Reflections on a Convention
Wow, what a weekend! I haven't had this much fun at a convention in years!
My husband Norman and I got our start in SF fandom back in the early 80s at a small (300 people) con called Paracon, held in State College, PA, while we attended Penn State. Paracon was named in honor of the works of H. Beam Piper, a very libertarian SF writer who lived in the nearby town of Bellefont and who sadly took his own life before he could achieve the stature he deserved. Paracon was a great way to discover fandom. I remember one year when Norman was working in the con suite, GOH Ben Bova hung out in the con suite all evening "holding court" while Norman kept feeding him root beers. You just don't get that kind of interaction with a major figure at most big cons.
Which is why LFSCon was such a treat for me. Being part of Marcon, it had the wonderful dealers room and art show I've come to expect from major cons. But our private LFS events Friday and Saturday evenings gave us the chance to get "up close and personal" with some of the Prometheus Award-winning authors.
It was a great pleasure for me to meet L. Neil Smith, whose works made me aware of the libertarian movement (Heinlein taught me the philosophy; Smith gave it a name and a face). I admit I was looking forward to the meeting with a little trepidation; friends in the Libertarian Party had told me of meeting him at other libertarian events and getting caught in the crossfire! Perhaps he has mellowed, or perhaps I just had the good fortune of mentioning Piper before he did and thus impressing him with my excellent taste in writers! In any case, it was a high point of my weekend.
The other great part of LFSCon was finally getting to meet the many folks I've communicated with these past years primarily via email, and meeting new friends as well. The informal gatherings at Michael Grossberg's house Sunday evening and Monday gave us plenty of time to really get to know one another. I came away with a real sense of "family" among the LFS crew. And of course, at the dead dog party Sunday evening, Norman, Michael, Lynn and I started talking about and when we do this next time…
Having worked on many a convention committee, I know that's a danger, but that's usually where the next con is born. While we definitely don't have the resources to do this every year, I hope that we'll do it many more times! Many thanks to everybody who worked so hard to pull this off, especially Michael. Great con!
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