In the most unsurprising news in the history of the world, especially in the wake of every other convention (up to and including San Diego Comic-Con doing likewise) doing so, Shore Leave 42 has officially been postponed to 2021.
Shore Leave has consistently been my favorite convention every year. I first went in 1992 with The Chronic Rift and its spinoff Word Balloons: Interviews with Comics Folk, and we got to record interviews with Mark Lenard, Majel Barrett, Diane Duane, Peter Morwood, L.A. Graf, Michael Jan Friedman, and Howard Weinstein.
I went back in 2000 as an author guest, having had my first two Trek works released (the comic book miniseries Perchance to Dream and the eBook novella Fatal Error), and have been there every year since. I have, over the last 20+ years, been press, author guest, music guest (as the Boogie Knights’ percussionist), panelist, reader, workshop runner, performer, comedian (I was the primary pinch hitter for Mystery Trekkie Theatre 3000 whenever one of Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, or Robert Greenberger wasn’t available to do it), and been both the subject of a comedy roast and been a roaster of others.
Shore Leave is always a wonderful time, and I will greatly miss it this year, along with all the other things we’re missing. But it hasn’t been cancelled — it’s officially a postponement, and almost all the guests have already committed to still being guests when it happens 15 months from now.
So next year in Hunt Valley! Or, uh, something….
Here’s the official statement from the con chairs:
Dear Fellow Fans,
It is with our deepest regrets that we have to announce the postponement of Shore Leave 42 due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The event will return, stronger than ever, July 9 – 11, 2021. This is the first time in our 42-year history that we have had to skip a year.
Recognizing that our attendees save and plan for their conventions each year, and many exhibitors rely upon this event for a portion of their livelihood, we had hoped that COVID-19 concerns might lessen by summer. Continuous monitoring of health advisories and recent statements by the Governor of Maryland have made it clear that holding a very social event like ours would not be prudent.
We are working with our guests (media, writers, scientists) and most have agreed to come next year, we are still working to secure the agreement of the final media guest. No guest has canceled as of this announcement. We will be posting the guests who have agreed to come back in 2021 in the next few weeks. 9 of the 10 media guests have already confirmed.
Individuals who purchased registrations for Shore Leave 42/2020 will have the option to transfer their registrations to Shore Leave 42/2021 or request a refund. All 2020 registrations holders will receive an email within the next week with instructions on how to request a refund.
It will be up to the individual attendee to contact the hotel to adjust/cancel their reservations. You may do so online or directly through the hotel at (410) 785-7000.
Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures and while we are saddened to take this action, we know it is the right decision. We eagerly look forward to the time when we can all meet again and share in the community we all love and enjoy.
For the Shore Leave 42 committee,
Inge Heyer and Don Ramsey
Co-Chairs, Shore Leave 42