Volume 23, Number 01, Fall, 2004

2004 Prometheus Awards

Noreascon 2004 Report

by Fred Moulton

The 62nd World Science Fiction Convention was held September 2nd through September 6th at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Boston is a great city with a rich historical setting. The Freedom Trail walking tour is interesting and educational. It takes you past many sites associated
F. Paul Wilson
F. Paul Wilson accepting the
Prometheus Award for Sims
with the Revolutionary War era. The Freedom Trail begins in Boston Common and proceeds past several interesting locations such as Paul Revere’s house and the Granary Burying Ground where Samuel Adams and John Hancock are buried. Walking is one of the best ways to learn about a city. Boston was a fine location for the convention with good accommodations, fine food and a pleasant charm.

The convention was well-attended. Several LFS members were at the WorldCon and it was good to see them again. I found the registration process well-organized and quick, which was a good beginning. Although there were some glitches during various parts of the convention, none were catastrophic.

The main item of LFS focus is the LFS meeting and awards event. I had been in contact with Priscilla Olson of Noreason programming during the time leading up to the con and Priscilla was able to accommodate us on the day and time we had requested.

Thursday night the LFS and Heinlein Society had a joint party at the suite the Heinlein Society had in the Hilton. The Hilton was not the main party hotel so it was not a large turnout. Rather the attendees were there because of interest and that lead to a good atmosphere. The LFS covered half of the food cost and the Heinlein Society team presented it well. There was good conversation and good food. Along with discussion of SF, libertarianism and Heinlein, one of the topics of the evening was the blood drive organized by the Heinlein Society for the next day.

I spent the first part of Friday making the final touches on the Prometheus Awards schedule and the press release for the con newsletter, The Triplanetary Gazette. I had lunch and then time to donate blood at the blood drive vans parked in front of the Hynes Center. Then it was time to meet with other LFS members who were going to be involved in the Prometheus Awards Ceremony (and annual meeting). We met at 3:30 outside the room where the awards ceremony would be held. We went over the last minute details and then were able to enter the room at about 3:55. We got the meeting started at about 4:05 or 4:10. Joseph Martino assisted by video-taping the event and Kent Van Cleave took numerous still photos.

Prometheus Panel
Left to right: David Friedman, Fred Moulton,
Victoria Varga, Fran Van Cleavce, F. Paul Wilson

Victoria Varga chaired the meeting and opened the meeting with a fine welcome to all present. Victoria introduced Fran Van Cleave for the presentation of the Prometheus Best Novel Award. Fran spoke about reading and enjoying Sims by F. Paul Wilson then nominating it for the award. She expressed her pleasure at being able to present the award. F. Paul Wilson, in his acceptance speech, talked about how the novel was not originally designed to be a “libertarian” novel but the story took a natural turn in that direction. He was most happy to win the award and had won previously in 1979 for Wheels Within Wheels.

Victoria then introduced me as the presenter for the Hall of Fame award, which was won by the short story “The Ungoverned” by Vernor Vinge. I was glad to be presenting the Hall of Fame award for this work because I find it both entertaining as a work of fiction and also stimulating as it raises difficult questions about weapons and responsibility. Vernor Vinge was not able to attend; however his friend David Friedman was present to accept for him. David, an economist, is a long-time libertarian and SF fan and is a professor in the law school at the Santa Clara University. David discussed the interplay of ideas in the fiction of Vinge and his own non-fiction writing.

The meeting and awards ceremony was very well attended by LFS members, fans, writers, and publishers. Following the awards ceremony we had a few minutes for people to meet and chat before we had to clear the room for the next event. I did not get a chance to speak with everyone I wanted to; however, I did get a chance to speak briefly with Gregory Benford and Eric Raymond. After we cleared the room I took the press release to the con newsletter which carried the story of the award winners in their Saturday mid-day edition—http://www.noreascon4.org/pubs/newsletter/issue08.pdf

Gregory Benford and David Friedman
Gregory Benford and David Friedman

During the con there were several panels on topics and writers of interest to LFS members. It was not uncommon to bump into other LFS members at one of these panels or in the concourse outside the dealers’ room. LFS member Joseph Martino's mystery novel The Justice Cooperative, which was published this year, was on sale at one of the dealer booths. Works by other LFS members, friends of LFS and past LFS award winners (Gregory Benford, L. Neil Smith, F. Paul Wilson, Poul Anderson, Vernor Vinge, and Ursula Le Guin, just to name a few) were available in the dealer’s room. Although a somewhat sluggish economy appeared to have put a damper on sales the dealers’ room had more energy than last year in Toronto.

Other writers have done a great job of discussing Noreascon in depth including the Retro Hugos, the Hugos, the Masquerade and the art show. In particular Cheryl Morgan has a great discussion of the con in issue 109 of her Hugo award-winning fanzine Emerald City, available online at http://www.emcit.com/emcit109.shtml. Several people did live-at-the-con blogs and a list of these can be found at: http://noreascon4.blogs.com/live/

As I expect everyone knows the Nippon 2007 bid won and thus the WorldCon will be held in Yokohama, Japan August 30 through September 3, 2007. The 2005 WorldCon will be in Glasgow, Scotland and 2006 in Los Angeles.

All photos courtesy Kent Van Cleave

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