Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Jerry Kaufman, Seattle WA

Now that I've read a great deal of the monster that is issue #27, I find myself with just a few things to add.

We here at Littlebrook don't do theme issues except as an afterthought. Several issues ago I noticed we had a couple of articles that related to travel, so I pretended all the articles were travel-related, whether actual physical travel or mental travel. The most recent issue's theme of Popular Culture was also selected after I realized that most of the articles could be characterized as such.

Taral's point of view about US voters and Worldcon site selection is very different from my perception. I think that, given the choice between a US bid and a viable foreign bid, the Worldcon has nearly always gone to the foreign site. "Viable" is a key word -- I don't think Zagreb could have won because few in the US thought it could really work. However, I've done no research to find out what bids opposed all those Canadian, British, Australian, etc. winning worldcons, so my perceptions could simply be self-serving.

I also doubt that Japanese voters had anything to do with Montreal's win, but maybe Taral was being tongue-in-cheek, and it's pointless for me to argue about it. (If you sent Chall to Kevin Standlee, I'm sure he will not be able to resist responding to Taral in depth on this and other points.)

Having said that, I will also say that Taral's a deserving choice, considering not only all the art he's done over the years, but also his writing, his fanzines (including, for instance, the provocative DNQ), and his other publishing projects. It's especially appropriate for a Canadian Worldcon to recognize him, but I think such an honor would not have been amiss if a US Worldcon had given it to him.

I enjoyed Joseph Green's overview of Clarke's work, but would have enjoyed it more if it had more about the mystic side of Clarke (something which I've noticed myself), and if Joe had shown more how the two sides of Clarke's writerly personality relate to one another. (Perhaps he's done this somewhere else?)

The late Sir Arthur's work is susceptible to many critical perspectives. Challenger is open to hearing all, hint-hint-hint.

I liked Julia Morgan-Scott's illustrations for her article.

The illos preceded the article. I asked Julia to write it after seeing them.

Warren Buff's article on science fiction rock reminded me that in Seattle we have a band called Bloodhag (there are umlauts over each "o" but I can't add them in AOL) that writes heavy metal songs about science fiction writers and has been known to toss copies of paperbacks by their song subjects into the audience. Greg and Astrid Bear love them but as I'm not a heavy metal fan (I believe what they do is better characterized as speed metal, but hey) and can't understand a word they sing, I avoid them. (You however, may like them, so seek out and listen for yourself.)

And that really is that.


Blogger Cheryl said...

Kevin doubtless has my copy to read, but I'm not sure there's much to add beyond what Jerry said. Worldcon voters like to travel. For every non-US complaint like Taral's that assumes that American voters will always prefer an American venue, you can find at least one complaint by an American fan that once again Worldcon has gone overseas and Americans can't afford to attend. The regular attendees, who are the people who do most of the voting, can afford to travel, and they like to do so.

Other than that, I think all that Kevin and I have to say is that we are delighted to see one of our favorite fan artists as a Worldcon GoH.

7:16 AM  

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