Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Balticon sent me a flyer the other week; it seems Bujold will be the GoH. This is stranger than it would appear on first blush: I've never really attended a Balticon. I have no idea how I got on their mailing list. I used to do Philcon, back in college. I usually didn't have time to do conventions in the spring, and Balticon was PSSFS's (Penn State Science Fiction Society, for those random readers who aren't alumni) spring con. Philcon was the fall convention, and I usually was flush and at loose ends in the fall.

The one time I did show up at Balticon, it was to help run an anime video room, as part of a publicity/staffing exchange between Otakon and Balticon. This was the year that PSSFS alumni used Balticon as a reunion, the year that John Nadzam got horribly trashed on three pangalactic gargle blasters and earned his nickname "John the Volcano". Maybe I actually bought a membership. I don't remember at this point... No, I must have. I remember sitting on a panel.

Even though Bujold is one of my favorite authors, this is less of a draw than you might think. I'm not a big proponent of fans and authors mixing; I've found that such things invariably come to grief. I prefer to let authors produce books, and let me pay for them. Nice, commercial, distant. I've always felt that conventions should be gatherings of fans, and should concentrate on fannish activity. Discussion panels with "big fans" rather than "interview" panels, or press conferences without the name. Since I don't have a history of attending Balticon, this means that I don't have a lot of social contacts within the Balticon collective. What contacts I do have would be because of staff overlaps between Balticon and Otakon, which, after all, are held in the same metropolitan area.

Eh, call it a big "maybe". Maybe if I can find some PSSFSers who are going. Bill Johnston lives down that way these days...

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