One is tempted to feel paranoid when the Prometheus Awards ceremony gets short shrift (for the second time) at a World Science Fiction Convention. This time, however, it is fairly clear that the blame lies with the usual snafus that plague all large human gatherings.
The awards ceremony was scheduled right after a benefit auction, for 2 P.M. Sunday afternoon, in Imperial Ballroom "A." The auction was for the widow of Manly Wade Wellman, who was left with enormous debts when her husband died. At the last moment, Harlan Ellison was persuaded to be the autioneer. Immediately, the auction became an "event" as a hundred writers and fans added to the stockpile of memorabilia to be sold.
By 1:45, it was clear that the Prometheus Awards would be delayed, and the ceremony time was moved up an hour. An hour wasn't enough. Although Harlan was doing his cocky little-asshole best to badger the audience into buying (to give him credit, they were, and at high prices) it takes time to auction off hundreds of items.
As a result, the Prometheus Awards were moved "…down the hall, turn left, then right…," etc. But the shift was obviously not the work of some anti-libertarian conspiracy within Atlanta science fiction fandom.
If the auction had not become a media event complete with local TV cameramen (Harlan, being Harlan, naturally threw them out)...if Joe Blow had been auctioneer, if we had been able to use the Ballroom at the publicized time, if the massive numbers of people continually passing Imperial Ballroom "A" had been attracted by the august presence of Frederik Pohl (and they would have been)…, then many new people might have become aware of our organization.
As it was, we had a very satisfying and rather intimate ceremony that brought laughter and hope to the audience, to us all.
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