Jan. 25th, 2010

stusegal: (Show some respect!)

In this journal I usually write about scifi, cars or politics.  I don’t think I’ve ever written about our children - daughter, the Honorable Judge Samantha L. Segal, or son, Hugo Award winner Stephen H. Segal.  (It should be noted that even though they’re both in their 30’s, I still feel compelled to give them equal billing, so no one grows up feeling either favored or slighted).

But I know many of you, or you know me, as a result of either Stephen & I attending WorldCon for so many years, or as a result of you knowing Stephen as the editor of Weird Tales.  So today I’m writing about Steve.

By now you’ve likely seen the news  -  Stephen will be starting a new job, in a different city, in a couple weeks.  He’s joining Quirk Books in Philadelphia as their Acquisitions Editor.  Their publishing business has grown to the point that acquisitions can no longer be the part-time domain of their management team; they need a dedicated professional to acquire the best properties for them.  I’m sure in his quest to find the right properties Stephen will have the opportunity to work not only with well known authors, but with young fresh talent, something he has always enjoyed.

This means, of course, he’ll no longer be the Editorial Director at Weird Tales.  WT is, fortunately, blessed with extraordinary people . . . . publisher John Betancourt for whom WT is a labor of love, Editor Emeritus George Scithers, and their fantastic fiction editor, Ann Vandermeer.  Stephen will stay involved as their senior contributing editor (you may have already seen the Press Release from Weird Tales).

From a Father’s perspective, cheering from the sidelines of his kid’s life, Stephen’s experience at WT has been terrific.  Winning the Hugo with Weird Tales is the unplanned result of a largely uncharted journey we began when Stephen was a youngster, becoming a 4 year old Star Wars fan in a house filled with piles of science fiction books and a TV filled with Nimoy and Shatner.  Let’s not forget, Steve and I have been attending conventions for decades.   The idea that he might someday work in the field was something that never entered my mind (nor do I think it entered his mind until adulthood).

We met Isaac Asimov at our first NY Star Trek Convention, and spoke briefly with him about Stephen’s aspirations to be a writer.  Did I have any clue that Steve might someday share the honor of being the recipient of a Hugo Award with Dr. Asimov?  I have always had the high hopes and dreams that all parents have  -  but unlike most parents I’ve had the pleasure of seeing those dreams realized . . . actually, exceeded.

So Stephen moving on is, to me, bittersweet.  While he will still be involved with WT, he will no longer be the public figure you see at conventions promoting the magazine.  Does this mean you won’t see Steve or I at conventions  -  NO!  Long before Weird Tales or Hugos, we were going to Worldcons, and that won’t change.

What I suppose will change is . . . . we will no longer be able to be there incognito, and fade into the crowd as we did for so many years.  Some of you who attend Worldcon may have always wondered about the “coincidence” of “This is Not a Door” following us around the world.  (We thought it was hilarious).

So while Stephen will no longer be Mr. Weird Tales, he and I will continue to be what we think is the only father and son who take their annual trip to Worldcon (yes, I know most fathers take their sons fishing, or hunting, or to Talladega or the Superbowl . . . . but we want to go where it’s fun).  Yes, he and I make the trek every year, painful as it must be for our wives to be left behind and not attend an SF Con with us.  And I laugh more that week than I do all year  -  and when it’s over, I start counting the weeks until the next Worldcon.

So look for us at Worldcon.  Steve will be doing something with up and coming authors, and you can find me at 9AM at Stroll With The Stars.  (Just for clarification . . . this year we’ll be at Dragon*Con and will not be in Melbourne . . . . so look for us this year in Atlanta, and next year, 2011 in RENO!)  And wish Stephen good luck in his new job!

September 2011

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