SFRevu Convention Coverage - April 2002 

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This month we've got a report on Lunacon 49 from Astas Sinusas, our NYC based Canadian SF Columnist, a few shots of SFRevu columnist Steve Sawicki and Barbara Chepaitis at their Dixon Place reading this month, a preview of Next Month's Con Report...when I'll be coming back with pictures from I-Con 2002...complete with a Rocky Horror stage show. - Ern

Chepaitis-Sawicki Dixon Place Reading / Lunacon 49
 / Featured Con: I-Con / Upcoming Conventions

Chepaitis-Sawicki Dixon Place Reading

Barbara Chepaitis and Steve Sawicki, Dixon Place, Monday April 8th, NYC

Steve and Barbara acted out "Love Calls" a short screenplay they collaborated on with the help of some friends from Connecticut, and appropriate prop. / Steve read a work in progress, part of his "Damnaliens" story, to the delight and amusement of the audience. / Outside, the Chepaitis-Sawicki team posed for shots.

Lunacon 2002 March 15-17, 2002 - Photos and Travelog by Asta Sinusas

Presented by: New York Science Fiction Society
Writer Guest of Honor: Alan Dean Foster
Artist Guest of Honor: James Gurney
Special Guest: Peter F. Hamilton
Fan Guests of Honor: Val & Ron Ontell
Toastmistress: Roberta Rogow
Chair: Dom Corrado

Official Con Site:
Hotel: Rye Town Hilton, Rye Brook, NY

Here we goÖ now what did I forget?
Friday afternoon Ė Iím running late as usual. So, needless to say my traveling companion was a bit surly as we finally climbed into the car to head up to Lunacon. "We better get two beds or youíre gonna pay," she growled. I should tell you that my traveling companion and I have a history that goes back many years and many hotel rooms and involves the classic nighttime struggle over who gets more sheets on their side of the bed. Needless to say our war for domination usually ended when our rustling roused mom and dad from deep slumber. However, my contingency plans to maximize sheet coverage in case of reservation failure were soon lost in the velocity of speeding up 287.

Introductions 1) Toastmistress Roberta Rogow with Lunacon Chair Dom Corrado looking on 2) Preston Saul putting the "vice" into Vice-Chair 3) Robert Rosenberg

Hallelujah! We arrived at the hotel early enough to claim two pristine beds. A bit of unpacking and we head off to registration which has (for the first time in seven years apparently) pocket guides ready for the taking. After lining up three times: to pay, register, and get our badges, I was off to the opening ceremonies and a few introductions. Roberta Rogow was toastmistress and true to her filk, she introduced herself in song. I also met Robert Rosenberg, who mentioned that in the past he worked on projects giving disabled fans an opportunity to enjoy access. Most of the time I donít think of the things I take for granted, like two eyes that allow me to read as much as I do. My appreciation for having a good set of working parts was soon put into action as I headed off to a panel on Hugo nominations where I learned two interesting things from the consensus of panelists and audience. 1) nominate Ė no matter if youíve read the book or not. You must have some reason you want to see it win a Hugo and thatís good enough. 2) nominate things even though you think no one else will. Why not put down a play for dramatic performance? Why not an e-book novelette? I would also like to once again remind people that SFRevu is eligible for nomination in the Special Category for Best Website. (hint, hint).

The Dance 4) John Hertz striding down the ballroom floor 5) waiting for their turn, or how to dance by standing still 6) donít forget to bring the kids!

Iím not sure what I had in mind but the Regency Dance I encountered certainly widened my perceptions of the world. I entered the room to find a ballroom with a mix of folk garbed in everything from authentic period costumes (no zippers allowed) to Gothic wear. John Hertz (elegantly bedecked in stockings and cutaway jacket with monocle fob) taught the steps to dances of a bygone era including such oddly named (to me) combinations as The Congress of Vienna, Bath Carnival, Horatio's Fancy & Oxford Flowers. What was more interesting was the mindset needed to understand why these people danced the way they did. Iím sure someday people will look at mindless masses raving to wee hours with the lollipops and pacifiers. Iím sure theyíll also comment on how the frenzied writhings were a product of the times. Well John Hertz doesnít disappoint and Iím thinking about checking out the dance classes they hold monthly in Manhattan.

GoH, GoH! Stop, Stop!

7) Special Guest of Honor (all the way from the UK) Peter J. Hamilton 

8) Writer Guest of Honor Alan Dean Foster

Peter J. Hamilton had never heard of SFRevu (paging John Berlyne, paging John Berlyne), but I soon got him up to speed, with help of the Andersons from NESFA. Peter read some short selections from a considerable volume and slowly, but resolutely nudged his way onto my must-acquire-next list. Someone wrote that if you like your SF by the pound, then Peterís your man. I think itís wonderful that he gives good value for your SF dollar. Next up was Alan Dean Foster who read a selection that featured his western fantasy character Amos Malone. A lot of questions from the group were about Splinter of the Mindís Eye, Fosterís Star Wars novel which he wrote between the making of "Star Wars" and "Empire Strikes Back". Other questions soon followed about his Spellsinger novels, but one dominated Ė "Whenís the next one out?" As I approached him for his photograph, I started to wonder about my purpose at the con. I had a list of target shots to acquire. Then I wondered about other celebs that have to endure the pictures, the fans, etc. and wondered why more authors werenít holed up in some secret location known only to their mother and the FBI. So I had a moment of conscience. We all do from time to time, right?

GoH-ing to Dinotopia and Fandom (never coming back)
9) James Gurney, Art Guest of Honor and 10) Val & Ron Ontell Fan Guests of Honor

Dinotopia was certainly the most visible single promotion at the con. Not only were there plastic bags, but also posters proclaiming the ABC movie, which airs on May 12th. Between the glimpses of Gurneyís work and shots from the filming and production, this is one event you donít want to miss. Of course, Gurneyís presentation was amazing and his table upstairs had every sort of Dinotopia paraphernalia from books and prints to plush animals and games. As Fan Guests of Honor, Ron and Val Ontell, I quickly learned, were the backbone of the Lunarians for many years and why even though they moved to California, they still remain honorary Lunarians and keep in close contact with a lot of people in the NYC area.

This Side of the Table
11) From left to right: Stan (gotta go) Schmidt, Arthur Laverty, John Klima, Steve Sawicki & Darryll Schweitzer. 12) Peter Jarvis, Con Chair for Worldcon 2003 (the reason heís smiling is because they now have a customs broker.) 13) Craig Miller, one of the best dance partners out there (just make sure to ask his wife itís OK before you whirl him away) says "Vote for LA in 2006!"

I went to the panel entitled the "Whatís the Difference Between Critic and Reviewer?" half for myself and half because I wanted to see Steve Sawicki in action. Unfortunately the esteemed panel made short work of the topic question and instead launched into related topics. Looking back, I think the subject should have been "What makes a GOOD Critic or Reviewer?" It certainly would have prompted some people to name names. Then again, Iíve always wanted to instigate a panel feud. I also went to the "Publishing Today" panel, although at times it was more of an attack-the-editor fest. I have to give the editors credit, though. They managed to give those first-time writers hope while still maintaining firm boundaries and reassuring us that 9/11 and corporate mergers aside, if youíve got the good stuff Ė theyíll publish it.

Paul Levinson (14), author of the recent book The Consciousness Plague 

15) Paul Levinson and Jan Hudson. Jan is obviously having second thoughts about forking over money for Paulís book. However, the newly de-bearded Wombat was in full force throughout the con with his magical massaging hands.

I attempted to make it to the Masquerade Saturday night to acquire more target shots for SFRevu, but was politely refused from the Green Room (I still canít believe my camera didnít immediately qualify me with press credentials) and by the time I returned, the evening was over. Apparently, there was a decided lack of entries and as one person sniffed, a decided lack in the quality as well. I think it was because everyone wanted to get on their way to the different suite parties. Ah, that essential part to the con-going experience, attracting voters and supporters and potential con-goers for other cons with flyers, food and other goodies including stickers for your badge.

Say Hello
16) Ruta Sinusas and Mattie Brahen. My travelling companion and I were catching a breather outside in the crisp New York air when Mattie happened along. Sheís had one short story come out in the magazine Scheredade and has another called "Gotta Dance" in an upcoming issue. (Photo removed 28 May 2014 by request of participant.)
17) A blast from the past Ė Eyal Mozes used to come out to SFABC discussion groups, but hadnít been around lately. Heís just been sticking closer to home, but it was nice to see familiar face from the past.
18) John Klima was in full force promoting his fanzine Electric Vellocipede. Considering Johnís background, I am expecting a high level of quality and what Iíve glimpsed at so far in the zine has confirmed it.

...and Goodbye
19) From left to right: Donna Camp, Garry Tesser (who showed up for Lunacon 1998 by mistake) Bill Wagner, Susan Palermo and Hank Davis catch up in the lobby.

After being overwhelmed at Philcon in August (I leave the regular con-going coverage to Ernest and other professionals) I have to say Lunacon was a refreshing change. Of course, there was the usual conflict of having to choose between three different events, but the pace was more relaxed and manageable. It gave me time to catch up with friends old and new - although I still found myself falling into pattern of waving at people I knew going in the opposite direction in the hallways. That a single raise of arm or hand is simple shorthand for "Hi. Nice to see you. Sorry I donít have time to chat." If we were in person, I would use the same gesture to wave goodbye. Instead, Iím going to use this L instead. Hope you enjoyed viewing Lunacon through my eyes and see you next year!

-- Asta Sinusas

Comments? You can email Asta Sinusas at

Featured Con: I-Con: Stony Brook, NY - April 19-21, 2002 

Guests of Honor: Author: F Paul Wilson / Artist : Ron Walotsky / Science:Richard M. Stallman / Media: Billy Boyd / Anime: Myriam Sirois / Gaming: Mystic Station Design / Performances: Frank Hayes
Official Con Site: 
Hotel: Holiday Inn Ronkonkoma (1-(800) 422-9510 make sure you ask for the I-Con Group Rate $128)

Special Event: Rocky Horror Picture Show Featuring: A Floor Show With the New York Cast! 

As soon as the April issue goes out, we'll be heading off to I-Con out on Long Island. Held at the NY State University Stonybrook Campus it attracts a tremendous amount of talent in a broad based format. You'll find authors and TV types mixing it up and screenings of in the works film projects are a regular event. 

And when the sun goes down, there's the Saturday night banquet and floor show, always entertaining, and especially good this year with as the cast of The Rock Horror Picture show will be performing. 


(cont. from above...)

Upcoming Conventions and Events: Red Means SFRevu will be there
April 2002
Jersey Devil Con SF New Brunswick, NJ -- April 5-7, 2002
Omnicon 2002 SF Cookeville, TN -- April 5-6, 2002
Willycon IV SF Wayne, NE -- April 5-7, 2002
World Horror Con 2002 Horror Chicago, IL -- April 11-14, 2002
Odyssey Con 2002 SF Madison, WI -- April 12-14, 2002
Anime Central 2002 Media-Anime Chicago, IL -- April 19-21, 2002
EerieCon Three SF Niagara Falls, NY -- April 19-21, 2002
I-Con 20 SF Stony Brook, NY -- April 19-21, 2002
Port Con Maine Media-Anime Portland, ME -- April 19-21, 2002
2002 Nebula Awardsģ Weekend SFWA Event Kansas City, Missouri, April 25Ė28. Presenting the 2001 Awards
Fanime Con 2002 Media-Anime Santa Clara, CA -- April 26-28, 2002
Pittsburgh Comicon Comics Pittsburgh, PA -- April 26-28, 2002
Sakura-Con 2002 Media-Anime Tacoma, WA -- April 26-28, 2002
5Con 2002 SF Northampton, MA -- April, 2002
Bree Moot 6 Fantasy Minneapolis, MN -- April, 2002
KublaKhan 30 SF Nashville, TN -- April, 2002
Wondercon 2002 Comics San Francisco, CA -- April, 2002
And Beyond...    
Balticon 36 SF  Baltimore, MD -- May 24-27, 2002
SFRA 2002 SF Academic Glasgow, Scotland -- June 28-30, 2002
Readercon 14 SF Literary Boston, MA -- July 12-14, 2002
ConJose SF WorldCon San Jose, CA -- August 29 - September 2, 2002
Dragon-Con 2002 SF Atlanta, GA -- Aug 30 - Sept 2, 2002


© 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu