Anyone that knows me well knows that I am relatively new to the world of ‘fandom’ and still a little unsure of the whole phenomenon that is a ‘con.’ Yesterday, I added a whole new level of concern about my continuing to attend conventions.
Last year I attended a convention with my first book just recently released, and the exciting idea that I could come back to the con the following year as an author guest was on my mind. I had no idea how to accomplish this, and everyone I mentioned it to had the same advice. “Talk to Uncle Timmy.”
So I did. Now, for me to walk up to a stranger, alone, and introduce myself to them is difficult enough to be actually physically painful. I’m fine on the internet. In person? Not so much. Tim Bolgeo was the very soul of kindness and let me stammer at him until I had made some sense, then spent a good fifteen minutes talking to me about ways to approach conventions and promote myself. I doubt he will remember this, as I suspect he is like that with everyone. Approachable, warm, gentle…
I only wish I could say that I could trust a certain convention to behave that way toward it’s guests. Unfortunately, Archon is now on my list of conventions to never approach as a professional, or even as a guest. I would be fearful to attend, lest they did to me what they are attempting to do to Tim Bolgeo.
Based solely on the malicious gossip and lies of an ANONYMOUS internet sock-puppet, they have withdrawn a longstanding invitation to him to be the Fan Guest of Honor. By doing so, they have shown themselves to be foolish beyond words and without honor. Who is to say they will not now or in the future treat other guests as shamefully for as little reason? They have judged based solely on unsubstantiated and fabricated information, and I am certain they will do it again.
If you were considering this con, I urge you to withdraw your support from people who would behave so badly toward a man well-known for his kindness towards others. Please let them know that what they have done has consequences. Their various contact emails can be found here. Otherwise, who can feel safe? If unnamed enemies can tear us down on the internet without repercussions, we all can become the victims of attacks like this.
We can call shame on the cowardice of those who would prefer to stand behind a nameless internet troll, and we should. To do otherwise would be to allow the troll to win. Join me in shining light on the troll, because like in fairy tales, perhaps we may turn it to stone with the exposure of what it is, and those who enable it likewise.
You can, if you would rather read more inspiring words about the man who is being maligned unfairly, look to Jason Cordova’s blog for a very nice perspective.