Or at least she’s got good taste in sleeping arrangements. Ebony is sacked out on my latest FAPA distribution which came in the mail today.
As much as I didn’t want to leave the fun that was Corflu, alas, all good things must come to an end. I wandered out a bit after ten last night, and got home a bit before 1. Time: about two and a half hours of driving, all told. I was less sleepy than I thought I’d be, which is somewhat of a miracle.
I’m still trying to process the weekend. Maybe with a full night’s sleep, I’ll be able to attempt to write some of it down.
Short of it, though, is I had an amazing time, and I’m going to do my best to see you all next year in realspace. In the meantime, I’ve got a first issue of Rhyme to put out. (For those of you not at Corflu, I introduced Rhyme, but deliberately numbered it ½ so that it wouldn’t be the first issue — I’ll get the electronic copy to Bill later in the week, I suspect.)
Meanwhile, I think some sleep is needed. My cat has already found the pile of fanzines, declared them cromulent, and sacked out on them. Mebbe she’s a fan, too.
What. A. Ride.
I’ll have more to say when I’m a bit more coherent, but that’s the short of it.
Stopped in Cordelia Junction to fuel both myself and my car. This place has always been my marker that I’m entering the Bay Area, so I guess I’m actually going.
Corflu, here I come.
Yeah, that’s going to be the title of the fanzine I’m putting out. And I’m looking for contributions. I have the first year pretty much planned out as to topics. (I’m going to go approximately quarterly, so that means four topics.)
The first topic is ‘Beginnings’; I’ll need things by New Year’s for assembly and layout in early January. I’ll take anything folks want to throw at me, but my most pressing need would be a cover. I’ll probably end up having to whip something up using photographs since I don’t know how to ask for help (read: too nervous to ask), but I wanted to lay that out there as a thought.
The second right now seems to want to be called ‘Dreaming of Rockets’; my thought on that is Hugos, not the space race. I’m sure it’ll come up soon. That, I’m going to say, let’s shoot for a deadline of the Ides of March. This is a little more fluid, talk to me in January about it. I just wanted to throw the idea out there.
My email is katster AT retstak DOT org, or you can poke me via all the usual places (including the comments of this blog entry.)
One of the amazing things about fandom is the respective fan funds. There’s a triangle of them connecting the three largest concentrates of fandom in the world. (There’s also several minor ones, my favorite of which is CUFF, which sends fans back and forth within Canada.)
The first one, connecting Europe with Australia, is GUFF, which stands for the Going Under/Get Up-and-over Fan Fund, depending on the direction of the trip. As this is the leg of the triangle that I can’t participate in, I don’t know all that much about it. The next trip direction is EU -> AUS, for the Australian Worldcon next year.
The second one, connecting Australia with North America, is DUFF, which stands for the Down Under Fan Fund. This fascinates me, as Australia’s always seemed like a nifty place to visit. (That’s why I was hoping to get there next year, but my plans to be employed full-time by this point have been thwarted by the economic meltdown.) Anyway, this year’s DUFF trip is NA -> AUS for the same reason as GUFF.
And then there’s my favorite fan fund, TAFF, or the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund. Now it might be my favorite because I hang out with Chris Garcia at conventions and thus get the full fury of the manic TAFF delegate. TAFF connects Europe and North America, and got its start in a one-off fund to bring a great fanwriter named Walt Willis from Ireland to the US in 1952, which means the fund is the granddaddy of all the fanfunds and, well, older than my parents. (There’s a lot of things older than my parents in fandom. There are things in fandom that are older than my grandparents, actually. And if that doesn’t make most folks in fandom feel old…)
And TAFF is NA -> EU this year. And they’ve just called for nominations
So, what’s the catch, you ask? Well, if you win, you get to spend two years (or until the next person travelling in the direction you took your trip in goes) managing the fund and raising more money for it. This means talking it up whenever possible. Basically, you’re trading two-four weeks of awesomeness with two years of representing and earning more money for the fund. Thankfully, fandom is generally generous with both items and money to support the fund.
TAFF is the trip I’d like to do, as I seem to have more friends in British fandom than I do in Australian fandom, which is probably partially a function of the APAs I’ve decided to join. This would be the year to do it, too, as the trip is supposed to be attending the Eastercon in 2010, but Corflu’s the weekend before, and it would be fun to attend both and get the general vibe of things.
But after some thought on the matter, I’m going to hold off for a few reasons:
- I’m still a newbie, and trying to convince folks to vote for me would probably take some doing. (I could probably find nominators, but again, it helps to be better known.)
- Even if I could get past the hurdle of point one, I’m part-time at my job. This means I get no vacation whatsoever. My attendance at Worldcon was sandwiched by two days of eight hours and three days doing my usual time, and I still lost four hours of time I’m allotted every week. It wouldn’t be fair to either myself, the British fans I meet, or the fund in general for me to have to put in work time while I’m on the trip.
- Even if I overcame both those hurdles, I’m still dependent on the US Government providing me some small measure of my income, and the draconian asset limits attached to that. (Seriously, to get disability in this country, you are allowed to own a house, a car, and no more than $2000 in assets.) Since the TAFF fund gets put in your name, I blow the asset cap with money that isn’t even mine.
Of course, points two and three could be mitigated by getting a full-time job that offers a benefit like, oh, vacation pay, which is why I’m holding off at the moment — to let the economy warm up a bit and figure out what the future might hold as well as getting more involved and active within fandom. It’s possible I’ll re-evaluate in 2012 and do it then, but 2014′s looking a lot more likely at the moment.
But in the meantime, I just wanted to spread the word of the awesome things that are contained within fandom. And this is one of the most nifty parts, in my opinion.
At work, trying to get things done. There’s an interesting concept.
I am absolutely sure that isn’t what they meant, but I got a pretty good chuckle out of it.
So, I went to the Bay Area. Things I did:
- Went to the Office of Letters and Light (the folks who run NaNoWriMo) to sign my ML form for the coming year. I may be the only ML who will do it that way.
- Drove to mactavish‘s place; got smothered in kisses by Zoe, who is my second most favorite dog in the world after my own. Also, forgot to take the greenies wrapper out of my pocket after I opened them to give to doggies, which led Zoe to keep sniffing my pocket hopefully that there would be a second treat. Also, saw chickens and got a slice of awesome bread that deyo made.
- Got back on the freeway, drove back to 680 and made the loop around into the South Bay, as 880′s traffic can get really bad. Stopped in Milpitas to kill time; found disgusting bathrooms and that picture in the Borders there.
- Went to the BASFA meeting because (a) I’ve been wanting to go and (b) the UK TAFF delegate was supposed to be there. Alas, stevegreen ran afoul of the air travel gods and failed to get out of Seattle until 5:30, which meant that he was too exhausted when he got here to make the trip down to the meeting. So sad! But other than that, I had a good time, even if the meeting went way longer than I expected.
- Got back in the car, and drove home mostly without incident, although I got slightly lost in Concord/Walnut Creek/Pleasant Hill looking for caffeinated goodness, which probably cost me a half hour. Paid my bridge toll in dollar coins, which I think weirded out the attendant a little. (Why did I have dollar coins? Well, see, I give TAFF delegates shiny gold coins.)
- Got home at 1:30 AM; got back up and went to work this morning
I think that’s about it. I don’t know when the next time I’ll make a trip over — finances are kinda tight. Folks are trying to talk me into showing up at Silicon, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I’m hoping for a Big Game trip, myself, but again, money’s tight, and getting a ticket to Big Game at Stanford’s breadbox is difficult.
That’s about it. Guess it’s time to go back to work, now that I figured out why I was critfailing my HTML roll.
So another Worldcon winds down. If all goes well, I should be at the next one, but at the moment I’m not expecting it to go well. However, unless things go absolutely pear-shaped, I’ll be at the one in 2011, since, y’know, it’s just over the hill from Sactown.
But that’s not the point of this post. The point is to prod at the news from Montreal. And here’s my thoughts. Note: these are just my thoughts.
First off, Reno wins the 2011 Worldcon and Raleigh takes the 2010 NASFiC. Neither of these are the unexpected results, as both were unopposed, but now we know where we’ll be hanging out. As I said, Reno’s just over the hill from Sactown, and as soon as I can scrape up the money, I’ll be buying my attending membership. I encourage all my friends to buy supporting memberships; if nothing else, you’ll get to vote for the Hugos. If you want to go all out and get an attending membership, that’s even better. Come party in Reno with me. ;)
Also, I’m fairly impressed at how well the Reno team has gotten on the ball in regards to social networking. Since Saturday, I’ve received invitations to both the LJ community and the Twitter account, and I suspect, if I were more active on Facebook than I am, I’d have an invitation there too. Well done.
Next, this year’s Hugo trophy is a work of art. Well done. I think that’s my favorite trophy of the last three years.
As for the awards themselves, the first thing that pops out is what might amount to the end of an era. Somebody other than Locus takes the Semipro award, and the category was saved from elimination at the business meeting, both of which I think are good things. I’m all about diversity in winners in the Hugo categories — in both the senses of different people winning them, and in the sense of diverse in the larger context, although I freely admit, the latter is harder. Anyway, the point is, epic moment.
Best fan writer went to Cheryl Morgan. Cheryl’s an awesome choice; I love her writing. Also, I know that she has wanted to defeat Dave Langford in honorable combat, and she’s gone and done that in dramatic fashion. As I said, Cheryl’s awesome and I’m glad for her victory in the category. (Also, that red dress is exquisite.)
On the other hand, there’s best fanzine. Electric Velocipede was the winner. This, in my opinion, doesn’t feel right. Don’t get me wrong, John Klima is also doing excellent work, and the fanzine rules as written don’t exclude him from the category, as he’s rightly pointed out. However, I’m the sort that finds the idea of paying for something that’s in the fanzine category just a little odd, as the ethics of fanzines, as I have been taught them, seem to imply that charging (or paying) anything other than the fannish usual (that is, a copy of the fanzine for a contribution, LoC, or as speculation) is just not kosher. See, I know EV is a labor of love for John, just as fanzines are for their editors, but I’m not sure Best Fanzine is the best place for what he’s doing. But the will of the voters has overruled me, and it is a diverse result, so I’m not sure if I can complain too much. Besides, it’s entirely possible I’ve been hanging out with the old fogies of fandom for too long. ;)
A quick shot of the rest of the categories: I’m sad Taral Wayne didn’t win Best Fan Artist. Frank Wu is a good guy, and a great artist, but I was rooting for Taral in this catagory. Don’t really know much about editors or the short form nominees, so can’t say much there; same with most of the fiction categories. (I failed to read most of them this year; this is something I will rectify for next year’s ballot.) Wall-E won long form, which was not unexpected. The Foglios got a Hugo for Girl Genius in the first year of Best Graphic Novel; I couldn’t think of a better choice. John Scalzi gets another Hugo, for Best Related Book this year — now he just needs to win Best Novel one of these years to complete the trifecta. And, Best Novel went to The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman. I believe that makes Neil the first author to win both the Newberry and the Hugo for the same book.
Chris Garcia not only beat out No Award, but a couple actual living breathing human beings in both his categories. There’s hope for a Hugo for the fanzine lounge yet. At the same time, I’m sad that one of the living breathing human beings was Steven Silver, a person whom I’ve gotten to know through eAPA, and whose work I anticipate every month in that august distribution.
My goal for next year is to receive five nominations and thus show up on the nominations list. That would be awesome. I doubt it’ll happen, though, as I’ve not really done much to warrant the honor.
I like the new logo for the Hugo Award. It’s simple, but elegant. I like that clean style; it’s very Art Deco (I think that’s the right term) and a nice nod to the origins of fandom in those long ago decades. Well done, again.
And I think that’s most all the news from Montreal. I’ll sign off now.
I think I’ve found a way to get this printed at something resembling reasonable, but yeah, postage costs are going to kill me in more ways than one. Ah well, this is why I made this a quarterly production.
Anyway, the deadline for R&P 1 is this Friday, July 17th. I want to do pastework this weekend so I can get the printing achieved before Worldcon. This way, the fanzine lounge can have some of my contributions. The theme is ‘Beginnings’, but to be honest, the theme is really more for my edification than anything else. (That is, don’t let it straightjacket you.)
The deadline for R&P 2 is tentatively set for October 9th, because I’d like to have the issue out before NaNoWriMo starts in earnest. Tentative theme is ‘Heroes’. I know that’s a bit ambiguous, but I don’t want to color the reading. That said, I’ve never seen the television show. ;) That theme could change between now and then, but I remind you that the theme is for my edification, and I’m not going to stick too closely to it.
And of course, although R&P 3 is out on the horizon, I’m looking at early January for the deadline (probably January 9th), with a very tentative theme of ‘Dreams’.
Anyway, yeah. If any of my dear readers is up for contributing, I would love anything you have, particularly if you’ve got some talent in the art department.
For those of you tuning in late, R&P is Rhyme & Paradox, and it will be yet another fanzine from yet another science fiction fan. It’ll be hybrid, which means a pdf will go up on the wonderful efanzines site, and paper copies will be mailed to those who prefer paper. The first issue will be the August 2009 issue, and it will be produced ~quarterly, with August/November/February/May issues. (Of course, as the faned, I reserve the right to change the production schedule at my whim.)
So yeah, that’s about it. I just wanted to write a few things down where I can see it.
Yeesh, my new hobby is shaping up to be somewhat expensive. I wandered around Office Depot trying to get a bead on pricing, and yeesh. Mailing labels are about $10 for 250, manilla envelopes are about $10 for a hundred, and that’s not even counting the costs of printing and postage.
I begin to see why johnnyeponymous does all his fanac electronically. ;)
Anyway, I’m going to see if I can figure out cheaper ways of achieving the same goal. But for the moment, I may have to hold on my August deadline because I really don’t have the money to absorb startup costs at the moment.
In semi-related news, my Westercon vote must have made it to Tempe for the Westercon as I appear to have an attending membership for the 2011 Westercon in San Jose. Woohoo. I haven’t seen the check clear yet, but I’m going to assume that will happen Any Day Now.
And I mailed off my Worldcon and NASFiC ballots yesterday, so…
It’s been a good few days.
In no particular order:
- I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for a while. You see, while my parents and sister go out of town on a camping trip, I’m staying behind. This means that I can dig out my room which, although not quite matching the destruction wrought by my namesake hurricane, explains why my mom gave me the sobriquet back in the 1980s. So yeah, my big goal this weekend is to dig it out and hopefully keep it from descending into entropy again.
- The other thing I want to get done this weekend is to write is my much delayed Baycon report, so that I can stick it in At Ungodly Hours, my contribution to one of the APAs I belong to. After it goes out there, I’ll probably post it to the blog as well, so you all can read it. I know you’re all looking forward to it.
- Speaking of which, I noticed that there doesn’t seem to be any mention of who received this year’s Baycon gopher awards. While I didn’t expect one for me, since I do gophering because I really like helping out and the rewards are somewhat immaterial, I’d really like to know which of my fellow gophers was crazy enough to earn such things. So I’m sad that I haven’t heard since it’s usually announced by now, or so I thought.
- Also, bringing up my APAzine means that I want to mention that I’ve got a soft deadline for assembling the pieces of the first issue of Rhyme and Paradox. That date is July 15th. The issue will be somewhat art-short (which is okay), but I figure I need to get started somewhere. I don’t expect to reach johnnyeponymous levels of fanac, but I think it’s important that I get going on this, or I’m never going to do it.
- That said, I have been absolutely lousy about getting back to those of you who expressed some interest in what I’m doing. So here’s the short of it. My ‘zine is called, as noted above, Rhyme and Paradox, and it’s a zine written for the subculture I belong to, which is science fiction fandom. You can see many examples of these ‘zines at efanzines, a wonderful resource ran by Bill Burns, who deserves all the mad props that he gets. In specific, R&P is going to be on the border between a genzine and a perzine (general fanzine and personal fanzine, for those who aren’t up on the terminology), and it’s going to be a hybrid, which means it will exist both electronically and in print — the latter because there are folks in the community who either don’t use the Internet (I know, heresy, but…) or prefer paper. It’s definitely not-for-profit — I fully expect that it’ll be a hobby and thus an endeavor that will, in financial terms, always be in the red, although I will gleefully accept money thrown my way for helping with postal/printing costs. Um, yeah, I think that’s about it for the moment. Feel free to ask questions below and I’ll try to be better at answering them. And for those of you who say “I am intrigued by your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter”, you had better mean it.
- Also, while I say that it’s a cross between a genzine and a perzine, I’m totally open to anybody who wants to write or draw for it. That’s part of the fun of doing this. Also, here’s the best part — it doesn’t necesarily have to be about science fiction as long as it’s interesting. There’s some folks in the community who are die-hard pro wrestling fans, for example. Doesn’t have much to do with science fiction (although it seems to fit rather well into fantasy, I think), but it’s in sfzines. So the field is pretty much wide open. My due date for R&P1 is, as I said, July 15th, and I think R&P2 is going to be early/mid October. (Yeah, I’m looking at quarterly production schedules for the moment.)
- Other than that, things seem to be going fine in regards to the day job, although there are times I wish I had more time in the day. I also wish I had more time to write, but that’s never going to go away, so…
- Also, unrelated, I wish I were going to Montreal for Worldcon or SJ for WFC, but you know, I’m a grownup now and have car payments, which means that, well, fun but expensive trips are out of the question for somebody who is only part-time at their job.
Anyway, if there’s anything else you want to know, I open the floor for questions.
I’m typing the following on my BlackBerry in the hotel lobby. I’m not entirely awake yet, but I’m not exactly happy to discover that my gopher shift is not nine to noon, but ten to one. The more astute of you will notice that this cuts into broadcasting hours at Baycon. So to make up for it, I’ll be going from as soon after one as I can get to the fanzine lounge. Ohd course, there still are caveats, as I haven’t actually broadcast from hotel space yet.
Other than that minor annoyance, things are going well. More when I’m actually at my computer and can type easier.
Current ribbon count: 31, plus gopher ribbon, plus three I haven’t attached to the badge yet, for a total of 35.
Current fun being had: Loads.
Permission for live broadcasting from the Fanzine Lounge: Authorized.
Picture taken of me: Possibly for the newsletter, need to get somebody to snap me with my own camera, probably in my natural habitat (in front of a door).
Things that are crucial: Make up signs for the unofficial Sactown BOF in the consuite tomorrow.
Things that have made me feel really awesome: Getting a nice note from the lady who cleaned our room since we left her a tip. Getting mentioned at ribbon panel as having one of the possibly hot ribbons of the con.
And that’s about it.
More later, or you can always check my twitter feed as I can get to that on my phone and may be inclined to update it more frequently. Or not. I mean, as it is, I’ve made more posts this week than I have in weeks…
Made the hotel last night, got a decent amount of sleep — although stupid me forgot to close the windowshades, which made my roommate get less sleep than anticipated.
I’m about to go downstairs and wander through convention space, although the convention hasn’t technically started yet. My plans for the day involve going to find Chris Garcia, attending a panel, and maybe a couple other things. No plans for broadcasting today, but that might change. Watch Tuckerverse for details and sudden updates.
Also, if you’re at Baycon, and want ribbons, come find me and ask nicely.
(Also, rumor has it that I might have installed Skype, and might even be listed under the username ‘retstak’, but you know you shouldn’t count on unsubstantiated rumors.)
Sorry I’ve not been around to update the blog. Life just has eaten me alive, and it’s been easier to keep the twitter feed up to date. At some point, I’ll sit down and try to catch y’all up, but this post is because Baycon is next weekend, so I went and picked up my ribbon order today.
- Yes, that’s my feet.
- A couple of these are special: the green one is for gophers, the one that reads “Ascended Master” is for those who catch me in the right place.
- The Gopher Local #42 is a joke from last year’s hoax newsletter about the gophers (convention volunteers) going on strike. So I figured, the gophers need a union. And of course, it’s science fiction, so the Local # had to be 42.
- My streak of bad Baycon/bacon puns continues.
- I can’t *wait* to see the reactions to “this ribbon intentionally left blank”
- White and silver are hard to tell apart. (For the record, Gopher and winning move are printed with white, left blank in silver
- Is it Baycon yet?
As I said, if you’re at Baycon and you want one of these ribbons, just hunt me down and I’ll give it to you. In fact, just like last year, I’ll be indiscrimately handing out the katster ones.