I have a girl-crush, the equivalent of a bromance, with Chris Garcia although I fear it may be unrequited![hand to forehead, leaning back in a melodramatic pose]
It all began a couple of years ago…[queue timey-wimey music and calendar pages reversing rapidly]
I started Dark Matter after editing one edition of a local science fiction club’s newsletter. After moving to Melbourne I searched the webz assiduously for a connection to the community, hence membership of an SF club and editing an issue of the newsletter. After one issue my services were no longer required but my passion had been ignited by this tantalising glimpse of the enormous potential of the club’s newsletter. I decided to launch an independent fanzine!
Issue one came and went fairly quickly, and then the letters of comment rolled in. I was ASTOUNDED. I didn’t expect to receive any letters of comment at all. I remember sitting at my computer with my mouth open, doing my impersonation of a fish.
Chris Garcia not only sent a letter from for issue 2, but he continued to send letters in response to most published issues. I went poking around and looked at his fanzine, Drink Tank. This is a diverse fanzine with articles ranging from Handicapping the Hugos, annual commentary of the pre-award line-up, to discussing classics of SF (note: the links provided are for more recent issues but they’re intended to give you a taste of the flavour of Drink Tank).
Fast forward a few months to mid-2011.
Hugo nominations were announced. This guy who’d been sending letters of comment was nominated for best fanzine. SQUEE! I – kind of – knew a nominee! How awesome was that? And he seemed like a nice guy, too.
Then Chris won! Wow, I – kind of – knew a Hugo award winner! I basked in the dimly reflected glow of awesome.
Galactic Suburbia made some comments about Chris’ acceptance speech and the potential for the acceptance speech being nominated for a Hugo for the following year (possibly in this issue but I haven’t listened to it recently so I’m not sure). I didn’t immediately search for Chris’ acceptance speech on YouTube, so it slipped my mind.
Drink Tank #300 came out shortly after Chris’ win. Issue 300 was HUGE, with contributions from an amazing array of people. I thought to myself that this epic issue was almost inevitably going to win in 2012. [Have I mentioned that I’m epically awful at picking winners? The only winners I’ve picked have been the bloody obvious like Neil Gaiman’s episode of Doctor Who.]
The months rolled past.
Chris and I became friends on Facebook probably around the same time I joined the Fan-Eds Facebook page. We’ve chatted a little – he’s a lovely guy. I find hipsters cringe-worthy in their antipathy for enthusiasm: Chris Garcia is a refreshing antidote to hipster wannabes.
In August I read a letter from Chris gently encouraging people to live and let live in the face of much vitriol aimed at Dark Matter and I in someone else’s fanzine. Chris’ letter left me in tears of gratitude, gratitude that someone stood up for me. The seeds of a bromance had already been sown but now they took firm root in my heart. (No other word conveys quite the same meaning even if the term doesn’t quite fit gender-wise.)
This year, Chris’ 2011 acceptance speech was, indeed, nominated for a Hugo Award and after reading the letter mentioned above I went looking for clips.
This acceptance speech is heartfelt, conveying Chris’ depth of feeling more eloquently than fluent words. His years of contribution to fandom were acknowledged and rewarded with this award, which he took to heart so gratefully. I personally fell in bromance with him even more at this point, both for his honest emotion and THAT HAIR: he’s a human teddy bear!
A few days ago on Facebook I heard that Chris was planning a hair cut this weekend.
‘NOOOOOOOO!’ I cry. ‘Besides,’ I add, ‘THAT HAIR WON A HUGO.’
Someone pointed out that it was Chris, not his hair, that won.
‘But the hair was sitting on his crown [a role reversal if ever their was one] at the time!’ I reply. ‘IT’S LIKE LUCKY HAIR,’ I add, arguing for the survival of The. Most. Awesome. Beard.
Sigh. I believe I’m campaigning for a lost cause. Chris is talking about cutting 6 inches off – SIX INCHES. That’s 15 cm to the metrically inclined. I don’t think his beard is that long, so I’m assuming he’s talking about his pony tail. I’m not sure what’s happening to the beard…
Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the passing of an amazing head of hair and beard. But before you shuffle on to the next link in your surfing chain, check out Drink Tank, the creation of Chris and his much-beloved hair. With contributions from some other people.