Laurie Mann

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(1957 –)

Laurie Mann, May 2019, in Valar morghulis t-shirt.

Laurie Mann (née Trask) has been part of online fandom since 1988 so she isn't afraid to use a kill file....

She's been in SF fandom since 1974, and is a con-running fan — she started working on cons in 1975. She's run cons of all sizes, from small Chococon, 1994, 14 people, Lexicon, 1985, about 50 people (con guide), chaired Smofcon 30, co-chaired Smofcon 25 and co-chaired Boskone 25. She worked on many Worldcons and all sizes of cons in between, most frequently Boskone and Confluence. She was the Program division head for Sasquan, a job she also held (with her husband, Jim Mann) for Millennium Philcon, and was an assistant Program division head for Renovation. She was the first editor of Mad 3 Party and helped organize FanHistoriCon 8. She has been a member of NESFA, MCFI, FANAC, and PARSEC. On the "darker side," at Nolacon II, she was responsible for the tradition that the upcoming Worldcon host the Hugo Losers Party when that tradition was about to die out.

One of the most interesting challenges was serving on the CoNZealand program team during the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, the team did not expect anything unusual for 2020 (see the short YouTube video Laurie made about plans for CoNZealand, shot at Smofcon 37) The CoNZealand program team, led by Jannie Shea and Jim Mann, with Terry Fong as another assistant, had to pivot to the first all-virtual Worldcon program in just a few months. They used the Grenadine program database. Henry Balen, its creator, had already started to think about how to manage a Worldcon schedule run over many different time zones simultaneously and added many new features to the software to make this possible. Luckily, the Zoom video conferencing system, which was free, turned out to be reasonably robust (cons had been experimenting with video conferencing for a few years before the pandemic and the free systems often did not work very well). Considering the problems of organizing the first virtual Worldcon program, CoNZealand's virtual program was attended by nearly 2,000 fans and pros from all over the world.

She started the first SF award Website in 1994 Awardweb, a listing of science fiction award nominees and winners. She created one of the first Websites for a convention, for the New Orleans World Fantasy Con in 1994. Laurie also ran Dead People Server, a database of celebrity death information from March 1997 to January 2017 (which later became a Facebook group).

She wrote for many APAs between 1975 and 1990 or so, including APA-NESFA, Apaloosa, APA-Q, Minneapa, and Scapa Flow. She was active online on AOL, GEnie, USENET, Facebook, Twitter and created many pages for the World Wide Web.

She has been married to fellow fan Jim Mann since 1977; they have one fanspring, Leslie.

Laurie & Jim Mann, NorthAmeriCon, 1979.

About a month after she moved to Pittsburgh to start college at Carnegie-Mellon University, she started writing an occasional article for the student paper "The Tartan." She wrote a piece on cons, "PghLANGE and Other Cons," that was published in October 1975.

Article on SF Cons for The Tartan, the CMU Student Newspaper, October 1975

Errata Noted by the Author 46 Years Later...

  • The paper editor changed the word "fanzine" to "fantasy" in one location.
  • There were many more than 10 SF authors at Boskone in 1975.
  • I did not go to a Star Trek con until something like 1990 or so; in 1976, I went to Boskone instead.
  • The fact that I was taken aback by the idea of a 20,000 person media con in 1975 tells you why I never went to SDCC (San_Diego_Comic-Con) but have watched a few of its panels on YouTube over the years.

Laurie's college roommate in 1976-1977 was Brenda W. Clough.

Various Writing

Books Edited

Fanzines and Apazines:

Newsletters Edited

Awards, Honors and GoHships:

Person 1957
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