A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle is ....I’m not even sure how to describe it! Suffice to say it’s an amazing place filled with music, lights, SF and Rock-n-Roll memorabilia, and a quirky outer facade. The place is airy and open, and feels very unmuseum-like.
As any of you who read this blog know, I went there for the induction ceremony of my grandfather, Frank Herbert. The proceedings were an invitation only event and I was fortunate enough to make the short list. Not only that, but I was also assigned to table #1 along with Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson, Bill Ransom, Pat Larson (Frank Herbert’s sister and my great aunt), Jan Herbert (Brian’s wife), Rebecca Moesta-Anderson (Kevin’s wife), Bill Ransom’s lovely wife (who’s name currently escapes me ...Kelly maybe?) and a Hall of Fame curator. We also had a second table that held several other Herbert clansman (and women).
Neil Gaiman was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. He’s such a presence and has a wonderful voice that carries exceptionally well (he had a mic but I don’t think he necessarily needed it). One of the curators told me that they’d invited about 200 people to the event but doubted everyone would attend. However — much to their surprise — all of the tables were filled.
A large movie screen adorned a wall behind the podium in what was called ‘The Sky Church’ room, and it is from this screen that several short documentary style film clips were shown of each inductee. Cameras were flashing or being lugged around the room on weary shoulders. Food consisted of dessert and a humble wine selection. An incredible night that started at 8pm and didn’t close out until after ten.
Noteworthy events were, of course, my grandfather’s induction beginning with Kevin J. Anderson’s presentation and Brian Herbert’s acceptance, Neil Gaiman’s perfect commentary, Anne McCaffrey getting a standing ovation as she hobbled up to the stage, and George Lucas’ son, Rob Coleman, accepting Lucas’ induction while a parade of Star Wars characters marched onto the stage.
I also had the opportunity to interview Mr. Gaiman before the evening’s events, something of which I’ll never forget. Special thanks to Anne Murphy and Therese Littleton for arranging that.