Following Ian Watson
CE: Ian's queries about Algis Budrys's speech and the Hugo winners' photo session are addressed elsewhere. On the matter of Scientologists on the streets of Brighton, it's worth pointing out that Scientology's British headquarters is in East Grinstead, about halfway between Brighton and London. According to at least one local resident, it's not unusual to see Scientologists canvassing people on the streets there.
I contacted Paul Kincaid, the administrator of the Hugo Awards, about the Hugo nominations. Unfortunately he had disposed of all the nominating ballots and final ballots a week previously, and so wasn't able to give precise figures. He had this to say:
"At least fifty per cent of the nominations for Black Genesis came from people taking out supporting membership with their nominations. A large number of these came from people in Britain whom I've never heard of in any sort of fannish context, either before or since the convention. A lot of the nominations from people in Britain came on photocopied ballots with Robert Springall's name written on the bottom. It is within the rules to photocopy ballots and circulate them, providing that the person who has done the photocopying puts his or her name on the bottom. The people who nominated Black Genesis either did not nominate anything else or nominated other Hubbard novels or books by writers connected with the Writers of the Future competition such as Gene Wolfe and Robert Silverberg. I didn't make any record of this, but my impression was that a large number of people who took out supporting memberships to nominate Hubbard's book didn't actually vote in the final ballot. Most of the supporting memberships that were taken out for the convention were taken out by people who nominated Black Genesis or other Hubbard books."
Introducing Algis Budrys
CE: As a result of the controversy at the Worldcon, the committee of Mexicon III, which is planning to hold a convention somewhere in the Midlands in Whitsun 1989, decided to withdraw their Guest of Honour invitation to Algis Budrys. On hearing of this, Budrys contacted Greg Pickersgill, and, after talking to him, wrote him a letter giving his version of the events at Conspiracy.
With Greg's agreement, he later contacted me and sent a slightly cut version for use in Conspiracy Theories, and I'm grateful to both. In his covering letter, Budrys says, "I have retained the spellings I invented for the names of some people whose names I have since seen in print. No slight was or is intended. I can fully understand concern based on appearances. What follows is what I think are the facts behind the appearances, to the extent that I've thus far been able to determine the facts."
Following Peter Nicholls
CE: I've been unable to locate a complete recording of the Hugo ceremony and its preamble. Greg and Linda Pickersgill have a videotape of the event, but apparently the tape ran out soon after Budrys began his announcement and had to be changed. Greg's transcript, which follows, therefore has a gap in it.
"To me has fallen" [Budrys begins] "the honour of being the first to speak. Although the ceremony has not yet officially begun, as soon as I get off, it will. So I'll keep it brief.
"My name is Algis Budrys, this is my first visit to the United Kingdom, or indeed anywhere outside the borders of the United States for the past fifty years. It was worth waiting for. (APPLAUSE.) I'm delighted by the UK, I'm delighted by this convention, I'm delighted by the hospitality, the friendly guidance, and the cooperation of the convention committee. I will start from the top with Malcolm Edwards, Paul Oldroyd, Chris Donaldson, and I could go on if I knew the names, but I certainly do know the functions, and I thank you all for your graciousness, and your reception of Writers of the Future, which has exceeded all expectations. The amount of interest shown, the eagerness with which this program has been met here, justifies my own involvement in it, nourishes my heart, gladdens the hearts of the many prominent sf people who have been participants in the program, and in general just makes it real nice."
BREAK HERE, DURATION UNKNOWN.
"New Era wish to thank the convention and are pleased and proud at their ability to participate in the masquerade last night. We are particularly thanking Anne Page for her concern that we be given proper credit. I think what was more important to us was the ability to participate and to have the masquerade be such a stunning success. I'm pleased to announce to you that the Writers of the Future contest has been extended into 1988. I make this announcement every year. They pretend they're going to stop it but they never do. I'll be making the same announcement next year in the analogous location. And finally I would like to announce that we have added a judge from the United Kingdom. Ramsey Campbell has been gracious enough to serve. (APPLAUSE.) And I thank you very much." (APPLAUSE, NO INDICATIONS OF DISSATISFACTION AUDIBLE ON SOUNDTRACK.)
Greg also transcribed the announcement Peter Nicholls made between the Big Heart Award and the First Fandom Award towards the end of the ceremony:
"Can I ask the Hugo winners to have sufficient patience to remain seated when this event finishes a few moments from now, as the press would like to take your photograph afterwards. There will also be a press facility for taking close-ups and more relaxed photographs, perhaps at the Starlight Room in the Metropole, afterwards. This is by invitation only, please note."
Following Chris Priest
CE: Chris Priest's reference to Author Services being set up with a capital of $44 million comes from a report in the Washington POST entitled "Scientologist Said to Divert $100 Million" and quoted by Ted White in Egoscan 7, August 1984:
"NEW YORK, July 11 (UPI) – The reclusive founder of the Church of Scientology diverted more than $100 million from the cult-like organization into his foreign bank accounts, former church officials said in interviews.
"The former senior church officials told The New York TIMES that L. Ron Hubbard directed them to establish a series of shell corporations to channel many of the church's resources to his overseas accounts. Most of the money was on deposit in Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, they said.
"Meanwhile, the church's president, Heber Jentzsch, today called the charges 'garbage' and said, 'This is all false stuff...'"
Several paragraphs further on: "Howard D. Schomer, a former Scientologist who was an executive of a firm alleged to be controlled by Hubbard, said he been told a major task of its staff was to convert assets of the church to Hubbard.
"Schomer said Hubbard's assets grew from $10 million to $44 million in the first six months he worked for Authors Services [sic], a company founded by Hubbard."
Introducing Charles Platt
CE: Charles Platt's article, which follows, will also appear in REM, and I'm grateful for permission to use it here.