Fan Guest of Honor
Where to begin writing about Dennis Tabaczewski? I've known him for many years (please don't ask me to count them), and he's been a good friend to me in that time. But what you'll be wanting to know here is why he's a cool person, and what makes him a good Fan GoH.
Dennis has been involved in various aspects of fandom for many years, and if you've been to a few Michigan conventions or Stilyagi parties, you almost certainly have met him. Dennis was a Star Trek fan before there were cute names like "Trekkie" and "Trekker" for Star Trek fans to argue bitterly over. And those kind of ridiculous disputes are something I believe he has always steered well clear of. (The man has some dignity, and some class.)
He has walls lined with books, of course, as most of us do. But he also has more records, tapes, and CDs than anyone I know. He is widely known in fandom as a DJ extraordinare, and he has served in this capacity for many a convention dance, in Michigan and assorted other locales. His musical tastes are almost pathologically eclectic, covering musical styles and genres (and even *countries* ) that you might never have heard of.
And Dennis also has more games, especially board games, than anyone else I know. I was dead shocked one day when he produced a copy of "Relate", an obscure little three dimensional board game from the seventies with odd shaped pieces that roll in arcs over the bumps on the board. I had never expected to run into another human being who'd ever seen it, much less owned a copy.
And you should be sure to ask him to teach you the unique strategy board game he invented over fifteen years ago, which has appeared at many parties in various states of refinement, and will hopefully soon see publication. And while it's been a few years since it has made an appearance at a con, he also has run his own homebrewed version of Starfleet Miniatures on and off for many years, with protractors, string, the floor of a large room and so on.
Dennis is also an Indy and NASCAR racing enthusiast, and his huge slot-car set has been appearing at local cons in recent years.
Oh, and Dennis also has a habit of starting and running science fiction conventions. (Perhaps, upon reflection, this is a vice. But one that should be celebrated rather than condemned, as is the case with so many "vices".) The conventions that he has run here in Southeast Michigan have been excellent, and while I am sure that none of the conventions he has run have been truly "perfect", it was surely not for want of trying to make them so.
In a time when apathy and disaffection (sometimes masquerading as cynicism) are everywhere, even among the members of our smugly self-satisfied little subculture, Dennis is one of the few people I know who truly gives a damn. He gives a damn about doing the best possible job on anything he undertakes. And he gives a damn about many hopes and ideals that most of us have givien up on, or pay lip-service to at best.
Dennis is also a connoisseur of Asian food, and has more evil twins than anyone else I know. (Hmm, if there is more than one, I suppose they aren't evil "twins" as such, but polyuplets or somesuch... well I'll leave these subtle distinctions for others to worry over; I've filled enough of this page as it is.) He is extremely well-spoken for a man widely rumored to be mute, and his spoor is delicious, though fattening, and has been left behind on tables at some parties.
Well, I've probably left out all the things you really wanted to know, so you should definitely seek him out at the con and chat with him, or ask him to teach you a game. Or of you're reading this at home on Tuesday after the con, and it's too late for that, give yourself a good swift kick!
Bio by Steve Arlow