From: (Keith Lynch)
Newsgroups: rec.arts.sf.written,rec.arts.sf.fandom,alt.fandom.cons
Subject: New Book: Alternate Disclaves
Date: 1 Apr 1997 12:00:00 GMT

At Balticon last weekend, I found to my surprise that there's a
"sequel" to Resnick's Alternate Worldcons.  It's called Alternate

Disclave is an SF convention held every spring in the Washington
DC area.

I'm only halfway through the book so far.  But the stories I've
read are uniformly excellent.

One year, when Disclave was in the "Hostility House" hotel, the
Democrat National Committee was elsewhere in the same hotel.  Some
Disclave members were carrying fake guns.  The con was raided by a
SWAT team.  The SWAT team was mistaken for fellow gamers by some
of the armed fen.  Miraculously, no shots were fired.  The first
story supposes that shots *were* fired, and hundreds of people
were instantly killed, including women and children.

The strong anti-government sentiment that in our world came in the
wake of the Waco massacre happens years earlier.  The government
and the news media universally portray fans as dangerous and crazy.
Everyone else regards the government as out of control.  Two years
later, an obscure government building is blown up with a massive
truck bomb.  A fan is arrested and put on trial for the bombing.
Fans unite, and prove to everyone's satisfaction that the bombing
was done by the government itself to further its own agenda.  The
Republicans and Democrats all resign in disgrace, and are replaced
by a government of fans.

Ten years later, the world is united, and the world president is
selected every three years at the Worldcon, based on his or her
responses to various hypothetical scenarios which are written by
Hugo-winning SF authors.

The second story also involves a shooting.  But this is a shooting
which actually occurred.  One year, Disclave was held in the hotel
where Hinckley shot Reagan.  This story presupposes that Disclave
was being held there at the time of the shooting -- at which time the
con had no weapons policy.  Hinckley takes refuge in the convention,
where he is mistaken for a fan.  The Secret Service agents are also
mistaken for fans.  You see, there is a "the president has been shot"
LARP game taking place at the con!  Classic slapstick.

A guest was electrocuted at a hotel in New Carrolton at which Disclaves
were held for several years (and will be held again next month!).  This
didn't happen during a Disclave.  The third story suggests that it
happened during the con, to the con's guest of honor.  And that it was
falsely blamed on "Coherent Central", a group which used to set up laser
shows at Disclave.

The fourth story, the last one I've read so far, involves Disclave
going bankrupt and being bought out by Bruce Evry, and merged with his
Evecon.  It shows that fans' reaction to panels on space exploration
being replaced with panels on Attention Deficit Disorder.  Panels on
new frontiers in physics are replaced with panels on surviving child
abuse.  Bheer is abolished from the con suite, and junk food is
carefully rationed.  Bios of guests of honor vanish from the souvenir
books, to be replaced with exhortations to remember to drink enough
liquids and get sufficient sleep.  Discussions of how to keep the
con accessable to public transit in future years are replaced with
discussions of how to keep the riff-raff out by selecting hotels that
are very difficult to get to.

I look forward to reading the remaining stories.  And to reading the
promised companion volumes, Alternate Boskones, Alternate Balticons,
and Alternate Philcons.  All three are expected to be available by
one year from today.
Keith Lynch,
I boycott all spammers.