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Old Jun 20 2006, 10:04 AM   #1
Becky's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Washington
Gender: F
Fan of: Fav character - Lunzie
Now Reading: Love reading Lanen's books too
Default Anne McCaffrey Induction 6/17/06

I’ve been sitting here trying to decide where to start this ‘report’. So maybe at the beginning would be a good place, huh?

I arrived in Seattle around 12:30 and was picked up at the airport by my fellow Anne collector, Donna. We’ve been friends for years and met online via an Anne chat room which turned into the AOL reading group I started. We’ve spent many an afternoon ‘booking’, that is hunting the book stores from Portland, OR to Vancouver BC Canada for Anne McCaffrey items.



We drove straight to the Seattle Center where the EMP (Experience Music Project) building is located at the foot of the Space Needle. The Science Fiction Museum is located within the EMP. Once there we signed in and our badges got us into the Party and then into the Induction later that evening. We got instructions on where to go for both the Party and the Induction, so we knew in advance where we needed to be without a mad dash just before it all started. There had been a LOCUS Magazine brunch earlier that morning and there were also tours of the Science Fiction Museum that were included with our ticket, but we were a bit late to get in on that, unfortunately. So we went to the café located in the EMP for a quick soda and to catch up on things. (It had been a while since Donna and I were able to get together and have a face to face chat. I now live almost 4 hours away so we don’t get together often.)

We headed to the Autograph Party a few minutes before 2:00 and were almost let in early! We both had worn black pants and black jackets so I guess we looked ‘official’. We had taken a few steps in when the lady at the door asked us to wait a moment and were we there for the signing. We said we were there for the signing and so we were sent back outside to get in line. But the line had only 10 or 15 people in it, so it wasn’t too bad to have to go back. We just got a kick out of almost being let in early!!!

We did get a peak at Anne in those few moments. She looked wonderful!!!! The other signers were Todd McCaffrey, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Connie Willis, Paul Park, Kevin J Anderson Brian Herbert and Neil Gaiman. When we were allowed to go into the signing room I was so excited to meet Anne again. (I’d met her in 1999 at DragonCon) I walked to the table, Anne and Todd were the first ones you came to, and introduced myself as Becky and Anne said it was nice to meet me. I then told her she may remember me as Coelura. Her face lit up and she told me it was great to see me again. I was very happy she had not forgotten me.

While she was signing the books I let her know that I brought congratulations from the entire MoM membership. She was happy to hear that and thanks everyone here for our support.

Anne at the book signing.

A pic of Anne and Todd at the signing.

I got to speak to Todd for a few seconds and then went on to Ms Scarborough. I have read her Godmother series and brought a couple of them for her to sign. Well, that didn’t take too long. We were rather surprised that there weren’t more people there. I know there would have been if George Lucas had shown up.

We had a later dinner before the Induction. No dessert for us though! They were serving dessert at the Induction. We then went to the Sky Church at the EMP for the Induction. We had to wait a few minutes before we could enter as we were a little early. There were a few others there too. A sign was posted stating that they were filming the whole thing and so if you see anything of the Induction you might get a glimpse of us!

The Sky Church is in interesting place. It doesn’t look very big but is really pretty large. I think it’s because the area is taller than it is wide and gives the illusion of being smaller. High up in the ceiling were these translucent parachute looking things that moved in the air circulating around the room, rather like jellyfish. They had some alien looking things projected on them, possibly art by Kelly Freas, I don’t know for sure. I tried to get a picture, but it’s not too clear.

The jellyfish ceiling.

We took a seat at a table toward the back of the room. (All the close ones were reserved for friends and family of the inductees.) A young Anne reader and her parents sat down at our table. She had a paperback copy of All the Weyrs of Pern with her. She mentioned that she missed the signing and had hoped to get it signed by Anne that evening. I told her that if she asked Anne probably would, especially since she was a young reader. She got up and took the book and a pen over to Anne’s table a few minutes after Anne arrived and was settled. Anne did sign the book for her. She came back to the table beaming! This was evident even in the darkened room! And to skip ahead a bit, she got her picture taken with Anne after the ceremony was over. I was so thrilled for her! It was great to see a new generation of Anne readers get to meet Anne. That lucky girl will have this memory for the rest of her life!

Neil Gaiman was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. I’d not heard much about him but he is a very wonderful speaker! He’s witty and funny and his way of speaking and tone of his voice put me in mind of the actor Alan Rickman. In his opening he mentioned that when you read a book you ‘meet’ the author and if you’re lucky enough you get to meet the author a second time, in person. He also said that most of the time the second meeting isn’t as great as the first. That it’s hard to find out the author isn’t 12 feet tall and perfect. I thought that was a very clever thing to say. So we all have ‘met’ Anne in each book we have read.

The first inductee was Kelly Freas. Michael Whelan was the presenter and Laura Freas, his wife, was the recipient as he is no longer with us. A short film about Mr Freas was presented too, just before Laura accepted the honor. He was a very talented artist who brought new insight into science fiction art. Along with Michael Whelan, Kelly Freas has done several SF magazine covers based on Anne’s short stories. Anne also has a portrait that Mr Freas did of her for a birthday present.

Second was Frank Herbert. Kevin J Anderson was the presenter and the recipient was his son Brian Herbert as Mr Herbert too is no longer with us. Brian told quite a bit about his father that I’ll just touch on a little, Dune was submitted 23 times before a publisher finally accepted the manuscript. At 9 years old young Frank Herbert was given a small row boat that he hitched to a barge headed for Alaska. He was raised in Tacoma, WA and also lived for some time in Port Townsend, WA.

Third was George Lucas. Greg Bear was the presenter and I do not remember the recipient for the Mr Lucas. (I knew I’d forget and once I find out his name I’ll post it) His name is Rob Coleman. (thank you, Hans!) When he took the stage a whole group of Star Wars characters took the stage with him. It was very exciting to see all the characters on too. They were not professional actors. They were a group who create their own costuming. They were very good as you’ll see in the photos. There was also a film of Mr Lucas thanking everyone for his induction and apologizing for not being able to attend.

This is Greg Bear.

This is the group of Star Wars folks with the gentleman accepting for George Lucas.

Last, and certainly NOT least, was Anne McCaffrey. Her presenter was Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. Ms Scarborough gave some background on how she and Anne met. She was visiting her parents after some difficulties with her home in Fairbanks, AK. Something was mentioned about a fire. She was also waiting to hear back on whether her novel would be picked up. She then heard that Anne McCaffrey was in town at the public library for a signing. She loved Anne’s writing so grabbed a book and headed to the library telling her mother that it was a sign, an omen. She got the book signed and talked with Anne a little and then went home. When she walked in the door her father told her that her husband had called and left a message. The publisher had called saying her book was accepted. So she had been right!

Elizabeth Ann Scarborough after the ceremony was over.

There was a short film for Anne too and then it was her turn! She was helped onto the stage by Todd and another gentleman (maybe Gigi’s husband? I don’t know what he looks like, I only know that he was sitting between Anne and Gigi and it wasn’t Alec) Anne was dressed in a beautiful deep reddish purple gown that had loads of sparkling sequins and other shining do-dads around the edge of the top. She looked wonderful!

Anne accepting her honor.

We gave her a standing ovation. She waved her hands at all of us and said something to the effect of, “Oh, do sit down!” She had so many things to say and I wish I’d had a recorder to tape it all. I’ll give you what I remember though. She first thanked Michael Whelan for the cover of White Dragon. She said that she knows that’s what helped propel it to the Best Seller List. She also said that she hears from people all the time that the cover is what drew them to the book. I can attest to that since that’s exactly how I came to read Anne and also the same for my friend Donna. Anne also told of how she had been to the SF Museum last year and how she had to get a young boy out of her way to play with one of the attractions. She said she did her best Granny Weatherwax imitation and told the parents to watch out she was dangerous as she was wearing PURPLE. (I think it was Granny Weatherwax, I’m not familiar with the character)

She also spoke of missing Kelly Freas and how she loved his covers and loves the portrait he did. She listed so many people who helped her get established as an author that I can’t remember but a few in addition to Whelan and Freas, so I’m only listing them since they were in connection to the Induction.

After her speech she was helped off stage and once the ceremony closed I was able to go say hello to Gigi and got to take a couple more pictures of Anne and also Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. I also congratulated Anne on her Induction.

A bit of a footnote here, this Induction is to THE actual Science Fiction Hall of Fame. It was moved to the SF Museum last year, this is their second Induction. This was not just an Induction to the SF Museum Hall of Fame. I know that some had wondered and was glad to be able to find this out.

We then got to go into the SF Museum and view the new exhibit for the new Inductees. Anne’s portrait is shown with an absolutely beautiful Walker and Co 1st Edition Hardcover copy of Dragonflight. Kelly Freas’ picture is shown with a painting of his, Frank Herbert is shown with a copy of Dune (1st Edition, I think) and George Lucas is shown with a light saber. They are also pictured on the wall along with all the other Hall of Fame Inductees from years past. While I was admiring the display Anne’s granddaughter Ceara Rose walked up behind me to see her grandmother’s display too.

I don't know how I manged to get this touching photo of Ceara congratulating her grandmother after the ceremony was over. But I'm glad I did!

Donna and I then spent about a half hour going through the Museum, as we’d missed the tour earlier in the day. That’s where I had a Close Encounter with Greg Bear. We almost bumped into each other. He had his head turned talking to someone and I was looking at an exhibit so we didn’t see each other till almost too late. We apologized to each other and went on. It took a few seconds for me to realize it actually was Greg Bear!

The next day Donna dropped me off at the airport for my flight home. There were still events going on that I would have loved to attend. They had The Worlds of Frank Kelly Freas and The Works of Anne McCaffrey and Best of the SFSFF (the top 10 films from the 2006 Science Fiction Short Film Festival) but I had to get home for Father’s Day.

While at the airport I had time to walk around and who do I meet but Michael Whelan!!! I saw him and thought it might be him so asked if he was Mr Whelan. He said he was and asked me how I knew him. I told him I saw him the night before at the Induction. I thanked him for making the White Dragon cover so well that it drew me to it and started me reading Anne’s books. He commented that Anne credits him with that and I told him it was true, that’s really how I started reading her books. He and his wife then asked me if I’d seen a Sees Candy store as they always stop there when in Seattle. The airport has been remodeled and I had not seen a store but told him I did see someone with a Sees bag so there should be a store somewhere, unless she’d brought it with her. So they went off in search of Sees.

So I had a very wonderful weekend even if it went very quickly!

I truly cut out some of my original 'report', but I think that what's left is important to the whole Induction experience and you should have the information. Well, maybe the Greg Bear and Michael Whelan parts aren't, they're just plain fun!

I do hope you have enjoyed this report.

A little footnote to Michael Whelan. He never did get his Sees Candies! They have only one store in the airport now and it's in a different terminal. (I had emailed thru his site to ask if they found the candy. So I suggested to order some)
aka Coelura1

Last edited by Becky; Jun 21 2006 at 10:54 AM.
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