Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

From the blog team:

Elizabeth Anne Hull

    Elizabeth Anne Hull

Safe travels to all you fen headed for the World Science Fiction Convention, Sasquan, in Spokane this week! Betty’s winging her way there, too. (Sadly, the rest of the blog team will have to follow con highlights from Chicagoland via Facebook.)

Those of you lucky enough to attend Sasquan, be sure to stop by and see Betty at her autographing, Sunday from 11 to 11:45 a.m. in Exhibit Hall B, and take a look at this panel:

Sasquan

Not Always Far Apart: The Mainstream Intersection with SF,” at 11 a.m. Thursday in Bays 111C, with Elizabeth Anne Hull, Robert Silverberg, Rich Horton, Rick Wilber and Gary K. Wolfe:

“It used to be that science fiction was considered the outlier. Now, it seems to be part of the mainstream. Is this good for science fiction? Is science fiction still a long ways away from mainstream topics?”

Sounds fascinating! (Not as fascinating as this year’s Business Meeting will likely be, perhaps, but no one there’s apt to start throwing punches, either. Stay safe!)

Prof. Betty will spend Thursday afternoon on a busman’s holiday, as one of the coaches in the writers’ workshop. If you’re an entrant, they probably told you when and where it is.

Have fun, everyone! Don’t let the Kolektinbugs bite … much.

Elizabeth Anne Hull

Elizabeth Anne Hull

Here’s the schedule for Elizabeth Anne Hull’s upcoming appearances.

Elizabeth Anne Hull

Elizabeth Anne Hull

Attending Capricon?

Come by and see Betty on Saturday:

Del Rey Centennial – 10 to 11:30 a.m. – Birch A
Betty, Gene Wolfe and Steven Silver discuss Lester del Rey (1915–1993). Del Rey was born one hundred years ago and is, perhaps, best known for loaning his name to a successful science-fiction publishing line. Before that, he wrote and edited scores of short stories, novels, non-fiction, reviews, under a variety of names while suffering writers block and creating a personal history that wasn’t revealed until after his death. Learn about this influential author, who wanted academics to “get out of my Ghetto.”

EcoSF , 11:30 to 1 p.m. – Birch B
How does SF treat ecological disasters? Who writes/films them with scientific realism, and who takes some liberties with the science? Is it more entertaining when not accurate?
Betty moderates this panel with Dale Cozort, Mark Huston and Jody Lynn Nye.

Autographing, 3 to 3:45 p.m. – Autograph Table

Where will Betty be next?

Operacon with Somtow Sucharitkul, March 12–15, Milwaukee, Wis., a very unusual relaxacon — with music!

—The blog team

Walter M. Miller, Jr.

Walter M. Miller, Jr.

In the 1950s, a story bearing the name of a brand-new author, Walter M. Miller, Jr., showed up in John Campbell’s magazine, now known as Analog. It was quite a good story and was soon followed by another written by the same hand and just as good. And then another.

They didn’t all appear in Analog. A few weren’t even science fiction, but they were coming out in considerable volume and the science-fiction world had begun to take notice that an unheralded major new writer had appeared.

At lunch one day, the man who became Miller’s principal editor, John Campbell, talked about him with mock embarrassment: “He keeps sending them in one after another,” he said, “and I just can’t stop buying them.”

They weren’t merely good, either Some among them were immediately hailed as great — A Canticle for Leibowitz, for instance. Before long it was evident that a strong new force had emerged in American science fiction, and its name was Walter Miller, Jr.

 
All right, friends. Now we come to the hard part, because I’m doing my best to tell the sometimes unpleasant truth. Miller wasn’t just a writer I respected He was also the man my estranged wife Judy Merril had taken up with.

At first we all acted pretty civilized about it. Then, when Judy and I got into our endless Annie Wars over the custody of that very nice little baby, Ann Pohl, that the two of us had jointly brought into the world, Miller totally took her side.

I don’t mean just in verbal encounters. I mean that once when I went to the house Miller and Judy had rented — my daughter Ann living with them because we were all trying to make a system of taking turns in having Ann live with us work — and went to their house to pick Annie up because it was my turn, the two of them refused to give her up.

What happened then was just about what you would expect to happen: disagreement, followed by yelling. But then Miller got tired of talk. He went into their bedroom, and when he came out he was carrying a rifle pointed at my face. He ordered me to leave.

Continue reading ‘Walter M. Miller Jr.: My last fist fight’ »

Frederik Pohl

 

 
By Elizabeth Anne Hull

Elizabeth Anne Hull

Elizabeth Anne Hull

Windycon 41 was a lot of fun for me this year, especially the session dedicated to Frederik Pohl and his impact on science fiction.

Some highlights: We opened with a solemn presentation to me of a polished brass plaque which appeared on a commemorative bench at Loncon this year by Helen Montgomery and Dave McCarty from the executive committee of Chicon 7 and ISFiC. I was truly touched.

Gene Wolfe, our friend who lived in nearby Barrington till just recently, joined the panel at the last minute, and set the tone for the panel and made the audience laugh when he talked about how upset he was when Fred and I got married, and I soon after stopped being one of the hosts of our local fan group, SFFNCS (a.k.a. Science Fiction Fans of the Northwest Chicago Suburbs, pronounced “Sphinx”). In my defense, being Fred’s wife took a lot more time than being his girlfriend! Not to mention that I was holding down a full-time job at Harper College and developing their Honors Program, as well as the fact that Fred and I did a lot of traveling together to some pretty interesting and exotic places around the world.

Fred’s long-time editor Jim Frenkel kept us focused on the description of the panel: Fred’s multifaceted contributions to the field. He revealed some of what it was like to work editorially with Fred, who could always recognize a good editorial suggestion when he received it. We all agreed that all of Fred’s experience as an editor both for magazines and for books had sharpened his fiction skills and the ability to self-edit, and his period of agenting had also made him very aware of how important marketability is to a writer’s career.

I admitted that Fred was already a Big Name Pro and had a lot of experiences that I knew about only second hand when I met him at the Worldcon in Kansas City in 1976. I had in fact, taught The Space Merchants in my SF class but changed to Gateway in the late ’70s.

Long-time Chicago-area fan Neil Rest talked about the sensation Fred made on local fans when he came with me to one of parties held every month at the apartment of George Price (of Advent:Publishers) —or perhaps it was at one of the weekly meetings on the North Side called “Thursday,” quite possibly at the home of Alice Bentley, who might have been still a teenager or at least wasn’t yet a bookstore owner. We did a lot better at remembering our feelings than actual details, as will happen over more than 30 years.

From his beginnings in the New York area in the ’30s, Fred never gave up fanac and his sense of being a fan when he became a pro. I told how thrilled Fred was at Foolscap in Seattle in 2000 where Fred and Ginjer Buchanan (then an editor at Ace) were co-fan guests of honor. They called the con the “Fred and Ginjer Show.” In the ’30s and ’40s, Fred told me many times, he was very fond of the beautiful and talented Ginger Rogers, who he said, had to do all the steps Fred Astaire did, only backwards and in high heels.

Much more recently, Fred was also entirely thrilled in 2010 when he won a Hugo as Best Fan Writer at Aussiecon for his work in this blog. He was happy to give credit wherever due, and thanked his blogmeister, Leah A. Zeldes, who allowed him to concentrate on writing without having to worry about the technicalities of the Internet posting, as well as Dick Smith, who enabled Fred to use his obsolete word processor to write both fiction and non-fiction.

Continue reading ‘Windycon Honors Frederik Pohl’s Contributions to SF’ »

20141024-205158.jpg