Philadelphia - The World Science Fiction Society announced today that
novelist and alleged alien abductee Whitley Strieber was the recipient of a
special Hugo Award to be presented at ConJose in San Jose, California in August
2002. The award, referred to as the "Hubbard", is intended to reward
outstanding achievement in presenting science fictional concepts as fact to
the general public.
Susan Tankersley, spokesperson for the WSFS, explained the situation. "Through
such books as Communion, Transformation, Majestic, and
The Secret School, Whitley Strieber has managed to present concepts once
unique to science fiction and turn them into cultural icons. Thanks to him,
you simply cannot hear the phrase 'alien contact' without thinking the complementary
phrase 'rectal probe'. Admittedly, he's also thrown the SETI movement back fifty
years in the process, but them's the breaks."
Presenting the Hubbard at ConJose are South Park creators Trey Parker
and Matt Stone, who had nothing but praise for Strieber's contributions to popular
culture. "If not for Whitley's anal fixation, we'd have never been able
to come up with that first episode of South Park, 'Cartman Gets An Anal
Probe', and without that, we'd still be waiting tables in Burbank," said
Parker, taking a break from filming of Orgazmo Goes To Salt Lake City,
the sequel to his 1999 superhero film. "Trey and I feel that we'd never
have managed to squeeze that initial $16 million contract for the first two
years of South Park without that episode, and we wouldn't have thought
of it until we borrowed Whitley's comment 'Why does everything around here involve
something going into or coming out of my ass?' Now we have a multimillion-dollar
entertainment empire, and we owe it all to him. Well, not really: if he tries
to get any of this money, we'll have security break his legs, but we want to
let him know how much we owe him in general."
Streiber himself was extremely enthusiastic about the new Hugo, and expressed
it in a special segment of the Art Bell AM radio program by speaking in tongues
for twenty-three minutes. Afterwards, he said "You know, certain snotty
critics have said that the only thing my books have taught anyone is that 'Klaatu
barada nikto' means 'You shore got a purty mouth'. Well, this isn't true. It
really means 'Hello, sailor'."
With the announcement also came the announcement that Strieber had signed a
contract to adapt his second Visitor book, Transformation, for the screen.
Although the 1989 release of Communion was a critical and box-office
flop everywhere but in the audience participation midnight movie circuit, producer
Michael Nelson had high hopes for this adaptation to turn out better. "We
found with Communion that nobody really accepted Christopher Walken as
playing Whitley, because he's just a bit too creepy for words. We finally went
with an actor who was a dead ringer for Whitley; we were originally considering
[former televangelist] Jim Bakker, but then we found that Rick Moranis was free.
We already have Comedy Central and the SCI FI Channel fighting over the first
broadcast rights to Transformation, and we expect to make a fortune on
the action figures. The 'Alien Probe Strieber' is a hit in testing groups: they
all want to know how the toymakers managed to get that expression on the doll's