Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Nova Albion and the Future of Fandom

I didn't hang around after the main convention ended around 5 PM. Too tired, too hungry again. Going to try to get to sleep early.

I had someone ask me yesterday, "How can we inject the energy and spirit at this steampunk convention back into Worldcons?" He's right about the issue. I remember Worldcons, when I started attending in them in 1984, as high-energy, high-excitement events. Now they're much less so.

I gave the person as long-winded answer to his question, but I think it boils down to a single, cold-hearted answer: "Some significant Worldcon SMOFS are going to have to die." Or at least retire from the field of active convention running and participation in Worldcon organization.

Don't misunderstand me. I'm not wishing death on anyone, neither literally nor figuratively. But to a great extent our collective conrunning brains at the Worldcon level are suffering from calcification of the neurons as we continue to keep things frozen into the form that we consider ideal, and in some individual cases, effectively working toward mummification, with a stated opinion that amounts to, "I want Worldcon and fandom to die when I do, and it must not change in the slightest until then, either."

It's not that we don't need experience. We do. What we need to do is not be straightjacketed by it. We need people who have the energy and drive to make events like Nova Albion and the other steampunk events and like the anime conventions want to work on general-SF/F events rather than getting discouraged by the entrenched interests who are more concerned with making sure that the Wrong Sort of Fan doesn't actually get involved. We certainly don't need the people making the decisions passing rules that effectively preclude those who actually are willing and able to get things done from even participating. (And that's not an academic, theoretical statement, as the WSFS Mark Protection Committee did exactly that this past year, even in the face of evidence that the members of the WSFS Business Meeting wanted something different.
Tags: nova albion, steam powered, worldcon, wsfs

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