Chicon 7’s Artist Guest of Honor Rowena Morrill will be unable to attend the convention.
She has recently been hospitalized but is now recovering from her health problems, according to information posted on the Worldcon website.
While over the long history of the Worldcon guests have rarely missed the convention, it has been happening with increasing frequency in recent years. Death deprived the Worldcon of appearances by Charles N. Brown (a 2011 GoH), Frankie Thomas and Howard DeVore (guests in 2006), George Turner (a 1999 GoH) and Else Wollheim (a 1996 guest), while bad health forced the withdrawal or nonattendance of Ralph Bakshi (announced as a 2009 GoH), Robert Sheckley (a 2005 GoH), Kelly Freas (a 2003 GoH) , J. Michael Straczynski (a 1998 guest) and Alfred Bester (a 1987 GoH). (Aussiecon fan GoH Donald Tuck didn’t attend in 1975, but I’m not clear whether that was unexpected.)
Perhaps we should honor the ones we love a bit earlier. I don’t mean this as a bite of sarcasm, but it seems that the world at large tends to give thanks a bit later than sooner. Or in many cases, far too late.
J. Michael Straczynski wasn’t dying, and isn’t close to dying, last I looked. He was also 44 years old at the time. He’s also thrown hissy fits online denouncing Worldcons for not comping all “professionals” in advance, and not treating Very Important People such as himself as sufficiently important.
San Diego Comic Con, on the other hand, he’s said he’d attend “even if it meant not eating for a while. It was that important.”
Just noting that one of these people isn’t quite like the others.
What with the whole being not remotely dead part.
I realize this isn’t a Robert’s Rules of Order situation, but if it were I would second Robert’s motion above. There are a lot of people in the field worth honoring, and they should be honored while they’re able to appreciate it.
Gary, I think part of what Joe Straczynski’s preference for the S. D. Comic Con is that it’s at a known place each year, which was local to him. The worldcon offers much the same advantages to an aspiring writer, but in moving around the country (and now the planet, making it a true World con), someone on a miniscule budget such as he had at the time couldn’t take advantage of it.
@Gary: You have certainly refuted that argument with a thermonuclear slam dunk. All that is missing is anyone having made the argument that Straczynski was dying.
I recall Straczynski, as a media “special guest” at Aussiecon 3, in 1999, refusing to sign autographs if there was someone else signing next to him. Everyone else who was scheduled to sign was happy to follow the con’s practice of having two people autographing simultaneously and adjacently. Fortunately, the person who was scheduled to be next to Straczynski graciously agreed to leave an empty chair to accomodate JMS’s ego, and be moved either to another location or another time. I’m ashamed to say that I don’t remember who the author was, just that he was very nice about it.
Straczynski was great at the ’96 Worldcon. When his B5 presentation filled a 1500 person room and fans had to be turned away he repeated it all over in the next timeslot without even being asked. It was that response that led two subsequent Worldcons to enlist him as a special guest,.
Didn’t he also do a live Hour 25 remotely from a LosCon?
Or in extremely bad health.
I fear I don’t recall what his statement was as to why he couldn’t appear. Was it “bad health”?
Regardless, didn’t everyone else on your list either die before the con or die not terribly long thereafter?
Certainly they’re all dead, which I’m quite sure supports my stated point:
And I’m absolutely sure that JMS was wonderful in making sure “his people” were treated well, and neither would I suggest that JMS hasn’t striven to be a fine guest at whatever con he’s been a guest at.
My note was simply because his name leapt out of the list in my view as being unlike any other name on the list.