Mike Spencer
Artist Blacksmith

Master Millwright of Halcon

 and Millwright At every successful volunteer event or project, there's always This Guy [1]. He's not always the President or The Leader or the front man. In fact, he's often inconspicuous but he's always around . And he's The Guy that makes it all happen. He's the one who makes sure the pizza arrives on time, that the VIP guests actually do have hotel rooms, remembers to bring the extension cords and makes sure the bolts are all tight before take-off. He's absolutely essential and often nobody notices that he's doing anything.

 and Millwright From my peripheral perspective [2] , Bob Atkinson was That Guy at the Halcon Science Fiction & Fantasy cons. The Halcon folks must have thought so, too, because they made him a Guest of Honor and commissioned this piece to present to him.

What was I to do? Bob hadn't written any books. His artistic endeavors in sound, film and other media, while heterogeneous, were mostly unknown to me and, anyway, weren't relevant to Halcon. What to do?! So I thought I'd try to make a representation of Halcon itself, because that was the impossible thing that we knew Bob had created.

 and Millwright, thing with teeth detail So there it is. An imposing edifice, clearly filled with impenetrable whatsits and incomprehensible machinery, only enough of which is exposed to deter the casual observer from even trying to understand it. Too complicated and hairy to explain but from out of the back, behind an unfinished bit of protective wall, marches an orderly column of tidy geometric shapes.

But wait! Almost before they come into view, those orderly geometric shapes are metamorphosing into -- well, other things: -- Flowers, mushrooms, pillars of brassy light, even something with teeth that has already begun to devour the basic structure of things. Even the wall itself is morphing into an organic tendril before our eyes.

But we wouldn't have it any other way, would we? And there's Bob, leaning on his wrench, taking a well-deserved break and watching the wheels within wheels take on a life of their own, becoming the the fantastic event that Halcon was and the memories of hundreds of happy fans.

and Millwright

Forged and welded steel, brass, copper, clockwork, auto parts. About 18" wide.

Okay, okay. It's just as often, maybe more often, that a woman (who may not like to be called a "guy") fills this role. But in this case, The Guy is a guy, so we'll stick with the male pronoun.
Since I wrote that, The Gnomes have informed me that, in the years prior to my becoming aware of Halcon, Bob was, in fact, The Leader and frontman. So much the better, even more deserving of a chance to take a break and lean on his wrench.

Created: Mike Spencer -- Fri 26 Dec 2008