On LonCon and Thanks


I’m currently in Bristol after a long, exciting weekend at LonCon, resting up, seeing some touristy stuff, and generally dropping the weight from my shoulders.  Overall, this trip abroad has been beautiful.  I’ll talk about some of that here (warning:  this will be more rambly and random than usual).

I still have a few days to look forward to in the big magic city, but my experience at the convention was overwhelmingly positive.  First, the LonCon staff put together a fantastic convention.  Though I could not attend every item I wanted to for all sorts of reasons, there were so many incredible panels this year, including a whole sub-track on World SF.  Clearly, the con runners heard all of the complaints and concerns about San Antonio (and previous cons) and took it to heart.  The international presence was phenomenal, in part served by the location (LONDON!) and by the smart programming staff who wanted to highlight the contributions of non-US/non-UK authors and fans.

I also have to say an enormous THANK YOU to the con staff for helping me deal with technology issues.  For those that don’t know, my portable recorder mysteriously stopped working at the start of the con.  It turns out that my device and my microSD card weren’t communicating properly, which led me to the second problem:  I had already recorded a bunch of things with the device, all of which I did not want to lose.  The con staff helped me get the files off of the recorder and onto a flash drive.  For that, I am immensely grateful.  You saved me from an otherwise terrible situation.

Overall, the con was amazing.  I’m so glad I got to go, and equally happy about participating in programming.  Most of all, I’m glad I got to meet so many people I otherwise might never have met.  Hopefully, I’ll get to travel abroad for a future con!

The Hugos Ceremony
Thank the heavens that it was short.  They really crushed it down to the basics so we wouldn’t be stuck in those bloody chairs for all time.  It’s not that I don’t like sitting down for events, but previous ceremonies have been astronomically long (in the same way as the Oscars, which I tend to mostly ignore, except when the actual winners are announced).  Personally, I’d rather get the whole thing over with as quickly as possible so I can get to other things.  In this case, other things involved parties…Hugo Losers Parties.

On Losing a Hugo
Here’s something that I think should be said about losing this award:  it’s a first.  It was my first time being nominated.  It was my first time losing.  Maybe I’ll have my first win one day.  Regardless, there are so many firsts to appreciate.  How many people get to say “I’ve been nominated for a Hugo” or “I lost a Hugo”?  Not that many.

So, I lost.  Oh noes.  And while it kind of hurt at first — especially when I looked at the numbers — it really did become less a “oh noes” situation than a “holy crap, I got nominated and I’m in a room full of amazing people who also got nominated and lost and all this losing crap doesn’t really matter all that much because George R. R. Martin is over there and he lost, too, and he’s amazing, and then there are the Book Smugglers over there, who lost, and Justin Landon, who lost, and a bunch of amazing authors who lost” situation.  And I tacked on the “holy crap, two of my favorite authors this year, John Chu and Ann Leckie, won awards this year, and they’re amazing and deserving and I shouldn’t mope cause I didn’t win because I wanted these two to win so bad, and they did, and OMG I’m filling up with amazing happy feelings.”

That’s kind of the evolution of the Hugo loser, I guess.

In any case, The Skiffy and Fanty Show will continue to do what it does to the best of our ability.  We’re dedicated to spreading the love for World SF this year, and to our focus on women in 2015.

A Moment for Thanks
This is going to be long, and it will involve a whole lot of people.

First, I want to thank all the listeners of The Skiffy and Fanty Show for supporting the podcast all these years, for nominating us, and voting for us.  It really is an honor to be on the ballot, and the fact that the community of voters thought we were worthy of being on the list means a lot.

Second, I want to thank my family for their support throughout the years, not just for the podcast, but for my studies.  When times have been tough, they’ve been there for me, giving me money for rent, helping me fly home to spend time with family, and generally being supportive.  If I ever need something, I know I can go to my family for help.  I should also thank Julie and Scott Crawford, Erik and Hilary Vos, and Janel and Johannes (my aunt and uncle) for donating to my fundraiser; Kevin (my uncle) for basically buying my flight to England; my mom and my grandmother for their endless support; and everyone else, friends and so on, who have supported me all of these years doing whatever it is I do.  Thank you.

Third, I need to thank my various cohosts on the show:

  • To Adam Callaway:  thank you for starting The Skiffy and Fanty Show with me all those years ago.
  • To Jen Zink:  thank you for filling in for Adam and helping me make the show what it is today; without you, the show would have died before it could find its wings.  Additionally, I have to thank you from the deepest part of my heart for being my best friend, through thick and thin, for your advice and support, and for just being you.  Thank you.
  • To Paul Weimer:  thank you for proving to me that I could continue this show without Jen in every episode.  I was terrified of the prospect of Jen taking a less prominent role in podcasting duties, but you made it so comfortable.  You brought something to this show that we sorely needed:  an unabashed, enthusiastic geekery.  I am honored to count you among my good friends.
  • To Julia Rios:  thank you for all of the work you have done behind the scenes, for filling in when I was too overwhelmed to deal with scheduling.  You have brought so much to this show, whether in the form of your Bechdel Crusher superpowers or your glorious insight or your ability to reign me in when my ambitions get the best of me.  You rock, and I am so glad we have become friends.  And congratulations to you and Moss for your marriage!
  • To Mike Underwood:  thank you for your advice and friendship, for your glorious insights on film and literature, and for being plain old awesome.  I realize it’s hard being wrong about comics all the time, but despite that profound disadvantage, we have become good friends.  To think this all began when we interviewed you about a random book… It’s pretty much awesome.  I’m sure we will become a superhero duo soon!
  • To David Annandale:  thank you for donating your time to the show, for bringing your insight into film and your love of horror, and for being a good friend.  You have added something to this show that was sorely missing, and for that I am immensely grateful.  And it was fantastic meeting you for the first time at CONvergence!
  • To Stina Leicht:  thank you for your support and for bringing your charismatic Stina wit to the show.  You are a wonderful person and an equally wonderful writer.  Here’s to a very interesting 2015, to which I’m sure you’ll regularly contribute 🙂
  • To Keffy:  thanks for your friendship and for your help on blog duties.  You may not see yourself as part of the show proper, but you have contributed a lot to this show, whether through introducing us to new authors, helping behind the scenes, or letting me room with you at LonCon3.  And thanks for the laughs!
And, of course, thanks to anyone who has listened to the show, supported me in anything I do, and for just being awesome!
I may have more to say later about LonCon and my brief stint in England.  For now, I think this is good enough.
And on that note, I’m signing off!

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

3 thoughts on “On LonCon and Thanks

  1. Shaun, you are a rock star in my book, even though I have your bass, and your mom and I are so very proud of your accomplishments and who you've become. You are a man of great character and compassion. Love you

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