samanna of stone hill logo

by Ann Morris

In 1980, while doing correspondence for a science fiction convention my club, the Stone Hill Science Fiction Association , was hosting, I got a letter addressed to Sam Morris from someone who must have had trouble reading my name on the convention information he had. My friend Richard Lee Byers thought this was very funny and he put a character in a "Dungeons & Dragons" game he was running named Samanna. "Sam" came from the letter and "anna" was a variant of my name, "Ann." Fortunately (for him) he made her an attractive princess and not an Orc or a Troll (no offense meant to any Orcs or Trolls out there).

I liked the name and it seemed a fitting one for me to use as a fan name at conventions because my maternal grandparents names were "Sam" and "Anna."

aryma & samanna

For the 1980 Worldcon, "Noreascon," in Boston, I used "Samann" on my name tag and entered the masquerade along with my friend Debra Hicks who played an elf fighter named Aryma. Samanna was an elf magic user in those days--hence the pointy ears. For poetry's sake, let's think of the specks on this very old picture from the magic fairy box as magic dust.

It was my most excellent fortune to get to meet the great Isaac Asimov at Noreascon. Although he claimed to have a huge ego and to like the have the stage all to himself, the good Dr. A. was friendly to all he met and he never made you feel as if you were a lessor being than himself. I think he truly liked science fiction fandom . It didn't phase him in the least to be confronted by a very tall elf named Samanna.

ann and isaac asimov

A fan friend I met at this convention kindly offered to take pictures of me with Dr. A. so I'd have proof of the historic event. So, though it's been ages since then, I still must offer thanks to Ed Rush, who went by the fan name Renfield (an S.C.A. bard character--not Dracula's bug eating buddy).

De. A. was known to have a great affection for the ladies. As this was in the days before we all knew about AIDS and the dangers of kissing strangers, he took the opportunity that conventions afforded him to get kisses from ladies who asked for his autograph or just happened to be in kissing range of him. So, I not only got my copy of ISAAC ASIMOV'S TREASURY OF HUMOR autographed but I got kissed and I have the photo to show that it's so.

ann kissing asimov

This was not the only time my lips met those of this member of science ficition's holy trinty (the other two dieties being Arthur C. Clarke and Robert A. Heinlein), but one of three times. The first was when I was getting my book signed and he wouldn't sign without a kiss. This was a requirement for all ladies getting books signed. The second time was also at an autograph where I asked if he'd allow me to have my friend Ed take a picture of us together. He said it would be okay only if I geave him a kiss. The third time was when I just happened to be standing in a room he needed to pass through on his way to someplace else.

Samanna has a planet named after her in John Cleve's SPACEWAYS series. (John Cleve is a pseudonym of Andrew Offutt's.) In the front of one of the books, there is listing of all the planets in the SPACEWAYS universe and Samanna is one of them. It's capitol is Riverview, which is the name of the town in which I live. As far as I recall, the planet is only mentioned in the text once or twice but it's there. My poem/song "Scarlet Hills" appears in the front of all the SPACEWAYS books.

I haven't used the name "Samanna" in quite a long time now but it came to the forefront of my memory recently and it seemed to be time to bring it out of hiding. The elf ears are hidden to well to dig them out again (and I have no patience for wearing that sort of appliance these days anyway) but you just might see a very tall elf who grew out of her pointy ears named "Samanna" at some convention someday.

Annie's Attic Samanna's World FencerGirl Cooking Links Brother Cadfael Garb Shoppe Musica Simpatica Tampa's Fencing Academy

This is a Samanna's Salon site.