Date: Sat, 28 May 2005 15:20:49 -0500
While I have a dealer's table for the whole of MediaWestCon, my programming was all today. I did a morning panel on Intimate Adventure and an afternoon panel on what Jacqueline and I are doing these days. Oddly enough, there were more people at the morning than the afternoon panel--of course it all depends on what else is going on at the same time.
Fans were delighted with the idea of trying to get a term accepted for their favorite kind of literature. When I read the definition of Intimate Adventure, they all agreed that it was definitely something they look for in fiction but find hard to describe. Audience members suggested that the inability to find Intimate Adventure in the library or bookstore was what led them to fanfic: there they are guaranteed to get the fix they want.
We brainstormed ways of getting the term Intimate Adventure into use in the reading/writing/publishing community. Suggestions were using the term when requesting books in libraries and bookstores; linking from fanfic websites to Jacqueline's article on simegen.com; using and discussing the term on boards, blogs, and listservs; and using the term in book reviews, particularly book reviews on amazon.com in hopes of reaching a level of saturation at which Amazon would make it a searchable key word. At the same time, fans who know authors who write Intimate Adventure can introduce the term to those authors as a selling point, and suggest that they try to incorporate it somewhere on their back cover blurbs. (In case you didn't know it, the author is usually asked to write the cover blurb.)
In the afternoon panel, I brought everyone up to date on what we are writing, the fact that TO KISS OR TO KILL finally has a publication date and what that book is about, and books to come in the Sime~Gen universe. As no one there had been at the morning panel, I passed out the last of the Intimate Adventure brochures, and briefly discussed the concept and the ideas we had come up with in the morning. Once again, everyone agreed that the definition fit exactly their favorite form of reading (MediaWest is a major zine con), and that a specific term for it is long overdue.
Now I'm at my table in the dealer's room. Sales have been pretty good. I brought one hardcover and three softbound UNITY and have sold them all. Some of my SAVAGE EMPIRE new editions have sold, as well as a surprising number of the used copies of the old paperbacks of my books. SEVEN SEASONS OF BUFFY is now down to one copy.
I still have flyers, and much of what I am doing is talking to people who stop by the table and complain that they already have everything on it. I tell them to come back next year--I am going to TRY to get advanced copies of KISS for MediaWest if I possibly can.
Thanks to inputs from list members et al., Sime~Gen fandom won several prestigious awards at MediaWest*Con this year.
Learn about the Con at:
We got four Fan-Q awards:
The 'Slash' Fiction Discussion,
(I guess the awards people decided it was a slash zine because it had a slash story in it.)
The lady who runs the awards said she got more nominations for DaBinett's "A Matter of Necessity" than any other one item. (This is surprising--and exciting--because the 'Man from U.N.C.L.E.' fandom is highly organized and HUGE.)
So, we've made a name for ourselves. If the questions I got--and the flyers I gave out--are any indication, we've (re)acquired several fans.
Thanks to those who helped make it possible this year. Let's continue the tradition in future years.
In Service to Unity, Kaíres
I NEVER thought CZ's first awards would be for "slash" of all things!
Is there some kind of icon we can post with the stories on CZ's site that indicates the winning aspect? How do we make this known?
Which part(s) of A MATTER OF NECESSITY won? I assume the whole work.
(who is almost as pleased as the authors)
On 31 May 2005 at 10:06, Kaíres Tévesu wrote:
I kind of figured that would happen. It caused considerable confusion. There is some disagreement on this in fandom, but in general, one slash story does make the whole zine slash. (The "contagion" theory of categorization. Kinda like those southern states that considered people black if they had even 1% African- American ancestry.)
I just got back from MediaWest. (Via Ohio. Finally got to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton!) Several people commented on how quiet the con seemed this year. The membership numbers went up to the 700s, but it seemed quieter than the years when there were only 500 members. Not sure if people are buying memberships and not showing up, or what. Dealers seemed happy with their sales, and we certainly did well, so it's not the economy to blame. Maybe it's the "graying of fandom." We're reaching the point where the average fan is eligible for an AARP discount. :-)
At least two people asked me about "that pro Sime/Gen slash book." One who was at MWC, one who used to attend, but no longer does. (One of those who bailed out when they instituted that shenned lottery.) They were very disappointed to hear about the delay.
>I kind of figured that would happen. It caused considerable
KAREN I think CZ will survive the controversy. We used to be considered "white bread" as we avoided sexual content for the most part. I'm pleased we received recognition, though we've been "publishing" since 1978 -- June, in fact -- I wonder if the timing had something to do with karma, etc.
CZ has grown up...and its about time! I want to shout that we won all over the zine's website, on each piece that received an award.... If I can edit books that end up as finalists in contests, why not the zine? I learned to edit BECAUSE of the zine, I have always been proud of the zine.
>Several people commented on how quiet the con seemed this year.
KAREN: Yeah, so I'm a member of AARP, and I resemble that remark. I
still manage to drag myself to cons when I can. [GRIN] We're like
fine wine and cheese. The more aged, the better. MediaWest being on
the West Coast, I couldn't possibly attend. It also conflicts with
Balticon in Baltimore, MD.
On Wed, 01 Jun 2005 17:35:59 -0400, "Leigh@quot; wrote in part:
I agree, the graying of fandom really does show at MediaWest. I was happy to see some younger folks with kids there, but the preponderance are, yes, the AARP crowd. There were plenty of room parties, but they were very quiet. My cat, Dudley, had a grand time party hopping, finding lots of people to pet him and tell him how beautiful he is, and no loud noises to scare him away.
>At least two people asked me about "that pro Sime/Gen slash book."
I hope they don't think it's the next book out, as actually the gay S~G novel is the last in the contract. It's not slash, although it is intimate adventure--no established characters suddenly discover that they are gay. Of the main characters in SPECIAL DISPENSATION, one is contentedly gay when the novel opens, while the other thinks he has no sex drive until he finally starts getting decent transfers. The main characters are a renSime and a renGen--no apparently straight characters from other novels get slashed. So it's a gay novel, not slash.
On 3 Jun 2005 at 11:25, Jean Lorrah wrote:
I told them.
On 1 Jun 2005 at 17:46, Karen MacLeod wrote:
As well you should. :-) They should send you and all the winners certificates. Eventually. Unless someone who was there picked them up for you? Once you get them, you could scan them in or something.
>> Yeah, so I'm a member of AARP, and I resemble that remark.
Oh, they're still dragging themselves to MWC. They're just a lot quieter while there. It used to be 2am ice cream runs and ending the party by going out for breakfast were par for the course. Now, everyone goes to bed early. There weren't nearly as many parties as there used to be, and the ones they did have were smaller, quieter, and earlier. Even the Star Wars blaster battles were muted. It used to be hard to go out in the halls on Saturday night without being caught in the crossfire. I barely saw them this time.
>> MediaWest being on the West Coast, I couldn't possibly
MediaWest isn't on the west coast. If it were, I doubt I'd attend. MountainMedia in Colorado was probably my favorite con of all time, but even it was too far away for me to attend regularly.
MWC is in East Lansing, MI. Not exactly the bright, hot center of the universe. I gather it's there because it was started by the Michigan State University Star Trek Club, back in the '70s. Not much to do in Lansing, and it's not terribly convenient to public transportation, but it's an easy drive. Centrally located, and without the harrowing traffic of, say, Newark or Chicago.
MWC was, for a long time, *the* premiere zine con. Editors always debuted their zines there, at least if they wanted to make back their printing costs quickly. And people went there, to get the zines. I was wondering how long MWC would continue now that zines are no longer the center of fandom for many. But I guess people still want to meet their fellow fans face to face. The con wasn't as large as it's been in the past, but it appears to be going strong.
At 7:41 PM -0400 6/1/05, Leigh wrote:
I have two of the certificates. The others had typos and had to be rebuilt. I'll write to the Fan-Q maven to get the other two...and I can scan them.
Behind the scenes, I've been involved in discussions about creating a page for awards we
receive...to go with the existing pages for awards we give.
Then we can mark the award-winning stories--both on the CZ page and in Rimon's Library--with some marker that links to that page.
Let me ask your help--everyone on the list--to help design the page.
(Alternatively, is there some other page that would be a better structure for this...maybe the existing Awards pages?)
At 3:57 PM -0700 6/1/05, Jacqueline Lichtenberg wrote:
As far as I can see, the Fan-Q awards don't have a logo.
Maybe we can provide one.
I have to talk to the awards manager anyway, to get the two certificates that had to be redone.
I'll tell her what we want to do, and see what she has to say.
...And this is laying the groundwork for an art award next year!
In Service to Unity, Kaires
(Sorry to be so late replying. I had to catch up almost a week's worth of
mail--plus deal with four meetings today--since I got home at 0130 this morning.)
At 7:41 PM -0400 6/1/05, Leigh wrote:
The 'Man From U.N.C.L.E.' parties were just as long, late, and loud as last year.
I'm afraid I can't say anything about previous years, though, because last year was my first time.
(I was dragged there, kicking and screaming, by one of the 'cousins'...and fell in love with the thing!)
>Even the Star Wars blaster battles were muted. It used to be
I did get some practice dodging laser weapons, when I met a group of about twenty laser-toting warriors in the stairwell Saturday night.
They were very polite. (Princess Leia was with them, so they were on their best behavior.) They stood aside and let me leave the stairwell unharmed. Then they resumed hostilities.
>Even the Star Wars blaster battles were muted. It used to
I saw a few. When I encountered them in elevators I asked "What would happen if I tried to pass through the battle by claiming 'Mee-sa non-combatant!'", and the universal answer was that I'd be shot by both sides.
On 4 Jun 2005 at 7:49, Jan StClair wrote:
I remember one year, they had a camera crew, taping on the battles with a camcorder. They had "CNN" press passes in their hats.
Another year, I saw a man screaming at his kid in the stairwell. He was angry because something the kid did caused someone to be captured. The boy looked like he was about six years old. Some of them take it way too seriously.
By nature, I'm NOT a party person, but I suggest that we have a Sime~Gen party at next year's MediaWest*Con, as an effort to increase awareness even more. There should be about 6 or more of us attending, and we should be able to book the party room for an hour or two.
I can probably provide some freebies, given enough advance notice.