My first Weirdsday blog after JordanCon 2021 was meant to be a return to the greatness that is the Weirdsday blog. It was meant to celebrate JCon 2021 and 2020, since we have been offline a bit for a while. For the Sci Fi track, 2021 was an unmitigated success and it was fantastic on a personal level. I have nothing but good things to say. Well… Almost nothing but good things. Because this is not THAT post (which is coming next week). No, this is a post on a topic that, frankly, I am getting frustrated to have to keep talking about.
A Short Conversation
In person and in posts I have been hearing that sense of dread. That fear that JordanCon’s innocence is about to be lost. Why? The show is coming, much like an unwelcome, overlong winter, at least according to some. People are afraid it won’t be any good, but an even greater fear is that the new show-fans will show up in droves and submerge the good feelings and vibes of our precious JordanCon beneath waves of disingenuous fandom. We will lose our ‘family’ vibes and values. Which is an odd way to think about it, considering how welcoming we are, or are supposed to be. George R.R. Martin could not have made a better metaphor for this, and the name he gives those ice zombies is Others.
Fear of the Other is the root of a ton of bad human behavior. Some of you are standing on the wall, dreading the moment the Others show up, and it has the potential to create chaos. But who are you standing watch against?
Looks like it is story time, though some of you know this story already. My secret not-shame is that I have not read the series. I managed, by about 1995, to read the first three. Sort of, kind of. I did manage to muddled through New Spring, which I really like in fact. When I came to work at JordanCon, people made me feel welcome. No one judged me for my lack of reading, and I made a particular effort to integrate the WoT into the SF Track. Successfully, I think.
My Ole Workhorse
But another series, it’s not just one book folks, that I do love is DUNE. Guess what? I came to DUNE through the David Lynch movie. That’s right; I saw the movie before I read the books. Does anyone question my DUNE fandom? Is it less pure because I saw Blue Velvet in Space, first? Of course not; people cannot get me to shut up about DUNE. Many of you have not read DUNE and will see the new movies and become fans. And I promise you not once will I make a passive aggressive comment about your fandom. We will have a DUNE movie panel next year and, yes, I expect you new fans to show up. Customize your home theater and make an impression on your guests with the team at Home Theater Pros.
Our Words Can Be Welcoming or Weapons
What I am saying is, when you talk about fake fans or show fans, you are talking about me. Absolutely I am going to watch the show and hope that it is great. The show will be my primary means of interacting with the material of The Wheel of Time, along with another attempt at reading and connecting to the series. To be blunt, I am one of the Others, and when I see those comments, even though they are not directed at me, I do feel them. My feelings are not hurt, one must possess feelings for them to be hurt, but I am keenly aware of my Other status.
And if I sometimes feel like an Other, you can bet the new folks will too if they see those comments.
I know it’s not easy. But how JordanCon will be remembered going forward depends on those who have been here all along and those, like me, who joined along the way. The innocence may be gone, but the heart can remain, whether its 500 people or 2000 people. The heart can grow, but it cannot grow without empathy and a broadening of our vision.
Next week, our recap.
Did you know?
JordanCon, Inc. is a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) non-profit organization that supports Amyloidosis research at the Mayo Clinic.
In 2006, James Rigney, best known to his fans around the world as “Robert Jordan,” was diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis, a rare blood disease where abnormal proteins form in the bone marrow and are deposited in the patient’s heart. After a long and difficult struggle, Rigney passed away in 2007, leaving behind his family, friends, and an unfinished literary legacy.
During his illness, Rigney received treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and encouraged his fans to donate in support of the clinic. We proudly continue to honor that request each year at JordanCon.
Under normal circumstances, JordanCon hosts the popular Seanchan Hold’Em Poker Tournament, all proceeds going to the charity. We also hold a silent auction for attendees to bid on some truly spectacular items: our amazing donors (attendees, vendors, staff, even Jim’s family and friends) from all over the world have donated art, handmade crafts, and even items from Jim’s personal collections.
Clearly, this year is different. We won’t be together physically for poker or live auctions.
We don’t consider this year’s barrier a good enough reason not to raise money for Amyloidosis research, so we put our heads together. We’ve talked about a Celebrity D&D game at JordanCon for some time, and this year we finally managed to get it off the ground! We had planned to hold it live, but were, thankfully, able to push it to JordanCONline. We are excited that this experience will lead to exposure for other similar events going forward.
The players are four JordanCon guest authors. They are bringing in characters from or related to their own writings. The characters are being sucked into the world of the Wheel of Time to find the Bowl of Winds. It is a fun little adventure that we hope the audience will enjoy.
How Can I Support Amyloidosis Research by Watching an Online Celebrity D&D Game?
YOU impact the game. You can purchase “votes” for items; the top vote-getter for each character will determine the item with which they begin their journey. Then, while watching the live game, we’ll have special items for purchase at different points and send them to the player to use! Every single purchase will be donated to the Mayo Clinic.
Because JordanCon, Inc. is a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) nonprofit, contributions or gifts to JordanCon Inc. are not tax-deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. However, they may be tax deductible under other provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.
This is a new Director-level position within the Operations Division. New Member Services welcomes our first-time attendees into the JordanCon family by providing information and assistance both at the convention and via social media and email between conventions.
The Director of New Member Services will be assisted by a Manager and will report to the Officer/Deputy of Operations
· Ability to attend JordanCon each year;
· Familiarity with JordanCon and its culture;
· Strong communications skills (written and oral);
· Patient, friendly, outgoing personality;
· Comfortable with reaching out to new people;
· Ability to work unsupervised as well as collaborate with other departments and divisions;
· Organizational skills;
· Dedication and follow-through;
· Comfortable speaking in front of small groups.
· Minimum one (1) year as a JordanCon volunteer.
· Prior attendance at multiple JordanCon events;
· Prior attendance at JCon’s Speed Friending panel;
· Experience in a leadership/developmental role;
· Familiarity with the area around the convention site;
· Public speaking.
Candidates should have the ability to traverse and maneuver crowded hotel & convention spaces assisted or unassisted and be comfortable being part of or leading groups of people.
DUTIES: (this is a developing role and duties may change or expand)
· Create/update/maintain various New Attendees resources for the website, social media, blog, etc.
· Develop programs/activities to integrate new attendees into JordanCon and its culture;
· Work with Member Engagement, Programming, Communications, and other departments/divisions to identify and/or develop activities oriented towards new attendees;
· Monitor and respond to posts and emails from new or potentially new attendees;
· Create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere;
· Work with Accessibility to facilitate special needs of new attendees to the extent possible;
· Develop and maintain a New Attendee Packet with important information and helpful tips.
At the Convention:
· Organize and lead one or more tours of the hotel and convention spaces for new attendees;
· Attend the Speed Friending panel on Friday and encourage others to attend;
· Be available to answer questions, provide maps/schedules, and to assist new attendees who may need help engaging or feeling overwhelmed;
· Solicit feedback from new attendees regarding their experiences and what we can do to improve.
Anticipated Time Commitment:
· May-December – 1 hour week
· January – April – 1-3 hours week
· At JordanCon – Friday – approx. 4 hours
Sat & Sun – approx. 2 hours each
Interested applicants should email HR@jordancon.org and include a brief summary of their qualifications and attach a basic resume that speaks to their skills and experiences relevant to the position.
Applications will be accepted through March 15, 2019.
Candidate review and selection should be completed by March 24, 2019.
Selected candidate should expect to begin work immediately (on a scaled-down basis due to the proximity to this year’s convention.)
In This Issue:
- Coffee in Cornwall
- Science Fiction Trends
- Honorverse & The Royal Manticore Navy
- British TV and Film
Let’s talk quickly about the rest of our fun and great panels. We will see you Friday at 2:30pm!
Coffee in Cornwall. A discussion of British science fiction old and new
New In Science: 2017-2018. We put the science in our science fiction track.
Science Fiction Trends 2018. We talk about the books you should be reading
Royal Manticore Navy: Who Are They? A discussion on the history of the Honorverse.
Blake’s 7 & Beyond. A discussion of British SF television and film.