1968 Hugo Ceremony Transcript
Note: Baycon, the 1968 Worldcon, had its entire program taped by KPFA. Alva Rogers had a transcript made of the Hugo Awards Ceremony for a planned Proceedings of Baycon. It's a bit of a mess. This is cleaned up as much as I can do so, guessing in many cases about who was being referred to under the various spellings of names, and interpolating Alva's handwritten corrections when they make sense. I've also had to guess about when various people started and stopped speaking. It's been easier to retype the whole thing than try to get an OCR system to deal with it. Punctuation is, as always with a transcript from a recording, a guess – I've done my best to make it cleaner for the text as something to read.
I have not, however, tried to change what people said 47 years ago. This is a document of our history. Anything said then probably wouldn't be said the same way now. Some other documents from the proposed Proceedings exist, but not many; after we get this cleaned up, I may publish some of them in the same way. —Tom Whitmore, cleaner
Robert Silverberg (Toastmaster): Forgive me for beginning the festivities on a solemn note, but I think I should explain what I'm doing up here, as I'm not the Toastmaster who was chosen for this a year ago when Alva, Ben and Bill made their convention bid. The man for whom I'm substituting tonight is Anthony Boucher, one of those who left us during this very, very cruel year. And so before we begin the amusements, I would like to ask just a moment of silence for Tony, for Ron Ellik, for Lee Jacobs, for Helen Bretnor; for all the others who are not with us tonight. Thank you.
I think it's rather appropriate, in a way, that I am the one who's filling in for Tony. For Tony, after all, is science fiction's outstanding Catholic layman, and I, though I'm not Catholic, am recognized as the Pope by Randall Garrett. No, I'm quite, quite serious – no, Randy does recognize me as Pope. I'm probably the only Jewish boy who set out to become Pope, and ended up as President of the Science Fiction Writers of America. I recognize Randy, incidentally, as my Archbishop of Canterbury Designate. And you know, when you think of the relationship of the Church of Rome and the Archbishop of Canterbury, you can see I plan some very large changes when I ascend to the throne of St. Peter. Randy and I, when we climbed the C.B.C. Taub ((? Alva's correction of "this excluded tower", close as I can read it)) we had a falling out about the name I was to bear in my papacy. I had selected Sixtus, Pope Sixtus, as my regnal title. There have been five Pope Sixtuses, and I would have been, perhaps, Pope Sixtus the Sixth. This had a certain charm. Randy, however, being a keen student of theological lore, had a better suggestion, I think: Pope Peter II. Peter the I, of course, was the last Jew to hold the job.
Now we explained all of this to Tony, and I think he took it kindly, though I'm not sure – in any case he smiled – and we have interpreted that correctly, I think. So let us hope that the shadow of my papacy is looking down on tonight's ritual. It is a ritual, you know, this Banquet of ours. We have an altar, we have a high priest, we have some IDOLS down there… and as I thought over this religious aspect of these things, it struck me quite forcefully how many of the previous Toastmasters have been Jewish. For example, Bob Tucker (Bob, I think, goes to some other church to keep up a front, but he lives in a very small Midwestern town), or Isaac Asimov. Isaac – oh, don't applaud, he's not here! – Isaac, you know, is quite frequently seen in the West Newton Massachusetts Synagogue; he keeps a typewriter in one of the alcoves upstairs. Bob Bloch, who is another Toastmaster of other years who is out there somewhere in that gray, shapeless mass: Bob, when he lived in Weyauwega, Wisconsin, and between writing chores, served in a rabbinical capacity for the entire Jewish population of Weyauwega, Wisconsin. Another one of Jewish toastmasters that most of you probably don't know is Tom Boardman, who held the job in 1965 when the convention was in London. Tom, I think, is an Episcopalian, but he's an American who spent all of his life in England, and that makes him a kind of Jew, I think. And then last year. Last year, Harlan Ellison. Harlan Ellison had the job. And Harlan is a kind of voluntary Jew. Which is to say that he was duly born into the faith, and went through all the attendant rituals, but his name is Harlan Ellison. This is a very, very American name. It's the kind of name Jews change their name to. This is his real name, and despite the fact that he has this WASPish anonymity that he could wear, Harlan runs around saying "I am Jewish! Nail me up! I am Jewish!"
Now, we have a very ecumenical gathering here tonight. There are delegates from many parts of the world. Tijuana, I believe; West Germany, Uruguay; other places too numerous to think of. The man that the Trans-Oceanic Fan Fund has sent us is Takumi Shibano and his wife. Is that Hong Kong you come from, Takumi? I'm sorry, that wasn't fair.
Another of the aliens in our midst comes from sunny England, that's John Brunner. I have a very interesting relationship with John Brunner. I'll explain it. Ever since Doc Lowndes referred to John Brunner as the British Robert Silverberg, I've been watching the man very closely trying to see if this is true. And I've come to the conclusion that John Brunner is the British Robert Silverberg. We are of the same age, almost to the month; we are roughly the same height and general physique. Brunner wears a neat beard, he's extraordinarily witty and handsome, he's a productive science fiction writer, not sufficiently recognized by the public. There are many points of resemblance. Among the other points we have in common, we are both married men. Did you know John Brunner was a married man? Here we part company, though. I always bring my wife to the conventions. But of course John has farther to travel. I'm sorry, John.
I think it might be appropriate to tell you who these mysterious people are on the platform beside me, some of whom you may recognize. Some of them, I'm sure, are very unfamiliar to you, like this little fellow with the pipe here ((Harlan)). So I will introduce them to you; kindly make no demonstrations of affection, disapproval – we will take it all in one warm bath. We have Sir Hamilton, William Donaho, Sid Rogers, Alva Rogers, Luise Perrin, ------ Harlan Ellison, Betty Farmer, Philip Jose Farmer, Robert Silverberg, Walter Daugherty, Elaine Ellsworth, Ben Stark, Miriam Allen deFord, J. Francis McComas, and Mrs. Phyllis Boucher ((Actually Phyllis White, but most there did not know Boucher under his real name of William A. P. White – so this made why she was there much more obvious.)) Miriam, incidentally, had a birthday last week – I think it was number 80. She is leading the race to the generation gap, which is of course a topic that has come under much discussion over the last three or four days. I've been thinking of it in relation to myself, for example. When Alva called me and asked me to undertake the Toastmastering chore, my first thought was that usually the Toastmaster is a much older man, Bob Bloch for example. But, since I've been here, I conducted some anthropological research. I was out in the corridor about 2:00 last night conducting it. And I noticed a number of the younger fans were poisoning their names with substances that had not even been invented at the time that I was their age, and I realized that I was an older man, too. So I'm on that side of the generation gap.
Down in front of me grinning broadly is Lester del Rey, the William Jennings Bryan of science fiction. He's a couple of notches ahead of me, but I'm catching him.
Actually I've been to a great many of these things; I think this is about 15. I've listened to all the dreary jokes from up here and been the butt of a few. I've seen almost everything in these times. I've seen John W. Campbell, Jr. stand almost ten feet tall and ask a publisher who had fleeced him of money where his money was. That was a wonderful experience. He usually stands eight feet tall, but when confronted with confronting thieving publishers he gets an extra foot. I remember the 1953 convention: watching a memorable poker game in which Rog Phillips and Bob Tucker and other similar characters had roped in a 13 year old fan named Dave Ish who had had more to drink than a 13 year old fan should have even at a convention and yet Dave was winning all the pots. I remember the Masquerade here in Oakland, if this is indeed Oakland, or one of these cities – four years ago, in which we had Chinese Indians providing the entertainment, and then Rotsler brought a Rotsler girl in with him and that was the last anyone saw or heard of the Chinese Indians. All sorts of things have gone on. There was the London Convention of 1957, which about eight of you attended. That was in the old days of science fiction conventions. We had about 80 people there. 55 flew over from the US. The rest was British fandom as of 1957. The convention then was held in the Kings Court Hotel, which had a combination meeting room and breakfast hall. And around 11 each night, they'd put out the corn flakes for the following morning's breakfast. The fans of course went trooping through the hall all night while harried waitresses cried "You're getting dust in the corn flakes!" Anyway, there've been a lot of these things. This is, according to Forry Ackerman, the 30th World Science Fiction Convention. Forry as usual is anticipating things. I believe this is only the 26th, but that's perhaps not too many. . We have all manner of things to do tonight. We have trophies to hand out, Guests of Honor to endure, like that. So I think we should get down to the business at hand, and start doling out the honors you have come here to see. For example, I have this shining little plaque here. This thing goes to Harlan. Now let me tell you a little about Harlan.
Harlan: Careful, Bob!
RS: Actually, I don't think I'll say much about Harlan. Most of it's all been said before. Much of it's been pretty tasteless and hostile, actually. So I don't want to go through all that weary stuff about how short Harlan is, or how ruthless and aggressive, or how he mercilessly thrusts his charisma at people. I won't do that because, after all, I've known Harlan for many years, think after all it would be cruel. So we'll pass over all of that. We'll pass over the disquisition I've prepared on Harlan's efforts to pass the altitude gap, and I'll simply give him this lovely little thing – you're singing at me, Harlan! – which was awarded to him as editor of Dangerous Visions, which of course was 1967's largest, tallest and thickest anthology. No, actually, it was more than that: and I'll read to you what it says. "To Harlan Ellison, Editor of Dangerous Visions, the most significant and controversial science fiction book published in 1967, presented by the Baycon Committee Sept. 1, 1968." Harlan, will you come up and take this, and don't say a thing otherwise.
Actually, I would have let him say something if he'd insisted, but he's basically afraid of me. Now we'll move on to --- what is he doing? It's quite shiny! And the inscription, you have to admit, is eloquent. I understand Harlan dictated it this morning.
We have among our many annual rituals here the one that Forry J Ackerman presides over: it's the Big Heart Award, which is given for some dewy-eyed and sentimental reason. And old Forry, biggest heart of all, each year comes up to present this to somebody worthy of commendation and praise. Forry, take it away.
Ackerman: Well, ten years have now passed since we lost E. Everett Evans, the man truly with the biggest heart of all, and this is our annual pleasure: we now honor a fan who lives up to the tradition of Ev. This particular award's meaning is that some professional or fan among us has for many, many years enriched our professional life or fan life above and beyond the call of duty without even thinking of any award.
There was a time when Edgar Rice Burroughs was not recognized as a science fiction author. There was quite a problem in getting him published in the pages of Amazing Science Fiction Stories, and it was this particular fan, as some of you old-timers will remember, who was responsible for Edgar Rice Burroughs appearing in this issue of Hugo Gernsback’s Amazing Stories with The Mind Master of Mars. In the December 1929 Astounding Stories he led the movement to shave the pages of the magazine, that we should have a nice presentable magazine without the ragged edges that were presented at that time. And moving on to Miracle Science and Fantasy Stories, which was faltering with its second issue: there was some reason to believe it would not see its third. It was this particular fan who came to the rescue with his letter campaign, so that the third issue of Science and Fantasy appeared. And finally one of his enduring projects was the Triple F, the Foreign Fan Fund which was responsible for bringing Arthur C. Clarke over to America in 1946, when he was still a fan rather than an outstanding pro.
Now at this point I have noticed that Sam Moskowitz has raised his eyebrow and whispered to Bob Madle ‘cause he realized that there was no second issue of Amazing Stories Annual. About that time Bob was wondering what it was all about because he realized there was no December 1929 issue of Astounding, because they only began in January 1930. Other historians in the crowd will realize there was no third issue of Miracle Science and Fantasy Stories, and finally of course there was no Foreign Fan Fund. Always remember that you were fed four red herrings this evening, courtesy of Forry Ackerman, after the Banquet.
We're getting close now to revealing who the winner is. I can tip you this far: his initials are HWJ. Now it has long been an argument among fans whether science fiction is a hobby or a way of life. This particular fan believes it is a hobby, and he certainly lived up to it in the many years he has devoted to science fiction. There was more unanimity in the election of the gentleman who is to receive this honor this evening than at any time in the previous nine awards. Just two weeks ago, I saw the widow of E. Everett Evans, and she herself wished her name added to that of Robert Bloch and B. Tucker and Bjo and all the people who selected HWJ. Now many of you may think this is Harry Warner, Jr., and certainly in the future I believe that he will win this award – but the HWJ tonight stands for Hobbyist Walter James, the man who created the Big Heart Award.
Daugherty: Beautiful. You got me right up until the last minute. Because he's been telling me it was Harry Warner, Jr. As you know, I have to create this thing, and as you notice it is blank on the front, because I always ask before the convention "Let me know who it is, so I can get the name engraved on it." He's been stalling me and stalling me: no, we don't have it yet. And when we got up here to the convention I said "Well, you must know who it is by now – who is it?" and he said "Harry Warner, Jr." So right up to the last second that I created this award, I created it in the memory of a wonderful friend of mine, E. Everett Evans. I wanted to be sure that every year this name would be brought up at convention. I never thought I would receive it, but it is a very special thing that I have. And I thank you very kindly.
Silverberg: Old Forry is a crafty guy, isn't he! That was quite a string of mis-information, and SaM, you didn't say a word. Is it true that you were not aware that there had not been a December '29 Astounding? Why did you not rise like a wounded water ox and set old Forry straight? Well, Forry probably tipped SaM off to keep him quiet.
This has been quite a convention, incidentally. There's never been anything quite like this. Let's take a little census, just to give a statistical air to things. How many of you are actually staying at the Claremont Hotel? Okay, how many of you are staying at other hotels in the Berkeley-Oakland area? Okay, how many of you are staying at other hotels within the state of California? Actually, I think it is a rare and wonderful thing to spread everyone all over the Bay like this. It gives the far-ranging touch that that we of the science fiction world like to cultivate.
I turned Harlan off pretty rapidly before, stunned him with an award that he hardly expected, would not let him talk; and he's had some time to think that over, and regrets it. He would like to come up and give you about 4.8 seconds of charisma. Harlan?
Ellison: I really didn't know that they were going to give it to me, and while it's nice for me to have it, it's obvious that the book, while a lot of my gibbering is in it, is the work of 31, actually 32, other authors, all the way from Asimov to Zelazny; and had it not been for Philip Jose Farmer, Lester del Rey, Miriam Allen deFord and everyone else who has really broken their backs to make it a fine book it would never have happened. All I can promise you for your kindness and the way you receive it, is that there will be a second one and that we will do it again. Thank you.
Silverberg: I don't remember authorizing a commercial. I've devoted a lot of thought, incidentally, to the place that Harlan will hold in the church hierarchy when the time comes: and we, Randall and I, have been pondering various obscure bishoprics. Harlan Ellison, Bishop of Sodor and Man, or we were thinking of sending him to Biafra on a one-man rescuing mission Harlan would negotiate. I'm not going to tell Harlan Ellison jokes, I'm not, I'm not, I'm not!
What I'm going to do is ask Ed Wood to gravitate toward the platform in order to perform a peculiarly local part of the ritual. Ed, who is having a certain amount of difficulty getting down the narrow aisle. I thought I'd have to explain why I was filibustering like this. Ed will present what is rightly known as the Invisible Little Man Award. Cradling with care. Getting twenty fingerprints on the highly polished metal. Ed Wood, the Lester del Rey of science fiction.
Wood: The Little Men of Berkeley take great pride in presenting an amply-deserved award to Jessie F. McComas, an anthologist (who can forget the wonderful Adventures in Time and Space?); a co-editor and founder of Fantasy and Science Fiction with Anthony Boucher: co-editor until the July 1954 issue and Consultant thereafter, I believe. Also you may remember a few stories of his under his pen name, Webb Marlowe – "Flight into Darkness", February 1943 Astounding… ah, we have all that information, Jessie, and I think we'll let people know you were born in 1911. Let us read the inscription: "The Elves, Gnomes, and Little Men's Science Fiction, Chowder, and Marching Society Award, The Invisible Little Man: To J. Francis McComas for his contribution to the Science Fiction Field, September 1, 1968." Here y'are, Jessie!
McComas: Well, this is an unexpected pleasure, and a very great honor. I'm deeply flattered. I wish, if I can make a wish, that my friend Anthony Boucher were here to share in my pleasure tonight, but he is not, and that's the way it is sometimes. At this time, could I make an announcement, Bob? We are doing a memorial volume, a two-volume set, for Anthony Boucher: one volume to consist of mystery and suspense fiction; the other will consist of science and fantasy fiction. We would appreciate, we need, submissions from authors who are willing to extend us a story for this anthology, this collection. If any of you right at present have any story you would like to see so honored, please send it to Apt 9, 2852 California St, San Francisco. Thank you very much indeed.
Silverberg: Ed Wood had been practicing that dive all during the convention. ((Wood fell off the platform while McComas was speaking.)) He was up here last night during the light show, trying it out. Occasionally you saw crossing the screen what you thought perhaps was a spaceship taking off or something? That was Ed. He shattered one of those electronic bagpipes into smithereens, which is why they had to change tumblers in the middle of the production. We're not going to start the light show for another half-hour tonight. I think we're going to do it in the middle of the GoH speech. The GoH just provided a little light show of his own here, several different colors.
How many of you … I'm staying in this hotel, too. How many of you were in this hotel when the steam pipes began playing their little acid rock tune, I think it was about six o'clock this morning? Wasn't that wonderful? Wasn't that garoooovy? I had been asleep about an hour. I heard what sounded like an electronic guitar clink next to my ear, and then what sounded like an electronic Sam Moskowitz. Well, it was … it was … unusual.
What shall we do next? We have such a long, long list of events. I'm standing, I have my shoes off, it's quite comfortable up here. Let us give out another of those little plaques now. There, that shiny one down there. Is there a Roddenberry in the house?
I have here a plaque with long pointed ears. This is National Kiss an Executive Producer of Star Trek Week – Harlan, kiss him for me. The plug has been pulled, all the charisma has run out. This object says "To Gene Roddenberry for Producing Star Trek 1967, Presented by the Baycon Committee September 1, 1968."
Roddenberry: Thank you so much. I'm touched. I am also thankful to Harlan for his response.
Silverberg: At this stage, I think we should unveil one of our many Guests of Honor. We have two of them. We have one on my right, your left I guess, is one of the honorary Charter Members of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society – what an honorary Charter Member is I do not know, but I think it's very important. We have the originator of the Westercons, one of which I think is going on simultaneously with this very event. We have the sponsor of the Big Heart Award, we have the retired tango expert, radio-TV personality (I think he strung up one of those speakers during our emergency), Walter J. Daugherty.
Daugherty: As a general rule, when I stand up to speak I don't think I'm very interesting, but after an introduction like that I'm dying to hear what I have to say. I must start this off, however, with one note. I have gotten along wonderfully with Harlan Ellison. Today he passed me a compliment: he was over looking through my exhibit: the photographs I had taken, over there. You know how Harlan does not often give off with a compliment. But Harlan said, "Do you know, these photographs are beautiful, these photographs are wonderful work. What kind of camera do you use to take these pictures?" I told him, "Well, mostly I use a Speed Graphic, but mostly I can use a Hasselblad or something else." Since then I have been thinking quite a bit, and having thought it over I'd like to address just a little remark to Mr. Ellison. Mr. Ellison has risen to great heights with his writings, which are very fine writings. Harlan, what kind of a typewriter do you use?
Ellison (from the audience): A Silverberg!
Daugherty: I have been waiting for 32 years for this opportunity to show I could give you a somewhat not brilliant, but comprehensive talk on science fiction, fantasy, and weird. I have been preparing that speech for 33 years. I auctioned it off today! I got $865.00 for it from the Oakland Junk Company. Because after all this time I was told "20 minutes." Well, if Abe Lincoln can do it, so can I. For the old timers, this will probably be a bit nostalgic. For I was asked to talk specifically about some of the interesting events that have occurred, gone on, during the last 30 years in fandom: 33 actually, in October. And asking me to do those 30 years! But for those new members of fandom, this will be sickening. I wish Ray were here. Is Ray here? I think he left and went back.
Some of the things, to be a little serious with a little humor in it, that have gotten me over the years, are the way that I enjoy the reading that I do in science fiction and fantasy and weird. But I'm not like the average fan. For example, there may be a fine story that is excellent writing that has reached the classic stage done by an old-time writer or one of the new writers. Frankly, this does not impress me. For the simple reason that I will admit it; and there are probably a number of you out there that won't admit it. I read science fiction and fantasy for escape. So therefore I like to read stories that I just personally like. And a lot of these authors have come up with stories that have made no great splash but to me, are the nicest things they have done. I'll give you a couple of examples. Here, Bob Bloch: we would probably name a couple of dozen really fine ones, but I wonder how many of you have ever read one of the funniest things I have ever read in a science fiction or weird magazine, and this appeared in Weird Tales I believe, "Nursemaid to Nightmares."
Another thing I do is a lot of speaking on ancient history subjects, so it is a real pleasure to me that I occasionally am able to pick up a book by Bob Silverberg. Now his books I read cover to cover on history, and I'm happy to say one science fiction writer.
Now mind you, after 30 years at the hobby of Egyptology I've read just about everything that comes out on Egyptology. And I've had people say "What is a good book to pick up just to get a general idea; well, this is a hard selection to make from hundreds and hundreds of books. But I finally come up now, from just accidentally picking up the book at the store and then reading it, and re-reading it three times before I could lay it down, the finest and most comprehensive book on the ancient Egyptians that I have ever read in my life, and I recommend it heartily if you want to know the history of Ancient Egypt, is Isaac Asimov's The Egyptians.
Another old-time writer who I enjoy a great deal is A. Hyatt Verrill for the simple reason that he was an archaeologist, he was a science fiction and fantasy writer and he was able to get those facts in there and mix them up so beautifully with his fiction.
Now we get back to Ray Bradbury. I love to leave a little tickle in your mind and then leave it and come back to it. My favorite story of Bradbury's is "I, Rocket" – I think it appeared in Amazing – just a simple little story, one in which it was told from the point of view of the spaceship and all the people inside it were just like microbes or a disease within its systems, a beautiful little story that I really enjoyed. A couple of other things I really enjoyed by Ray Bradbury which he would rather forget one of them on the curious side. One which he did many, many years ago called "October" – I'm not going to repeat it all, just a few lines, two or three lines, have always been beautiful – "October, the ripe, the gold month has come, sharp as the prick of a starneedle, sly as the wind that gathers on the skirts of the town…." That's the way it starts out, I've always enjoyed that a great deal. Then of course this one he would really rather forget, and I think the little poem I will give you. I think that the few lines are all there is to the poem: "In the field the gentle heather/Sniffing at a perfumed zephyr/Just imagine this bovine hag/Standing around holding the bag."
Another thing, I know John is sitting over there, and I don't think you've ever heard this story. This is one that has puzzled us for a couple of years that possibly you will be able to remember this and before we leave this convention you can be able to tell me what happened.
One night many years ago, I think it was Forry Ackerman, myself, Cleve Cartmill were up at Bob Heinlein's house, we were having a late dinner, I think it was around 10:00 or something like that, when Cleve Cartmill came in and said he had a story, right to send it off to Campbell, everything is perfect except I've got to have a title on it. We said, "What's the story about?" He said, "Well, it's short." We said, "Well, read it.." He sat down and read us the story, and we just couldn't come up with a title. And as the evening wore on, in the middle of conversation during the evening just breaking in someone might break in with a title like "Ashtray!" Yeah, yeah, no, no, no, that's not it; later on, someone would pop in with another title: no, no, that's not it. Finally when we all sat down for dinner, right in the middle of dinner, all of a sudden Bob said "Sister Act." Everybody practically jumped out of their chair, that's it, that's it, there couldn't possibly another title for the story, it is absolutely beautiful. He went right out and put it on the story. It was accepted by Mr. Campbell, and I hope you all enjoyed the story "Bit of Tapestry."
I couldn't've talked on science fiction without saying a few words, not syrupy words, just a few words on one of the finest friends I've had in my life, one of my closest friends. But I'm going to explain this close friend to you, a little anecdote about him, that's about my buddy back there Forrest J Ackerman. With all these years of close friendship, Esquire Magazine came out to do an article on him. Forry suggested that they have me do the photography, but knowing how Esquire works, they had to send their own photographer all the way out from New York; and he sort of sauntered into the room with one hand on one hip, and all during the day while I was around and Forry was around he kept saying "your buddy Daugherty," "your buddy Ackerman." Only I think he would say "you buddy Daugherty," "you buddy Ackerman." Well, Forry and I took it for most of the afternoon, and once in a while Forry can really bite, he can really be sharp with that tongue, because just about the time he was ready to leave this fellow said "By the way, how long have you and Walt been buddies?" Forry said, "If you mean friends, for about 30 years, buddy."
Another little anecdote about Bob Heinlein, which I had nothing to do with, but I think is rather cute. He used to live up in one of those canyons in which you had to climb a large series of stairs. When you get up to one of those places where there's a Y in the stairs, and one of them, one of the paths to the Y, goes to a little room that he has downstairs. Now if you know anything about Bob, you know that he likes to write in quiet. He's not really temperamental, but if someone comes and knocks on the door, his thought's broken and it may break up his work for the afternoon or the rest of the day. The other part of this Y goes up to his main door, but it's funny that the path up to his little room seems more direct, so it seems as though whenever anyone came up to see him they would take that section and go up and rap on the door where he was working. Bob took this for just so long. Then he got an idea. He went into town and got ahold of a sign-maker and had this sign-maker make a little sign XOZYLOPHONE LABORATORY DANGER KEEP OUT. ((Actually, it said NITROSYNCRETIC rather than XOZYLOPHONE – but that's not what's in the transcript!)) He was never bothered at that door again.
I'm going to close this off by saying a few things about the one thing that makes fandom so wonderful to me and has been very kind to me in this respect. In all the many years I have been involved I have gathered more friends in science fiction than I have in any other hobby that I have ever been in. I can't name them all, just a couple of two or three to give you an idea of the type of things. For example Fritz Leiber, Sam Russell and I spent about a year in preparation for a thing on H. P. Lovecraft that had to be taped and everything. We would go over to Sam's house, where we worked together about once a month there, we'd get ready to work, we'd go along. About the middle of the evening Florence comes in with the refreshments. Now mind you, there's an average of 5 – 6 there. In comes the tray, with pie on it. Which is perfectly normal, isn't it? Except that there happen to be five pies. Full pies, and delicious! That's hospitality. Another two people very dear to me who have created something we have needed in the LA area for some time: a place for the old-timers to get together once a month and have that bull session that goes on until 3. 4, 5, 6…. Their breakfasts are delicious too. That's Tom and Terri Pinckard, two very wonderful people, too.
I could have taken my full twenty minutes up here and only gotten started, because I can look around here and over the years and see the number of people I've known for so long, such wonderful friends. There's Walt Liebscher sitting out there, Art Widner sitting there, you don't know what it is to have so many years of these wonderful, wonderful friends! Ross Rocklynne, who I've known for 25 years, Jack Williamson back there, Bob Bloch – I know he's hiding over here, and his wonderful wife Ellie – there's nothing that can replace these wonderful friendships. Now, I have named those that are good friends of mine. I could go on with a lot of people that I just know, that are fine friends of mine, but it takes years to be really good friends. But you begin to create as the years go along. I created a few this year. I have met a new person and his very charming wife, and I'm sure it will grow into a wonderful friendship as the years go along, Harry Harrison and his very charming wife, there's been several others. At this convention I've met several here who I've chatted with. These can grow into good friendships. I think one reason I get along with a lot of the authors is that I don't think there's one single author who can ever say that I have come up and tried to sell them on an idea for a story, nor have I ever brought a manuscript to them and asked would they help me on this manuscript. I have never done it, because I am interested in them as people, and they are wonderful people. And especially three son-of-a-guns up here that live in the San Francisco area that I love: Bill Donaho, Alva Rogers, and J. Ben Stark who is hiding under the table.
As I said it would be sloppy, but that's the way I feel about fandom: they're wonderful, wonderful people and by damn I love every DAMN one of you. Thank you.
Silverberg: Thank you, Walt. Are you California fans always like that? You and Ackerman: sentimentalists, that's all they are. We don't allow that in New York. You get an assortment of old-time science fiction fans at a New York convention, they don't stand up here as Walt just did and spread warmth and love and good fellowship around. They talk about how they captured a mimeograph in 1939 and put out a Manifesto.
Well, as long as we're back at the Generation Gap, you know that until 1948 or so, every Memorial Day a few doddering veterans of the Civil War would come out: the last few veterans of the Blue and the Gray, they were I guess 110 and 115 years old, and they would march feebly around and raise their respective flags and glare at each other as though it were 1862 again, and they were back at lunch at Bull Run. Well, we have an organization called First Fandom. First Fandom is our equivalent of the GAR and Boys in Grey. It's an old-timer's organization for people like Bob Madle and Sam Moskowitz, Fred Pohl, Lester del Rey, Norman Spinrad. And at some point during each convention these boys go off and do Gods know what in one of the downstairs rooms. Last night Evelyn del Rey, who is a First Fan by marriage, went down there to peer at the Sacred Mysteries. I wasn't sure wives were invited; evidently she wasn't sure, but she went down. Came back about 15 minutes later, grey in the face. "What went on down there, Evelyn?" I said. She didn't answer, she left awfully fast. Anyway, this grand and ancient order presents an award each year, a First Fandom Award, and one of the members will come up tonight to bestow it: Edmond Hamilton, no mean science fiction writer himself, but appearing now as a member of Fandom. Ed, do you want to come up and hand out that award?
Edmond Hamilton: This is the award from the First Fandom Association. The First Fandom Hall of Fame Award is presented this year to Jack Williamson. I can keep my remarks brief. The First Fandom Hall of Fame Award, presented to Jack Williamson (Dr. John Stewart Williamson) at the 26th World Science Fiction Convention, Berkeley, September 1, 1968. For four decades the name of Jack Williamson has been a towering one in science fiction. From his early romances on through many powerful social and satirical masterpieces, he has been acclaimed as a writer, as a scholarly critic of science fiction. He has won an honored place in science fiction's hall of fame.
Silverberg: It's good to see the way the old fellows hop around like that. Actually, they're pretty active old fellows. Jack Williamson has just completed a new novel called Bug John W. Campbell, Jr..
Well, at this point the Archbishop of Canterbury would like to do his shtick. And I'll tell you briefly how I met Randall Garrett. It was at the 1953 World Science Fiction convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I was then just a fledgling neo-pro: I had just made my first sale, to Harry Harrison, who was rash enough to advance me the money out of his own pocket, thinking his publisher would reimburse him immediately. It was two years later that Harry called me and asked if I'd like to endorse that damn check now. Anyway, I was there in more of a fan capacity than a pro, and Harlan, Dave Ish and I were renting a suite, in which we were renting floor space and having a kind of perpetual party. In the middle of one of these perpetual parties, there was a tremendous crash on the door. And I opened it. Outside, there stood Moby Dick. This creature rocked back and forth and snarled and growled and said "May I come in?" I said "No," and slammed the door, and that was how I met Randy Garrett. Of course I didn't know it was Randy Garrett when I did this. It was just kind of an instinctive thing. Two years later old Randy came to New York, and through some accident that I never clearly understood moved into the hotel where Harlan and I were living, and borrowed my typewriter one night and wrote a story on it. And somehow, that led to a long series of collaborations. But it was a great shock, as I saw that all-too-familiar figure, that way back in 1953 I had thrown a pro out of a party. Well, Archbishop Randall and his wife, the lady Alison, have prepared a small skit for our amusement, and if they'll advance to the podium….
Wuick my lady Misprint. Uh, some of you, perhaps most of you, have read my reviews in verse done for Bob Lowndes's magazine a few years ago. For this occasion I have done another one of them. It's a calypso. It is a review of what I consider one of the finest fantasy books ever written, Three Hearts and Three Lions by Poul Anderson. These are the words. I haven't memorized them, that's why I have to put them down here so I can peek every so often. I want you to know that since yesterday was the costume ball, and tomorrow is the Tournament, the reason my lady and I are wearing medieval garb, is because it is a medieval story. I think we look pretty good in it. Well, at least she does!
There's one little thing that has come up. My lady last night suffered from an attack of laryngitis. And although she is a marvelous singer and also a marvelous guitarist, she sounds a little hoarse. Perhaps because she has a little colt. You will, I noticed last night that there was a young man whose name is Sir Holger Carlson. If he's here, I wish he'd stand up, because this song is going to be about him. I see nobody. Shall we begin, my lady?
((The text of this song can be found in the book The Best of Randall Garrett.))
Silverberg: As I said earlier, this is something of a religious ceremony. We've had our invocations, our benedictions, our singing of hymns, our sermon. We are now about to have our ceremony of canonization, because it is now time to present the Science Fiction Achievement Awards, the Hugos, and that will be done by Harlan Ellison.
Ellison: That's a hard act to follow. I mean, I only want to take over the world. He wants to make it a better place.
Before I begin I have a copy of a book here, and Miriam Allen deFord, would you mind signing it for me? See, writers do get paid, not often, but they do get paid. Yes, I think it's a laudable act, too. We will begin the awards with the Best Fanzine award. Yes, well, you all know what a fanzine is: that's the wisdom God never gave us, in mimeograph form. We will be assisted in the handling of Hugos (these large, phallic ornaments) by Jon deCles. The nominees are:
- Amra, George Scithers, editor
- Australian Science Fiction Review, John Bangsund, editor
- Lighthouse, Terry Carr, editor
- Odd, Raymond D. Fisher, editor
- Psychotic, Richard E. Geis, editor
- Yandro, Robert and Juanita Coulson, editors
Mr. Silverberg, Jesus God may I have the envelope! Frankly Price Waterhouse has absolutely nothing to do with this. This large illuminated envelope which I am having trouble opening tells me that the winner is Amra, George Scithers editor. Accepting for Mr. Scithers is Richard Eney. And while Mr. Eney perambulates through the crowd, I will try to get this hideous piece of paper into its large envelope. Let's hear it.
Eney: On behalf of the Terminus Owlswick and Fort Mudge Electric Street Railway Gazette, I'd like to thank the people that made this possible: Roy Krenkel and Sprague de Camp.
Ellison: The next award is for the Best Fan Artist. This is, of course, a misnomer, because many of the people who draw for fanzines also draw for the prozines. One of these was Jack Gaughan, who asked that his name be removed from this category, for fear perhaps that he would win the fan award and not the professional award. Many of us have that fear! The nominees this year are:
- George Barr
- (The little green dragon) Johnny Chambers
- Steve Stiles
- Arthur Thomson (better known as Atom)
- Bjo Trimble
Dum de dum. I didn't bring the suspense tape this year. The reaction last year was a riot. The winner this year is George Barr. Accepting for George Barr will be Bjo Trimble. That takes guts. She's got a great looking couple of babies. One of them bit me.
Bjo Trimble: George very modestly wrote me, after I asked him what he would do in case he won a Hugo. He said, "First I'm going to faint, then on the very off chance that all of those people out there actually think I'm a good enough artist to win a Hugo, I want you to go up and pick it up, because you look better up there than I do anyway." I don't quite agree with that. George is one of the most wonderful people I know. He is very, very shy. I wish he could be up here and see how many people think he's really great. Thank you.
Ellison: The next category is Best Fan Writer. We all know how significant that is, because if it weren't for the fanzines none of us would be here today. The nominees of course are Robert Bloch, Robert Silverberg, myself, but you didn't get it. The authentic nominees are:
Alexei Panshin, who was formerly a fan writer, took his name off because he sold 19 books this year: he felt it was a bit greedy to try to get that one. The winner is: Herman Melville – that's ridiculous, he hasn't written a thing worth reading … reading in years … Ted White. See – we told you, get rid of the beard, and we'll give you a statue.
Ellison: The Best Professional Artist. Pablo Picasso, Orozco, Gauguin, um… We also have on the list: ((Note: Gray Morrow should have been on the list according to TheHugoAwards.com, but apparently wasn't announced, according to the transcript.))
- Chesley Bonestell
- Frank Frazetta
- Kelly Freas
- Jack Schoenherr, and, accepting for Elsie Wollheim should he win,
- Jack Gaughan
The winner, in the key of E-flat, is Jack Gaughan. Elsie, Mrs. Wollheim – she was at the Hotel Shattuck – up here, up here, come on. Someone shorter than me, I love it.
Elsie Wollheim: This is as much a surprise for me as it is for you, but I do want to say that Jack is one of my favorite people, and I'm more than delighted to accept for him.
Ellison: Now this one is of particular interest to me. It is the Best Professional Magazine. Now I look to Fred Pohl, cold, steely-eyed. I look to you eyeball to eyeball contact. I've always wanted to do a story to a Hannes Bok cover, and we all know Hannes Bok died years ago, and there are no more Hannes Bok covers. Emil Petaja, who started the Bokanalia Foundation, a most laudable kind of Foundation to keep Bok's work alive, called me and we discussed the idea of finding one that had never been published, and I'd write a story around it, and trying to get an SF magazine to use it, and the money would go to the Bokanalia Foundation. Well we went to San Francisco and puttered around, and came up with an amazingly beautiful transparency. Now I managed to get to Fred Pohl, and he took the story (for some small money, I might add), and the cover is a beautiful, beautiful cover and it will be on the December issue of IF. I saw a proof of the cover just the other night, looking at it with glee, my dream fulfilled, right? I saw J. G. Ballard's name on it, Roger Zelazny's name on it, and … but I didn't see my name on it anywhere. And I said to him, Fred, Fred, Brutus, you're assassinating me again! And he said "Well, we can replate the cover, but only if we win a Hugo." Now, ladies and gentlemen, I am a man of great honor. But business is business. The nominees for Best Professional Magazine are:
There's a name for that, it's called extortion. IF, Fred Pohl.
Frederik Pohl: I'll do it, Harlan. I'm honored and pleased to get the Hugo, but I'd like it to be accepted by the man who pays the bills, signs the checks, gives me the editorial freedom that I enjoy: the publisher Bob Guinn.
Bob Guinn: I called the photo engraver on the way up. The credit all goes, as everyone knows, to Fred, Judy-Lynn Benjamin del Rey, Lester del Rey, and the many authors and artists who contribute to the magazine throughout the year. Thank you.
Silverberg: Excuse me, Harlan. We really don't want to hear much from Harlan. Harlan, what have you done with the microphone?
Ellison: I'm busy necking with your wife: you present statues.
Silverberg: We don't want to hear from Harlan about what a good year it's been for novelettes because it happens he's one of the nominees in this category, so I think I'll do this one. Best Novelette, we have these nominees:
- "Faith of Our Fathers" by Philip K. Dick
- "Gonna Roll the Bones," Fritz Leiber
- "Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes" by Harlan Ellison
- "Wizard's World" by Andre Norton
And the winner is "Gonna Roll the Bones" by Fritz Leiber.
Ellison: Silverberg, that's cruel and inhuman punishment. The next category is Best Drama. No, not again!
Silverberg: It happens, somehow, that Harlan is a nominee in this category too. His contribution is entitled
- "City on the Edge of Forever" (Star Trek). The other nominees are
- "Amok Time," Theodore Sturgeon (Star Trek)
- "The Doomsday Machine,"Norman Spinrad (Star Trek)
- "Mirror, Mirror," Jerome Bixby (Star Trek)
- "The Trouble with Tribbles," David Gerrold (Star Trek)
And the winner, from this narrow corridor here, is "City on the Edge of Forever" (Star Trek).
Ellison: Thank you. I don't know what's happening, who I am, where is this. The next thing is – Best Short Story. Let me do this one.
Silverberg: What, are you starting again?
What's the trouble? Can I take a second?
This is very important, because you're all going to see a first. About three weeks ago, there's a party at Larry Niven's place in LA. He'd just come back from Boston where he wired 9,000 fans to support his story, and he'd had a little too much to drink. And he said at this party "I'm going to win this Hugo, and you aren't, and I'll bet you $100 I win it." Well, I like my story, and I like Larry's too. I said, "Larry, you're on. And if Delany wins, it's a standoff and neither one of us wins, right?" And he said, right. So, like, Larry – you got your hundred there? (Larry comes from audience) Larry, you bring your hundred up, and I'll put mine right here; you put yours on top of it, baby. Now, I want to show you that Larry and I are men of such means, we burn our money. Right, Larry? There is a third candidate in this category, Larry: "Aye, and Gomorrah," by Samuel R. Delany. There is not a third pile here. Now, since I am the one reading this, my word will count regardless of the name on this … now if you'd like to have some negotiations before we proceed here… "Read it as it's printed so you don't get a couple of broken arms." I'm willing to discuss percentages, fellows!
Okay, he's right, he's right. I must announce the Hugo winner, but I have no mouth…. And there's a special award for longest title of the year. Uh, yes, well, can I have my other hand? Overcome with emotion as I am, uh, I'd like to tell you about these Hugos. They dissolve under sweat. Thank you very much.
The next category is one of the two most auspicious of the writing categories this year. I think the selections in the Novella and Novel could not have been better. For the first time in many years, the fans exercised severely fine critical judgment. How about that, yeah, suck it toward me…. The nominees – you're not supposed to open your mouth and start on me unless you're in this category, schtumy ((?)). I was supposed to present these things. The Best Novella nominees:
- "Damnation Alley," Roger Zelazny, Galaxy
- "Hawksbill Station," Robert Silverberg, Galaxy
- "Riders of the Purple Wage," Philip Jose Farmer, Dangerous Visions
- "The Star Pit," Samuel R. Delany, Worlds of Tomorrow
- "Weyr Search," Anne McCaffrey, Analog
Apparently, a two-way tie. First winner: "Weyr Search," by Anne McCaffrey.
Anne McCaffrey: This is something I'd write, but it wouldn't happen. I think I'm the first female writer of SF to be presented an award. But there are many other SF writers that stand here behind me, and I learned from them; and without their example, and without their paths that they broke for female writers, like Leigh Brackett, Miriam Allen deFord, Kate Brackett ((probably mis-speaking for Wilhelm)) – oh, I can't think of any more names. This is marvelous. Thank you.
Philip Jose Farmer: Well, I don't know. Back in 1953, I made my speech, I got my Hugo. Now in 1968, I made my speech, I get a Hugo.
Ellison: Ah, Dangerous Visions, a marvelous book. Now it has been said of me that I am a man prone to vengeance. That I am a man who gets even when evil is done to him. Made to wait unnecessarily when bummers are foisted upon his head. The Novel nominees this year are extremely good, with one exception. You will notice that all but one were written by good, upstanding gentle writers. Also gentile. Eat your heart out. The nominees are:
- The Butterfly Kid by Chester Anderson, Pyramid
- CHTHON by Piers Anthony, Ballantine
- The Einstein Intersection by Samuel R. Delany, Ace
- Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny, Doubleday
- (mumble) ((Thorns, actually)) by Robert Silverberg, Ballantine.
How much is that worth to you? Nothing – Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny.
Roger Zelazny: Completely unexpected. Thank you very much. End of speech.
Ellison: We sure fooled them! Now sit down, sit down, don't get cranky. The fun is just beginning. There's an envelope here that says "Mr. Toastmaster." I don't know what it says, but I hope it's something desperately insulting. He doesn't fly, but he doesn't mind being mailed. This piece of paper – no, there's no Hugo in there – Baycon thanks Robert Silverberg, Toastmaster.
Don't say anything yet. Sit down again. Now we all know that Bob has worked hard in the vineyards of SF. Now as illuminated, and as well written, as this paper may be, it only expressed a millionth of our affection in our foremost fuzzy-faced writer, and so in an attempt to more perfectly express our appreciation, not only as a fine writer, and toastmaster, but also for putting in one hell of a year as President of the SFWA, names ----- went in on a small present for him. This is authentic, you're not going to get a whoopee cushion or toilet plunger. Mr. Neil Shapiro, Clarion, will you bring in the large ungainly box which has been residing with you all evening. Nervous, yes, I guess you are. On behalf of all of us, you must describe it minutely. This is from all of us to all of you.
Silverberg: Two hundred and seventeen miles of…
And I thought one of the envious positions of being Toastmaster is being in on all the secrets miles in advance. This one I wasn't. Under this green paper is a black box. Under the lid of the black box there is white tissue paper. Underneath that there is an object. It's a large black leather object with a handle. It has the mysterious letters R S on the side. Open it (NO!! from the audience)), two little locks here go click, click: an envelope here made of leather, on it are embellished THORNS, MASKS OF TIME, HAWKSBILL STATION – inside the envelope… Harlan, thank you.
Ellison: Ladies and gentlemen, unless there is something further from the ladies and gentlemen of the Baycon Committee, I will now turn it over to Robert Silverberg, who will make a total and complete ass of himself. Let me gather up my goodies, please.
Silverberg: We will now proceed to award the 1969 Hugos….
As a matter of fact we have come to the end of the festivities. We hope we will arise on the third day thereafter. I want to thank you all for your patience, your endurance, your kind laughter. I'd like to thank some of you for your votes. And before we … Alva was just refusing to let me credit the Baycon Committee. I would like to say a large Hurrah! for Alva, Ben, and Bill, and all the people in the background who make this the fine convention it is.
Also involved: - 1968-hugo-ceremony-transcript
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