|A Science Fiction Fanzine||Summer 2004|
Ellison tells the story of The Great Nebula Switch in his introduction to "The Word for World is Forest" in Again, Dangerous Visions. I saw the whole thing, and it was as he describes - while LeGuin was being surrounded with well-wishers after the awards, Harlan switched trophies with her and pretended to sneak away - his way of congratulating her. Someone made a snide remark, Harlan felt putdown - but Miss LeGuin made it all better with a smile. Class act.
Sturgeon was a latecomer to the Nubble Bubble banquet - in fact, he arrived after the awards had been presented. I never will forget the door to the banquet door opening and that shy, small figure coming in, alone, astonished at the hubbub caused by his entrance, and even more so by the Nebula that Forry Ackerman pressed into his hands.
Later, I met Sturgeon and his wife as they went to their room. He had just finished Godbody and he stood talking with me about it for several minutes. I was, of course, completely gassed - and thanked him for his kindness years later.
Ellison, Sturgeon, Yarbro, Anderson ... I owe a debt to these people I can never adequately repay, because they were generous and kind to me when I was young.