Aka DI, the Dorsai are a fan security organization founded by Robert Asprin in 1974, known for wearing militaristic hall costumes. The name comes from the work of Gordon R. Dickson, who was an honorary member.
Following the theft of some of Frank Kelly Freas's artwork in 1973 at Torcon II, Asprin and six others appeared at Discon II’s masquerade in costumes identifying themselves as Dorsai Irregulars in an attempt to bring more attention to the need for security, and announced they were ready for duty.
Bob and Anne Passovoy immediately volunteered to be part of the security detail going forward and Joni Stopa, who was running the art show for Windycon I hired them. The resultant organization provided con security, mainly in the Midwest, for many years. They formed an “honor guard” for goh Robert A. Heinlein at MidAmeriCon, much to the chagrin of the concom, who preferred their own low-key security arrangements.
Their media-con arm was called the Klingon Diplomatic Corps.
They also run their own relaxacon, the Dorsai Thing, a small, invitation-only gathering for Dorsai, their family, and friends, started in 1976. The purpose is to get together at a convention and not actually have to work it. It is a traveling con. DI is a strictly invitational club and rarely take in new members.
The Dorsai were widely criticized for being, among other things, too officious, too militaristic, too interested in role-playing, and insufficiently competent (art was stolen under their watch, too), as well as expensive. Some out-and-out disparaged them as Jackboot Fandom. However, many concoms were happy with their work. Today, they appear to work mainly furry conventions.
As of 2012, they had about 70 members. Members have included Robert Asprin, Tara Barber, Todd Hamilton, Bob Passovoy, Anne Passovoy, Elizabeth Pearse, Murray Porath, Bill Roper, Steve Simmons, Diana Stein, Phil Stevens.
"Dorsai" is a reference to the future interstellar mercenary group in Gordon R. Dickson's Dorsai Series.
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