That person was my brother, John.
It happened last Sunday. We were standing on Montrose Beach listening to a classic rock cover band and drinking some beer. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. I had finished the 5K obstacle course known as Beach Dash. While my time could have been better, just completing the race was something I would not have accomplished 40 lbs ago. So I was in a good mood and quite chatty. I mentioned to my brother how much I looked forward to attending Chicon 7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention, and see the Sidewise Awards for Alternate History be presented. My brother, who is well aware of my obsession with alternate history, asked if I would be attending as a member of the press because of my blog. I laughed and said no, I could not qualify as a member of the press. He asked why not.
That is when I realized I did not have an answer for him. Why couldn't I apply for a press pass? Do I know for sure whether blogs qualify?
On Monday I checked out the Chicon site and discovered that for a blogger to be considered a member of the press, the blog "must be sufficiently on topic (or potentially so), and has been established at least 6 months." Having just celebrated the one-year anniversary of a blog dedicated to alternate history I realized that Alternate History Weekly Update qualified. Feeling I had nothing to lose (I was going to attend regardless) I sent in my application and waited to hear back.
Yesterday, Chris M. Barkley, the press relations coordinator, informed me that I would be receiving a press pass for the convention.
This is really cool. What started as something to keep me writing, even I had nothing to say, has given me so much more. I read amazing books I would have passed over. I meet and talk to interesting people who would have remained strangers to me had I remained silent. Now I am attending an SF convention as a member of the press! I get to see the Hugo Awards be presented and maybe even meet Mike Resnick. More importantly I get to hang out with authors and fans of alternate history when I go see who wins the Sidewise Awards this year.
So on to the big question: are you going to Chicon 7? Maybe all of us AH fans can meet up to discuss our favorite what ifs and what have you. It would also be cool to meet some of the readers of the blog in person. I know a few places in the city, having lived and worked here most of my life, that could accommodate a group of us. Let me know if you are interested and who knows, maybe this will become an annual thing. Meanwhile, I will keep you updated on Chicon news as it becomes available.
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Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a volunteer editor for Alt Hist and a contributor to Just Below the Law. His fiction can be found at Echelon Press, Jake's Monthly and his own writing blog. When not writing he works as an attorney and enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana.