a new professional writer
Often with the implication of undeserved enthusiasm on the part of the writer.
The toastmaster (Bloch? Asimov?) announced that Harlan and a quondam fan of great gifts named Dave Ish had sold a story to Tony Boucher’s F&SF. A beaming Harlan confirmed the revelation: the story was called ‘Monkey Business’, I think, and was 2500 words long, and the payment had been $100. As a fledgling neopro myself, I felt the tinge of admiration well mixed with envy. But the announcement was in error.
My first WorldCon was a very enjoyable experience. It seemed that, for me, there was always just barely enough programming to keep you busy, but never any time to go to the movies. [...] I guess my high points were the neo-pro (stretched a bit in my case) workshop and the art auction (where I got an original Sternbach color painting for a good price, partly because the Hugo awards were starting and the crowd was thinning).
I don’t play the social role of pro very well either. One person was even candid enough to tell me that I’m not enough of a stuffed shirt to do it convincingly. I fraternize with the fans too much without making any attempt to maintain superior status. (Which is something most neo[-]pros do deliberately. Big time pros don’t have to.) So I’ve come up through the ranks with making any attempt to cut myself off from those ranks afterwards.
Hot young writers were popping up all over the Lone Star State, and selling stories to every contemporary market, large and small. The brilliant Tom Reamy was just beginning to publish, Lisa Tuttle was turning heads with her early stories, Bruce Sterling was in the process of becoming a Harlan Ellison Discovery, and all of them— along with Howard and a half-dozen others—were part of a loosely organized floating workshop they called the Turkey City Neopro Rodeo.
Universe has a staff of 2—Karen Haber and myself—and we buy a total of only 7 or 8 stories a year. If Joe Neopro sends us 5 stories in 10 days, 4 of them are going to the bottom of the pile and stay there until we’ve had time to get to the first. Such writers are simply competing with themselves—and annoying us by making extra work here. It’s a waste of postage to send us a bushel of stories, hoping we'll find something in it we’ll like.
The author of this rubbish is Jeff VanderMeer, and the topic is the 1990 Georgia Fantasy Convention! I place exclamation point for the obvious reason; who short of VanderMeer’s mom wants to read of his musings on an obscure science-fiction convention three years gone in cob-webby memory? I most certainly could have done without his I’m-really-above-going-to-a-sci-fi-show-but-I-was curious attitude. And if I hear one more fan/neo- pro gush over the presence of Harlan Ellison I think I’ll spew.
Fanartist David Thayer, more familiar under the pseudonym Teddy Harvia, wed Oklahoma neopro Diana Anson on September 2nd. The couple met at the 1993 SoonerCon.
The young women rising in the newsroom watch her [sc. Yun Ching] the way a neopro would look at Ursula Le Guin. She doesn’t notice, but I do; and they glow when they have their pictures taken with her.
I heard some grumbling from neo-pros who were not able to be on the program. On the other hand, a few pros seemed very heavily overprogrammed. Hal Clement was listed for sixteen program items, and he told me that one he was on wasn’t even in the book.
Last modified 2022-01-13 14:39:26
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.