The 2002 conference was dedicated to the great writer and CONTACT board member Poul Anderson, true friend, true gentleman, true starfarer. He has freely graced us with his helpfulness, humor and dedication for many years. We pay tribute by celebrating his life and work, for we will never again find such a willing and honorable companion in our work and play.
His last hours were -- like his life -- of his own choosing, beer in hand, surrounded by family, friends and myriad messages from admirers around the world. As the Havamal reminds us: All things die but a good man's name.
Men larger than life gather myths unbidden, accreting like planets around a new sun. One of my favorites goes like this: When Poul was asked why he writes science fiction, he answered:
"I want to go to the stars, and I can't wait."
I imagine a dragon ship his funeral pyre, with long flames dancing his earthbound sparks aloft, rising upwards above us till new constellations fill the night sky.