Wednesday, October 07, 2009

My Fandom History: Part 3

I have been slowly recounting my personal experiences in science fiction and fantasy fandom. When we left off I was attending a planning meeting for Conversion 22.

I can sum up the next couple of years thusly.

Enough people quit the convention planning committee that by the end my wife was the president, and I was head of programming. We came to "lend a hand" and we ended up running big parts of the show. We brought in Jeremy Bulloch who portrayed Boba Fett in Star Wars, which was great. Sure, a good portion of his speaking fee came out of my pocket, but it was totally worth it, spending time with him and his wife before the convention.

Overall, however, things did not go exactly as planned and we took a lot of flack. We also got a lot of complaints from certain quarters that we had too much Star Wars content at the event.

What was not made clear to me at the beginning, was that the local premiere Science fiction and Fantasy convention was supposed to be geared towards authors, aspiring authors, and (space permitting) artists who might be interested in doing the cover art for said authors. A fine event, but one that is clearly not Star Wars friendly. One author made it very clear that Star Wars was crap and fans who dress up are overweight, arrested adolescents. Clearly not my crowd.

So I decided to turn my energies back to the local Star Wars fanclub that my wife and I helped start. After a year or so, I noticed an unusual trend. Core members were meeting without me and people stopped coming to lightsaber class. I was eventually informed that my cracking wise about the prequels pissed people off, and my raving about DragonCon pissed people off. My wife and I (among others) were removed from the council and Dragoncon was declared to be NOT Star Wars, and its discussion, verboten.

So in short, I pissed off the SF&F fans for liking Star Wars too much, and I pissed of the Star Wars fans for not liking Star Wars enough.

What did I do then? Watch this space.

Previously on Slashboing:


Laughing Magpie said...

I know your modest nature might stand in the way of accepting this praise, but actually, everyone I know, and of course, myself, really loved the Con that you programmed. I think it was one of the best ones we ever had.

The old guard might have had some trouble, and everyone likes to put their $0.02 in after a Con (successful ones included), but just look at the low attendance the past few years. There's no question you helped put on a popular Con.

I know it's easier to remember criticism than praise, but really, most of us had a great time!

But, subtleties of reality aside, your main narrative thread is strong :-) - the irony is true! Too Star War-sy one year, not Star War-sy enough the next...

Drhaggis said...

Oh sure, lots of people had a good time, and I'm glad you were one of them.

However putting it together was financially risky, and emotionally draining. There was so much push back on everything we did and everything we were. It was a very hostile and non-supportive environment.

It was made painfully clear, though overt and passive aggression, that our interests were not important, and involvement was not welcome.

Laughing Magpie said...

It was made painfully clear, though overt and passive aggression, that our interests were not important, and involvement was not welcome - with that particular and sadly, disproportionately vocal, minority.

That's the point I wanted to make - it wasn't our fandom in general that felt your work was unimportant or unwelcome. Most people actually at the Con probably found it very welcome indeed, and yep, had a good time.

Petranef said...

I agree that it was one of the better CVs ever - and I've been going to them since #5. If you had done more, I would have been very happy. As it was.... you don't see me there, do you?