by Alfred D. Byrd

The books of time and space awaken
A child to thoughts of worlds of wonder,
Places bizarre, yet homelike.
At least in hope, the child has started
To live in fandom.

You read of starships crossing the void
To stand to battle, to seek the truth,
And see yourself aboard them.
You wish for others who share your hope,
To live in fandom.

Fantasy also dazzles your eyes
With elves and wizards in realms afar,
The homes of pilgrims of dreams,
Who search for friends to share a vision,
To live in fandom.

Someday a flier, or word of mouth,
Reveals to you the term "convention,"
Bringing together seekers
Of futures of stars, of pasts of lore,
To live in fandom.

Reaching the con, you find beside you
Others who dwell in worlds of wonder
And ask you to share their homes.
Today a hotel becomes a place
To live in fandom.

Its rooms contain the fen assembled
In panels speaking of times to come,
Of pasts, mistold, corrected,
Of means to thwart the mundanes and learn
To live in fandom.

You see in hallways ladies and lords
In gear authentic, sometimes fancied,
Aliens monstrous, but kin,
And questers derived from those who dared
To live in fandom.

Elsewhere, artists display their paintings
Of starships ahead, of knights behind,
For you to glimpse these visions.
The art makes real the dreams that urge you
To live in fandom.

You find the hucksters selling their wares,
The books of time and space among them,
And buy some goods of power,
Artifacts needed to aid your quest
To live in fandom.

You sit, and find with you companions
Who share your dreams and take them farther
Along the paths to starfields.
Through thoughts exchanged, you achieve your hope
To live in fandom.

The con, a place to flout convention
And try the paths that lead to futures
Desired, or sometimes frightful,
Provides a place for you, the seeker,
To live in fandom.

The worlds of stars above may remain
For your kin of time ahead to reach,
But you, today, can know them
Together with those who plan and work
To live in fandom.

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