Artwork by Ray Van Tilberg
GoH | Golden GoH | Fan GoH | Toastmistress | Also Appearing
One or more of these statements is the nearly true explanation for Michael Kube-McDowell’s widely unreported disappearance from the SF world:
Before he vanished, K-Mac was the author of 13 science fiction novels, including the Hugo-nominated The Quiet Pools; the Philip K. Dick Award-nominated Emprise and its sequels Enigma and Empery; the multiverse thriller Alternities; and a tale of otherworld revolution, Exile.
In collaborative works, he counted himself privileged to be chosen to kick off Isaac Asimov's Robot City, to pen Star Wars: The Black Fleet Crisis for George Lucas, and to be Arthur C. Clarke's co-author for The Trigger. Many of these works were also published in one or more foreign markets and languages, including the UK, Japan, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands, Hungary, and Poland.
At other way-points on his journey, K-Mac was a correspondent for an Indiana newspaper, an instructor at the Clarion SF Workshop, and a middle school science teacher. He wrote for George Romero's television series Tales From the Darkside, and remains a Life Member of the Writers Guild of America, East. His short fiction found a home in Asimov's, Analog, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and Twilight Zone; in Donald Wollheim's Year’s Best SF; and in anthologies edited by Mike Resnick, Alan Ryan, Betsy Mitchell, Shawna McCarthy, and Karl Edward Wagner.
K-Mac is a paper-trained violist and woodshed-trained guitarist and keyboard player, and was unwittingly drawn into the world of filk music by the likes of Mary Ellen Wessels and Kathy Mar. Among his highlight musical moments are performing with The Black Book Band at the 1993 Worldcon and the 1998 OVFF; laying down backing tracks for Mary Ellen’s Current Obsessions, Kathy’s Plus ca Change and Plus C'est la Meme Chose, and Barry & Sally Childs-Helton’s Paradox; and singing "I’m Rodan" to unsuspecting audiences during the BBB’s legendary Brain Weasels tour. The Black Book Band blushingly accepted a Pegasus Award for Best Performer at OVFF X, the last stop on that tour.
Since his return, K-Mac has resumed work on Fragments, which will complete the story begun in Vectors, and on two new projects:a space-war thriller tentatively titled Slipdriver, and an untitled magical realism time-travel novel. He is also assembling a collection of his best short works for e-publication. Donations of Pepsi Max, thin-sliced white American deli cheese, and beer nuts in support of these endeavors are welcome, as are random hugs and words of encouragement.
(Photo Credit: Beth Gwinn)
Ursula K. Leguin gave our Golden Guest of Honor, Gene Wolfe, the coolest jacket liner quote: "Wolfe is our Melville". He's inspired so many readers and writers, and even corresponded with J.R.R. Tolkien. The bibliography of his work goes on and on and on (you can read it here). He's won Nebula, Locus, Rhysling, BSFA, World Fantasy, August Derleth, and Campbell Awards, and his work has been nominated for eight Hugo Awards. He was the Guest of Honor at the 1985 Worldcon, won the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1996, inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2007, and named SFWA Grand Master in 2012. He received the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master award at the 2013 Nebula Awards. And he'll be ChamBanaCon's Golden Guest of Honor for as long as the man wants to come to the con. We love his stories and his wicked sense of humor. Juanita Coulson shares this story about Gene that truly illustrates Gene's personality:
SHADOW OF THE WOLFE
by Juanita Coulson
Photo Credit: Juanita Coulson
Erudite, whimsical, and unpredictable, in a charming and entertaining way. That's ChamBanaCon's GoH, Gene Wolfe. For those of us lucky enough to correspond with him, read his novels and short fiction, and enjoy personal contact, Gene's been a delightful surprise package par excellence. Y'never know where his extremely fertile imagination is going to take you next.
Maybe into a lesson on how to write fascinating tales. Maybe voicing a strong opinion on which of many movies portraying the Gunfight at the OK Corral is worth watching. Maybe to an eerie and mind-boggling road leading into a nearly forgotten corner of ancient history - which then becomes a springboard for a whole new way of looking at science fiction and fantasy.
Erudition? I've added more words to my vocabulary by reading and listening to Gene than I ever did as a result of any language class. Dip into his books with an O.E.D. or some other really good dictionary to hand. The exercise is good for your brain; it'll enlarge your neurons.
Whimsical? He took us on a grand tour of beautiful downtown Barrington, IL, his home base, and showed us The Castle. Although NOT the Castle of the Otter. Ask him about that castle in Barrington, and about his book The Citadel of the Autarch, which somehow became transformed into a haven for furry clam eaters.
Unpredictable? Let me tell you a true story, children. Years ago, comes a phone call from Gene. After the opening pleasantries he inquired of his fellow gun crank if Buck owned a Luger. Always wanted to shoot one of those, he told us. Could he visit and shoot some holes in a target with that famous weapon? Why, sure, pardoner! Time and date were set, and in due course into our rural driveway rolled the Gunslinger from Barrington, ready and eager to test-fire the Luger. And providing his own target: a blue-light special K-Mart windbreaker. Puzzled but game, we tacked that garment to our backstop. The Luger fired just fine, but Gene wasn't happy with the size of the holes it made in the hapless coat. Did we have a bigger caliber available? You bet. The .357 made nice BIG holes, after which that windbreaker was most sincerely dead. Alas, eventually time came for the Barrington Marshal to saddle up and head home. I offered to detach the perforated corpse from the backstop, but he didn't want the thing. No need. He'd already taken a photo.
Whaaaa...? His explanation for a 400-mile round trip to massacre a cheap windbreaker? His editor wanted a jacket shot. Be careful what you ask for, when the request goes to Gene Wolfe.
So...get ready to be surprised, amused, and occasionally quite startled. This is NOT your ordinary kind of GoH. Have fun.
Bill Rintz started attending ChamBanaCon way back in 1987. You’ll usually find him in one of two places: in the consuite chatting with friends, or fiddling away in the filk room. Except for a brief hiatus while recovering from a stroke in 2000 - 2001, he’s been a constant and familiar presence at our convention. Bill is a very talented musician, accomplished on fiddle and mandolin. He's managed to do something that would likely have daunted most other musicians. The stroke he suffered left him with complete recall of all the many tunes he'd played over the years. He also kept the fingerings. But he lost his comprehension of his bowing technique. Which way the bow moves and when is extremely important in fiddling. It took Bill years, but he never gave up, continuing to push and practice, push and practice. The music community’s admiration for his courage grew as we watched and listened. Bill also has a very fine voice which he has applied throughout his life in folk, filk, and Old Time bands, as well as a familiar and friendly voice coming through his position as a radio personality.
Bill’s birthday is Thursday, November 26 — the day before the convention and Thanksgiving (this year), so we're all going to be giving thanks that he entered the world and entered our lives.
The Organized Fan
by James Fulkerson
Where to begin?
Do not feed her cheesecake (it causes migraine headaches for her).
Do feed her very dark chocolate (it makes her happy).
I probably first encountered Kathy in 1983, at Constellation in Baltimore. I say probably because she was a dealer then, and had a table.I have to have at least passed by it a time or two over the course of the convention.We didn’t really meet until several years later, through our mutual friend, Lee Billings.
Kathy’s been a fan for about as long as there’s been a Chambanacon, though she may not have known it at first. Fannish interests can sometimes be sneaky like that. She’ll often be found at the back of the filk room with a needle in hand, doing counted cross-stitch or the like. She pulls those out of a bright yellow duffel bag (yellow is her favorite color).
She’s always been moving fast (her sister famously says she doesn’t know how to stroll, which is why her friends often have to jog to keep up with her). This may explain why she got her first speeding ticket at the age of 11, on a bicycle.
One of the first things you’ll generally learn about her is that she is an organizer. Now, that doesn’t mean that she’s going to chair a con; closest I know of she’s come to that was when she became co-chair of MusicCon for its short, 5 year run in Nashville, Tennessee. It was due in no small part to her efforts that it always ran smoothly, and there weren’t even any minor disasters. She’s good at that.
Fiercely loyal to her friends, you don’t want to be on her wrong side.That being said, she doesn’t let fans go hungry; being second for the Musecon con suite comes naturally in that context, as does being a driving force behind the Windycon and ChamBanaCon food guides. She’s also got a reputation as a fannish travel agent, and many of us allow her to plan our trips (especially overseas – it’s that whole organization thing again).
Now, that doesn’t mean she can’t create a little chaos. She did, after all, help Bill Sutton drink a brewery dry in Scotland in 2005 at the Glasgow Worldcon. And ask her about her trip down to the DeepSouthCon in Knoxville, in 1983. I believe the mundanes she freaked might still be running.
- Steve Scherer, Glass Blower Extraordinare
- Randy Pardue, Martial Artist
- Barb and Ray Vantilberg, from OffWorld Designs, our T-Shirt Mavens, and all-around really cool folks.
- The Never-Ending Filk Panel moderated by Bill Roper, Bill Sutton and our Leerless Feeder Brenda.
- Todd Hamilton, Artist
- Glen Cook, Author