Caroline has kindly agreed for 2 pieces of fanwriting, about her experiences running Beccon 87, and just what attendees get out of Eastercons, to be re-published here.
(also of interest Reflections in the Shards at efanzines)
This website has my permission to publish two pieces of fan writing about Eastercons, for the benefit of people interested in Eastercons. Both of them are now historical documents. They were both fan writing: personal pieces, written with an audience of fans in mind, in years when things were not as they are now. Black Easter? The Day After Judgement was written in 1987 for an APA, a private group of some thirty-five women. They were used to my frequent writing about SF fandom and Eastercons, and many of them were personal friends. I wrote an introduction and coda when it was reprinted in Claire Brialey’s and Mark Plummer’s Banana Wings in 1999, and circulated as a paper fanzine to about 200 readers across three continents.
The Eastercon is Not Your Bitch was written just after the 2011 Eastercon. I had spent several years not paying attention in fandom while busy about real life, but this was a year I spent getting to know a new generation of Eastercon runners and attendees, and also catching up with the recent doings of sf fandom, and its many internet flame wars (including Neil Gaiman’s 2009 blog post ‘Entitlement Issues’). This piece was also published in Banana Wings.
In 2015 I was Fan Guest of Honour at Dysprosium, the 66th Eastercon, which published a fanthology of my writing entitled ‘Reflections in the Shards’, edited by Mark Plummer and Claire Brialey. It includes pieces about many aspects of sf conventions and fandom, written over a couple of decades. This led directly to the request to publish these two pieces here, on the Eastercon website.
Even on original publication these were published to audiences that did not share all of their assumptions. The members of Dysprosium and visitors to this website share even less with the assumptions and cultures of 1987, 1999 and 2011. I no longer inhabit those cultures. There are many aspects of both pieces I would be critical of now, and would not write again. Other aspects perhaps remain current, but experiences and opinions vary. Responses to both pieces in earlier contexts have helped to inform my current opinions about fandom and Eastercons. As I learn what people think of them now, I will no doubt change my mind again.
Please take these as the once personal, now historical documents they are. I hope you find them interesting, and even perhaps useful, in thinking about Eastercons in general. I would not wish you to take anything from them as final statements on anything in particular.
Caroline Mullan – May 2015