(Written Saturday, posted Sunday morning.)
This morning I went to a panel entitled "Multiple SF: Bridge Between Japan and US," which was "to consider the history of how Japan and the USA have kept company in SF through reminiscence of those who experienced the relationship firsthand, and see what the relationship might have produced through the association."
Granted, it had *nine people* listed on the description--Japanese fans appear to have very different ideas about staffing panels--but I'm trying to learn about Japanese SF and fandom, so I went.
It turned out to be another description-content mismatch. It was actually 95% a tribute panel to Forrest J. Ackerman, who was highly influential in introducing SF fandom to Japanese fans--so much so that a Japanese audience member, at the end, asked if it was really *all* him. No, the panel said, but he was the key person and the catalyst.
(The other 5% was someone introduced as "Screaming Man George," and a browse through the participant bios isn't giving me any help on identifying him more formally. He lived in Hollywood for 20 years doing special effects makeup, and moved back to Japan 4 years ago to direct, especially music videos. [Well, I suppose if there's enough of a lag time in the release of a 2004 movie, it could be Wakasa Shinichi.] His latest video was screened, but I don't believe that a title or artist was given, so it wouldn't do much good for me to describe it.)
Again, I have no objection to the content, but it wasn't what I was expecting, and I probably would have done something else if I had expected it.
Then I had lunch, and then I fretted until 4:00 when my panel started.
I did take a break in fretting to stand in Naomi Novik's autograph line to say, as is my usual practice, "Hi, I don't want an autograph, but I like your books." I also met Charles Ardai because he happens to be Novik's husband and so when she stopped in to say hi, I saw rachelmanija and telophase talking with him and they invited me to sit. That all was very nice.
Then my panel, about which more later, and then the Hugos.
The Hugo ceremony opened with a very nice rendition of what is apparently characters from _Ultraman_, a Japanese TV show having its 40th anniversary this year. Over Japanese narration by some kind of non-human character, someone who I assume is Ultraman fought a monster--with some very nice stunts and costumes--and then a bunch more similarly-costumed figures fought more monsters. I thought the group fight went on a bit long, but it was generally impressive.
(The Hugo Award design for this year is Ultraman standing next to the rocket, which I think is *great*.)
George Takei and Nozomi Ohmori MC'ed the awards and were very charming. Takei has a great voice--either I was not paying attention to the few classic _Trek_ episodes I saw or it was something he developed with age, probably the former.
Big Heart Award: Muriel Kasan (phonetic) of Japan; Robin Johnson of Australia.
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Naomi Novik, who accepted in person.
(And in kimono. I slightly envy her and others who wore them, as the fabrics are great, but my wearing kimono sends a very different message and not one I want.)
Best Editor, Short Form: Gordon van Gelder.
Best Editor, Long Form: Patrick Nielsen Hayden, who accepted in person.
(A shocker, as I had mentally pegged this the Jim Baen Memorial Award. If I'm reading the statistics right, it was *very* close until the last ballot. Congratulations, PNH! I'm thrilled for you.)
Best Professional Artist: Donato Giancola, who did not accept in person, but who bowed out of consideration for next year and urged his fellow past winners to do the same.
Best Fan Artist: Frank Wu, who also did not accept in person, but who sent the same speech that he gave at Noreascon Four: "I love you all. Thank you!"
(Or possibly the other way around. Something like that. His acceptors also carried big cardboard blowups of his face--and did to at least one party last night--so he could be there in spirit.)
Best Fan Writer: Dave Langford.
Best Fanzine: _Science-Fiction Five-Yearly_.
(Which folded upon the February death of Lee Hoffman, one of its editors.)
Best Semiprozine: _Locus_.
Best Related Book: _James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon_, Julie Phillips.
(This got a *really* big round of applause when it was announced.)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: _Doctor Who_, "Girl in the Fireplace."
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: _Pan's Labyrinth_.
(These were presented by Ultraman . . . except he doesn't have a mouth, so Takei ended up having to read the lists and winners. A very cute little robot brought out the envelope for the Short Form winner. When Takei saw that he would have to *still* read the Long Form nominees and winners, he said, "Never trust a 1960s TV character.")
Best Short Story: "Impossible Dreams," Tim Pratt.
Best Novelette: "The Djinn's Wife," Ian McDonald.
(According to his acceptor, McDonald couldn't come only because he is working on the Irish Muppets (!).)
Best Novella: "A Billion Eves," Robert Reed.
Best Novel: _Rainbows End_, Vernor Vinge.
Congratulations to all the winners.
And from a purely personal perspective, nothing won that I really didn't want to win, and the Novella and Novel winners matched mine. So, a good night.
I was hoping to go to the Scandinavian room party after the ceremony and dinner, but it was SO HOT that I didn't even make it all the way into the room before I turned around. Instead I came back here and typed in sweet, sweet air-conditiong.