kevin_standlee: (Pensive Kevin)
One of SF Fandom's key founding figures, Dave Kyle, died yesterday. While he enjoyed a good long life, and was honored throughout it, and spent the day before he died where he loved to be, among other fans, it's still a sad farewell. I spoke to Dave a number of times, including at our annual Worldcon Chairs' Photo Opportunity when he was still able to attend Worldcons, and I'm honored to have been able to sign his memory book on more than one occasions. I only wish I could say more than that. I didn't know him well, but I knew of him considerably, and SF fandom is poorer with his passing.
kevin_standlee: (SMOF Zone)
Saturday of SMOFCon was so packed with stuff that I really don't have time to do justice to it, and I didn't take the photos I should have done.

Statistics, Not Probability )

After that was the panel I was on about badge design, for which to my surprise we had a decent turnout (that is, not everyone went to the discussion about what made Sasquan different), and I think a good discussion about the various factors that go into convention membership badge design. I posted my four main design elements from my article in Argentus, and we discussed how the factors will inevitably change based on the nature of the event. For example, the priorities for a 150-person fandom meeting-planner event like SMOFCon are radically different than those of 10,000-person anime convention that has had a serious badge counterfeiting problem.

Lisa had gone off with [livejournal.com profile] pcornelius to ride and look at trains today, so I went to lunch with [livejournal.com profile] bovil and [livejournal.com profile] kproche. We walked across the Water Garden to the Omni Hotel and had lunch in their restaurant. Because of the big buffet breakfast, I just had a bowl of the venison chili, which was quite good.

As it happens, there wasn't much in the afternoon program that sent me, so I divided the afternoon between taking a short lie down (not really a nap, I think) in my room, then hanging out the con suite, where I ended up eating more good chili, until going to a light dinner and then helping Lisa (back from the Interurban Railway Museum in Plano) carry and set up equipment for the "Fannish Inquisition" — presentation and questions for future SMOFCons and for current Worldcons and bids for future NASFiCs and Worldcons.

Lisa recorded as much of the Fannish Inquisition as she could under the circumstances; however, we don't have time or bandwidth to upload the videos right now. It might not get online until Christmas, based on our travel schedule. I couldn't work on it immediately afterwards, because I had the Probability & Statistics Seminar to organize immediately after the Inquisition. Thank goodness Chris Carson was there to help Lisa break down her equipment.

Chicago was selected (without opposition) to host SMOFCon 34 next year, at a Chicago-area site to be announced.

Some Bits of the Fannish Inquisition )

We've improved the Fannish Inquisition over the years, including better time discipline on presentations and the Q&A session. Unfortunately, it appears to me that there is a streak of SMOFS who have taken this as a challenge for throwing in more irrelevancies and jokes to try and once again expand the event to an uncomfortable length. There were a couple of people who seemed to want to announce bids and jokes for just about everything, and thanks to that, the event didn't finish until 11:30 PM, and a lot of us, including me, were getting a bit exasperated. I think we're going to have to find some way to split this thing into two pieces, putting the SMOFCon selection and seated conventions presentations and Q&A into one 90-minute item and the bids into another one. Not everyone thinks that spending more than three hours in a progressively hotter-and-stuffier room listening to people announce yet another joke bid is a productive use our of time.

Lisa adds that if the Inquisition were better managed, it would be much easier for the person doing the video to do in-camera editing and thus easier to get the video posted sooner. Of course the event is geared around the people actually in the room, but it would be much appreciated if the moderator could be more cognizant of the recording without someone having to stand up and shout "stop!" and "start!" to get his/her attention.

Shuffle Up and Deal )

It was a pretty good peak day at SMOFCon. It would have been better if Worldcon bidders could show a little bit more restraint.
kevin_standlee: (SFSFC)
Everything went well yesterday. I can see why they want post-operative patients under the care of a friend, although it was nowhere near as heavy as when I had my wisdom teeth out 35 years ago. [livejournal.com profile] melchar and [livejournal.com profile] gil_liant ferried me back and forth between the motel in San Jose and the Palo Alto Medical Center and made sure I made it back to my motel room safely, for which my thanks. I called Lisa to let her know all went well, fell upon the food I'd stashed in the room to break my operationally-required 36-hour fast, and went to bed early.

Today I move out of the motel back into the RV for the remainder of this stay in the Bay Area (through next Friday) and head off to the regular SFSFC Board of Directors meeting. The rest of the weekend looks like lots of Day Jobbe from things people were trying to get me to do Friday morning.
kevin_standlee: (SFSFC)
[Note: I speak for myself only here. This post does not represent the official position of SFSFC or any of its committees, including San José in 2018 and the prospective Worldcon 76 Operating Committee.]

A couple of days ago, I linked from here to the announcement that Kevin Roche will chair San José's Worldcon if SFSFC's bid wins. Said announcement was deliberately written in such a way that you could chop each paragraph off the bottom without affecting the total story, even to the extent of chopping everything but the first sentence. Apparently this announcement had Too Much Information for some people.

Grumpy Old Fen )

Worldcon bids who spend their entire marketing effort solely trying to sell to the people who already know the entire process are unlikely to win their elections unless they are running unopposed. That doesn't mean that you should ignore the "base" (you'll also probably lose if you do that). It just means that you must not assume that the only people who vote are those who have voted in the past and have attended Worldcons since the 1960s.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Sign)
I realized when asked for a citation to the story below that I'd never posted it to my LJ, which is my "journal of record" as compared to things like Facebook.

I went a little long on a reply from someone insisting that the Solution to Puppygate was for the Worldcon to show proper Executive Leadership by ignoring those tedious written rules and taking unilateral (and unauthorized) action like Real Corporate Leaders. Here's a version of what I wrote:

Worldcon is Like a Small Town )

I don't have a problem with Executives or Big Business. I work for a large corporation and know the president of my 5000-plus employee company decently well from the days when he was a director and I was a junior analyst. What I do have a problem with is people who try to apply Big Business Dictatorship solutions to Small Town Democracy problems.
kevin_standlee: (ConOps)
Long time readers will have seen this before, but I was prompted by something I read on Making Light about so-called "Puppy" authors who perceive themselves to being no longer invited to SF conventions because of their disruptive behavior with this year's Hugo Awards, and the apparent statements of, "But that will hurt your conventions' attendance!" from those people. The short answer to such statements is "why should we care?" Here's the longer version, based on what I posted to ML.

Fandom is not a For-Profit Business )

One of the cultural disconnects of "winning the culture war," as Moshe Feder once put it, and of SF/F becoming so much a part of popular culture, is that you have a lot of people attempting to apply the commercial model to a fundamentally non-commercial venture. When you point out to these people that "This isn't our business; it's our hobby, and we're not in it to make a profit," they look at you blankly, because they can't conceive of anyone ever doing that much work unless they were Getting Paid.
kevin_standlee: (Kevin 1994)
As has been reported in many places, Peggy Rae (McKnight Pavlat) Sapienza died today at the age of 70 of complications from heart surgery a few weeks ago. Like many conrunners, she had a special place in my life. She could be said to be one of the people who put me along the road where I am today in my fannish life, and she certainly can be credited with holding together the 1993 Worldcon committee during a period of crisis.

Set the Clock Back to 1990 )

Peggy Rae's Last Worldcon Chairs Photo )

Peggy Rae was a second-generation fan. (Her father was one of the people who built the first Hugo Awards.) She was a giant among conrunners. Fandom is diminished by her departure.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Logo)
But he is a professional writer, after all. I'm just a computer programmer.

You Can't Take Back What You Already Have
kevin_standlee: (Kevin Sketch)
Issue 400 of Chris Garcia's The Drink Tank, the final issue, has been published. I'm glad I managed to get a letter to him in time to be included. It's been a good run. I apparently was only the second person to suggest that his fiancee made him promise to end it or else she wouldn't marry him.

I wonder what fannish publication will fill the void left by the passage of The Drink Tank?
kevin_standlee: (Conrunner Kevin)
A new version of Star Cops, particularly with Ed Green as the lead; mind you, Lisa thinks he'd also do well as a perpetually-exasperated, by-the-book cop on Earth who constantly has to work with Nathan Spring and doesn't like it at all. Ed does exasperated very well.

Addendum: While we're at it, Tadao Tomomatsu should be in the cast, too; he after all has played a cop in an SF show already (Heroes).
kevin_standlee: (ConOps)
...don't turn your back on me when I'm talking to you.
kevin_standlee: (Kevin and Lisa)
I continue to marvel at how different it is to attend a convention without a vast number of stress-inducing commitments about which to worry. It's a good thing, too, because I continue to suffer the ravages of hay fever, just less bad than a week ago. Being able to sleep in, look around when we feel like it, and sit down and watch the convention go by is a wonderful thing.

Anyway: on Saturday we had a lunch appointment with Doug and Kirsten Berry, which have Kirsten the ability to give [livejournal.com profile] travelswithkuma his long-delayed birthday present.

Doctor Bear? )

Speaking of costumes, later in the convention we spent quite a while sitting near the Fan Tables area, which was one of the good places to see people in costume, and sometimes I was able to take pictures of them. This is how I learned also that (unlike what I wrote yesterday), Helsinki in 2017 has a presence here at BayCon, just not a fan table.

Moose and Costume )

Portland in 2016 Westercon continued to do a land-office business selling pre-supporting memberships as Lea Rush explained why Portland will be a great place to hold the 2016 Westercon.

Bear helps )

We had a look through the Dealer's Room, and I added books to the pile I will be purchasing later this weekend from Cargo Cult Books. I Tweeted the following picture of the Cargo Cult table.

Airship Shape & Bristol Fashion )

FanimeCon is also going on this weekend, and some people are attending both of them, along with the Fanime affiliate Clockwork Alchemy. This makes for an interesting combination of costumes on view.

Kawaii in the Corridors )

I'm not a huge shutterbug, really, but I've been snapping photos with my phone when I see things I like, posting them to my BayCon folder on Flickr, and Tweeting them from my @KevinStandlee account.

Later in the afternoon, I ran into Sally Woerhle, BayCon's Fan Guest of Honor, who was looking for a dinner party. She agreed to go with Lisa and me, later joined by Lea Rush, as we have the Astro and could transport people off-site for a little variety, there being only the hotel restaurant and some fast food places within easy walking distance of the Hyatt. We had a nice early dinner before returning Sally to BayCon to take care of her evening FGoH responsibilities.

Lisa and I briefly went to Saturday's parties, but we both were feeling pretty tired and once again turned in early. We find we really can use the extra time for winding down before getting some much-needed sleep. However, we did enjoy ourselves socializing with people, as we expect to do again on Sunday.
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
I was able to get away from work after lunch on Friday and get down to BayCon by around 1 PM. I was very concerned about parking the Rolling Stone because the supply of surface parking there is quite limited, and of course I can't park that boat in the parking garage. To my delight, I found a deep corner space available and no parking lot traffic, giving me the time it takes to gently back in.

Photo: Docked at BayCon )

Heading inside, I went up to the fan tables on the mezzanine, where I delivered Portland in 2016 Westercon bid fliers to Lea Rush, chair of Portland's bid (she'd flown down that morning; I printed fliers for her locally so she wouldn't have to lug them around) as well as some 2016 Westercon Site Selection ballots (just released this week) and put Montreal in 2017 Worldcon bid fliers out on the flyer table.

I found that my hotel room was ready, so I checked in and moved my stuff from the RV to the hotel room. (With the RV, I don't have to pack quite as compactly as when I'm traveling in the Astro; for example, there's a closet in the Rolling Stone in which to hang my shirts rather than having to bag them up in luggage.) There's a nice view of the new home of the San Francisco 49ers, Levi's Stadium, from my hotel room window.

Stay Away from Here on Game Days )

I went to check out the Dealer's Room, where I ran in to BayCon's Fan Guest of Honor, Sally Woehrle. I made the "I'm not worthy" bow, and she started to make it back to me, saying something about my past Worldcon Chair status, and I said, "Forget that: as Fan Guest of Honor, you have brevet rank over me for the duration of the convention. You don't get to become a Respected Elder Statesman of Fandom until after your Worldcon is over."

As we chatted, Warren Buff, out to BayCon to promote the DC in 2017 Worldcon Bid, joined us, and the three of us repaired to the bar for a round of smoffing, about which more later. The DC2017 bid is the only one represented here (aside from the Montreal fliers I brought). Lisa and I could conceivably have run a Montreal bid table, but with my current work stress and Lisa's dental/tinnitus issues, we have too much going on in our lives to do so right now.

After our smof session, I went to check on Lea Rush, who was happy to have sold a handful of Portland bid pre-supports including a Friend of the Bid, but who was also looking very faded out, having been up since 3 AM to get her flight down from Portland. At my suggestion, she closed her table and after she returned from stowing her things in her room, I showed her where the pod of fast food, including a Togo's, is located a short distance north of the hotel. After we returned, she headed back to her room to eat and maybe rest from her travel.

After my late lunch, I returned to the Dealers Room, started a pile of books with Cargo Cult, and was talking trains with Scott Dennis when my phone rang. It was Lisa, who had made absurdly good time driving down from Fernley against the flow of getaway day traffic and was here about two hours earlier than I expected. We unloaded her things from the van and went off to dinner. Later, after dinner, I called Lea Rush and (based on an earlier conversation) offered to take her to Trader Joe's for something they had that she wanted. Also, thanks to the hotel rooms here having mini-fridges, she was able to lay in some supplies, as were we.

Lisa and I did a brief troll of the Party Floor, but both of us were tired and we retired early. Having no commitments on Saturday of BayCon, we were able to sleep in. I guess I was tired. I slept for more than ten hours.

It's rather strange to me to have almost no time-specific commitments at a convention. I hardly know what to do with myself. But OTOH, I've been working so hard that having the weekend at a nice hotel where I don't have to work myself to death and can sort of relax is a Really Nice Thing.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Trophy)
[I've been listening to a lot of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar episodes while driving to and from the Bay Area, and the episode titles are all in the form of "The ___ Matter."]

Cheryl Morgan writes more eloquently than I can about the brief tenure of Jonathan Ross as Loncon 3's Hugo Awards host.

How the 2002 Worldcon Handled Selection of Headliners )

Having had to deal with horrible PR blunders with the 2002 Worldcon makes me sympathetic and less willing to criticize other Worldcons' mistakes. (And Twitter hadn't even been invented yet!) Go read Cheryl. I share her frustration, although I'm not yet so annoyed as to walk away from everything just yet.
kevin_standlee: (ConOps)
Because I'm banned from commenting there, here's my reply to a stated question here:

Then why does Loncon lie to us? This is perhaps the core issue I fail to grasp. Lying takes so much time.

The simplest answer is that they're not lying, and that like other conspiracy theorists, you're so in love with your conclusion that you must find ways to contort reality to adjust it to your conclusion.

I seriously would like to see him try to hold a Worldcon. It wouldn't work, and he'd be constantly railing about how everyone else but him is an idiot for not doing what is so blindingly obvious to him, but it would be fun in a schadenfreude sort of way.
kevin_standlee: (Pensive Kevin)
Bobbie DuFault, co-chair of the 2015 Worldcon in Spokane and chair of the 2005 NASFiC in Seattle, passed away today, just two weeks after taking office at co-Chair of Sasquan.

Bobbie's Only Photo in the Worldcon Chair Session )

Of personal import to me, Bobbie was chair of the 2005 NASFiC where I was Fan Guest of Honor, and effectively when I started this LiveJournal. (There are entries before that one, but only a handful, and it was CascadiaCon where I seriously started making entries, with a goal of at least one per day.)

My thoughts are with Bobbie's family and friends today. This is a terrible shock and very unexpected.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley House)
I was originally going to write about a topic many of you have heard before: Why Worldcon memberships cost so much more compared to similarly sized genre conventions. But as I started to compose it, I decided that my time would be more profitably spent relaxing and reading in my house, something I don't do often enough. And as I'll be in the Bay Area for the next two weeks (leaving Fernley on Sunday), I won't have the chance to do it for a while either).
kevin_standlee: (Conrunner Kevin)
Thank you for the positive messages (including the ones posted elsewhere that I can see) about the work I've been doing. I know it takes a lot more effort to post positive messages than negative ones, and intellectually I know I should be counting the positives more than the negatives, but wow, it's not easy. I can certainly see why some really talented conrunners have reached the point of saying, "Why in the world should I keep doing this when the people who actually benefit from my work are the ones screaming at me the loudest? Why shouldn't I walk away and just let it die and then see people screaming even louder that the things aren't getting done?"

Anyway, thank you again for letting me know that there are people who appreciate what I and others have done and that I'm not some Evil Person Out To Destroy The World the way some folks seem to think I am.
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Logo)
I have been banned from a certain blog that needs no further publicity for telling them that their conspiracy theory that the Hugo Awards results have been subverted by a liberal, feminist conspiracy of publishers buying up lots of votes, and that their assumption that the Hugo Awards are a big source of personal income for conrunners, was delusional. At the same time, it appears that other people are convinced that the Hugo Awards are being run by right-wing, sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic dweebs who unconsciously discriminate against the Right People. Meanwhile, the fact that it cost at least $60 to vote this year (dropping to $40 next year) is terribly unfair to Real Fans, while others are worried that we're not charging enough to keep people from buying a Hugo Award, because of course lots of people are just begging to drop >$50,000 and go to a pretty decent amount of effort to both subvert the results and not be so obvious that the administrators catch it.

On the bright side, if none of these people considered the Hugo Awards important, none of them would have said anything at all.
kevin_standlee: (ConOps)
I officially apologize for making the Death of Fandom argument to you and insisting that you didn't understand. You have your revenge upon me in the form of the generation ahead of me making it at me in almost exactly the same terms. I take cold comfort in that in another generation, the one after them will start telling them what losers they are and that if they don't immediately change everything, All Fandom Will Vanish Overnight because only people fifteen years old are allowed to be fans.

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