media no world con

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Title: media no world con
Creator: Gordon Carleton
Date(s): May 1983
Medium: print
Fandom: multi
Topic:
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media no world con is a 1983 letter by Gordon Carleton printed in the Star Wars letterzine Jundland Wastes #14.

The subject was a conventions in general, awards, and a short history of fan-run cons (including MediaWest*Con).

The Essay

If there is ever to be a WorldCon-scale
 multi-media convention, in May or any other
time, it will not be MediaWest*Con (MW*C).
 MW'C is a direct outgrowth of KWest*Con, 
which was a "relaxacon" held in Kalamazoo,
 Michigan by Paula Smith and Sharon Ferraro
 (Short) of boojums Press in 1974, as were
 ReKWest*Con, SeKWester*Con, and SeKWester*Con Too.

In 1978, Paula joined forces with Lori Chapek-Carleton and Gordon Carleton of T'Kuhtian Press to put on T'Con in that same tradition, in Lansing, Michigan. This alliance continued in the following few years with 2'Con (1979) and the first MW*C (1981). We decided to standardize the title for continuity, with vary subtitles. At one time there was a plan to alternate with Mike and Sharon Short in Ann Arbor, but due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, this never occurred.

There was no MW*C in 1980. Mos' Eastly was held in New York, and we were all happy to take a year off from convention planning here.

Last year we held MW*C 2. This year, Paula decided to take a well-deserved rest, so MW*C 3 is solely a T'Kuhtian Press production.

The point of this history is that MW*C was never intended to be in any way like a WorldCon. MW*C is intended to be an inexpensive, low-pressure convention with programming based on the input of its members. This is why we limit membership to a comfortable number. While we are complimented that some people may think of MW*C II "The Con". It was never intended to be anything but the convention that we put on in the best way we know how. MW*C is not an entity that can be put on by others anywhere else, nor is it something that can be voted on to alter its basic form and purpose.

We suggest that people interested in a World Con-scale convention to recognize media/sf fen become involved in WorldCon. You know, the real thing?' Wouldn't it be better to award a Fan Hugo than a pseudo-Fan Hugo? There, one is able to become involved in all the large committees, political infighting, and all the other fun elements necessitated by planning an event on that scale.

Similarly, when Smith and Ferraro awarded the first Fan Q to those they felt deserved recognition (in the form of a rose), they never intended it to be of Great Significance. While the Fan Q's have since become more formalized, if they have grown haphazardly, it is because fandom has grown haphazardly. To a large degree, standardization precludes creative growth. For example, Ms. Osman insists that there be an award for poetry. What if categories had been standardized last year with no provision for poetry? Fandom is creative energy, and the Fan Q's need to be flexible enough to change as fandom changes, while limiting the number of awards so that they retain some value. The more awards there are, the less each is worth. (Remember all the awards shows that were on TV last year? Do you remember specifically what any of the awards went for?)

Hopefully, this will clarify what MW*C and the Fan Q's are about. If others wish to put on conventions of their own, on whatever scale, or create their own awards, more power to them. Regardless, we will continue to produce MW*C whenever we feel there is a place for it, for as long as we are financially and emotionally able to retain its form and purpose.

References