I guess it must have been January when some of the EON boys started joking with me about contributing to the site. They mentioned writing an advice column, or possibly something on "fandom" and as I recall, the word "centerfold" was even playfully mentioned, to which I replied in all seriousness: "Sure. You first." (I'm still waiting...)

But I know that if I were to inform, inspire and keep conscious the minds of some of SF's most brilliant writers and fans, I'd have to concoct a column based on info which I really cared about, knew about, and could spell. My choices therefore being severely limited, but truly not wanting to face the harsh glares of my friends on the EON staff (okay, I really just missed having martinis at Lola's), I have finally come upon a subject which flips my skirt enough to write about on a monthly basis. Here goes:


Ew. What a word. Especially given the wonderfully edgy "I-have-a-life-I-don't-just-do-Klingon-car-washes-for-'charity'" nature of the site (not that there's anything wrong with those). But charity just sounds so...charitable.

So I pondered for months whether or not there would really be an interest in the subject on behalf of the aficionados (I kind of hate the word "fan" -- but my thesaurus calls them "rooters" or worse yet "enthusiastic spectators.") And it occurred to me that it may be cooler to thump out some sort of "here's the news from the inside" piece, or maybe a "Women of Sci-Fi" column (okay, forget I said that...) but just something cooler to make me not such an easy touch.

And then I realized, I don't care.

First because, as I bean to see a little more of everything good which our crazy business brings, I realized in a rather "Lamentations" sort of way that as thankful as I am to have it, there's not much which really means a lot, except for the good people you meet and the good things you do together. Okay, and getting to wear rubber spandex on a regular basis. Just kidding.

And secondly, because in my travels I have seen such astounding commitment and attention on the part of the people I've met -- individuals who have inspired me to undertake what science fiction has always set out to do: to work toward a more positive future.

When I look around me, it's happening all the time. From the people in New Jersey who told me they heard about our support of Caring for Babies with AIDS, and now shop for and bring stuff to a house of three kids with AIDS in their neighborhood. To the worldwide annual tournament which the people at Decipher Card Game hold for children with cancer, named after a very special little boy named Sean Valdez. Not to paint "fandom" as a veritable love-fest, but in many great ways, I see that almost everybody wants to help.

So let's.

In the following months we're gonna focus on the many (my thesaurus says "sundry" and "multitudinous") genre-related groups which are making a difference in the world around them. And we may, in fact, veer from that, to cover other pertinent issues (I promise one will not be rubber spandex).

But for now, we're looking to hear about genre fans whose work is worthy of support and attention. Work which, I think, is what we're really here for.

If you know someone like that, lemme know.

For more information about Chase Masterson and her charity work, check out The Official Chase Masterson Fan Club at:

ISSUE 9.0 - OCTOBER 2, 1998

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