Alexander Film Works

Conventions, Science Fiction, and Me…

In Just Because..., Think About It on January 24, 2013 at 11:02 pm

One of the two remaining science fiction conventions in the Detroit area was this past weekend.  ConFusion, the younger of the two, had its thirty-ninth iteration; the new con committee, volunteers all (as true fannish conventions are), decided to forego one-day memberships – good from midnight to midnight on one of the three days of the convention (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday).  This seemed to be a big mistake to the old-timers in the area, but they weren’t consulted.

They also moved from the hotel in Troy they had been using for the past eight or ten years (the exact number escapes me) to another down in Dearborn.  Again, this seemed to be a mistake to the experienced conrunners, but again, they weren’t consulted.

This is, unfortunately, the way things go with fannish conventions… every new con committee insists on reinventing the square wheel.

I have been a fan long enough to both shrug at these occurrences, and to wish that they didn’t make the same mistakes the last six committees have.

I have “pubbed my ish”, as they say… several editions of my fanzines scopus:3007 and Lightning Round are available on efanzines.com.  I have been active in con committees off and on since 1987, including working on Worldcons (the World Science Fiction Convention, the annual gathering of fans from around the world).  I have been involved in costuming,  bickering about whether a Worldcon bid should be made for Detroit (our last successful bid was for 1959), and many other fannish discussion gatherings.  My wife Megan and I have become slightly involved with steampunk (I have pictures from the 2012 World Steam Expo, where we were vendors), and have listened intently to “filkers” (science fiction folk singers, whose name came from a typo in a program book back in the day).

I look with pride at my autographed copy of Warhoon 28 (the omnibus collection of Walt Willis’s fannish writings, published in bound mimeograph form by Richard Bergeron), value my friendships with such luminaries as Mike Glicksohn (Fan Guest of Honor at the first Aussiecon), Fred Pohl (who should need little introduction), and George R. R. Martin (whose acquaintance I owe to both Mike Glicksohn and my wife Megan).

But the “traditional” fannish values of yore seem to matter little to the generation currently running things… General cons, where everything is on the agenda, is falling victim to specialized cons, such as “steampunk”, costuming, gaming, media, and even a couple of cons honoring the “old school” fanzines of yore.

This Balkanization of fandom may just lead to its eventual demise, but I hope not.

Advertisements
  1. That was a great post today. I really enjoyed reading it very much. Thank you for sharing it. Have a nice weekend!

    Enjoy writing? Join Us Today –

    Writing Jobs:
    Writers Wanted

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: