The Pegasus Awards

Barry Childs-Helton HoF


Pegasus Awards

Award Year Category Collaboration Song
2016 Best Writer/Composer    
2012 Best Performer Wild Mercy  
1994 Best Performer w/ Black Book Band  
1993 Best Space Song   Lightsailor
1988 Best Performer w/ Sally Childs-Helton  

Pegasus Nominations

Year Category Collaboration Song
2017 Best Classic Filk Song   Small Designs
2016 Best Classic Filk Song   Small Designs
2015 Best Writer/Composer    
2011 Best Writer/Composer    
2010 Best Filk Song   Small Designs
2010 Best Writer/Composer    
2009 Best Performer Wild Mercy  
2008 Best Performer Wild Mercy  
2008 Best Writer/Composer    
1994 Best Risque Song   Greensleeze
1993 Best Performer w/ Sally Childs-Helton  
1993 Best Writer/Composer w/ Sally Childs-Helton  
1991 Best Performer    
1991 Best Writer/Composer    
1991 Best Love Song   Lightsailor
1990 Best Writer/Composer w/ Sally Childs-Helton  
1990 Best Fannish Song   Flying Island Farewell
1988 Best Writer/Composer w/ Sally Childs-Helton  


Barry passed the height limit for astronauts in seventh grade, but never lost the yen for space travel. He started writing science-fiction-tinged folk-rock in college -- though unaware, as yet, of the filk tradition. He emerged from grad school at Indiana University (M.A. in creative writing and Ph.D. in folklore), found his way into filking, and eventually settled into subsidizing his musical pursuits by editing computer books.

He and co-conspirator/spouse Sally began going to cons in 1982; their first fannish activity as a creative team was as masquerade costumers. Then Midwestern Filk Grandmistress Juanita Coulson invited Barry to join an onstage bardic semicircle at InConJuncTion V; he's been fusing SF, folk-rock, and space travel (with all the blues and jazz he could muster) ever since, often with Sally's percussion and a vintage Guild 12-string.

The Childs-Heltons released two studio filk recordings in the heyday of the chromium-dioxide cassette, a live CD with the Black Book Band in the 1990s, and (so far) three CDs with Wild Mercy (the third, Dream of a Far Light, is Barry's space-migration song cycle, which the band premiered live at Marcon 43; a fourth, Rising Road, is in the works).

As the filk community knows by now, earlier Pegasus nominations for his musical activities (as songwriter, band member, and performer) have only served to encourage him; he'll play to fannish audiences for as long as he can pick up a guitar. His 2015 solo CD of newly recorded early songs (which he characterizes as "English-major folk-rock from the analog era with aerospace motifs") is The Summers Behind You on Dragon Scale Records.


Representative Work for the 2016 Best Writer/Composer Pegasus Award


Words and Music © Barry Childs-Helton
from "Dream of a Far Light" by Wild Mercy,
Small Green Alien Records, 2008
All Rights Reserved- Lyrics posted with permission of the author

Ultraplanetary – expeditionary --
worlds are merciless and kind:
kill your heart
but anchor your mind.
Heavy atmosphere – rolls below you --
leave it far behind.
Are you frightened to die,
living swiftly
in the sky?

Orbit, cautionary – then incendiary --
bright as waking, hot as wrath --
burn through dark
as vast as your math.
White intensity, scattered densely
on your outward path --
drawing in at the core --
always blinding,
always more.

Vector-visionary – superluminary --
spectrum-starlight and bright spin
blaze, bemuse, bedazzle, begin.
Creativity's cryptic healing
smooths your failing skin.
Time and space were a ruse.
Watch them vanish
as they fuse.

Ultraplanetary – nomad emissary --
coming home like a spring rain --
free, phantasmal, substantive, sane –
partly planetbound, maybe mortal,
no mere husk of dust --
there's this vastness within:
all your travels,
all you've been.


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