Pixel Scroll 3/13/19 This IrrePixel-able, Trantor ‘Original’, This Mule-produced Crime

(1) THINGS FALL APART. T.J. Martinson, in “The Death of the Superhero: The Crime of Killing Off Good & Evil” at Crimereads, notes that comic book publishers periodically kill off superheroes to boost sales of titles, but “when superheroes die, we are left without a moral compass.”  He sees similar problems happening in crime novels where a private eye dies.”

…The death and resurrection of Superman engendered what might be considered a comic book renaissance, one that hasn’t yet run out of steam—for example, in Captain America #25 (2007), Captain America was assassinated in only to later reappear after it was revealed he’d merely been stuck in a time loop involving, you guessed it, an ancient Inuit tribe. Ever since Superman paved the way into and out from the grave, the superhero’s death and resurrection has become an almost-ubiquitous plot-line in otherwise faltering and overstretched narrative arcs. Superheroes are practically falling from the sky like house flies (Infinity Wars, anyone?). The superhero’s death and return has reached such a critical mass that comic books themselves present a meta-commentary on the phenomenon; In DC’s Infinite Crisis (2005-2006), Batman quips to Superman, “the last time you really inspired anyone…was when you were dead.”

But what is it about superheroes that we—readers living outside of Metropolis’ city limits—are so desperate to see resurrected time and time again that we’re willing to weave our suspension of disbelief into tantric knots in order to welcome superheroes from the dead? One answer would be that, in a world of uncertainty and complexity, we yearn for simplified categories (e.g., good and evil) that superheroes boldly represent. But how are to make sense of a world in which the binary logic the superhero embodies is questioned?

(2) REMEMBER THE SPARTANS. Myke Cole analyzes “How the Far Right Perverts Ancient History—And Why It Matters” at Daily Beast.

It may seem silly to argue about the interpretation of events that unfolded thousands of years ago, to fret and hand-wring over people millennia in their graves. Some may argue it is harmless for the likes of Hanson to strut his toxic revision of ancient history across the stage. Just another blowhard shouting at the ocean, after all.

But this notion is having life-and-death consequences in America today. I worked at the NYPD during and following the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA where Heather Heyer was killed and more than two dozen other people were injured. In August 2017, the Southern Poverty Law Center sent us its report on the flags and symbols used during the rally, including the vexillum of the Roman Republic (SPQR for “Sen?tus Populusque R?m?nus,” “The Senate and the People of Rome”), the ancient sun wheels of Germanic tribes, the Greek lambda (“?” or “L” for “Lakedaimon,” the Spartans called themselves “Lakedaimonians”) falsely believed to have been painted on ancient Spartan shields, and now used by the far-right Identitarian movement.

Last of all was the flag of the American Guard, violent hardcore nationalists who sport crossed meat-cleavers as a rallying symbol. Above them stretched a black cannon blazoned with the clarion call of pro-gun advocates from the NRA to militia groups across the country—“Come and take it.” The phrase is from the Greek “molon labe,” (????? ????), Plutarch’s words put in the mouth of the Spartan king Leonidas in 480 BC, when he defied the Persian king Xerxes’ demand that he lay down his arms. Senator Ted Cruz has repeatedly invoked the same phrase

(3) HOPEPUNK. Behind the Wall Street Journal paywall, Ellen Gamerman’s article “‘Hopepunk’ and ‘Up Lit’ Help Readers Shake Off the Dystopian Blues” quotes Becky Chambers and mentions one of Cat Rambo’s classes.

Cat Rambo, in “Hopepunk Thoughts Plus A Reading List”, blogged her own thoughts on the subgenre and told readers where to find examples. 

Hopepunk is a reaction to our times, an insistence that a hollow world built of hatred and financial ambition is NOT the norm. It is stories of resistance, stories that celebrate friendship and truth and the things that make us human. In today’s world, being kind is one of the most radical things you can do, and you can see society trying to quash it by prosecuting those who offer food to the hungry, water to the thirsty, and shelter to those in need.

Is it something new? No, it’s something that we’ve always celebrated in stories. Think about the moment in the Lord of the Rings when acts of kindness — first on Bilbo’s part, then on Frodo’s — lead to the moment where Gollum enables the ring’s destruction when Frodo falters and is on the brink of giving up his quest. Or go even further back, to Ovid’s Baucis and Philemon, who are rewarded for offering hospitality to strangers who turn out to be gods

(4) FREE DOWNLOAD. Arizona State University has published The Weight of Light, a collection of short science fiction, art, and essays about human futures powered by solar energy, with an upbeat, solarpunk twist. The book features four original short stories, by Cat Rambo, Brenda Cooper, Corey S. Pressman, and Andrew Dana Hudson.  It can be downloaded in HTML, EPUB, MOBI, and via Apple Books.

The Weight of Light emphasizes that the design of solar energy matters just as much as the shift away from fossil fuels. Solar technologies can be planned, governed, and marketed in many different ways. The choices we make will profoundly shape the futures we inhabit. The collection features stories by award-winning science fiction authors, working in collaboration with illustrators, graphic designers, and experts in policy, ethics, climate science, and electrical, environmental, civil, and aerospace engineering.

  • Stories by: Brenda Cooper, Andrew Dana Hudson, Corey S. Pressman, Cat Rambo
  • Essays by: Stuart Bowden, Ed Finn, Wesley Herche, Christiana Honsberg, Samantha Janko, Darshan M.A. Karwat, Lauren Withycombe Keeler, Joshua Loughman, Clark A. Miller, Esmerelda Parker, Dwarak Ravikumar, Ruth Wylie

(5) SLADEK COLLECTION. David Langford told readers New Maps: More Uncollected John Sladek is on course for launch at the UK Eastercon in April.

Chris Priest, in his awesome capacity as agent for the Sladek estate, is very pleased with the early proof copy he’s seen; I hope to have a big pile of trade paperbacks in good time for Easter. Paperbacks and ebooks will also be available for order online, from Lulu.com and Ansible Editions respectively.

(6) FINAL BATTLE. Gail Gygax says her life is in danger: “Fantasy’s Widow: The Fight Over The Legacy Of Dungeons & Dragons” .

In December of last year, Gail Gygax contacted Kotaku through her agent. She wanted to tell us about all of the many dangers—both physical and psychological—she says she’s been dealing with since the death of her husband Gary Gygax, who is widely considered to be the father of the tabletop role-playing game, in 2008. Break-ins. Death threats. Estranged children. Visitations from her late husband’s spirit. Predatory businesspeople. And lawsuits—five of them in total, with one brought by Hollywood producer Tom DeSanto for $30 million. Eleven years after the death of Gary Gygax, there are still battles over who will control his legacy—the rights to his name, his biography, his memorial, his intellectual property, and the future of countless other priceless artifacts, among them Gary Gygax’s original dungeon, the maps to an 11-level magical castle where he prototyped a fantasy role-playing game that 8 million people play every year.

(7) NOT A BLANK SLATE. Andrew Liptak’s “Wordplay: This year’s awards scuffle and influence in the SF/F world” compares the motives behind the 20BooksTo50K slate and the Sad/Rabid Puppies slates, among other things, and how hard it is for groups administering the top sff awards to keep pace with change.

There has been a lot of commentary from all sides about how this is a war of old-verses-new, but I don’t really think that that’s the case. I think it’s more that established institutions like SFWA and the Hugo Awards simply aren’t equipped to handle some of the rapid changes that we’re seeing in the publishing industry and how fandom organizes itself, with the help of platforms like Facebook or Twitter. I think it’s also less “old man yells at cloud,” and more not recognizing potential issues or reacting quickly before they become a problem. The traditional “Fan” community doesn’t really turn and adapt quickly. 

(8) TODAY IN HISTORY.

  • March 13, 1781 — The planet Uranus was discovered by English astronomer Sir William Herschel.
  • March 13, 1855 — Percival Lowell was born

(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Except for Pluto’s discoverer, above, birthdays are on hiatus. Cat Eldridge is having the elbow surgery he mentioned in comments.]

(10) COMICS SECTION.

(11) RETRO REPORT. While researching an article I rediscovered Peter Watts’ account of the 2010 Worldcon “Worth the Price”. One of the many good bits —

…and the sheer joy of dealing with Australian border guards.

I am not being ironic. I would almost be tempted to purchase an Expedia vacation package that consisted entirely of going back and forth through Australian Customs for a few days straight. Yes, I got rerouted to Secondary (they pretty much had to, given the check mark in that little “Are you a felon?” box), but the whole lot of them were friendly and welcoming even so. Mostly they spent my wait time chatting with me about the kind of books they liked to read. (I mean, just imagine: literate border guards. Not a species you’re gonna find anywhere in the US, I’m betting.) And finally, when they waved me through and I pointed to the big sign saying Your Luggage WILL be X-rayed and wondered why they weren’t doing that to mine, the nice lady’s response was “Would you like me to?” She was willing to go out of her way to be extra intrusive, just to make me feel at home.

(12) LEGO IDEA. Sort of like looking for a much richer version of Waldo.

(13) BRITNEY GOES GENRE? That’s what BBC heard: “Britney Spears’ feminist jukebox musical is going to Broadway”.

The hits of pop icon Britney Spears are heading to Broadway in a new jukebox musical with a feminist message.

Titled Once Upon A One More Time, the comedy will tell the story of a book club attended by fairytale princesses.

Their lives are changed when a “rogue fairy godmother” brings them a copy of The Feminine Mystique, the landmark feminist book by Betty Friedan.

It makes them question whether there’s more to life than marrying Prince Charming and singing with animals.

Scriptwriter Jon Hartmere told The New York Times: “Cinderella is having an existential crisis, and she has a posse of famous princesses, and her stepmother is the main antagonist.

(14) LAST PAGES. Associated Press gives perspective on how a “Decline in readers, ads leads hundreds of newspapers to fold”.

…Last September, Waynesville became a statistic. With the shutdown of its newspaper, the Daily Guide, this town of 5,200 people in central Missouri’s Ozark hills joined more than 1,400 other cities and towns across the U.S. to lose a newspaper over the past 15 years, according to an Associated Press analysis of data compiled by the University of North Carolina.

Blame revenue siphoned by online competition, cost-cutting ownership, a death spiral in quality, sheer disinterest among readers or reasons peculiar to given locales for that development. While national outlets worry about a president who calls the press an enemy of the people, many Americans no longer have someone watching the city council for them, chronicling the soccer exploits of their children or reporting on the kindly neighbor who died of cancer.

(15) TOLKIEN RESOURCE. You have to join to have access, but they’re available now: “Earliest issues of Tolkien Society publications digitised”.

The Tolkien Society’s earliest publications have been digitised and are now available for members to download.

Last year, through the British Library, the Society completed the first stage of its digitisation project, resulting in the digitisation of the majority of back issues of Amon Hen and Mallorn, respectively the bulletin and journal of The Tolkien Society. Not all back issues were digitised at the time due to gaps in the British Library’s collection.

Members now have access to the Society’s earliest publications, dating back to 1969 (the year the Society was founded) and the 1970s. This not only includes the missing issues of Amon Hen, but its forerunner publications, The Tolkien Society Bulletin and Anduril. All issues of Belladonna’s Broadsheet, the Society’s oldest publication, has also been digitised.

(16) ON THE MENU AT CHEZ RAMBO. Guest posts on Cat Rambo’s blog in recent weeks include:

What if prose were written like music? What if, instead, of a common world, stories in an anthology were steps on a share emotional path? Those are the questions the upcoming anthology Score is attempting to answer.

GOURMET RECIPE: VERMIH IN PLABOS SAUCE

There are three complementary sides that determine a phril personality: gastronomy, politics, and romance. The rest represents salads or pickles to fill the mundane.
I will start naturally, with food for the gourmet side of the phrilic spirit, presenting to you, my dear reader, an absolutely genuine Recipe….

(17) WHERE HAVE YOU GONE JOE DIMAGGIO JACK KIRBY?WhatCulture Comics remembers “8 Times The Marvel Vs. DC Rivalry Turned Ugly.”

[Thanks to Cat Eldridge, Cat Rambo, John King Tarpinian, Daniel Dern, Chip Hitchcock, JJ, Andrew Liptak, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew.]

Waiting for Online Hugo Voting and the Voter Packet

By JJ: Enquiring Hugo voter minds want to know: When will we be able to vote online? When will the Hugo Voter Packet be available?

In the tradition of similar File 770 posts on the subject in years past, here is a comparison of the deadlines and availability dates of recent Worldcons.

Because what the hell, we’ve got time to kill. And a year from now, someone is going to ask about this again, the way they do every year.

Notes:

  • In 2008 and 2009, the Hugo Voter Packet was put together by John Scalzi
  • In 2012, the Hugo Voter Packet was released in stages starting on May 18, becoming fully available on May 30
  • With the Exception of 2009, 2016, and 2017, all Finalist Announcements were made on Easter weekend

 

Chicon 7 in 2012 and Renovation in 2011 were the Worldcons which had online voting up and running the fastest, at 2 and 5 days following the announcement of the Finalists. Denvention 3 in 2008 and Renovation were the Worldcons which had the Hugo Voter Packet available the most quickly, at 3 and 4 weeks following the Finalist announcement.

While you’re waiting for the Hugo Voter Packet, here’s a list of links to read the 2018 Hugo Finalists which are available for free online.

  1. – days between online nominations becoming available and nomination deadline
  2. – days between nomination deadline and finalist announcement
  3. – days between finalist announcement and online voting becoming available
  4. – days between finalist announcement and Hugo Voter Packet becoming available
  5. – days between online voting becoming available and voting deadline
  6. – days between voting deadline and the start of Worldcon

Update 04/29/2018: Added graph.

Record-Setting Number of Votes for 2016 Hugo Nominations

MidAmeriCon II reports over 4,000 nominating ballots were received for the 2016 Hugo Awards, nearly doubling the previous record of 2,122 ballots set last year by Sasquan, the 73rd Worldcon held in Spokane, WA.

This is the eighth consecutive year the record has been broken. Prior to Sasquan, Loncon 3 (2014) received 1,923 ballots; LoneStarCon 3 (2013) 1,343; Chicon 7 (2012) 1,101; Renovation (2011) 1,006; Aussiecon 4 (2010) 864; Anticipation (2009) 799 — each a new high-water mark at the time.

MidAmeriCon II reports there were 12,715 eligible nominators, also a record. These consisted of the members of Sasquan, and all the members of MidAmeriCon II and Worldcon 75 who had joined by January 31.

The finalists for the 2016 Hugo Awards, John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and the 1941 Retro Hugo Awards will be announced on Tuesday, April 26 via MidAmeriCon II’s social media.

The finalists will be released category by category, beginning at Noon CDT (1 p.m. EDT, 10 a.m. PDT, 6 p.m. London, 7 p.m. Western Europe), through the convention’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/MidAmeriCon2/) and Twitter feed @MidAmeriCon2

The announcement will begin with the 1941 Retro Hugo Awards then continue with the 2016 Hugo Awards and Campbell Award.

The full list of finalists will be made available on the MidAmeriCon II website directly after the completion of the live announcement, and will also be distributed as a press release to all MidAmeriCon II press contacts.

The full press release follows the jump.

Continue reading

Waiting for Online Hugo Voting and the Voter Packet

The 2014 Hugo Award nominees were announced with a flourish 36 days ago. Although Loncon 3 published the voting form in Progress Report 3 on May 18, fans continue to wait for the committee to open online voting and release the Hugo Voter Packet.

How does Loncon 3’s performance compare with recent Worldcons?

Among the last four Worldcons, Renovation (2011) was quickest to open both paper and online voting, within 5 days after the nominee announcement.

LoneStarCon 3 (2013) needed a full 75 days to start online voting.

The average lapse time to open online voting over the past four years is 28 days.

That means Loncon 3 isn’t going to be the quickest, though we can hope it won’t take as long as last year.

What about delivery of the Hugo Voter Packet?

John Scalzi conceived the idea and put together the early packets. Beginning with 2010, each year’s Worldcon committee has been responsible.

The Renovation committee holds the record here, too — they made the Hugo Voter Packet available within 26 days. LoneStarCon took the longest time, 50 days. The average of the last four Worldcons is 36.75 days.

So – on average – tomorrow is the day the Hugo Voter Packet would be ready.

Worldcon

(Year)

Nominees

Announced

Voting

Available

 

Packet

Available

LonCon 3 (2014)

4/19/2014

(***)

???

LoneStarCon 3 (2013)

3/30/2013

6/19/2013 (**)

5/19/2013

Chicon 7 (2012)

4/7/2012

4/9/2012

5/18/2012

Renovation (2011)

4/24/2011

4/29/2011

5/20/2011

Aussiecon 4 (2010)

4/4/2010

5/4/2010?

5/4/2010

Anticipation (2009)

3/19/2009

5/19/2009

4/22/2009 (*)

Denvention 3 (2008)

3/21/2008

4/2008

4/10/2008 (*)

(*) In these years the packet was created by John Scalzi.

(**) Date online voting opened. Paper voting began being accepted sometime after 5/1/2013 without official announcement.

(***) Print ballot form available in PR #3, posted online 5/18/2014.

Hugo Voting Still Not Open

LoneStarCon 3 announced this year’s Hugo Awards nominees on March 30 but has yet to open the voting. Is 30 days and counting a long delay or not? How does this performance compare with other recent Worldcons?

The answer: It does not compare very well.

Last year, Chicon 7 announced it was ready to take votes 2 days after the nominees came out – meaning paper ballots. Online voting opened 11 days after, according to publicity.

Renovation (2011) said paper and online voting was open in a press release issued 5 days after the nominee announcement.

Aussiecon 4 (2010) reported voting open 30 days after the nominee announcement.

Anticipation (2009) wasn’t taking votes until the 60th day after.

Denvention 3 (2008) is a little harder to pinpoint because the information came in a progress report the month after the nominees were announced. The interim could have been as short as 9 days and as long as 39, and the true figure presumably lies somewhere in between.

Conclusion: The past two Worldcons got voting opened pretty quickly, and at 30 days LoneStarCon 3 is falling behind the curve.

Worldcon

(Year)

Nominees

Announced

Voting

Available

 

Packet

Available

Chicon 7 (2012)

4/7/2012

4/9/2012

 

5/18/2012

Renovation (2011)

4/24/2011

4/29/2011

 

5/20/2011

Aussiecon 4 (2010)

4/4/2010

5/4/2010?

 

5/4/2010

Anticipation (2009)

3/19/2009

5/19/2009

 

4/22/2009*

Denvention 3 (2008)

3/21/2008

4/2008

 

4/10/2008*

(*) In these years the packet was created by John Scalzi.

Sources for the dates are listed after the jump.

Continue reading

2013 Hugo Nominations Break Record

For the fifth consecutive year Worldcon members have cast a record-breaking number of Hugo nominating ballots. LoneStarCon 3 received 1,343 valid nominating ballots, exceeding the 1,101 received by Chicon 7 last year. Prior to that, Renovation received 1,006 in 2011, Aussiecon 4 received 864 in 2010 and Anticipation received 799 in 2009, each a record-setting figure at the time.

This record-setting trend likely gained momentum from a rules change effective in 2012 which broadened the voting base. Since last year, members in the forthcoming Worldcon have been allowed to nominate too, just as members of the current and previous Worldcon have long been able to do. LonCon 3 in 2014 is a European Worldcon, and I would guess has many members who don’t typically join when the con is in North America, making the universe of potential Hugo nomination voters that much larger than it was in 2012 when the pool consisted of members of three U.S. Worldcons (Renovation, Chicon 7, LoneStarCon 3).

The 2013 Hugo Award nominees will be announced on Saturday, March 30, starting at 3 p.m. CDT.

The nominations announcement will be made simultaneously at four conventions in the United States and United Kingdom, with the shortlists being published through the LoneStarCon 3 website immediately afterwards.

Conventions taking part in the announcement are:

  • Norwescon 36, in Seatac, WA (1 p.m. PDT)
  • Minicon 48, in Bloomington, MN (3 p.m. CDT)
  • Marcon 48, in Columbus, OH (4 p.m. EDT)
  • EightSquaredCon, the British National Science Fiction Convention (Eastercon), in Bradford, England (8 p.m. GMT).

Nominations will also be released category by category via the LoneStarCon 3 Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LoneStarCon3 and the LoneStarCon 3 Twitter feed at twitter.com/LoneStarCon.

The full press release follows the jump.

Continue reading

Pass-Along Funds

Two Worldcons distributed pass-along funds last year but the good deed seems to have gone unpublicized. The pass-along policy is a commitment to distribute at least one-half of a Worldcon’s surplus to the next three Worldcons that make the same promise.

Renovation, the 2011 Worldcon, gave $20,000 each to LoneStarCon 3 and Chicon 7. John Lorentz says they have another $20,000 in hand to give the 2014 site selection winner. And, adds John, “We expect that there will be a few thousand more for each of them once our final numbers are a little firmer later this spring.”

AussieCon 4 also sent pass-along funds to LoneStarCon 3, another $5,000 check on top of the amount already paid, making a total of $8,400 given to LSC3 from the 2010 Worldcon surplus.

Then, Renovation chair Patty Wells revealed the 2011 Worldcon made its first donation of surplus funds besides the pass-along. They gave $20,000 to the Susan C. Petrey Foundation to fund scholarships and fellowships to Clarion and Clarion West. The Petrey Foundation is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Other donations will follow. For example, Wells said she is working with the Illustration Master Class as a possible recipient of funds for use in encouraging artist talent.

Mark Slater, Master of Montage

I was very impressed with the video used to introduce the 2010 Hugo Awards Ceremony — another masterpiece by Mark Slater, the fellow responsible for the superb London Calling 2014 bid video.

Images of the Hugo nominees and their works are intercut with flashes of political and scientific news from 2009 (the eligibility year), all flowing together in time to the remarkable background music.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, via Joel Zakem, not to mention I’m in it for about three-tenths of a second so my egoboo detector should have gone off when it was posted…]

Standlee Posts Aussiecon Videos

Kevin Standlee’s video of the Aussiecon 4 Hugo Awards Ceremony is now online here at TheHugoAwards.org.

Kevin warns there is one-minute gap in the coverage beginning just before the tie for Best Novel was announced, the length of time it took him to notice the camera had unaccountably turned itself off.

He’s also posted his video of the Worldcon Chairs Photo Session at Aussiecon 4 on Vimeo.com.

Update 09/18/2010: Changed Vimeo link per Kevin’s announcement.

John Hertz: What a Worldcon

By John Hertz (reprinted from Vanamonde 901):

I’ve come from L.A. to the Worldcon,
To the Aussiecon-Four’s-hopes-unfurled con.
All its meeting and such
With s-f friends, as much
As we can, makes it September’s Pearl con.

Flick said this limerick wasn’t bad enough for the newsletter, Voice of the Echidna, of which she was editrix. Alison Scott in the London office contributed several drawings of echidnas. The Aussiecon III newsletter was The Monotreme, which might have been all right except for a mascot drawing of a platypus, with sunglasses and a lapsize computer (do platypuses have laps?), so that in one issue (duly sent us Supporting Members) an irritated echidna complained “The Monotreme? THE Monotreme?” and something had to be done.

Robert Silverberg said “This is the first time I’ve had a propeller beanie tipped to me.” I said “There’s always a first time.” On Hugo Night, I presented Best Fanwriter, which he accepted for Fred Pohl. The Laurie Mann photo on Pohl’s Weblog shows James Daugherty co-head of Hugo Night holding the trophy, me having stepped back, Silverberg speaking, Garth Nix the Master of Ceremonies. A few minutes earlier I accepted Best Fanartist for Brad Foster. Pat Sims and Robin Johnson gave the Big Heart to Merv Binns, whom Johnson in his Fan GoH speech had called the center around which Melbourne s-f had agglutinated for forty years. Right after the ceremony there were Flick and her folks with the voting analyzed on one sheet of paper, the nominating on the other side, copies for all.

In the Art Show, Kyoko Ogushi the con’s Japan agent had brought prints by Nawo Inoue, Naoyuki Katoh who was in the 2007 Worldcon paint-off with Bob Eggleton and Michael Whelan, Masaru Ohishi, and Eiji Yokoyama who again sold everything he sent. In the Masquerade, the Masters of Ceremonies were Nick Stathopoulos who designed this year’s Hugo trophy base, and Danny Oz; my co-judges were Lewis Morley who engraved the Hugo trophies, and Marilyn Pride who was Four for Four i.e. attending each Aussiecon; Morley, Pride, and Stathopoulos were the 1986 DUFF delegates, so we were DUFFers together. On Thursday night at Beverley Hope’s party for her and Roman Orszanski’s new fanzine Straw & Silk I learned Orszanski too was Four for Four. There were ribbons. I’d left early, about 1 a.m., and there in the street peering at my name-badge – I’d put my hat in my shoulder-bag – was Sharee Carton wondering if I knew any good parties, so I sent her to Hope.

Panel discussions are the stomach of our cons. Everything deemed fodder goes into them, some digested. On fanhistory panels Chris Nelson showed fine videos using the Convention Centre’s high-tech lecterns. He had gathered images of contemporary fanzines, prozines, and people, and had made graphs, including maps with colored circles for how many letters from which cities appeared in prozine letter-columns. On the Forties panel Alan Roberts and Art Widner traded stories about trading letters sixty years ago. I moderated the Fifties panel. Justin Ackroyd conducted the crowded Fan Funds auction, with intermittent help including mine. He took off his shoes and worked in his socks.

It was grand making new acquaintances and meeting fanziners in person, including Renaldo the Party Sheep. The Program Book treated generously the Fan Funds, DUFF, and me. Karen Babcock did wonders for disabled access and by the end had a Hero badge. Alan Stewart collated the annual edition of WOOF (World Organization Of Faneditors, invented by Bruce Pelz). There was not one drinking fountain in the Convention Centre. But Australia had Mars bars.