Three First Fandom awards were announced during opening ceremonies of Pemmi-Con, the 2023 NASFiC, on July 20. Emcees Vincent Docherty and David Ritter named the winners of the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award, the Posthumous Hall of Fame Award, and the Sam Moskowitz Archive Award.
First Fandom was created in 1958. The modern organization defines as “dinosaurs” those active in science fiction or fannish activities by the time of the first Worldcon in 1939. Also, anyone who has engaged in correspondence, collecting, conventions, fanzine publishing or reading, writing or participated in a science fiction club for at least 30 years may be eligible for Associate Membership. Since the death of Bob Madle in 2022, the last surviving original member of First Fandom, the organization has been in transition to a new format. These three awards were voted by the Associate Members.
FIRST FANDOM HALL OF FAME AWARD
The First Fandom Hall of Fame, created in 1963, is a prestigious achievement award given to a living recipient who has made significant contributions to Science Fiction throughout their lifetime.
- Michael Moorcock
- Will Murray
Michael Moorcock’s First Fandom Hall of Fame Award Acceptance Speech
Thank you so much for the handsome plaque which arrived today in our Paris flat and is now on the shelf, gracing my work room.
I feel so good about it. Many of the names of those who received it before me bring back great memories. Ray Nelson and I first met in 1957 and I published his work in TARZAN ADVENTURES during the time he was living in Paris where he introduced me to a couple of eminent Beats and the bohemian life of Paris, making me fall in love with the city in which I’ve now lived for the past 25 years.
Another great friend was Ed Hamilton and of course Sprague de Camp, who encouraged me to write heroic fantasy in the late 1950s.
Arthur Clarke was another friend as, of course, was Brian Aldiss. Dave Kyle and Earl Kemp were also friends and John Clute got started as a critic on New Worlds where he was a stalwart for several years, Bob Silverberg, who I also first met at the 1957 World SF Con when he came to listen to the skiffle group I had put together pretty much spontaneously, was a great help in starting my career in America and I shall always be grateful to him.
I believe you know how close my connection with fandom has been since I created my first fanzine when I was fifteen in 1955 and I have never forgotten my roots nor the fans who were so kind to me when I was a callow kid learning about writers and magazines who came to influence me or showing my first stories to fellow fans who also came to be well-known in the sf field.
It is a proud but not so lonely thing to be a fan, these days! I hope you will read this letter as my acceptance speech to the members of first (and later) fandom who were so kind enough to vote for me and that you all continue to have a really great time in Winnipeg.
My affection for fandom and all it has done to bring people together remains as warm as ever and I shall continue to feel great pride in receiving the award.
With sincere good wishes to you and everyone involved! Mike Moorcock
Will Murray’s First Fandom Hall of Fame Award Acceptance Speech
If one were to include my earliest fanzine appearances, I’ve been writing for publication for 50 years. In that time, I’ve won an award or two. But none have more surprised me than to win the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award.
This is quite gratifying. I don’t think I’ve attended a science fiction convention in a dozen years, so I wasn’t aware that I was particularly on anyone’s radar. I’ve had a long career. More than 80 novels and books, and I don’t know how many short stories, articles and interviews.
The last dozen years have been particularly fulfilling. In 2010, I acquired the rights to Doc Savage and discovered that no legacy publisher was interested in reviving the character. So, I partnered with small press publisher Matt Moring and we started the Wild Adventures of Doc Savage.
My goal was modest: To finish several of Doc Savage creator Lester Dent’s unfinished novels. Then in 2013, I got the rights to have King Kong meet Doc. I thought that Skull Island was be the high point of my novel-writing career. But a year later, I obtained the rights to Tarzan of the Apes. My first Tarzan novel so impressed the good people at Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. that they decided to revive their publishing imprint after decades of dormancy. Between new novels and reissues, they are now in a glorious renaissance.
For me personally having Tarzan go to Barsoom and meet John Carter of Mars was the culmination of my love of classic pulp writers. Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Mars books were the first vintage pulp novels I ever read.
Pulp writers aren’t as celebrated as they were when I attended my first Worldcon decades ago. So, I’m profoundly pleased that this organization had recognized my work. And delighted to accept this award, even if it is in absentia. Regrettably, my passport is out of date.
I’ve just learned that the Edgar Rice Burroughs people and the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have approved my novelette in which John Clayton (Lord Greystoke), visits Baker Street in search of Sherlock Holmes’ expert assistance.
I don’t know where I can go from here, but I’m going to keep trying….thanks for the encouragement. I deeply appreciate it.
POSTHUMOUS HALL OF FAME AWARD
The Posthumous Hall of Fame was created in 1994 to acknowledge people in Science Fiction who should have, but did not, receive that type of recognition during their lifetimes.
- Ken Kelly
- Conrad H. Ruppert
Ken Kelly (1946-2022) was an American fantasy artist. Over his 50-year career, he focused in particular on paintings in the sword and sorcery and heroic fantasy subgenres.
Throughout the 1970s he was a prominent cover artist for Warren Publishing’s Creepy and Eerie magazines.
His work often portrays exotic, enchanted locales and primal battlefields. He depicted Conan the Barbarian, Tarzan, and the rock acts KISS, Rainbow, and Ace Frehley.
Conrad H. Ruppert was an early STF fan, a card-carrying reporter for Gernsback’s Science and Invention magazine (1924-25), a printer, and a pioneering science fiction journalist.
He will likely best be remembered as the person who painstakingly set the type by hand for many of the earliest and finest fanzines such as The Time Traveller, Science Fiction Digest, Fantasy Magazine, The Fantasy Fan, and later, The Weinbaum Memorial Volume (1938) and The Souvenir Journal of the World Science Fiction Convention (1939).
The professional appearance of Ruppert’s typeset publications set the highest standard for other fan printers and helped to legitimize the idea of fans publishing science fiction.
He won a cash prize from Gernsback in an early contest that promoted science fiction.
Ruppert was also a life-long photographer who stood outside the entrance to the first Worldcon on July 2,1939, and made pictures of the big-name fans and pros as they arrived. Three dozen of Ruppert’s photos that he made at the 1939 New York World’s Fair are part of the Smithsonian Museum’s Collection.
It is due to Ruppert’s tireless efforts as science fiction’s preeminent printer during a critical time in early fandom history that he is still remembered and highly-regarded today.
SAM MOSKOWITZ ARCHIVE AWARD
Sam Moskowitz Archive Award was created in 1998 to recognize not only someone who has assembled a world-class collection but also what has actually been done with it.For example: previous award recipients have published articles and books, made collections available for public viewing, loaned items for other projects and donated material to be preserved for future generations.
- John L. Coker III
Acceptance Remarks by John L. Coker III
Thank you, everyone. I am thrilled this evening to be the recipient of this historic award.
Sam Moskowitz was one of the greatest science fiction fans ever. He taught me (3) principles:
- Prepare for every panel discussion.
- Make notes about who you saw and what was said.
- Label the back of every photograph.
I’d like to acknowledge Forry Ackerman, Julie Schwartz, Dave Kyle and Bob Madle for their support, and thank all of the members of First Fandom for honoring me with this award.
[Thanks to John L. Coker III for providing the draft text and supplying the photos.]