'The Contraction of Time and Other Conundra' 
  opening comments by Richard Lynch; title illo by Sheryl Birkhead You know, there's one thing about growing older that's as puzzling as hell to me. My subjective sense of time is starting to get distorted, and each succeeding year seems noticeably shorter than the one before. I expect that if this continues, the years will eventually seem to have zero length, and then even move into negative durations -- I'll be able to fondly remember the year 2010 five years before it arrives!

This year, especially, has been that way -- the time has literally flown by. It doesn't seem all that long since we published Mimosa 15, but here we are, approaching the end of the year as I write this, and we still have only one issue to show for 1994. April and M15 were a long time ago.

I suppose I should tell you some of the things that have happened to me since you received M15. May was a pretty busy month, with preparations for the Corflu fanzine fans' convention taking up quite a bit of otherwise spare time (Nicki and I were two of the co-hosts of Corflu this year); also, at the end of May was the FanHistoricon (from which the Forry Ackerman article in this issue originated). In June, I spent two weeks in Russia, a trip filled with marvelous adventures and misadventures (which you might read about soon, in a different fanzine); I returned home from that trip just in time to fly out to Cincinnati for the Midwestcon (from which the Roger Sims article in this issue originated). July featured a desperately-needed vacation trip north to Canada and New York State, including a stopover to see Dave and Ruth Kyle (from which Dave's article in this issue originated). August saw me back in Europe again, for two weeks in Poland; at the end of the month Nicki and I flew down to Alabama for the DeepSouthCon (which did not, alas, result in an article from the visiting Bob Shaw). And in September, it was on to Winnipeg and the Worldcon...

Actually, worldcons are starting to become subjectively shorter and shorter, too. I remember that the first worldcon I ever attended, Iguanacon in 1978, seemed to go on *forever*. ConAdian, the twelfth world science fiction convention I've been to, now seems to have gone by in barely an instant -- it's almost is as if I'd blinked my eyes, and it was gone. I'm left with only some isolated images of the convention and host city, like...

... the Northwest Airlines connector flight in to Canada from Minneapolis. There were enough fans and writers in the waiting lounge to have a convention of our own right there in the airport.

...the utter *flatness* of Winnipeg. From the upper floors of the convention hotels, I could see *forever*; the lack of hills made the horizon seem lightyears away. At night, the lights of the city disappeared into the distance, twinkling like stars; sometimes there were distant thunderstorms out on the plains that would provide mesmerizing, abstract light shows, while never coming close enough for me to hear the thunder.

...the parties and socializing. All the worldcon bidders for the foreseeable future were well represented at ConAdian, but it was a party for a hoax convention that got the most renown. The "Antarctica in `99" party was a 'white' theme party, with marshmallows, popcorn and other things white for snacks; all the while, a television set in the corner of the room that was set on an empty channel showed con's entire facilities as well as the expected weather -- snow!

...the Hugo night ceremonies. Mimosa was fortunate enough to win the Fanzine Hugo again this year, but the honor really belongs to the many fine contributors we've featured. (To get the awards home, we had to call hotel maintenance for assistance in dismantling them. And in the process, ruined a perfectly good one dollar Canadian coin, but that's another story...)

Hm... Available room for these opening essays seems to be plagued by this same spacetime shrinkage problem -- I'm running out of space too quickly lately. So I'll take this opportunity to stop here, with hopes you enjoy this "sweet 16th" issue of Mimosa. I think we've filled it with entertaining things to read; I hope you think so, too.

Title illustration by Sheryl Birkhead

back to previous article forward to next article go to contents page