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Writing, FF Sparks (Writing)

[General] F.M. Busby's Memorial

So, I went to F.M. 'Buz' Busby's memorial today.

I never had the pleasure of getting to know Buz personally, but as long as I've been in the local SF and fantasy community, it seems that everyone has a Buz story. He's been this sort of omnipresent figure in the background; so many conventions have a story of how Buz helped them out, and so many fans talk about the time they met Buz, and even so many authors talk about how Buz encouraged them to be more than a fan and follow their own dreams of writing.

Buz, for those who don't know, was one of the golden age SF fans. In the 60's, in particular, he was one of The Fans out there; he and his wife published a very popular fanzine, the Cry of the Nameless, and he was involved in a great many conventions. He turned professional as well; he was present at the first Clarion West (and established various traditions). There are many tales locally of Buz being absolutely gleeful to sit down and argue the motivations of his characters with people, or the tale of Buz and the lobsters, and so on. He was a true character, who Vonda said was described as 'a curmudgeon in all of the right ways.' It suits what I've heard of him.

For his memorial, a one-time-only fanzine was put together, called Buz. People contributed their memories of him. It was astonishing to read, to see how many names we take for granted today said they owed things to him. Successful authors, like Amy Thompson or Megan Lindholm (Robin Hobb) who were encouraged by Buz, or given their first break through his contacts.

The northwest SF community is the poorer for his loss. He's a presence I've always heard of and felt in the local community, and I wish I could've met him myself. I'm glad that Vonda passed along when the memorial was, because it was nice to see him sent off properly.

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