As I was saying, 2016 was not a great year. It was not even a good year.
But that is not to say that some good things did not happen.
Worldcon is always one of the highlights of the year for me, and has been since I attended my very first in 1971. One of my favorite worldcons of all time was MidAmericon, the Kansas City worldcon in 1976 (you know how up to date they are in Kansas City, they’ve gone about as far as they can go). This year’s worldcon, MidAmericon II, was alas, not even close to that legendary innovative gathering in ’76… but we saw friends, ate barbeque, signed books, enjoyed panels and readings, and had fun in all the ways fans always do when they gather.
In 1976, I lost two Hugo Awards, and held the first Hugo Losers Party in my room (with the help of Gardner Dozois, my fellow loser). That was one of the highlights of the con, beyond a doubt.
As it happens, I reclaimed the Hugo Losers Party last year in Spokane, so I held one once again at Big Mac II. Since my old room in the Muehlebach was no longer available (that whole wing having been demolished in the interim), I rented the Midland Theatre instead and had the bash there. And once again, it was one of my favorite parts of the con.
In 1976, Hugo losers got nothing at the party but a lusty cheer, some cheap booze, and maybe a few cheez puffs. In 2016, however, at least a few of the lucky losers got Alfie Awards. (Which of course did not exist in 1976, since I just made them up last year). They’re made of old hood ornaments (as some early Hugos were), polished and replated by Tyler Eugene Smith.
Turns out most of the 2016 Alfie presentation was recorded, and has now been uploaded to YouTube. So for all of you who were not able to attend the Hugo Losers Party, here ’tis.
(Do note that the early part of my talk, where I explain the awards and talk about Alfie Bester and the first Hugo, is missing).
Congrats once more to all the Alfie winners… and to losers everywhere.