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Invisible magic

During the Worldcon file770.com published a story called "Magic Sofas at Sasquan"by Leigh Strother-Vien. This is an ode to the comfortable sofas and chairs in the area "near Site Selection & Exhibits." That just happened to by the Lost World Fanzine Lounge, which was run by a gang of hardy fanzine fans with yours truly as bedraggled figurehead. Leigh was apparently completely unaware that the area had a name, despite the large banner that said Lost World Fanzine Lounge. Or maybe it was immaterial to her. That's the way fan/fanzine lounges are supposed to work, after all. They're a place to take a load off as you wander around exhibits.

So let me just praise Ulrika O'Brien for designing such a comfy fanzine lounge and pushing hard for lots of comfy chairs, ottomans (!), and carpet. It really made for a great space to collapse and yak with friends and strangers. Thanks also to Randy Smith, Sarah Goodman, and Chip Hitchcock for making Ulrika's ideas enter the real world.

For those looking for more than a magic sofa, we also had some great exhibits of fan art and fanzines, and I was very pleased to see many people coming by to look at the exhibits. The work of putting art on foam core (and foam core on pegboard) was done by Ulrika, Andy Hooper, Carrie Root, carl juarez, Scott Kreidermacher, Jerry Kaufman, Suzle Tompkins, and Tom Becker. They did an absolutely fantastic job, and it was great to see folks stopping by to slowly work their way from panel to panel. We had covers from nine of Art Widner's fanzines of the '40s, we had dinosaur posters by Brad Foster, Stu Shiffman, Steve Stiles, Espana Sheriff, and Marc Schirmeister, we had a massive display of Stu's artwork, we had smaller displays of artwork by Sue Mason, Steve Stiles, and Ulrika, and we had every cover for Chunga, with artwork by at least fifteen different artists, including most of those mentioned above.

One small gratification, in what was a complex array of gratifications and disappointments, came when John Hertz stopped by on the last day of the convention to say that we had bailed him out, in a way. John always puts together a display of artwork by the Rotsler Award winning artists, but this year he couldn't find the file of artwork he created for the purpose. He was able print out a few lo-res pieces from the internet to display, but he was also able to point people to our exhibit. I had been a little concerned that we would step on his toes with our display, but in the event we actually filled a gap.

I'll no doubt have more to say about Sasquan in the coming weeks, although I'm not sure how much will get posted here. I'm planning to write about it for the next issue of Chunga. Short version: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. But thanks to the great work of many good friends, the Lost World Fanzine Lounge pretty much totally rocked. And it had magic sofas too.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
kalimac
Aug. 26th, 2015 11:43 pm (UTC)
Was this a space in the exhibit hall? Anything to make one of those huge concrete spaces warm and cozy is not only appreciated, it's a miracle.
randy_byers
Aug. 27th, 2015 12:28 am (UTC)
Yes, it was in the exhibit hall. I think having the carpet helped a lot to make the space seem cozier and quieter, plus we were against one wall and had the huge drapes of the bar/cabaret on one end and a pegboard/display wall on the other, so it felt partially enclosed. I was really happy with how the space turned out. I was going to post some pictures but I'm not feeling energetic enough to do that right now.
kate_schaefer
Aug. 27th, 2015 04:42 am (UTC)
It worked really well, as least as far as I could see before I had to leave. Having the bar right next door was brilliant; having the bar stocked with actual good beer on tap was genius.

My only wish was for breathable air, and that was beyond the control of anyone in Spokane right now.

Edited at 2015-08-27 04:43 am (UTC)
randy_byers
Aug. 27th, 2015 02:55 pm (UTC)
Yes, the air was terrible. The air on Friday was the worst I've ever breathed. I feel bad for the people who live over there. It's supposed to be terrible again today.

As for the high quality beer in Guinan's, that can be credited to Randy Smith, who even conducted a group tasting of local beer at one of the all-hands meetings. As for our location, Randy originally wanted us to be in a single room, not split into daytime and evening locations. Once it became clear that there was no good single room for the purpose, he agreed with us that putting the daytime lounge next to the bar was the way to go. (To be honest, Ulrika and I became much more amenable to the split-lounge idea once we'd seen the Davenport suites. We wanted to throw a party there for fanzine fans, by grab.)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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