An Open Letter to Worldcon GoH Spider Robinson

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Dear Spider,

My name is Jon Del Arroz. I’ve been a big fan of yours since I was in high school (which is about 20 years ago now) and one of the reasons I was so excited to go to worldcon was that you were going to be attending. I made a video about how excited I was to see you and how your work has been a big influence on me.

I’m the type of fan that collects everything once I find something I love — I’ve got a leatherbound version of Stardance and everything else you’ve ever released. More than once or twice I’ve dreamt of having my own Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon where I could go hang with people in love and peace, work through our worries and come out stronger together as humans.

Unfortunately WorldCon 76 will not be that place.  

In an unprecedented move, Worldcon pre-banned me, an action they haven’t taken since 1964 with Walter Breen, a convicted pedophile. Unlike Walter, I’m no criminal, just a family man and professional in the field. I’m an outspoken conservative and Christian, which sets me in the “other, not human” category for some people in science fiction writing, and I’ve been a target of a hate campaign because of my worldviews since coming on the scene. It’s about the opposite of what I imagined a loving, tolerant group would be.

I’ve been given no information to why I’m banned other than I “intend to violate the code of conduct” which I’ve stated several times I don’t. As a popular writer in the field, it seems a move solely based on hate and discrimination of people like me. I wish we could all get along despite differences like in Callahan’s, but it appears some in our world aren’t ready for that.

I don’t want to put you in a tough place. I’m not asking you to boycott the con or do anything to them. But as such a long time fan, and as a professional writer inspired by you, I am hoping to meet you and shake your hand while you’re here in my hometown. I know you don’t get out here all that often and I want to thank you for every way you’ve inspired me.

I propose grabbing a coffee, or perhaps a meal outside the con just to chat. Heck, we could even do a little street busking and play some of the Running, Jumping, Standing Still album I know you’re fond of (and because of you I’m fond of it too!). Whatever sounds good by you, but I don’t want to lose the chance to meet my hero because some people are afraid of someone who has different ideas than them.

Please let me know. I’m fairly easy to contact, and a lot of people have my email.

If you know Spider Robinson — please make sure he sees this! The chance to meet him is extremely important to me personally and professionally. Thanks everyone, and Spider– thank you for your positive influence on the field. I’ve learned so much from you and enjoyed so many beautiful stories. I hope others can too.


Jon Del Arroz

I don’t know that I’ll ever be as good a writer as Spider Robinson, but most people are really enjoying my book For Steam And Country. Check it out, you might like it too

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