On September 27, we lost the extraordinary Pat Diggs. A member of the extended Tachyon family, she first become a fandom fixture in the early 70s with her championing, as a writer, reader, and often illicit distributor, of fan fiction. Pat was fluent in Japanese and sang in the chorus of the San Francisco Opera.
Pat regularly attended science fiction conventions, often organizing panels and assisting publishers. It’s in that latter role when Tachyon entered her life.
Tachyon publisher Jacob Weisman shares this remembrance.
Pat Diggs used to sit beside me in the dealer’s room and, when the foot traffic slowed, she’d tell me stories.
Pat was a multitalented woman who had sung in various bands and for the San Francisco Opera. She’d been involved at the beginning of the slash fiction scene, editing, trading, and selling zines where Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock continued their various adventures and took their personal relationship to another level. She’d tell me about the early Star Trek conventions, hiding magazines under the table when television officials inspected the dealer’s room. She’d been a bodyguard for Leonard Nimoy, clearing his hotel room of amorous women who would sneak in and wait for him when he wasn’t there. She’d posed nude for Laurie Edison’s groundbreaking photography book, Women en Large.
She suffered from a myriad of health problems, including Lupus, and was told long before I met her that she’d probably only live a few more years. She quit the opera when it became too hard for her to sing. She stayed connected to science fiction, though, volunteering at conventions.
Already a veteran of the infamous Locus collating parties, Pat volunteered to work the Locus table. She worked tables for Dave Clark at Cargo Cult too. It was Dave who introduced me to Pat when I needed help at the Philadelphia WorldCon in 2001. Pat and I quickly became fast friends and Pat would call me, when I should have been the one calling her, to ask if I was going to this convention or that convention. She was the door monitor for SF in SF, the monthly reading series that Tachyon has sponsored for the last 20 years.
She had the knack of charming people who didn’t charm easily. People like Charles Brown. People like me. Robert Silverberg would always stop by the table to say hello to Pat. She had shared an ill-fated flight once with Bob and Karen, finally landing in the early morning hours. She’d introduce me to friends of hers at conventions and remind me after a half hour of vigorous conversation that we needed to get to dinner or to move on to the next party.
The last few years were not kind to her. She’d finally had to take the advice of her doctors and stop traveling. And she wasn’t able to work the door anymore at SF in SF because of the dangers of Covid.
Those of us who knew her are grateful for all of the extra time that Pat received after her initial diagnoses. That I knew her for decades, let alone at all, has truly been a blessing in my life.
The amazing Pat will be missed by everyone who knew her. Our thoughts are with her loved ones.