North American Science Fiction Convention 2019 (NASFiC)
Guest of Honor - Linda Deneroff
Linda Deneroff read her first science fiction novel around the age of 6 or 7 and was fully introduced to the field by a librarian who recommended Red Planet, by Robert A. Heinlein (at the age of 12, of course!), which nurtured her life-long love of science fiction. That love extended to science fiction conventions nearly , when she met some fellow Star Trek fans who knew about a New York convention called Lunacon.
In those days it was “a proud and lonely thing to be a fan,” and it was “love at first sight” to walk into that convention. There were hundreds of people who understood Linda and her obsession! In quick succession (less than a year) there was Lunacon, a comic-book convention, a Worldcon (Noreascon I, in Boston) and the very first Star Trek convention in New York City. Linda joined the New York Science Fiction Society (called The Lunarians). Not content to attend conventions, she began working on them in various capacities, and chaired Lunacon in 1981.
Linda attended Worldcon as often as she could, (missing mostly the West Coast and overseas conventions), and heard about something called the business meeting. Wanting to know more about it, she attended the meeting and found herself watching what she called the “theatre of the absurd.” (In those days, there was no worry about trademark protection and other real-world infringements on the fannish community).
After moving to the Left Coast, Linda continued attending Worldcon (and business meetings) and was appointed to the Mark Protection Committee on behalf of CascadiaCon (NASFiC) in 2004. She agreed to take the meeting notes, and that led to her standing for election to that committee when the appointment expired.
Having worked with him on the Mark Protection Committee in 2008, Kevin Standlee asked Linda to be secretary of the Business Meeting, which he was chairing. By this time, the days of “theatre of the absurd” were long gone, but she was game. Linda has been secretary continuously since then, except for 2010 when Worldcon was in Australia and she couldn’t attend. Over the years, the meetings (in general) have turned more serious, and the meeting notes grown longer, reaching a total of 123 pages in 2017 (including a newly added table of contents) so she figures she is a glutton for punishment.
Linda was appointed WSFS Division Head for Sasquan in 2015, which led to the interesting situation of being manager of the Business Meeting Chairperson, who that year was Kevin Standlee, and then, as Secretary of the Business Meeting, being managed by Kevin. That was the year of the “Puppies,” which made things even more chaotic than usual. Linda prefers not to go there.
It’s been a long time since Linda Deneroff chose “Fandom Is A Way of Life” over “Fandom Is Just a Goddamn Hobby,” and she did so without any regrets. Fandom taught her photography, (thanks to Ben Yalow), gave her the ability to travel, and gave Linda friends all over the world.
She is profoundly grateful.