DisCon III Chair Lawhorn Resigns

DisCon III, the 79th World Science Fiction Convention, announced today that Bill Lawhorn has resigned from his position as Convention Chairperson of DisCon III, effective immediately.

The Baltimore-Washington Area Worldcon Association (BWAWA) has begun the process of finding a permanent replacement. Until the position is filled, the DisCon III Division Heads and staff will continue with the business of the convention.

The committee’s press release said: “We wish to thank Bill for his hard work and dedication in bringing Worldcon to Washington, DC, and his contributions to DisCon III.”

119 thoughts on “DisCon III Chair Lawhorn Resigns

  1. Expecting someone to pass on information gathered from Fictionmags might not be productive, in that Fictionmags has a pretty robust “What happens on Fictionmags stays on Fictionmags” policy.

    Expecting a mailing list with several hundred members to never talk about what’s said there is unrealistic.

    On the subject of Robert Silverberg participating in a future Hugos ceremony, he has said that he no longer reads SF/F and hasn’t for over a decade. He has no knowledge of current authors and books or interest in them.

    Given that, why invite him to present? All you’re getting is the big name. You’re not getting somebody with genuine enthusiasm for where the Hugo Awards are today or for the people winning them.

  2. It’s sad because I used to be somewhat enamored with “Silverbob,” but the last few years have severely cured me of that.

  3. @ rcade

    On the subject of Robert Silverberg participating in a future Hugos ceremony, he has said that he no longer reads SF/F and hasn’t for over a decade. He has no knowledge of current authors and books or interest in them.

    This issue is done in my mind.

  4. rcade notes that On the subject of Robert Silverberg participating in a future Hugos ceremony, he has said that he no longer reads SF/F and hasn’t for over a decade. He has no knowledge of current authors and books or interest in them.

    And he was still attending Worldcons? Huh. Must have been quite the party animal.

    (I just realised that the last thing I read by him was Valentine Pontifex.)

  5. To be fair, there have always been people in fandom who didn’t read much sf or know much about what’s going on in the literature. They were/are involved more because of the people they met in fandom. There might even be someone like that running, say, the consuite at your local convention.

  6. @Michael J. Walsh, Yes, but I suspect that newer fans may hear ‘fakefan’ as being a negative term. Which it isn’t really.

    A lot of consuites, art shows, dealers rooms, green rooms, publication divisions, gaming rooms, etc. are staffed by people who may be uninvolved with SF literature.

  7. To be fair, there have always been people in fandom who didn’t read much sf or know much about what’s going on in the literature. They were/are involved more because of the people they met in fandom.

    That’s a fine reason to be involved in Worldcon fandom, but the Hugo Awards are a celebration of excellence in modern SF/F. I think presenters and emcees should come from the slice of fandom that is actively engaged and passionate about current works and creators.

  8. @rcade, Fair enough! I think I was responding more to Cat Eldridge’s “And he was still attending Worldcons?”

  9. Dennis Howard on June 27, 2021 at 10:45 am said:
    @Michael J. Walsh, Yes, but I suspect that newer fans may hear ‘fakefan’ as being a negative term. Which it isn’t really.

    Yes, before reading the linked definition, I thought of “fake fangirl” used by dudebros who don’t think women capable of really being fans.

  10. Fair enough! I think I was responding more to Cat Eldridge’s “And he was still attending Worldcons?”

    Ah. Didn’t think of that. Let there be peace between our houses.

  11. @Dennis Howard: There are lots of ways to enjoy and be a fan of SFF without reading SFF literature, of course, including but not limited to art, TV/movies, games (computer games! board/card games! traditional RPGs! LARPs!), costuming/cosplay, writing SFF, and lit crit of SFF.

    (ETA: You must know this, but your last couple of comments just read kinda weird to me. ETA AGAIN: Er, I wrote this before your last comment, BTW. . . .)

  12. @Kendall, Sorry if I seemed to miss the point. I do that sometimes.

    Maybe another reason that my comments read weird to you is that you seem to use ‘fan’ to mean ‘fan of SFF’ while I use ‘fan’ to mean ‘member of fandom’. They’re not quite the same thing.

  13. And for that matter, “member of fandom” begs the question: Which fandom? 🙂

    See, in my primary fannish bit of the woods, a “fan” doesn’t need any interest in sf/f whatsoever, nor do they need to engage in sf/f lit fandom’s – which is what is generally shortened to “fandom” around here – conventions, fanzines, etc. What they need is an interest in transformative works. One of my primary revisit fandoms in transformative works fandom (ahaha yes really, the individual source works and the specific cultures hat spring up around them are also called “fandoms” good lord) is Justified, which only gets any sf/f elements from the fans in the fandom who insert them.

    (This occasionally leads to me going “oh hey I found interesting thing lately to be fannish about, I’ll share it with File770 – wait, no, not sf/f. Wrong fandom.”)

    So, yep, lots of ways to be a fan – or “fake fan” which is a new one to me, shame about the modern connotations – which don’t necessarily involve a current interest in sf/f.

    Although I’m inclined to agree that continuing to present at the Hugos, specifically, is a bit of a ?? if you’re not interested in any of the finalists or winners.

  14. @Dennis Howard: Yyyyes, I saw the word “fandom.” Keeping in mind this thread spun out of talk about Worldcon and presenting for the Hugos (though that’s almost immaterial) . . . hmm, maybe it was unclear what I referred to, in which case, apologies for not quoting. (I thought it would be obvious.) It was these two quotes (emphasis obviously added):

    To be fair, there have always been people in fandom who didn’t read much sf or know much about what’s going on in the literature. They were/are involved more because of the people they met in fandom.

    and

    A lot of consuites, art shows, dealers rooms, green rooms, publication divisions, gaming rooms, etc. are staffed by people who may be uninvolved with SF literature.

    I may have gone too far on a tangent to your actual point (I realize that wasn’t your main point, really I do!), but it was the tight little box you drew around literature that seemed odd to me. Maybe not what you meant, sorry, but that’s how it sounded to me, and what I was responding to.

    We now return you to your regularly unscheduled questions about Silverberg, Lawhorn, and the Hugos. ::shudder::

  15. @Andrew (not Werdna)

    I hadn’t! What a lovely look at a fandom past – thanks for the link.

    Yes, as a cross-fandom explorer and general dabbler and listener I’ve long been under the impression that fandom community-building is just a thing humans do when you get enough of them enthusiastic about something and talking to each other. One of our finest qualities, I think, even with the drama.

  16. Dennis Howard: I suspect that newer fans may hear ‘fakefan’ as being a negative term. Which it isn’t really.

    Not even “new” fans, but any fan who is not from that specific, small fandom will perceive it as a pejorative, and rightly so. The term should not be used in a space like this, which contains a community of people with overlapping fandoms in which the term “fake fan” has been frequently used to denigrate and gatekeep people.

  17. Pingback: Mary Robinette Kowal Is New DisCon III Chair | File 770

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