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Peter Weston

Been there and done it

Peter Weston can generally found at conventions by looking for someone smoking cigars, surrounded by tall, beautiful women. A fanzine fan since 1963, Peter edited Zenith and later Speculation (the original New Wave fanzine) and won the Nova in 1973.

He managed to cap this by winning the TAFF race in the following year and attending the 1974 Worldcon (Discon II) in Washington DC. His report of the convention, “Stranger in a Very Strange Land” was originally published in Science Fiction Monthly and is available from http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/SF-Archives/Taff/pw1.html. Looking back, I remember reading this and wondering what it was doing in a magazine devoted to large glossy reproductions of book cover art (not unlike last year's Turner Prize, really). His laments over the lack of a bar with decent beer will strike a familiar chord with any British fan who has attended an American Worldcon.

Peter's TAFF victory was soon revealed as a cunning tactic in his master plan to bring the Worldcon to Brighton for Seacon in 1979. Peter was chairman and managed to cope with the entire 3-ring Worldcon circus, and a TV crew with great aplomb. Oh, and he also won the Doc Weir Award that year.

Is there no end to this man's achievements? He was the founder and long-time chairman of the Brum Group, edited the Andromeda series of original anthologies and was Fan Guest of Honour at Boskone 37 in 2000 and will be again at the next Boston Worldcon, Noreascon 4 in 2004. Perhaps his great claim to fame is as the manufacturer of the Hugo rockets. Certainly every time a Worldcon tries something different, the transparent acrylic debacle come to mind, the next several years of Worldcon committees all go back to Peter for a set of real Hugo rockets.

Moreover, whenever a bar full of fans suddenly descends into Hum and Sway, or people start trying to crawl across the floor with the aid of beer cans, Peter is generally at the heart of it. A final quote from the last Helicon, watching fans acrobatically rupture themselves at his imperious behest: “My old troublemaking skills have not deserted me. All this suffering, caused by just two Guinness cans”.







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