« Afterthoughts »
t was the first stf convention I ever attended. I think three things about it stand out most vividly in my memory, from the personal standpoint.
The first, and one I can't get used to, is the discovery that there are people who regard me with something akin to awe. Not many, but that there are any, amazes me. At first I thought it must be put on to make me feel flattered. But it wasn't. It was genuine. It gave me a new slant on myself to mull over, and I have come to a realization of something very important to me. As I sit at my typewriter putting everything I've got into my work, I now know that there are many people out over the world who know more about me and my inner thoughts than most intimate friends usually do about each other. That they have liked what they saw, and looked forward to meeting me, has given me a greater confidence in myself and a greater pleasure in my writing. I never want to let them down.
The second was amazement at the very existence of such a thing as a convention whose "members" belonged to nothing, really; but were knit together by a common spirit. The convention gave me a closer insight into fandom than anything else ever has. I am just beginning to understand what it is all about, vaguely. And it fills me with awe.
The third thing that stands out was the discovery that there are people who place a great value on things which I thought of little value. These are the collectors. I had never met a real collector in action before, and at the Cinvention I saw lots of them. I made the discovery, a very important one, that besides the creative mind there is also the mind that values the creations of the mind. Besides the artist who congeals onto canvas or board the mental images he has created out of his imagination, there is also the collector who values that work of art.
So, I came away from the Cinvention very much enriched in understanding. In addition I made many friends, so that there is hardly a place in the United States that I can go where I won't find friends already there. People I have met. People I like.