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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cons: media and SF.

Media*West Con and media cons: here's M-West's own history.

I've been to a few media cons.  Not a lot, mind you, just a couple.  Comic-Con 2007 is a media con -- and possibly Omegacon.  Plus there's M-West as of this weekend.  Unlike sf cons, to which I have attended oodles...

Some other time I'll talk about Omegacon 2008 (down in Birmingham, Alabama) and why it probably counted as a media/sf con.

(I'll do a little con report on M-West around month-end.  Should be good -- or great! So many SH panels makes me realize they must have a large contingent of Sherlockians, huzzah.

[ETA:  Or set of con reports, since I did post Fannish Friday already last weekend, out of vast enthusiasm.]

Really wish I could see oodles of you there! but M-West IS a smallish local con, sigh.)

Y'see, I was debating what cons are like on Twitter not long ago.

My auditor was certain that they're all the sort what charge you money to meet actors and/or get autographs.  Yet any attendee of setlock, or watcher of same, knows that's not true.  Ben, Martin, Amanda, et al -- they all provide autographs without asking for cold hard cash.

It's a function of straight-up media cons to function that way... the kind not run by fans, that is.

SF cons are different.  Fandom has been a volunteer bunch since the 1930s.  No, really.

The way we reimburse our guests for their time is to offer them food, lodging/hotel, and travel costs.  We try to give them special treatment too -- that is what hospitality to guests involves after all.

Now, I have not been to 221B or any other Sherlockian-run cons, for the BBC Sherlock fandom or the larger Sherlockian fandom.  Do I think they're the same as sf cons?  Yes, I do, broadly speaking.

They're run by volunteers.  Fandom is fandom, generally.

Let's to specifics, shall we?  I've gotten George R.R. Martin's autograph for a friend.  I've met Neil Gaiman.  (Neil is one of the nicest human beings imaginable, and the Evil Twin of my former boss Steven Brust.  Well, Steve says he's the evil one.  Neil says not.)   Neil and George are both fans as well as professional authors.  Neither of them hit me up for money.

They're not atypical of sf/f authors either.  I say this as a con attendee starting from 1983 onward.

For God's sake, Neil offered me tickets to the premiere of Stardust!  At Comic-Con 2007.

Unsolicited, mind you.  Because he's a generous, kind man.

(Yes, I and my guest went.  It was excellent.  Go see Stardust if you haven't, do!)

And if you asked him for an autograph, Neil is the sort of person who would be there til dawn signing things.  Authors like Neil -- and Larry Niven -- make me feel protective of authors.  They'll keep signing things because they are fans too.  They remember what it's like to want that moment with an author.

They're still one of us.  Don't ever forget that.  When you meet Benedict, or Martin, or Amanda, or Mofftiss -- remember that just like sf authors, they're all fans too.  That's why they're so kind.

They all loved movies and books and now they get to make them.

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