from the fanzine File 770 #152
65th World Science Fiction Convention, 46th Japan Science Fiction Convention, Yokohama
Author Guests of Honor, David Brin, Sakyo Komatsu; Graphic Artists, Yoshitaka Amano, Michael Whelan; Fan, Takumi Shibano. Attendance about 3,000; Art Show sales about $40,000.
Yokohama, capital of Kanagawa Prefecture, now with 4 million people Japan's largest incorporated city (Tokyo, next door, is not a single incorporated city – in fact it may not really be the capital of Japan – but never mind), and known to history a thousand years ago, soared when Commodore Perry came. It became the Alien Port. Within two decades the first English-language newspaper in Japan started here, the first daily newspaper, the first railway; Phileas Fogg touched here in Around the World in Eighty Days.
Of course a city can soar. Don't you read science fiction?
In 2004 we were voting Worldcon sites three years in advance. At that year's Worldcon in Boston, Yokohama beat Columbus, and Nippon 2007 was on. I had been with the Japan bid since 2000. Takumi Shibano had been since 1957 – or perhaps 1927, the year he was born.
With Japanese names – as with Hungarian, incidentally – the first shall be last and the last shall be first. In Japanese custom one first states the surname. Some people when using English adopt the English-language custom of first stating the personal name. Some don't. That can be confusing. Since English has capital letters (Japanese doesn't), some people write the surname in capital letters wherever it comes: AMANO Yoshitaka, Michael WHELAN. Like many such arrangements that makes perfect sense if you already understand it. In this article I put surnames last. Elsewhere I promise nothing.
I also continue my practice of generally mentioning people by surname, a literary familiarity. I mean no rudeness to Mr. Shibano, my senior and my teacher, nor others entitled to honorifics; nor do I explore here the Japanese practice of names for various purposes – everyone knows the translator Kozumi Rei (incidentally a Japanization of "cosmic ray") is Takumi Shibano, it is not a disguise, and one refers to the great poet Bashô, that being a literary name, not his surname Matsuo nor his personal name Kinsaku.
Also that mark over the o back there is for the Japanese long vowel. If you know too little of Japanese, dear reader, to care, or too much, forgive me.
Shibano started the first Japanese fanzine in 1957, which was and is called Uchûjin, which means "cosmic dust" but sounds like "space man" – punsters, you ain't seen nothin'. Tetsu Yano had already been to the 1953 Worldcon. In the 1960s Shibano met Roy Tackett, then a U.S. Marine serving in Japan. Shibano started the Japanese national s-f convention and began contributing to Tackett's fanzine Dynatron. A one-time fund (TOFF, the Trans-Oceanic Fan Fund) brought Shibano to the 1968 Worldcon. He and Yano received the Big Heart, our highest service award, in 1987. The Shibanos, Takumi and his wife Sachiko, were Fan Guests of Honor at L.A.con III the 1996 Worldcon, whose Program Book showed 132 members from Japan, more than any country but the United States, more than all but four of its States.
In 2000, Westercon LIII was in Honolulu. I've told how the Shibanos and their married daughter Miho Hiramoto helped me get and wear Japanese formal clothes to judge the Masquerade (File 770 138). Japan was ready to bid. The year 2004 was not too far away; on the contrary, it was terribly soon. I tried to do my part, which included trying to figure out what that was. I will mention the Nippon 2007 Haiku Contest, a bid party at Loscon XXX (2003) co-hosted with Genny Dazzo, and a bidzine article "The Strangeness". Of course there were things too fierce to mention.
We knew the con would be strange. Strange for Japanese, strange for visitors. We looked forward to it; are we not fen? We were not disappointed.
Over the next years wonders came. Japanese campaigned throughout the s-f community. The bid won. Chairman Hiroaki Inoue, a special guest at CascadiaCon the 2005 NASFiC (North America S-F Con, held when the Worldcon is overseas), judged that Masquerade with Marie Cooley and me although we had no Japanese and he had little English (a fine interpreter, Takayuki Karahashi, came too). Even now some don't know Inoue as an animé celebrity. North America agent Peggy Rae Sapienza rode atop the ups and downs of an immeasurable
At the 2006 Worldcon my roommate Murray Moore started a one-time fund, HANA (Hertz Across to Nippon Alliance; Japanese hana = "flower", a frequent word in poetry). This succeeded, a culminating wonder, there and back again.
My Nippon 2007 roommates were Mike Willmoth and his wife Jean Godden. We stayed at the Rose Hotel, Chinatown. The rose is Yokohama's official flower. That Chinatown is the largest in Japan. The Alien Port. We went to and from the con site by train or taxi to save money or time. In the first taxi I took alone, the driver returned my tip. I found no tipping in Japan.
On the airplane over I had found Greg Benford. He praised the 800-word s-f stories on the back page of Nature. At Narita Airport I failed to find Larry Niven. Our confusion was mostly harmless. Dinner at the Rose with Godden and Willmoth; on the menu four grades of Chinese rice wine, six teas; we talked of skill and talent, and Kelly Freas' big heart.
The con site was in the new Minato Mirai ("port future") complex, the Pacifico Conference Center & Exhibit Hall, and two main hotels, the Intercontinental which was adjacent to the Conference Center, and the Pacific. The "Pacifico" – "Pacific" likeness led to confusion, mostly harmless.
Registration had a Japanese side and an everyone-else side because of the way people's names went. Japanese writing is in three sets of characters, mainly Chinese (kanji) which are not alphabetical although the two supplements (hiragana and katakana) are; also most Japanese have one of a very few surnames. Japanese registration methods would choke on a thousand American-European-Australian folk, like foreign methods on that many Japanese. Attendance was half and half. I had been told it would be impossible to get the Program Book half in English with a Whelan cover, half in Japanese with an Amano cover, like an Ace Books double. But it wasn't.
First of the con was the Aardvark Panel, "about aardvarks or whatever other fancy comes to mind." Last was the Zygote Panel. I never learned how translators managed that. I moderated the aardvarks, Paul Cornell, Susan de Guardiola, Jessica Langer. Langer was named for Jessica Atreides in Dune; she was a Ph.D. student from London; it was her first con. She asked about my propeller beanie. We proceeded comfortably to Little Mosque on the Prairie. De Guardiola praised Eifelheim. Cornell said we were like a Worldcon in miniature. Langer said "Speaking of shoes —" I ruled, "On topic."
The European counterpart of HANA was the Japan Expeditionary Travel Scholarship, not invented for one person but holding an election and choosing Chris O'Shea. In the bustle of Thursday morning Hiroaki Inoue's wife Tamie, the con General Affairs Manager, found me and stuck a ribbon "HANA Delegate" on my name-badge. She had made "JETS Delegate" too. I had gone west, O'Shea east, to meet for the first time in Japan.
That afternoon he and I were on "Fan Funds, What Are They". Michael Liebmann the Filking chief joined us to tell of Interfilk, which sends filksingers where they could not otherwise go, e.g. Franklin Gunkelmann from Germany to the San Francisco Bay filk convention Consonance in 2004. Alan Stewart of Thyme, who was the 1994 Down Under Fan Fund delegate, joined us too. Liebmann proved to be a cousin of Stu Shiffman the 1981 Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund delegate.
The Art Show, the Dealers' Room, and our exhibits were down an escalator in the Exhibit Hall. I had to mount the Selina Phanara Sampler and build "Fanzine Art". Jerome Scott had printed color reproductions of Phanara's work, not for sale, on a background sheet with a rod at the top. She reminds me of Hans Arp; he made up his "natural shapes" but they seem to have grown. She's one of our most original artists. "Fanzine Art" too was not-for-sale reproductions. I had been told it would be possible to get three panels, with an overall sign and fanartists' names in English, Japanese, and Klingon. But it wasn't. I got one panel and made labels myself. The hours I had spent picking wordless drawings paid off. Japanese looked.
To the Conference Center. I found Flick in the newsletter office. For JETS she had made trading seals, a local fad deriving from the seals Japanese execute documents with; these were colorful stickers to collect in booklets. Also on the ground floor I found the Shibanos, Sachiko carrying her Westercon LIII tote-bag, with its brilliant Jane Dennis
Standing room only at Opening Ceremonies. I'd never seen such a thing. Hiroaki Inoue said his hat (a red inverted frustum – fine word that – and yellow brim, about ten gallons in size, with Mickey Mouse ears) had been sent by Christian McGuire. This was because, at 2006 Closing Ceremonies, when McGuire in his final act as Chairman handed over the official gavel, Inoue in this same hat politely took off the hat, drew a raygun, and killed McGuire. Or so McGuire explained it to me afterward.
Komatsu in his deep baritone joked "The girl in the red shoes was taken away by a foreigner" – actually Baum's book The Wizard of Oz gives Dorothy silver shoes – and acknowledged exotic Yokohama, pioneering Uchûjin. Brin said "S-F is the literature which represents the possibility that people could be better than we are. You are the people who believe there is a future." Amano joked "It's strange to stand here on land" – the con site was landfill – "this used to be sea, so Yokohama is suitable" – alluding to Komatsu's Japan Sinks. Whelan said "This is the pinnacle of my career." Inoue said "Shibano inspired me to bring the Worldcon here," and as Shibano entered, we rose to our feet. Shibano said "I'm honored that I was given the chance to witness this." Inoue banged the gavel.
The bid parties, indeed the big parties, were in the Harbor Lounge, a separate hall in the complex. The Montréal for 2009 Worldcon bid served maple stew, and ice cider from apples deliberately frozen as ice wine is with grapes. Kansas City served mikan saké flavored with oranges. Japanese fans knew how little of Komatsu's work was available in English; they had made a helpful exhibit, as I later found. Edie Stern had come to accept a Hugo for Science Fiction Five-Yearly in case it won, as she later found. Willmoth said David Nordley's slide show on interstellar travel, across from the Fan Funds panel, was well interpreted. And so to bed.
The Heinlein panel was at 10 a.m. on Friday. This was Heinlein's hundredth birth year. Yano had been a big Heinlein fan. The panel was Keith Kato, Kari Maund, Farah Mendlesohn, Nordley, David Silver. No moderator had been assigned. Silver tried. Maund said, Heinlein showed a generous future. Kato said, his writing inspired technical people, including Kato's Ph.D. dissertation in plasma physics. Mendlesohn said, Heinlein could write stories suitable for an entire family. There came a lot of approval and disapproval of his characters. From the audience I said, he was an artist; had he not been a good one, nobody would have noticed or cared about them. Mendlesohn said, after Heinlein an "invention story" was about the people around the invention.
In Fanzine Alley not one English-language fanzine. In the Art Show a collaboration by Bob Eggleton, Naoyuki Katô (or "Katoh"; same surname as Keith's, who has Anglicized) and Michael Whelan, three hours on half a dozen canvasses to be auctioned for the benefit of the con. The Komatsu exhibit showed twelve novels, thirteen shorter stories, with notes in English and Japanese, posters, color reproductions of book covers, and screenings of Japan Sinks (the 1973 Shiro Moritani version). At the Heinlein Society exhibit I ran into Silver. He said "Well?" so I joined. The Intercontinental lobby had a sign "Welcome Worldcon Voyagers". The Voyager II space probe had just reached the heliosheath, outer reaches of the solar wind. A fan who'd been in the 2:30 p.m. flower-arranging class gave me a lily, which I accepted with joy. There was Sachiko Shibano. Of course I gave the lily to her. At the Art Show reception Lisa Standlee said, Japanese are less disconnected by high tech because they also reach for the timeless.
A message came from Glenn Glazer and Allison Hershey. Of course I went. Outside a
I found the Space Force party. It was the 30th anniversary of this Japanese s-f club which included Tamie Inoue, con vice-chair Shouichi (or I could write "Shôichi") Hachiya, and others who had been very kind to me. Space Force contributed more than anyone else to HANA. In packing for the trip I had pondered gifts. Anything breaky, bulky, costly, heavy, was beyond my power. I turned to Marty Cantor and the Rotsler trove. Bill Rotsler, bless him, was so prolific that even today, a decade after his death, previously unpublished drawings of his keep appearing in fanzines. To Cantor had come so many that even after he showered them upon fanziners at Corflu XXI (2004; annual fanziners' convention, named for mimeograph correction fluid, once indispensable) no few remained. He welcomed me to pore through a pile. At a commercial paper shop I found silver envelopes for them. Now I began giving them away.
Some Japanese recognized Rotsler's style, or me as a judge for the Rotsler Award (given by S. Cal. Inst. for Fan Interests, for long-time wonder-working with graphic art in fanzines, see <www.scifiinc.org/rotsler>). To others I tried to explain by likening him to Saikaku, the fluent 16th Century author who – by contemporary report – could compose the 5-7-5-syllable poetry later called haiku so fast he once at a festival made 20,000 in a day and a night, scribes unable to keep up and left to count with tally marks.
By 1 a.m. the Australia for 2010 Worldcon party was drained of Cooper's beer and was surreptitiously dealing with other parties. The Kansas City party had sausages and five kinds of barbecue sauce. Richard Man (Chinese name, rhymes with "wan"), the Nippon 2007 official Masquerade photographer, showed me yellow kiwi fruit. We drank Yamazaki 10-year-old single-malt whiskey with smoked salmon. At the Montréal party Linda Mansfield explained her Mondrian badges were for the Montréal Convention Centre, whose colored-glass windows were like him. The maple stew, and tonight's maple cake, were by two Montréal cooks opening a restaurant in Japan. James Peart's Irish face lit when I spoke the magic name of James Bacon.
Translators do writing, interpreters do speech. Regency Dancing (see <www.jophan.org/mimosa/m29/hertz.htm>) was scheduled for Saturday noon. I wondered about interpreters. They were worth their weight in gold, or perhaps unobtainium. The Pocket Program showed when and where the dance was, but perhaps not clearly, so on Friday I went round posting signs. Somewhere that night I ran into Sean Leonard, who said he would be there, bless him. I said "Would you kindly write interpretation provided in Japanese on the Regency Dance signs?" He said "Sure thing. Where are the signs?" I said "Everywhere." In the Hospitality Suite – or was that Saturday? – I found Micki Yamada, bless her too. In the event I had four interpreters. Bless them all.
Japanese cons often produce a newsletter called The Timely Times. That's a good name; it's hourly. Staff are conspicuous in yellow jackets. At Nippon 2007 it asked for English submissions, but to little avail; almost all was Japanese – one notable exception being Tom Becker. The con's own newsletter Changing Tides was in both languages, headed by a Sue Mason space ship blasting off behind Hokusai's Great Wave and Mt. Fuji (of which, incidentally, the picture some call "The Great Wave" is a portrait). By Saturday the Tides had published five issues, reporting the Chesley Awards, the Golden Ducks, the Prometheuses, restaurants, panels (with photographs!), a dinner cruise, volunteer prizes, and parties. The Business Meeting ratified the Best Pro Artist Hugo eligibility amendment, and struck the "Gaughan Rule" so that, if this is ratified next year, a person may thereafter be nominated for both Best Pro Artist and Best Fanartist.
At eight minutes to Saturday noon the sound equipment arrived. At two minutes to noon it was ready. The strangeness. It was the last day for wearing summer clothes; Japan is season-conscious. I live in Los Angeles, this was strange too. Of several dozen people many were in yukata (summer kimono). No one could remember the Japanese
Ultraman, the live-action television s-f hero, is big in Japan. He's big himself; he's 100 feet tall. This was his 40th anniversary. There was an Ultraman display in the exhibit hall. Hugo Night began with a live Ultraman display by Bandai Visual, dressed as the various Ultrafolk who appeared in forty episodes, and fighting various monsters. I sat next to Eggleton, who almost burst with delight. George Takei was Master of Ceremonies, which led to interpreter jokes in which he would speak Japanese more or less by mistake, so that Nozomi Ômori at the other lectern was more or less confused into speaking English. Hugo Night chief John Pomeranz wore Japanese formal clothes, a nice touch.
Sapienza gave the Big Heart Award to Atsushi Morioka and Robin Johnson. Morioka could not attend, so Sapienza showed photos; Johnson was present, and confirmed by his conduct that I'd successfully concealed why I hoped he'd be at the ceremony. I rose to report the First Fandom Awards, as a delegate of that happy band active by at least the first Worldcon (1939); this year's awards had been given at the NASFiC (Tuckercon, St. Louis). When I said the 1F Hall of Fame had inducted Algis Budrys, author, critic, publisher, who has done so much for so many, the room almost burst with applause.
The Seiun (which means "nebula", a tireless joke) are the Japanese national awards, like the Ditmars in Australia. This was the first Japanese natcon combined with a Worldcon, so we heard them all, not just Best Translated Work. Japan Sinks, Part Two won Best Long Fiction. Amano won Best Artist. A Special Award went to JAXA's M-V rocket (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), world's largest solid-fuel satellite launcher, which had been retired in 2006.
Jay Lake gave the Campbell and its traditional tiara to Naomi Novik – Novik in kimono, Lake not – and the Hugo for Best Pro Editor, Short Form, to Gordon Van Gelder. When Lake and his Sweet Siren came home they had, to get forty hours at the con, spent fifty hours traveling. Betsy Mitchell gave Best Pro Editor, Long Form, to Patrick Nielsen Hayden, the first of many 2007 Hugos where the redistribution in our voting system was decisive. The late Jim Baen with the most first-place votes, and the most second-place votes, came in third. Our system counts all the preferences voters express. If you have second through fifth place choices, people, state them. That determined one-third of the Hugos this year. When Edie Stern gave Best Fanartist to Frank Wu, his accepters Kelley Buehler & Daniel Spector were ready with giant color photos of his head. I'm not sure how many they had, probably not more than two, but from that moment he was all over the con, and in the night's group pictures he was over the top.
Gay Haldeman's giving Best Fanzine to Science Fiction Five-Yearly, Ben Yalow accepting with Stern, was my favorite moment. Gay has long fanzine connections. If there was a sentimental touch after the death of SFFY's Lee Hoffman early in 2007, that was not decisive, as we'd just seen; and if it existed, it had to come from voters who knew and cared who she was, a fine rejoinder to gloom. For me personally, I had been in the final issue – not knowing that at the time; though my contribution was short, four haiku, I had worked intimately with co-editors Randy Byers and Geri Sullivan; and if you want glory, I was on the back cover, in Jae Leslie Adams calligraphy, writing about and surrounded by a trillion trillion suns.
The Awards booklet was in English and Japanese. The Tides printed an Issue H with the winners and a full report of voting, and an Issue N with a full report of nominations. These publications for our greatest and hardest night were further wonders.
Denvention III hosted the Nominees' Party, as the next Worldcon does, its chairman Kent Bloom presiding; the Harbor Lounge had fans for us nominees – paper fans – with Rick Sternbach art. In the Intercontinental, the Scandinavia party had a dozen kinds of aquavit. At the Daicon VII party (the 47th natcon next year, at Kishiwada, Osaka; Daicon means both "big convention" and a kind of radish) David Shallcross tried to explain our voting system. As I
Keith Kato had been told throwing a chili party would be impossible. But it wasn't. He had help from Masamichi Osako and a host of others. Whelan spoke of Naoyuki Katô in the collaboration, "the widest imagination since Möbius – space ships I'd never imagined, and they looked like they could fly." Gay & Joe Haldeman spoke of first meeting Takumi Shibano, who'd proved he'd been reading Joe. Whelan said, "Sometimes images come to me in a dream, then I try to paint them; some are intellectual and I have to work them out."
On Sunday in the Art Show I saw a dozen of Eggleton's painting-a-day. "Escape from a Red Giant World" was a ship lifting from vague mountains, a sun four-fifths of the frame. Yokoyama again sold everything he brought. Katsuda Tenada brought an untitled monochrome with a dragon, a tiger, horses, a human baby, in a vortex round a rosebud, like a textile. In the Conference Center, Filthy Pierre's Voodoo Message Board was on the ground floor, "voodoo" because you push pins in, easy and cheap. The Christine Valada portraits were one floor up. Valada, a first-rate photographer, over the years has taken many monochromes of pros, now often shown at a Worldcon. Tom Veal their curator, who could not attend, selected a hundred fifty and shipped them. The labels, not by her or him, had over the years gotten out of hand, varying in substance, uncurrent, and all too long for our project of translating them into Japanese. Veal had set me to boiling them down by half, which I did electronically, gosh. The photos were posted; labels kept arriving from the translators during the con.
Masquerade that afternoon at 3, the strangeness. Our community invented this artform I know nothing else much like anywhere. The Masquerade Director was Yuichiro Sakuta; Mistress of Ceremonies, Reina Yoshimura; judges, Suford Lewis, Essai Ushijima, and me; workmanship judges backstage (workmanship judging is optional, entrants need not invite it), Karisu-sama and Satoshi Shimizu. Sakuta had been at the 2005 NASFiC. We conjoined the Journeyman and Master classes into "Experienced"; we expected and had a lot of Re-Creation entries; earlier I'd met Miki Dennis, who won Best in Show at the 2005 Worldcon with "The Wind Brings Music to the Earth", so we expected something from her too.
There came a boisterous pink alien blob, and attendant, "Welcome to Japan" (Experienced) from Galaxy Angel, winning Most Humorous in Class; we never learned the entrants' names. Best Characterization, Novice, was "Kelly the Gremlin" (Original), Diana Vick, using tools well, too well for humankind. "Cosmic Corsair Captain Harlock", Kenichiro Mera (Experienced), won a workmanship award for metalwork and leather design. "Battle of the Flowers", Yuko Niikawa, Mariko Yasu, Kiyoko Katoh (Experienced), won Best Workmanship in Class, a blue stole, red armor and cloak, black armor, a staff, a sword, and a shield. Dennis' "Miss Solar System" (Experienced, Original) won Most Beautiful in Class, also workmanship awards for beauty, attention to detail, and documentation, a paneled gown of planets in purple, blue, red, green, a headpiece of comets. Best in Class, Experienced, also a workmanship award for design, was "Solitude Together" from Breath of Fire IV, Sionna & Mark Neidengard, a wing-headed lady and an anthropomorphic dog who quarreled and finally, finely, touched. The show closed with "Dancing Magical Dolls", Haruna Shimakaze, Iie_doll, Mikocchi, A3, and Kakkih (Novice), Best in Class and Best Workmanship in Class, larger than life, carefully stereotyped, each personality clear.
Worldcon work is hard. It's exhilarating too. Masquerade judges must compare apples and androids: we have near-limitless latitude dreaming up awards: but we'd better be right. And fast. Here we had the extra of cross-culture complication. Nor, with the awards and applause given, the house emptied, was my part done; the Tides waited – another thing impossible – and just as I thought I'd handed all in, I realized I didn't have kanji for the Japanese entrants' names, who'd politely filled out forms in kana to make sure Yoshimura could pronounce everything. Back to the theater. Of course Sakuta was still there.
Anticipation was in the Harbor Lounge. Montréal had beaten Kansas City 5 to 3, on 900 votes, and decided to keep the name of the bid as the name of the con. They could have decided on Consummation. Among the write-ins were Minneapolis in '73 (2 votes), which yielded to Toronto decades ago but has never been stopped by that, and Peggy Rae's house (1). There was more maple cake. No more ice cider,
Monday, Monday. The Exhibit Hall had a glider from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and Joe Siclari's fanhistory center; biggest display was for the Comiket, world's largest comics market, twice yearly in Tokyo with 40,000 do-it-yourself vendors, 500,000 attendance; Comiket LXXIII was December 2007. In the Art Show, I did not have to take down "Fanzine Art"; the staff knew it was disposable, so gave permission when someone came asking for the dozen or so pieces, a request I thought a fine rejoinder to gloom. In the Dealers' Room, Jane & Scott Dennis had sold out of tote-bags. Craig McBride said Program Books for non-U.S. overseas Supporting Members had already been mailed.
Closing Ceremonies with the theater jammed. David Brin was given an anti-Seiun. Promising to keep it separate from his two Seiun trophies he said, "Thank you for giving me the opportunity to destroy the world. Perhaps California will sink." Amano said, "The work of an artist is in solitude, but it's good to be with friends." Chairman Inoue received a standing ovation. A thousand origami cranes, and a few monsters, were given to Denvention III. Upon receiving the gavel Chairman Bloom gave Inoue the coveted Past Worldcon Chair ribbon. Bloom said, "You led us to boldly go where no one had gone before."
Supper with Stewart in Queen's Mall near the Minato Mirai. He had never tried Chinese rice wine. Also in the Mall was Pompadour, a French bakery recommended by Kate Yule. Signposts chimed as I passed. Escalators ran one or two floors at a time. All weekend in the throng fans mostly spotted one another, perhaps by our sensitive fannish faces.
At the Conference Center, the Dead Dog Party (until the last dog is —) was in the Green Room. Both the party, and having a Green Room, were strange to Japan. Chance had made the Green Room very large. Tonight no few remained. Those of us with work still to do drifted in and out. After a while pizza arrived. It had shrimp and curry. Willmoth gave it the seal of approval; I did not ask whether an assimilated seal would have cried "borg, borg". Nigirizushi arrived. I ran into Niven and Nordley. Niven said, "We're talking about the ultimate destiny of humankind." I said, "Clarke wrote Childhood's End and The City and the Stars about it, why shouldn't you?"
In the 7th floor elevator lobby of the Intercontinental was a BASFA meeting. "Bay Area S-F Association" is normally understood to mean San Francisco. However, this was Yokohama Bay. I happen to be an honorary BASFA officer. There was a quorum (Meeting 892; Science Fiction / San Francisco 50). Andrew A. Adams confirmed that at the Art Auction, under auctioneer Sandy Cohen, the collaborative art raised $20,000 for Nippon 2007. Pun tax for the meeting was converted to ¥30, which with voting fees, e.g. Rumor of the Week, raised ¥4,000 for BASFA. My rumor lost; the winner was Although Brin promised to keep his Seiun and anti-Seiun apart, he will, through fatigue, forget, and they will annihilate each other, perhaps everything. At another party Spector and I toasted the memory of Gary Anderson in 1977 Rayne-Vigneau. It had tension, like the music of Rameau. An hour later it had mellowed. We shared a taxi as far as the Rose. He said "Give my love to the usual suspects."
I had no notion where or how I was going to live the next week. I was not helpless; HANA had raised enough if I was frugal; I had yet made no firm plans because I hoped, instead of turning mundane, to put myself in the hands of Japanese friends. I had been told this would be impossible. But it wasn't.
One morning the newspaper under my hotel-room door had an interview with Danjûrô XII. "Why do kabuki now?" he was asked. He is the twelfth-generation actor to assume this famous stage name. The interview ran over a page; at its heart he answered with the Japanese proverb On-ko chi-shin, "Study the old to appreciate the new." It was what Lisa Standlee said. It was the heart of my visit.