Not all the vampires collecting blood at Dragon*Con wear black and have alabaster skin and ruby-red lips. The Heinlein Society, assisted by LifeSouth of Atlanta, is sponsoring a blood drive at Dragon*Con located in the Yukon/McKenzie/Rio at the Marriott. Originally scheduled only for Sat 10am-4pm and Sun 10am-2pm, due to donor demand, the drive will continue on Monday from 10am to 2pm.
I asked volunteer director Alan “Doc” Koslow, “why give blood when I’m already faint from lack of sleep and lugging around my precious buys from the dealers’ room and art show?” One reason is to honor Robert A. Heinlein, the “Dean of Science Fiction Writers.” Heinlein had a rare blood type (AB+), was a frequent donor himself, and was a supporter of the National Rare Blood Club, featured in his novel I Will Fear No Evil. Heinlein helped organize the first of many science fiction convention blood drives at the 1976 World Science Fiction Convention.
And then there’s the cool stuff they give you. Not only do you get the usual juice and cookies after giving blood, blood donors get a choice of a red heart, “SF” pin, or a David Brin signature and the chance to win a signed Tracy Hickman/Margaret Weiss book. But then there’s also the cool T-shirt sporting alien blood donors printed with the Dragon*Con and Heinlein Society logos. And like the shirt says, “blood is needed everywhere, that’s why I give blood.”
And I did just that this morning. Fans Andy from Minnesota and Patricia from North Carolina shared lounge chairs and good spirits with me at the blood drive while we watched that maroon liquid fill up our donor bags. Patricia and I were old pros at donating, but Andy was a first-time donor. So, whether you’re a certified Red Cross, card-carrying veteran, or a brand-new donor, head on over to the Marriott and share the gift of life.