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Halicallahanicon 2012 - part 1 [Jul. 17th, 2012|10:46 pm]
Okay, so, what the heck is a Halicallahanicon?

Well... see, a long time back, a Usenet newsgroup called alt.callahans was formed. I knew a bit about Callahan's Place, but when I first saw it, I thought that it couldn't possibly be that. And, on my first excursion, I was sure it wasn't... the first few messages I read were long, rambling posts from established people that were, well, just plain weird, and had nothing to do with Spider Robinson's fictional bar.

What was Spider Robinson's fictional bar? Well... Spider Robinson's first story (about the bar - maybe his first ever) was The Guy With The Eyes. This alien comes to earth to destroy it, and finds that earthlings have... well, not exactly *his* (super-advanced-civilizations) thing, but something close - that thing that we call "love". And so, he doesn't want to report back to his alien masters, and see them all destroyed. Earth folks can't kill him, but, if he bends all of his will to it, he can participate in his own destruction. Seems like an easy problem, right? Poor guy would rather die than see the earth wiped out, wouldn't you help him along? But the folks at Callahan's weren't willing to play even voluntary executioner - and so another answer has to be found.

I've always found that story a bit troubling, but for the fact that there's an author behind it, making sure everything turns out right. But the point of a story doesn't have to be the story itself - the point of a story can be something else entirely. In this case, it was an idea - to be compassionate, and loving, even at grave risk to your own life - even at the risk of *everything* you knew.

And I could deal with that. In fact, I wanted that. I wanted it so much that I stuck around and found that it was, in fact, Spider's bar - or close enough for me.

I can't explain how important that was for me - it was a place where I felt I might not only be not-rejected, but actually accepted and valued. (If you knew much about my life, you'd understand how indescribably important that was. I was very lonely back then.) So I kept sticking around, and it became a hugely important part of my life for many years. Probably too important - but that's another story.

Unsurprisingly, these wonderful people wanted to gather together every now and again, in meetings akin to a science fiction convention - so, a con, or Callahanicon.

People started planning those dates for new meetings, and, one interesting fellow, a Mr. John Barnstead, reserved a date so far in the future - *2012*! that... well, it was like 2076 in Internet time, a time far, far, far off in the future. That year's con would be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Well, I don't want to say there *haven't* been cons for a while. For all I know, there are plenty of Callahanicons happening each year. But I hadn't heard of any from the Alt.Callahans newsgroup... then again, I haven't been in the newsgroup in a long time. Remember how I said that the newsgroup was "probably too important"? Well... as I said, that's a long story, and I'll leave it for another time (if ever). But I haven't been there in many years now.

But John Barnstead never forgot his date with destiny.

(And that seems like a good cliffhanger for part one. Hopefully, Part 2 will continue tomorrow.)

[User Picture]From: grey_lady
2012-07-18 06:32 am (UTC)
I wish I could have been there. I wonder how many of the folks there I'd have "recognised"?
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[User Picture]From: suzilem
2012-07-18 12:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks for stirring up the memories. :-)
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From: kightp
2012-07-21 01:59 am (UTC)
I feel like one of those little kids who knows the story by heart, but *still* can't wait for the page to be turned and the next chapter to begin. (-:

Edited at 2012-07-21 01:59 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: pernishus
2012-07-21 08:37 am (UTC)
"Purr-fectly put, dear Jez," the rumbling purr of the late and much-lamented Pernicious the Musquodoboit Harbour Farm Cat is heard echoing from that place where all cats go when you just can't find the wretched things although you know they're here somewhere, probably in plain sight, just waiting for your bare toes to dangle just the tiniest bit too long over the side of the bed...
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