DisCon III Removes Weisskopf as a Guest of Honor

DisCon III, the 2021 Worldcon, announced today in an “Update on Editor Guest of Honor” that Baen Books publisher Toni Weisskopf has been removed as one of the convention’s GoHs.

They published the following statement in explanation:


DisCon III condemns the violent and hostile content found within Baen Books’ forums. We also cannot condone the fact such content was enabled and allowed to ferment for so long. We want to make it clear abusive behavior is not, and will not be, tolerated at DisCon III. Such behavior goes entirely against our already established policies concerning inclusivity and creating a welcoming environment for our members, which can be found here: https://discon3.org/about/inclusion/.

We knew simply saying those words with no actions to back them up would be unacceptable. Too often, we have seen individuals and organizations say they are on the right side of issues yet do nothing to act on those words. We knew we had to take a hard look at our own position and take action based on our established policies.

As a result, after discussion with her, we have notified Toni Weisskopf we are removing her as a Guest of Honor for DisCon III.

We know this decision was not as quick as some of you would have wanted, and we understand your frustration. Our committee’s leadership was always in full agreement that there was a fundamental difference between the values Worldcon strives to uphold and the values allowed to be espoused on the forums-in-question.

In the entire eighty-plus year history of our community, no Worldcon has ever removed someone as a Guest of Honor. To remove a Guest of Honor was an unprecedented decision that needed discussion, consideration, and consensus. Those mechanisms sometimes do not move as fast as some would want, and we thank the community for its patience.

We also want to let everyone know that we are not planning on adding additional individuals to our Guest of Honor list.

We wish to thank you all for taking the time and energy to send us your feedback. Many of you have strong opinions on this issue, and we want everyone to know all your voices were heard and considered when rendering our decision. We will always welcome your feedback, questions, suggestions, and concerns, and we will continue to listen, reflect and act to ensure our members feel welcome at DisCon III.


240 thoughts on “DisCon III Removes Weisskopf as a Guest of Honor

  1. There’s so much bad faith going on among Toni’s defenders you’d swear it was an apostasy competition.

  2. @SVF:

    It’s like they don’t realize that their “defenses” purporting to rebut Sanford’s post only confirm it.

    If none of Baen’s authors or fans had said a word, and Toni had only stated that she was taking the Bar offline temporarily to investigate Sanford’s allegations and handle them appropriately, this probably would’ve blown over in a day or two. Instead, “supporters” from Correia to Flint just had to fan the flames by getting all outraged and, in the process, confirming exactly how toxic the Barflies can get in the face of criticism.

    Most damningly, the chorus of “I haven’t been to (the Bar/the Politics tavern) in years, because of how heated it gets there” only confirmed his reporting. The volley of warning shots they fired went not across Sanford’s bow, but into their own feet.

  3. @Jo Van Ekeren
    Thanks very much for the serious and thoughtful reply. In much of the back-and-forth here, someone makes a post and the response is to attack, rather than engage (I know I’ve done it); I appreciate the time you took to explain.

    The reaction to the change of “John W. Campbell Award” to “Astounding Award” in the WSFS Constitution by the Worldcon community has been (publicly, at least in what I’ve seen) “meh”, which is itself a strong argument that the change was de minimis, and thus an appropriate one for the NP&FSC to make.

    I’ll make a counter-argument here, and then drop it because I have no expectation that it will make much difference in the long run. And I won’t be preparing a Business Meeting motion about the issue, because doing so would take up time of the Business Meeting and won’t change anything — the issue is, at this point, a done deal.

    Changing the name of the award is not de minimis, both for the reasons of it being named in honor of Campbell originally, and the circumstances under which it changed.
    – The award existed and was given for several years before it was formalized in WSFS documents. During that period, the award was informally called both the “John W. Campbell Award”, and the “John W. Campbell Memorial Award”. When business meetings proposed that it be formally included in the WSFS constitution (Noreascon 2, 1980), the award was called the “John W. Campbell Memorial Award”. When it first showed up in the WSFS Constitution (see p. 96), it was also the “John W. Campbell Memorial Award”. Clearly the intent of including this award in the obligations of the WSFS and the procedures of Worldcon was not only to recognize new talent, but to memorialize Campbell’s role in developing that talent. Changing the name of the award, then, changes the statement made by giving the award. This would not be a trivial change, appropriate for the NP&FSC, but should have been done under the formal process outlined in the WSFS Constitution.

    When the Dell changed the name of the award that they sponsored, it was a big deal. It made huge news in fandom and elsewhere (NY Times, Financial Times of London, Library Journal, etc). Obviously the rest of the world thinks that the name change is notable; the WSFS should have recognized this reality and made the change IAW its own rules.

    One response to this is that “the name belonged to Dell, and they changed it; WSFS was simply acknowledging something that already happened”. I don’t agree with this. Dell (and its predecessors) sponsored the award, but the prestige associated with it came from WSFS and Worldcon. Even if WSFS ceded all authority to Dell over the award Dell sponsored, WSFS still had an internal obligation to continue to honor Campbell, at least until it could decide on its own to change its own rules.

  4. @bill:

    You are attempting to refight a battle that has already been fought, as if the issues you mention are novel and thus merit a reopening of the case.

    They are not. They were discussed extensively at the time.

    Move on.

  5. @bill

    I think the fact that there was little to no reaction to the WSFS Constitution change (as opposed to the actual name change) shows it was pretty uncontroversial.

    What was the alternative here?

  6. @bill

    According to the WSFS website the Astounding award is: “ owned by the publishers of Analog magazine (which was known as Astounding magazine until 1960) and is managed on their behalf by WSFS.”

    The WSFS constitution has very little to say about the award – unlike the Hugos and the Lodestar – and thus is true even in the 1982 Constitution you link to. It’s rather clear that it is not a WSFS award.

    So, with regard to the change of name, the argument that it was Dell’s award seems entirely correct.

    I’ll add that I don’t see how you can jump from a narrow and literalistic interpretation of the Constitution so that the change of name invalidates the arrangement with Dell Magazines to insisting that WSFS has an obligation to the name based only on the fact that WSFS agreed to include it alongside the Hugos – with no record of the reasoning behind the decision. The WSFS Constitution includes no such obligation, even by implication.

  7. elspeth –

    Thanks for your clarification. To the extent your feelings were hurt, I’m sorry to hear that. It does seem that in today’s climate it’s easy for hard feelings to accelerate precipitously.

    A point to consider for the future, and an explanation of why both I and, I suspect, Aaron leapt so quickly in to correcting you on this point is that defamation/libel/slander are terms which have weaponized over the last few years. O.K., over the last 100 years (c.f. Sullivan v. NY Times). But even in the last few there have been way too many bullshit libel suits filed to punish political opponents. Most but not all have been filed by supporters and followers of the last Republican president, whose followers just mobbed the Capital last month. Devin Nunes has sued just about everyone on the face of the Earth for defamation, including obvious parody accounts from his cow and his mother, in order to silence criticism and/or mockery. Many loony right-wing lawyers do the same thing on a regular basis. Of course so did Michael Avenatti (before he was convicted of fraud) on behalf of Stormy Daniels, in a decision which could cost her up to $450,000 in lawyers fees payable to Trump’s lawyers.

    Which is a long way of saying that it’s a tactic which carries with it overtones you may want to avoid. For future reference, I suggest you track down the writings of Popehat on Twitter and substack, who is a guy who knows a great deal about defamation and First Amendment law. I don’t always agree with him, but he’s a solid analyst and a very good lawyer, and very worth reading.

  8. Even if WSFS ceded all authority to Dell over the award Dell sponsored, WSFS still had an internal obligation to continue to honor Campbell, at least until it could decide on its own to change its own rules.

    I don’t see any reason why there’d be an obligation on the part of WSFS to incorrectly call it the Campbell in the constitution after the name changed.

    You’re trying to find a controversy where none existed. Enjoy the fact that there was a committee to handle something non-controversial and it never became controversial. That doesn’t happen often.

  9. To sum up the actual situation with the Astounding Award.

    The WSFS states that the Astounding Award is owned by the publisher of Analog and is administered by the WSFS.

    The 1980 proposals were to forbid the WSFS from soliciting nominations for awards other than the Hugo and Campbell awards and from including other awards on the final ballot. The only significant change to this has been the addition of the Lodestar Award. It seems that the point of the rule was to restrict WorldCon from collecting nominations and ballots for other awards – the Campbell award was only mentioned to exempt it from the new rule.

    What was not added to the Constitution was any statement on what the Campbell Award is for. We have that for the Hugo Awards, and now for the Lodestar – but not the Astounding/Campbell. Not in 1982, nor in 2021. It is in the WSFS Constitution only as an award that the WSFS solicits nominations for and puts in the final ballot. This is strongly consistent with the statement that the WSFS administers the award for the owners.

    If the purpose of the name I the WSFS Constitution is simply to identify somebody else’s award it hardly seems problematic in itself to track the owner’s changes of that name. It is still the same award. Refusing to handle the award because of the change of name would be a more significant change

  10. This has been some top-quality sealioning by bill here. See how we’re all now engaging with his radically changed topic of argument, about a convention that isn’t happening, and isn’t connected to this incident at all?

    We should give that thread the attention it deserves: zero.

  11. The Stylish “Aan’s Plonk file script” is still around, which is a customizable bit of CSS that you can use to set certain poster’s text to semi-transparent based on their gravatar image address. The Stylish add-on is no longer supported, and key bits of it stopped working for me, but I recently replaced it with the add-on Stylus, which imported my Stylish library without trouble.

    Stylus for Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/styl-us/

    Aan’s Plonk File Script: http://realtegan.blogspot.com/p/file770-stuff.html

  12. Further (as a member of the same three committees as Jo Van): There was no indication that any Worldcon held after Dell’s decision to change the name of the Award to the Astounding Award had the slightest intention of dropping the renamed Award from the ballot just because the name didn’t match the Constitutional language. Therefore, we made the change. Anyone who thinks it was wrong should bring an amendment to the Business Meeting to strike the wording entirely, which would have the effect of removing all awards other than the two that WSFS sanction (the Hugo and Lodestar Awards) from the ballot.

    Historically (before my time), there was at least one other award that managed to worm its way onto the Hugo Award ballot, sometime in the 1970s, I think. The language about the JWC was added to “grandfather” the award onto the ballot but to also make it clear that no other non-WSFS-sanctioned award could be administered on that ballot.

  13. @JJ

    Elspeth, if you meant

    What has me so angry isn’t that they did this to Toni, it’s that a Worldcon did this. Which, of course, has been lost or buried in this discussion. The discussion makes it look as though Toni Weiskopf is far more important than any Worldcon, but in fact Worldcon is more important.

    then you needed to say that.

    Instead, you said the exact opposite, and then got upset when people took literally what you actually said, instead of what you meant to say. Your preceding sentences do not make it say what you apparently wanted it to say. Please stop blaming everyone else here for your own imprecision in expressing your thoughts.

    At the very least I should have put a semicolon instead of a period between my last two sentences: I’m quite a good editor but like most can’t edit my own writing. It was nagging at me, that I’d missed something, but when I came back to check I was still angry, all Hell had already broken loose, I went on the defensive, and totally forgot. (My cat has been good company this past year but she’s a lousy conversationalist. Which isn’t a joke: I can follow quick demands but have a more difficult time following quick, overlapping conversations.)

    I was also relying on the fact that no one who thought Toni was more important than a Worldcon would post here so there must have been a typo. At the same time I’ve been involved in this I’ve also been active in a forum where everyone would recognize that I must have erred. I was unfairly expecting the same of people here. That’s not putting blame on anyone in File 770: the styles and people don’t overlap in any way. My other forum has it’s own problems.

    I fucked up. People quoting only that one sentence did damage my reputation. Their seeing it as an individual, completely outrageous sentence, is entirely my fault. As I said, it still takes some work to balance the two. [Clarification of terms: I’m not using ‘balance’ in the sense that the two sides of the scale should balance, I’m using it the sense of putting two things on a scale.] Obviously I would still prefer that people will stop doing that but the actual damage to my reputation is because of something very simple: I didn’t backtrack to check what I’d actually said. I didn’t just let it go. Instead I argued and tried not to get bitter.

    Worth mentioning is that I was very rude to someone. She asked what I meant and instead of thanking her for giving the much-needed chance to explain I remained bitter and applied cold, formal logic. I’ve misplaced your name but I should have paid attention, moreover rudeness is never called for. I can only apologize.

    Anyway. That’s the explanation. An explanation is in no way an excuse.

    OT: One thing that would have helped when I was answering people would have been putting some things in bold text but several tries didn’t find out again how to do it. What symbols are needed?

  14. @Elspeth: <strong> and </strong> around your words should do it.

    Example (that should be bold).

  15. @ my dog is named hannah

    I’ve been pretty much ignoring the libel/defamation/slander suits. They’re so expected and preposterous that they don’t seem real; now and then you look at a headline and shake your head. Then again I stopped paying attention to politics a long time ago, too. I’d forgotten real people are actually using these as real terms.

    A useful reminder. Not that I shouldn’t use legal terms – I now know that even if I do have the correct definition “Them’s fightin’ words” – but switching back to this being real.

    Which is a long way of saying that it’s a tactic which carries with it overtones you may want to avoid. For future reference, I suggest you track down the writings of Popehat on Twitter and substack, who is a guy who knows a great deal about defamation and First Amendment law. I don’t always agree with him, but he’s a solid analyst and a very good lawyer, and very worth reading.

    Hopefully I don’t need to know much more about defamation but this sounds very interesting. The only things I really know relate to the press – grow up here and you can’t miss it – and some odds and ends. The problem is that I’m not on Twitter or substack, and any Google result is from several years ago. Any suggestions?

    Nearly traded you John Foster, absolutely the person on convention contracts, a recent talk being about Force majeure expanded to cover all calamities, but only because he’s amazing. It’s a very specialized field of law. I also appreciate your using the correct term for what happened here not too long ago. ‘First, define your terms’ is from a different forum.

    @ Kendall
    Yea! Tried it and it works, the code easy to remember because it’s perfectly logical.

  16. @Soon Lee

    Thanks. I’m a Wikipedia editor which means I’ve gotten lazy and forgotten all my HTML. Page now bookmarked so I can go over it.

  17. @Elspeth: Hi there–I’m not sure if I’m the one you’re thinking of (asking what you meant, your response, apologies) because there may have been others. I was sort of skimming replies on my phone for a couple of days because I was only checking social media on meal breaks, etc. So I might have missed it entirely! I’m sorry for the misunderstanding–everybody is a lot more on edge these days.

    NOw that you’re here (I apologize if you’ve been posting before–I was active on the comm earlier but work and then moving last fall meant I was lurking at most), one of the things we most like to do is talk about our favorite authors.

    I’m a huge fan of Lois McMaster Bujold (who did get a lot of her work published at Baen!) (ditto JOanna Russ who had some of her work a long time ago published there). Who are your favorite sff writers?

  18. strong gives you boldface, and so does b.

    em gives you italics. I think s might give you striketheough but I’m not certain. Guess I’ll find out when I hit “Post Comment.”

    I used to know more, but I’ve been away from this site for a time.

    Just checking sup and sub, as long as I’m here. I mostly learned this stuff by trial and lots of error anyway. ^_^

  19. @ James Davis Nicoll

    If I’m remembering the correct person it’s trial, error, nearly get killed in a very interesting way.

  20. @ Robin Reid

    Last time I started talking about my favorite authors it was wound up being another time I kept digging myself deeper and deeper. Right now, though, I’d have to check my shelves not to mention boxes. The other day I discovered that I’ve actually been watching series on TV that I haven’t picked up any of the SF on my Amazon list thus nothing new! But my favorite authors depend on my mood and what I come across while scanning what’s made it onto shelves.

    At the moment I’m trying to find something complicated because it’s not in any of the boxes I’ve been able to check. An author who balanced people so you didn’t know who was who, two men being sent undercover in WW II as radio operators, one taking the drugs needed to stay up at the needed times but can warp your perceptions, and, of course, a woman.

    Willis but with Blackout and All Clear she hit the Too Good To Edit: personal opinion is that both could have been cut but really have to see what she’s written since then. She also has a finely tuned ear for humor.

    Naturally I’m looking for some light fiction as well but damned if I’m going to buy anything from a series if I might already have it! Which includes Bujold. Tell me about Joanna Russ. Good light fiction, which includes it making you think but processed back-of-brain or just good light fiction?

    (I’m a reader, a friend’s an author, another a bookseller. I can’t recall the convention but in the middle of the Dealer’s Room without thinking we clasped hands, raised them high, and declared “But I like light fiction!”

    No, if you’ve been only been skimming from before the DisCon III disinvited a Guest of Honor you’re not one of them. As you say everyone’s been on edge lately – more like a year.

    As for authors I actually buy in hardback Tim Powers, of course, and – I had the name when I started writing – the author who wrote Fire Rose and books related.I I think I have all but haven’t checked lately. I’ll pick up any of the old Farie Tale series – again had the editors name when I started writing – Teri Windling? – but they’re rarely defined as such. Some hard-core science fiction, not science fiction and fantasy, plus a lot of YA. “His Dark Materials” shouldn’t have been there in the first place but there’s a tremendous lot of good stuff out there.

    Wide tastes, can only talk about what other people suggest.

  21. Whenever I’ve been a part of selecting convention guests, my criteria have been pretty much restricted to “How popular will they likely be with the fans?” and “Can we get them?”. I would never vote against a potential guest simply because I didn’t like their politics or because they had done something legal that I found distasteful.

    No comments I’ve so far read on the File 770 fora dealing with the issue have said that Toni Weisskopf has done anything determined to be illegal or that she has been found by any legal authorities to have abetted others in breaking laws.

    Disinviting an announced Guest of Honor from Worldcon strikes me as the height of discourtesy, a very intentional and unnecessary public snub. The reasoning for it seems to be no more substantial than that in the opinion of some of the DisCon III concom and/or staff members, she didn’t stomp hard enough, fast enough on people saying things in one segment of Baen’s Bar that they found offensive.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see an upward bounce in Baen sales as a result of the publicity among fans. For me, this teapot tempest is just more proof we’re living in an insanely politicized society.

  22. @Karl Masters–“They haven’t done anything that’s actually illegal,” is a terribly low bar on which to decide that honoring someone is a good idea.

    I expect this will cause at least a small bump in Baen sales. That’s fine. Got no problem with that.

    What would have been a serious problem for DisCon is if they insisted on sticking to the plan of honoring someone who’s perfectly okay with forums they control being used to promote the idea that lots of their fellow Americans, including a good number of people on the convention committee and staff, ought to be killed.

  23. Karl Masters

    “Disinviting an announced Guest of Honor from Worldcon strikes me as the height of discourtesy, a very intentional and unnecessary public snub.”

    I’d say it is a higher discourtesy of a guest to host calls to murder large part of the convention, wether knowingly or not, and then not even have the decency to apologize for it.

    Can’t say I care if this affects the sales of Baen.

  24. The reasoning for it seems to be no more substantial than that in the opinion of some of the DisCon III concom and/or staff members, she didn’t stomp hard enough, fast enough on people saying things in one segment of Baen’s Bar that they found offensive.

    Contrary to your characterization, it’s more accurate to say Toni Weisskopf did nothing. The only action she took was temporary — shutting down Baen’s Bar pending investigation. She never said that comments advocating violence and the commission of terrorist attacks were offensive, would be removed and would never be allowed again.

    Instead, she affirmed the forum would not “commit censorship of lawful speech,” which demonstrates more concern for the free-speech bonafides of Baen’s Bar than the people targeted for violence by her users.

    If you run a large discussion site, it’s the easiest and most obvious decision you could ever make to ban threats of violence, even if they’re made in jest. Experience shows what people who post that swill are going to do with that freedom. They’ll get worse and attract more people like them.

    Weisskopf wouldn’t drop the banhammer on those users, yet DisCon is being expected by yourself and others to adopt a wait-and-see attitude when its high-level volunteers and con members were reasonably concerned and demanding action.

  25. @Karl Masters: “illegal”

    DisCon III isn’t the police; they can apply better rules than just “oh, it wasn’t illegal.” I’m not sure why anyone expects a convention to merely duplicate what police (are supposed to) do (or to know every applicable law, for that matter).

    I hope everyone strives to be better than just “well, at least this isn’t illegal.”

  26. No comments I’ve so far read on the File 770 fora dealing with the issue have said that Toni Weisskopf has done anything determined to be illegal or that she has been found by any legal authorities to have abetted others in breaking laws.

    That would be because “the issue” is utterly irrelevant. A convention isn’t a court of law and doesn’t need to wait for actual criminal charges in order to disinvite a GoH who is actively being awful to a significant portion of the convention’s membership.

    (Actually, there have been plenty of posts talking about the “will not censor legal speech” argument, and most of them come down to, “Now there’s an inadequate response to ‘you are hosting actual calls for mass murder on your forum.'”)

  27. Karl Masters: I would never vote against a potential guest simply because I didn’t like their politics or because they had done something legal that I found distasteful.

    And that is not what has happened here.

     
    Karl Masters: No comments I’ve so far read on the File 770 fora dealing with the issue have said that Toni Weisskopf has done anything determined to be illegal or that she has been found by any legal authorities to have abetted others in breaking laws.

    And no one has said that is the problem here.

     
    Karl Masters: The reasoning for [Disinviting an announced Guest of Honor from Worldcon] seems to be no more substantial than that in the opinion of some of the DisCon III concom and/or staff members, she didn’t stomp hard enough, fast enough on people saying things in one segment of Baen’s Bar that they found offensive.

    Then you haven’t been paying attention to what has actually been said, have you?

     
    Karl Masters: I wouldn’t be surprised to see an upward bounce in Baen sales as a result of the publicity among fans.

    And why would this be relevant? Why would anyone care about Baen’s sales numbers? What does this have to do with the actual issue here? Who cares?

     

    Here’s the reason Weisskopf was removed as Guest of Honor from Worldcon.

    Here’s the statement Weisskopf posted:

    “We have received no complaints about the content of the Bar from its users.

    That said, it has come to our attention that allegations about the Bar have been made elsewhere. We take these allegations seriously, and consequently have put the Bar on hiatus while we investigate. But we will not commit censorship of lawful speech.

    It is not Baen Books’ policy to police the opinions of its readers, its authors, its artists, its editors, or indeed anyone else. This applies to posts at the Bar, or on social media, on their own websites, or indeed anywhere else. On the Bar, the publisher does not select what is allowed to be posted, and does not hijack an individual’s messages for their own purposes. Similarly, the posts do not represent the publisher’s opinion, except in a deep belief that free speech is worthy in and of itself.”

    That, right there, really left DisCon III no choice. Because what Weisskopf is saying is that she’ll remove whatever Baen’s lawyers tell her needs to be removed to avoid legal liability, but that

    1) she herself has no problem with leaving up the mass murder and insurrection proposals which have been floated on the forum,

    2) she has no intention whatsoever of speaking against that sort of inciteful speech, and thus is condoning its presence on her company’s forum, and

    3) she has actually lied here, because
    a) Mercedes Lackey — a user of Baen’s Bar — complained about the death threats to Muslims in the wake of 9/11, and Weisskopf knows this, and
    b) discussion of the reasons for Mercedes Lackey leaving Baen’s Bar — while perfectly legal — has been banned from Baen’s Bar, and Weisskopf knows this.

    Does that make it clear enough for you?

  28. Adding some information:

    Jim Baen founded the Bar in 1997, 15 years before his death. The description included in the Wikipedia entry about him says:

    Jim Baen was very active on the web forum of the Baen website, called Baen’s Bar, which he started in May 1997; his interests included evolutionary biology, space technology, politics, military history, and puns.

    Baen’s activity on the forums actually led to John Ringo becoming a published novelist. Ringo was a longtime participant in Baen’s Bar and had gotten to know Baen by discussing topics like the aquatic ape hypothesis. Although his novel A Hymn Before Battle had been rejected, he mentioned he had submitted it and it had been rejected when Baen told him the manuscript had been lost. Baen took a look at the manuscript, fired the reader who had rejected it, and told Ringo that if he made certain edits, Baen would buy it.[8]

    Another result of such interaction is that the barflies, the customers frequenting the site actually talked Jim Baen into charging more for the e-book variation on the publishing trades’ Advance reading copy — (sampler packages of five books) the house was offering called e-ARCs (“Advanced Reader Copies”, emphasis on benefit to the “Reader”). Jim Baen would have been glad to break even on the e-biz, for he was firmly convinced the increased exposure would lead to increased sales, and it took only three years to prove it beyond much doubt, and about as long before even the competition could no longer deny the successes.

    As a Wikipedia editor – yes, that does carry some weight – I think the subject is heated enough right now that people should refrain from making changes for a while

  29. @Kendall

    @bill: Thanks for showing the timeline, with links even! Not the day after she closed the “Bar” as @Elspeth claimed.

    Thank you from me as well. I don’t know how I got the dates so wrong but your correction means that everything I said about them was wrong as well.

    (Additional thanks for thinking of using Archive Today to confirm the date.)

  30. @Everyone, re this and all the other DisCon III hassles–

    This edition of the Worldcon is turning into a soap opera. This often happens with Worldcon committees; I’ve seen a few up close and personal, and read of a lot more of them. Enough so that our Worldcon appears to be a continuing series; DisCon III is just the latest arc in a long, long story.

    I nominate “As the Worldcon Turns” for this soap opera’s title. Like a lot of the TV (and radio!) soap operas, it’s old, going all the way back to 1939 and NyCon I. I’m surprised I hadn’t heard anyone use this title before.

    For that matter, I often think Worldcon committees could really use a Guiding Light.

  31. @Jeanne
    And a General Hospital, As the World Turns toward the Edge of Night?

    (Sorry, my grandmother watched the soaps. I found that all you needed to follow the story was the Monday summary of the previous week.)

  32. Would someone please define ‘sealioning?’ Not too long ago I was trying to explain a situation to someone and she promptly said “Oh, gas lighting”, stopping me in my tracks when what she needed to know was the particular form of “gas lighting.”

    I know I have a cartoon someplace but could we all agree on what it means so we all understand what we’re talking about?

  33. @Jeanne

    I nominate “As the Worldcon Turns” for this soap opera’s title. Like a lot of the TV (and radio!) soap operas, it’s old, going all the way back to 1939 and NyCon I. I’m surprised I hadn’t heard anyone use this title before.

    Ouch. I knew Dave Kyle because he welcomed me at my first Worldcon, after a marriage that made me feel worthless and more than a bit scared, with his usual “want to write in my book?” Best welcome I ever had and he made a point of welcoming people. Signed his convention book every year after that – I mean, not only the most welcoming person at a Worldcon but the most delightful flirt in fandom.

    I don’t know how it came about but eventually he was in a wheelchair all the time and when I came by to say hello when he was with one of the kids he was turned over to me. Not that he needed much but in the Dealer’s Room everyone’s standing up.

    And not that he was clueless: the kids quite reasonably thought it time for him to get some sleep but at a post-hugo party he was in a conversation with much younger kids about Manga and brushed them off. I had to go away for a bit and asked [name] to keep him company for a while; it never occurred to me that she would wig out: this was David Kyle. Defeated the purpose, not to mention threw me from what had happened that he’d have loved: the story of her book launch was long, to the point of her father being there and playing the saw while she processed what happened. To him, that’s what Worldcons were for.

    A long introduction to it never occurred to me that my friend was important, much less that I should have asked him about the early days; I never connected the two. Instead I’m trying to figure out what character he’d want to play in a soap opera or if he’d prefer to be a historical advisor. It’s been bothering me. The whole thing mattered a great deal at the time but when someone’s lived a long time they see things differently.

    Despite all the trying to think it through I still don’t know what his reaction would be to “As The Worldcon Turns”

    Still, I think that with some work it would be a great soap.

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