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Larry Niven in New York

from Vanamonde #774 (2008)

Lunacon LI was over, or almost. Before the Dead Dog party (until the last dog is –) it was time for me to go home: Rye Brook, New York, to Kennedy airport, for a flight reaching Los Angeles after midnight. I like this science fiction convention hosted since 1957 by the Lunarians (N.Y. club), notoriously disorganized, good conversation, a fine Art Show. The costume competition we call the Masquerade can be good too; "Pre-Emptive Strike", the hilarious entry that won Best Master (Re-Creation division) and brought down the house at Millennium Philcon ('01, Philadelphia; of course the year's Worldcon was so named; Darth Maul of The Phantom Menace [G. Lucas dir. 1999] appeared with a string of jokes he said we might as well get over – each personified: D. Tall, D. Small, D. at a Ball; D. Sprawl; D. Brawl; D. Appalled; this list most incomplete: "That," said the Master of Ceremonies, "took unmitigated gall," only to be battle-axed in resentment by D. Gaul), came from Lunacon.

Supper in the Delta Airlines terminal. As I opened my book, there was Larry Niven. "Is it possible," he asked, "that you're going to Israel?" I said, "Yes it is, but I'm not." He was, for a Multi-Disciplinary Conference on Fantasy and Science Fiction at Bar-Ilan University, March 18-19 and, he hoped, a mini-con afterward on the 20th (the Dep't of Terminology notes that, while con in s-f con is short for convention or conference, terms we have long used indifferently although we early on tried to distinguish them, nonetheless the fannish mind can at once suppose a university Conference on Fantasy and Science Fiction will be both more and less than a science fiction convention, which latter will probably be refreshing, not redundant, after the former). I find more than a dozen of Niven's books translated into Hebrew.