A Vested Interest

17 02 2008

At LA Con IV—WorldCon 2006—George R. R. Martin and a few other older folks were on this panel about the future of science fiction fandom. They said it is being and has been polluted and diluted by other fandoms. Furthermore, there are so many books now that there is no canonical base for people to come together around as a community. And science fiction is moving mainstream. The time of the volunteer-run SF cons of the 20th century is over. One of them quoted some study stating that these sorts of things are a three-generational phenomena, and we were reaching the end of our three generations.

They seemed sort of resigned to this fate of obscurity—tired old men and women who had little in common with the younger generations. I tried to strike Mr. Martin up in conversation about it after the panel, but he seemed disinterested.

I’ve been attending conventions since before I was born, totaling close to fifty conventions (including four WorldCons) in the first twenty-one years. Conventions are more than just fun weekends for me. They are a centerpoint of community and culture and even ‘tribe’ as some have described it. I’ve brought a significant number of my friends into the fold, introducing them to their first conventions and then bringing them back for more. We’ve talked about how to attract younger folks like college and high school students.

I have a vested interest in the continuation of this culture and lifestyle. I’ve participated—now I’d like to create.

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