Summer 2007

Read Summer 2007 for Free Online

Book: Read Summer 2007 for Free Online
Authors: Subterranean Press
so many
misconceptions about who he is, what he did, or even what he looked like. Now,
Nick, I know you actually have a little bit of personal history with Godfrey
Winton.
 NS: Well, I really don’t claim to be an expert or scholar
on Godfrey, but I am probably the only person on this panel to have sat on his
lap.
 JS: : Okay.
 NS: Because my parents used to throw
dinner parties back in the 70s, and I had this very kind of “Jonny Quest”
upbringing, with scientists and science fiction writers. Godfrey was a frequent
guest, along with Isaac Asimov, Francis Ford Coppola and other people, sort of
an odd mix, and he was my “Uncle Godfrey.” And so my memories of him are as
this sort of towering figure, with a moustache. This is all from the memory of
a three-year-old. I mean, if I sat in his lap when I was eighteen, this would
be a very different story.
 JS: : It would definitely be a very
different story, and probably a more salable one.
 NS: Probably. It
would also probably scar me.
 JS: : Right. Exactly. Some things are
better left unsaid; unfortunately, this panel is not about those things.
 NS: This is very true.
 JS: : So, we should move on. The first
thing I actually want to address is that in the description of the panel, one
of the things that is noted, and this is in the first line, so let’s talk about
the misperceptions, it mentions that he had eleven Nebulas, and twenty-six
Hugos. This is a common misperception, which of course he actively promoted
while he was still alive.
 SM: Well, yes.
 JS: :
Exactly. Sarah, can you talk a little about this? For example, the Nebulas,
which weren’t actually Nebulas at all.
 SM: Well, no. There were a
number of science fiction associations in the United States, many which had
their own awards, which they give out every year, like you do. One them
happened to be called the “Nebular.”
 JS: : The Nebular.
 SM: The Nebular.
 JS: : With an “R.”
 SM: With an “R.”
There was an unfortunate glitch in a convention program and the “r” was left
off, and of course Winton, being Winton…
 JS: : He never bothered
to correct.
 SM: Actively resisted correcting. Oh yes.
 NS: He might as well take advantage of it if he can.
 JS: : I
suppose, I suppose.
 NS: He was always an opportunist.
 JS: : So the eleven Nebulas are, in fact, Nebular awards. Do we even know what
science fiction association this was?
 SM: Not one that is
currently active. One of the many great schisms of Midwestern fandom in the
1960s.
 JS: : Oh, yes, that’s right. Was it Des Moines? Or was it
Iowa City?
 SM: It may have been Cedar Rapids.
 JS: :
And that’s just a perfect example. Obviously, he’s proud of these awards, he
wants to promote them but at the same time, Nebula, Nebular…
 NS: Funiculì,
Funiculà…
 JS: : Right, exactly. Tomato, Tomatoe.
 NS: Let’s
call the whole thing off.
 JS: : No, we can’t. We still have forty
minutes.
The other thing is that I want to clarify about the Hugos. Now,
it is true he won quite a few Hugos, perhaps more than quite possibly he
deserved. But the thing that is really interesting to note about the Hugos
– well, there are a couple things. As we all know, the Hugo lineup has
not been fixed over the 50, 60 years that they’ve existed; I mean, we all know
that Robert Silverberg once won the Hugo for Best New Writer. There is no
longer any Hugo for Best New Writer, which is of course a crying shame, and now
we have the Campbell Award. But there have been other awards that have come and
gone.
At the same time there’s also the thing where each Worldcon gets to
create its own category. What is not often know is that Godfrey Winton had
quite a lot of friends who were Worldcon attendees, and he did quite a lot of
planning so that he could create categories for which he was, indeed, almost
uniquely suited. And so, for example, in the stretch of time in which he was
active, in the 50 and the 60s, he

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