Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Worldcon lesson

I attended my first World Science Fiction Convention (aka WorldCon) in 1978. Harlan Ellison was the guest of honor at this Phoenix convention, which I attended alone and found bewildering and yet enchanting. I've gone to all but a handful of the WorldCons since then. This year, I'll go again, to Reno for Renovation, the sixty-ninth World SF convention.

For the first time in over twenty years, however, I won't be on the program of a WorldCon I'm attending.

That initially felt odd and a bit sad.

As usual, as authors and artists and costumers and scientists and others must do, I applied to be on the program. I've gotten rather spoiled, I suppose, because my acceptance in the past many years has come quickly and enthusiastically. This time, though, after many months and multiple queries, what came back was my first form rejection letter (well, email) in quite some time.

When I look at the long list of attendees on programming, I feel like I would fit in reasonably well. I wouldn't be in the top section by sales, for example, but I certainly wouldn't be in the bottom. Yet the good folks at Renovation--and they really are good folks, I know a few and know of many others--chose not to put me on the program.

I'm not writing this out of pique or to be petty. I'm going to the con, and I expect to have a fun time.

No, I'm writing this entry because I think this experience is a good lesson for me. I really do. I can't write because I get to sign books, or do radio shows, or make money--or get to be a WorldCon guest. I have to write for one and only one reason: I have to write. Everything else is static on the line.

I forget that sometimes.

So, in all seriousness, thank you, Renovation folks, for a lesson that I need from time to time--and for holding the con in a place where I can join a legal poker game at any hour of the day or night. I look forward to a relaxing convention in a city I've never explored.


Todd said...

They're saving you for the Vegas convention.

J. Griffin Barber said...

I will happily show you around. My knowledge is only 15 years out of date, and mostly limited to drunken debauchery (what other use, University?).

There's this place, Moonlight Bunny Ranch. You'd fit right in. Or they'd make sure to find someone to fit you...

Then there's the BEER BARREL... But then you don't drink.

Dammit, I'll be useless.

Harrumph (Not to be confused with Parump, another oddity.)

Mark said...

I think I'll stick to the con, food, and poker.


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