John Hertz: Loscon XXXVII

By John Hertz (reprinted from Vanamonde 915): The Los Angeles local con is Loscon, held over the U.S. Thanksgiving Day weekend. Loscon XXXVII was November 26-28m 2010 at the L.A. Int’l Marriott Hotel: Author Guest of Honor, Emma Bull; Graphic Artist, Phil Foglio; Fans, Kim & Jordan Brown; attendance about 1,000; in the Art Show, sales $7,200 by 42 artists.

España Sheriff, Leigh Ann Hildebrand, and Jason Schachat hosted the Fanzine Lounge: following Geri Sullivan at the ’92 Worldcon there was a Fanzine Lounge by Day in a hotel “function room” (so Leibnizian) and a Fanzine Lounge by Night in a bedroom suite; I brought a few dozen recent zines for visitors to look at, and toys. Sam Chiang, Kate Morgenstern, and Brian O’Neill helped me build the Rotsler Award exhibit in the Art Show, honoring this year’s winner Stu Shiffman.

I chose three Classics of S-F: Fredric Brown, What Mad Universe (1949); Hal Clement, Mission of Gravity (1953); H.G. Wells, The Time Machine (1895); the Universe and Time discussions I led alone, for Gravity I was joined by Greg Benford. Time was far the oldest and most widely popular, but Gravity I guessed was our best loved, and its hour was fullest. Maybe, someone said afterwards, that was because you were with a Famous Pro. Maybe, I said, but I think he was there for the same reason I was, and you were. However the hour kept digressing to the influence of Gravity, from the more vital question, what about the book was so good? One Universe attender had happened upon the NESFA Press collection of Brown’s novels Martians and Madness (2002) in a used-book shop; on its cover an alien reads an issue of Astounding showing the great Kelly Freas picture for Martians, Go Home (1955), by which artistic license (Kelly’s cover was for the 1976 Ballantine printing, nor had Martians been in Astounding) Bob Eggleton got to paint a cover with one of Kelly’s best images, what fun. Time, we observed, expatiated little its fictional technology, a mark of good s-f; also of all three the strange minds it met were interacted with least.

On Friday night Bull, and Will Shetterly, came to Regency Dancing. On Saturday afternoon I led a tour of the Art Show, asking as I do What’s happening in this artwork? How does the artist show us? On Sunday from 1 a.m. till dawn Becky Thomson, Tom Veal, and I hosted the Prime Time Party, with good food, drink, conversation. The final event of a con is the Dead Dog Party (customarily hosted by the current con committee, or next year’s; until the last dog is –), but there wasn’t one. At 2 a.m. on Monday the Fanzine Lounge at Night was going strong as I left.

[Editor’s Note: Congratulations to John for being selected as next year’s Loscon Fan GoH.]

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6 thoughts on “John Hertz: Loscon XXXVII

  1. I second that. And I’m glad to have the post. Tonight my family and I are stuck on the road home because US Air booked our flight assuming a larger plane than they delivered to the gate — 40 passengers bumped! Aiyeee….

  2. US Air is providing all the delight required by law whenever we remind them what that is. They initially stiffed us out of the meal vouchers by failing to fill out that block on their voucher form, forcing a return from the hotel to the ticket counter to point that out.

  3. John’s right: I was there because MISSION OF GRAVITY was hugely satisfying, the first big example of how the constraint of science induces excellence in an artform. That’s why I and many others like it so much.
    John’s panels on past great works is the best single way I’ve seen to do timebinding in the genre.

  4. Mike, I’m sorry you and your family have had to go through this. There isn’t any excuse for this kind of bad management.

    It’s like the old joke about AT&T and the Bell System before the breakup (which has been pretty much reversed due to the long-term efforts of Ed Whitacre of what used to be Southwestern Bell): “We’re a monopoly and we act like it.” Competition is virtually non-existent on many routes and if they want to screw you over they can because you don’t have much of a choice unless travel time isn’t a factor and there’s a (rare) train route or you’re willing to take a Greyhound bus (also more-or-less a monopoly since they absorbed their former major competition, Continental Trailways).

    Someone correct me if I’m mis-remembering, but I seem to recall Ray Bradbury declining a Guest of Honorship at a convention in Europe some years ago because he doesn’t fly and the cost of a steamship trip across the Atlantic was prohibitive.

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