Editorial – May 2023

50 issues, eh? That’s a bit of a cheat because the first 9 were when this was a semiprozine, but I’m not going to renumber everything and 50 is what this one says on the cover. I have managed to add some extra content to celebrate.

I’m especially pleased that this issue has cover art from Iain J Clark, courtesy of Iain and the Glasgow 2024 Worldcon. In the coming year I’ll be featuring more of the art that Iain created for the convention, and also doing a bit of foreshadowing of the event. If all goes according to plan, I will be in Glasgow for a day in August and will be able to visit the site.

Elsewhere convention news is not good. In the past month two (yes, two) conventions in California announced that they would not be running. Silicon is an annual Bay Area convention that has given up the ghost. Also this year’s Westercon was supposed to be in Los Angeles, but they too have had to fold. Also next year there will be no WisCon — they are taking a year off to discuss the future of the event.

The why is complicated, but it seems that lack of volunteers to run events, and lack of people interested in attending them, are major issues. We’ve been talking about the greaying of fandom for a long time, and now it seems like the lack of new blood is having an effect. On the other hand, there were huge crowds at the ComicCon I attended in Swansea, so interest in geek culture is still very vibrant.

I’m not going to offer any solutions. But I will say that any proposed fix that is in the form of, “someone else should do something”, is not going to fly. Expecting other people to do the work is a large part of the problem. If your solution is in the form of, “I am going to do X, who is with me?” then I will listen.

Interesting times.

This coming month I am off to Sweden for the Eurocon. There should be a report in the next issue.