From NYRSF ISSUE #241, September 2008
And so we begin our twenty-first year of publication, a mature magazine. We have twenty Hugo Award nominations—one for every year so far—for which we are enormously grateful. We were the subject of a panel at Readercon on how we have changed over the years—the conclusion being, “Not much!”, because, by our editorial principles and desires, we more or less got it right at the start and have continued to get it right. But rather than continue this back-patting, I will direct you to the photo spread on pages 22–23 of this issue for a look at our anniversary party in July, and then digress.
I attended my first sf convention in 1963, Discon, having been unable to attend the Pittsburgh and Chicago conventions just prior. When I was interviewing Joe Haldeman as Guest of Honor at Confluence in Pittsburgh, I asked in the course of the discussion about his first convention, and it turned out that Joe and Gay as teenagers had attended Discon and even entered the masquerade (as Rhysling, Heinlein’s blind poet, and a lady from the Anti-Sex League in Nineteen Eighty-Four, respectively). I had just graduated college and was alone that evening, so I sat at a round table with an older gentleman for two hours and talked about myself and about sf while the masquerade and dance went on. Les Gerber, a New York fan, was dressed as Terry Carr in a sort of zoot suit. John and Joni Stopa were mostly undressed as Incubus and Succubus, for which they won first prize.
The gentleman I was talking to was Harry Warner, and when I told Paul Williams and my other fan acquaintances, they didn’t at first believe me. I was relatively new to fandom and did not know until their astonishment and disbelief that I had spent an evening with the hermit of Hagerstown, whom none of them had met. I had earlier that day been introduced to Walter Breen, so I looked up his Fanac report on the convention years later. It turned out that young Bill Gibson was in that masquerade as a priest of the beetle god. It was his first convention, too. And Mike Resnick’s. I am off to Denver in the hope that it will be as important an experience for others as Discon was for us.
We love bibliography and annotated lists and don’t get enough to publish. So we are particularly pleased to have the checklist of Greeks in sf in this issue. Without it, for instance, it would never have occurred to me that Mark Clifton’s collaborator, Alex Apostolides, was the brother of Philip K. Dick’s second wife, Kleo (and that they were married at the time Clifton won the Hugo). I wonder what all the social connections were. In any case, see what surprising information you can find in the list. And if you are a list maker, send us yours.
—David G. Hartwell
& the editors