|SFRevu Convention Coverage - April 2002|
Coverage: If you're attending a Science Fiction Convention
and would like to be a "cosmic stringer" for SFRevu, , or if
you're planning one and would like to publicize it, we'd like to hear
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
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: www.lunacon.org
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
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
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.
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.
Comments? You can email Asta Sinusas at email@example.com
Con: I-Con: Stony Brook, NY - April 19-21,
Official Con Site: www.iconsf.org/
Hotel: Holiday Inn Ronkonkoma (1-(800) 422-9510 make sure you ask for the I-Con Group Rate $128)
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.
Conventions and Events: Red
Means SFRevu will be there
© 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu