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August 6, 2009

Life affords few such opportunities
Posted by Patrick at 12:53 PM *

For complicated reasons, we wound up driving the Hugo Award bases up to Montreal in the trunk of our rented car. (Just the bases, not the plaques; neither we nor our pre-Worldcon house guest Dave Howell, who designed this year’s bases, have any idea who won.)

Right now those bases are still in our car. Soon Dave will come and take them away. But for just a little while, we can truly say to the Worldcon—indeed, to the entire science fiction community—that all your base are belong to us.

Comments on Life affords few such opportunities:
#1 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 12:58 PM:

(Thanks to Shana Rosenfeld for the critical insight.)

#2 ::: DaveKuzminski ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 12:59 PM:

Groan....

#3 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 01:02 PM:

All we want to do is eat your base....

#4 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 01:05 PM:

Ouch.

Planning on cheeseburgers for lunch?

#5 ::: Scott Lynch (is going to hell for this) ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 01:09 PM:

If you happen to see an orthodox rabbi holding a thumb out for a ride, you absolutely must pull over and pick him up. That way, you can tell us what happened to the car when you mixed hasids and bases.

#6 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 01:15 PM:

Scott Lynch @ 5, I won't lye. That was a base pun. Not that this will pHase you, I'm sure.

#7 ::: Andrew Willett ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 01:19 PM:

[weeps a single crystalline tear at the beauty of it all]

#8 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 01:19 PM:

Patrick, this post has made me very happy.

#9 ::: Jason Aronowitz ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 01:33 PM:

Caroline @ 6,

Hugo, girl!

#11 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 02:16 PM:

As someone who went on a genuine, successful dragonquest while you were visiting, I can certainly appreciate the value of a good phrasing.

Well done.

#12 ::: Julie ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 02:19 PM:

Drat. There went another keyboard.

#13 ::: Jeremy Hornik ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 02:19 PM:

The memes are coming true! Oh God! Someone, someone find Mr. T and strap him down before he eats my balls!

#14 ::: rams ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 02:33 PM:

Looks like rain here -- hope you have all their bases covered.

#15 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 02:40 PM:

AARRGGGHHH!

#16 ::: David Dyer-Bennet ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 02:59 PM:

My brain briefly tried to make it a different David involved with the bases (Hartwell). This did not make much sense, and my eyes eventually convinced the brain that it said "Howell", which made somewhat more sense (at least if it's the Northwest fan / artist, rather than some other geek of the same name).

But that was a rather weird couple of seconds there, at first.

#17 ::: Larry ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 03:21 PM:

I am torn somewhere between a groan and a laugh. What is the proper word to describe such a thing? A Graugh? Laun? Hmmm.

#18 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 03:40 PM:

HA HA HA HA ....

#19 ::: Liza ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 03:43 PM:

Larry @ 17: I think the proper term is "lawn," as in the Temptations' song, "...all he left us was a lawn."

#20 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 03:44 PM:

Larry @17: A serge?

#21 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 03:48 PM:

As long as they don't need to have extra weight added for balance. (Remembering 1984 and the weekend base-weighting not-quite-a-room-party. Clay and lead birdshot.)

#22 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 03:57 PM:

(Bringing in a handcart loaded with cases of perfume and cologne)

"Youse the guys who ordered the Hugo Boss?"

No, base. Base!

#23 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 04:00 PM:

I think it's very nice of you to take such treble with the basses.

#24 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 04:06 PM:

They had to - if they didn't, it would hit a sour note.

#25 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 04:12 PM:

Supreme! (Caught the end of this.)

FOR GREAT JUSTICE.

Cadbury.

#27 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 04:45 PM:

But Pendrift, wouldn't it be just like a couple of editors to leave us with a clef-hanger?

#28 ::: Sarah S. ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 04:54 PM:

Mark @ #27

SCORE!

#29 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 04:59 PM:

[[big grin]] Just the smile I needed!

#30 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 05:13 PM:

DDB@16 -- yes, it's that Dave Howell. We were really pleased to hear that he'd won the competition.

#31 ::: Wyman Cooke ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 05:14 PM:

So when they take them away, you can say "someone set us up the bomb!"

#32 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 05:23 PM:

Now, if the Worldcon were being held in Hoboken, rather than Montreal, the temptation would be to say "All of your Sopranos are belong to us".

("That's base not bass, Fragano", says Serge, distantly.)

#33 ::: Laurie Mann ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 05:41 PM:

Funny! And I could use a funny story right now.

I'm taking "a moment to collect myself" before going down to work on the Reno party this afternoon. I saw the beginning of the Mike Ford panel. I can't claim a great and lasting friendship with Mike, but we knew one another for about 20 years and had the sort of "chat a little at Worldcon and Boskone" kind of relationship. And I enjoyed his comments on Making Light. I think he was also one of the many on GEnie in the late '80s and early '90s.

For some reason, just the beginning of the panel left me flummoxed.

Maybe I'm tired. But I almost feel like some sort of delayed mourning has just set in. What particularly hit me was Teresa reminding us that people kept going "Oh THAT Mike Ford," because he had many little accomplishments that people often didn't connect. I especially loved his "110 Stories" (http://nielsenhayden.com/110.html), about lives interrupted.

He's someone I'm especially missing this Worldcon.

Oh well. Time to get chipper again.

#34 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 06:11 PM:

You can also say the bases are loaded (into your trunk) and that you're running the bases (to Montreal)

#35 ::: Jason Aronowitz ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 06:22 PM:

And your return trip would be a home run.

#36 ::: philsuth ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 06:24 PM:

Erik@34 -- and that you're expecting to be thoroughly debased during the Worldcon.

#37 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 07:00 PM:

You have to get to first base somehow!

#38 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 07:21 PM:

Enough of this bargain debasement!

#39 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 07:58 PM:

Hmph. Tried to raise tone quoting Hamlet, on base capital crimes, but it was a brute crime at the capitol instead. There hugo, me memory's on the fritz.

#40 ::: Wyman Cooke ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 08:12 PM:

Epricis @ 39: Speaking of Shakespeare, have you seen the "Bard's" dramatization of The Beer Summit?

#42 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 09:18 PM:

This needs to be a LOLNH photo.

#43 ::: Quill ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 10:19 PM:

Pwnned!

#44 ::: Wyman Cooke ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 10:23 PM:

BTW, did you have do declare them going through Customs? If you didn't, you might be accused of a base canard.

#45 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 10:48 PM:

Wyman Cook @ 44, like this one, you mean?

#46 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 10:53 PM:

For some reason, I find myself imagining a year when the company that engraves the Hugo plaques has a not-particularly-thoughful soon-to-be-former employee who is a science-fiction fan (in the sense of "enthusiast") and is active on the InterNet.

#47 ::: Don Fitch ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 10:57 PM:

Wyman Cook @ 44:

I'd expect Patrick to duck answering that question.

#48 ::: wrw ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 10:57 PM:

So does the car in question have a spoiler, or is it a zero-wing model?

#49 ::: Wyman Cooke ::: (view all by) ::: August 06, 2009, 11:25 PM:

Caroline @ 45: Now that's what I call a fowl lamp.

Don Fitch @ 47: I don't plan on goosing him for that information.

#50 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 01:06 AM:

Epacris @ 39: There hugo, me memory's on the fritz.

No, Fritz Leiber isn't nominated for anything this year.

#51 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 04:24 AM:

Wyman Cook @ 44

It could be worse, they might have been taken aside by Customes and told to TAKE OFF EVERY ZIG.

Cadbury.

#52 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 05:29 AM:

I will run no base humour: here, take the
humour-letter: I will keep the havior of reputation.

#53 ::: Johan Larson ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 06:48 AM:

What you say?

#54 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 10:37 AM:

wrw @ 48, I'm not sure about the spoiler, but I know it has a custom paint job -- a design all the way around that looks like this:

/ / / / / / / / / / / /

It used to be a zig-zag pattern, but they took off every zig.

#55 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 11:40 AM:

Wyman Cooke @31: First, you would probably want to censor the B-word, so you don't get arrested. Even "You have no chance to survive make your time" has been considered enough of a "borderline terrorist threat" to get people arrested.

Second, be careful not to correct the word order. Geekery demands precision.

So when they take the bases away you can say, "Somebody set up us the b**b." Maybe people will think you're talking about the Scott Fitzgerald story.

#56 ::: Dan Hoey ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 12:06 PM:

55: Verily it is said, "Who picks by the nit will be picked by the nit."

I have it from reliable sources that Fitzgerald did not write "Bernice boobs her hair."

My apologies for any confusion.

#57 ::: Bill ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 03:27 PM:

Somebody set up us the pun...

#58 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 04:27 PM:

Clearly some kind of villain (or villanelle).

(Excuse me a moment while I MOVE ZIG.)

That's better, the cats get annoyed if I leave it there.

Cadbury.

#59 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 07:48 PM:

Jo Walton reports on the Mike Ford Panel.

#60 ::: wruscle ::: (view all by) ::: August 07, 2009, 10:50 PM:

i am filled with joy, like that character from the race that loved practical jokes, even at their own expense, in "The Uplift War."

#61 ::: Clauclauclaudia ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2009, 11:43 AM:

Tom Whitmore @3

All we want to do is eat your base....

... we're not unreasonable, no-one's gonna eat your prize.

#62 ::: Jules ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2009, 11:55 AM:

Cadbury @58: "That's better, the cats get annoyed if I leave it there."

Surely that should be "CATS gets annoyed"...?

#63 ::: John Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: August 08, 2009, 04:05 PM:

From New Your to Montreal, free-basing* all the way? Kinda rough on the system.

*Assuming you didn't get paid to take them...

#64 ::: Wyman Cooke ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2009, 10:14 AM:

John Houghton @63: I would say the charge, like the trunk of their rental car, is now baseless.

#65 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2009, 02:52 PM:

What was the rock that the base was made from? It looked (to my used-to-know-something-about-mineralogy eyes) like some kind of granite which consisted mainly of an iridescent feldspar. The pictures don't do the trophies justice -- the beautiful optical effects aren't really shown in the still pictures.

#66 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 11, 2009, 03:20 PM:

Clauclauclaudia @61: I bow to a master.

#67 ::: Sylvia ::: (view all by) ::: August 12, 2009, 11:37 AM:

Today's Real Life Comics made me think of Teresa. It didn't seem worth dredging up one of the previous fan-fic posts for but I thought you might like it.

#68 ::: Dave Howell ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 07:13 AM:

Joel Polewin @ 65: Sounds like you're looking for a geological ID. I can give you the designer ID; most of the bases were made from a widely available "granite" known as Blue Pearl. You should be able to cross-reference to a geo-identification from that. Note that some of the bases were made from other kinds of granite. Also note that designers (and monument makers, for that matter) will put pretty much any stone that can be polished into the category "granite, " or "marble," although very few of them are actually such things as geologists reckon them.

#69 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 09:36 AM:

Dave Howell @ 68: Thanks, that was enough to let me track it down. Per http://www.mindat.org/min-32161.html, Blue Pearl granite is "A commercial trade name for the Norwegian plagioclase-rich rock larvikite wherein the feldspar exhibits a blue schiller." Apparently not a true granite according to current classification practise (which I don't know enough to quite figure out) but related.

#70 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 17, 2009, 11:37 AM:

Dave & Joel, #68-69: Further trivia of possible interest: larvikite is sold to the bead & jewelry market as "black labradorite" (among other things). It's very popular right now, so if you'd like a piece of jewelry with the same optical effects as that Hugo base, you should be able to find one.

#71 ::: janetl see spam on Life affords few such opportunities ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2009, 01:53 AM:

Gotta say that #71 is rather appropriate to the topic of the post.

#72 ::: Raphael ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2009, 05:56 AM:

Not simply spam about bigger penises, but spam supposedly posted by the bigger penis itself? Do they sell them with in-built AIs now?

#73 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: September 01, 2009, 09:04 AM:

The thinking-with-the-little-head thing would sort of account for the word salad, no?

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