beamjockey (beamjockey) wrote,

Higgins's Lives of the Fans #0: On the Convention Program-Book Biography

During my years of participation in science fiction fandom, I have occasionally been asked to write a biography for a convention's Guest of Honor.

Each SF con has one or more Guests of Honor, typically inviting a notably active fan to be Fan GoH and also inviting a professional writer, artist or editor as Pro GoH. Guests participate in programming: panel discussions, speeches, autograph sessions, et cetera. Published in the con's program book, which is provided to every attendee, is an essay about each guest.

Sometimes, I write these.

The convention-program-book biography has its own challenges. It must inform, to acquaint the congoer with the Guest of Honor, but it should also pique curiosity, persuading the congoer to seek out the GoH's program events. And it should make a case for the concom's decision to invite this particular person this particular weekend.

Plus, in the back of your mind, you know the GoH will read it herself, but you must not allow this thought to intimidate you.

I strive to achieve an essay that will be entertaining even to a reader unfamiliar with the Guest of Honor.

I find I have accumulated quite a few program-book bios. I propose to reprint them here. Stay tuned.

Edited to Add: Links to the series:
Introduction. Alice Bentley. Phil Foglio. Steve Collins. Mary Lynn Skirvin Johnson. Jo Walton. Tullio Proni. Steven Silver. Hugh Daniel.
Tags: higgins's lives of the fans

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