bars in assorted countries. A very sad loss.

  4. Sad news. Martin was the greatest Hugo of accepters. His acceptance speeches on behalf of Langford were short and funny, and there were so many of them. He deserves at least a smidgen of the credit for Langford’s incredible haul. I can also verify his skills in organizing real ale bars and providing tech support. He will be greatly missed.

  5. I met him a few times and always found the conversation entertaining; I remember once he spoke of training an airport security person (in situ) how an SLR camera should actually be inspected if one were suspicious. I hadn’t realized the real-ale bars were his responsibility, but I remember enjoying the ones at the two Scottish Worldcons. “There is no justice.”

  6. Martin was the very model of ‘good people’, and it’ll be a moral imperative to raise a good pint in his honour, in Dublin. He will be remembered long and with fondness.

  7. I have only known Martin for the past 20 years. He then lived in Reading, east of London and was practically a long time neighbour of Dave Langford and Brian Stableford. Every Eurocon I attended, Martin was there too. We had so many beers and laughs, I lost count. Occasionally he contributed with words of wisdom and experience. Even though the two of us not were very close, we both had closer friends in common. We all grieve his sudden departure. Being the positive influence he was, he must be sorely missed by many. Next beer I raise for Martin and may we meet again at the ultimate convention in the resurrection into the 200th fandom.

  8. I met Martin at a cast party for a musical I was in at Minicon in Minnesota. One of those instant friends things. That was over 20 years ago. So many memories of trips and conventioms. It is hard to think of going on in a world without him. Much love dear heart…fly free!

  9. Very sorry to hear about Martin’s demise; I saw him often at Dave Langford’s house when I used to live in Reading. Always cheerful, always helpful, always good company.

  10. I first met Martin Hoare at Noreascon II. We hit it off because of our shared first name. I saw him frequently at Worldcons over the years and went on at least one pub crawl with him. He was a very decent guy and I will miss him.

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