April 10th, 2009

Hugo Trophy

The Irony, It Burns

[Composed Saturday morning because I did not have time on Friday to post this when I first encountered it.]

I subscribe to RAIL magazine, which follows UK railroading. Issue 612 -- now six weeks old -- arrived just a few days before I left for Norwescon, and I brought it with me. The issue includes an article about the English, Welsh, and Scottish Railway (EWS), the subsidiary of the Wisconsin Central that bought the lion's share of the UK rail freight industry when the system was privatized. EWS has since been sold off and is being re-branded by its new owner as DB Schenker, but the article includes the following recollections from EWS's former Chief Executive Ed Burkhart that I found ironic in light of the criticism that WSFS has received for its Hugo Logo Contest:
"The idea of having our fans participate in a contest to create our logo [in 1996] was a good one. And the results were excellent.... I remember going over the half-dozen logos that had been selected as finalists [by RAIL magazine, which managed the contest]. The quality was excellent, and we couldn't have done as well had we used a professional design firm.
Kevin and Lisa

Thank You, Norwescon

[Another back-dated entry caused by having no time and no in-room connection.]

Lisa and I joined a group of Norwescon committee, staff, and selected other invitees for a dinner celebration of Norwescon's history. I was very flattered by the invitation from con chair Becky Citrak, and made a point of thanking her for inviting us. I'm very aware that my contributions to fandom could easily boil down to "what have you done for me lately," after all.

We had a very pleasant supper, perfectly timed in fact because as it was breaking up and people headed down to the PKD Awards, Lisa and I had to head over to Evergreen 4, where the hotel was resetting the room for Match Game SF. The hotel staff were very nice about making some last-minute configuration changes we needed so that the Tech Table was in the same place as the power outlets. After the room was set, Lisa and I borrowed a hotel cart and moved the game gear down to the room, where we had a couple of recruited production assistants who Lisa put to work. Norwescon's Tech Team delivered the speakers and other gear from smarier, and I was also able to borrow from them a power strip, a desk microphone stand, and gaffer tape for cables. Lisa then sent me off to return the cart and go back to the room and change into my suit to host the show. It's a good thing I went back, because we'd left a couple of things in the room, particularly the Game Board (in which the questions sit during the show), so she had one of our production assistants call me and tell me to bring it.

More about how the show went in my next entry, but the point here is that Norwescon's people have been extremely cooperative and helpful at every step of the way, and I'm very grateful to them for it.