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January 2003
2003 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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The Lens
Arisia
'03

Arisia '03 January 17-19, 2003
by Ernest Lilley

WebSite: www.arisia.org
Hotel: Boston Park Plaza

Writer Guest of Honor Harry Turtledove
Artist Guests of Honor Victoria (Poyser) Lisi & Julius Lisi / Fan Guest of Honor Anthony R. Lewis, F.N. Special Costume Guests Pierre & Sandy Pettinger
Special Gaming Guests Looney Labs (Kristin Looney, Andrew Looney, Alison Looney)
Special Filk Guest Gwen Knighton

Steve Sawicki and I headed up to Arisia 03 in Boston this past weekend, and as usual we came away with mixed feelings. The programming is really pretty good, and Harry Turtledove was a fine WGOH, but the alternate programming track ("Birds of a feather, flock in leather" I quipped to Eleanor Lang, who gave a panel on flirting) was both more and less distracting than in years past. Remember folks...Lycra and Leather are a privilege...not a right. As always though, the con organizers were pretty well organized, and everyone was friendly and helpful. I drove up, which means I had to stash the car somewhere, and with a con discount only paid $22 for leaving the car in the Boston Mall Commons underground from Fri to Sun.

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l-r: WGOH Harry Turtledove, George Morgan w HT, The Secret Masters of Arisia, Author Walter Hunt poses with his new book, The Dark Path (Tor 2/03) and his daughter Aline., Arwen and Peter...I think.

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At the ball, men allowed themselves to be blindfolded and danced around the floor. When will we ever learn? A pretty girl with a pink ballon caught my eye (as it was supposed to) and a Boskone SMOF held court Fri eve.

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The panels, such as I got to, were very good and pretty well attended. Left is the book reviewer panel, a Tolkien panel, and an panel on immortality, which posed the question: "Why would you want to live forever when you can't find anything good to do on a Sunday afternoon now?" Following the Immortality panel, our DVD reviewer, Steve Sawicki, was dead to the world. We were supposed to be on the quiet floor...but evidentially, so was dealers row.

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Saturday night the Party Floor was hopping. At the BuffyCon affair they reprised the celebrated "Buffy the musical" episode, in good voice, The Gay Fandom Party lounges amiably around, and FrogSmart (www.frogsmart.com) web hosting offered goodies, games and really green lighting to all who stopped by.

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Chris Shuldner's legendary closed party was the place to be on the party floor. Note SFRevu contributor Dave Goldfeder (upper right) doing his Wolverine imitation, Bob and Michael Devney talking to Dan Kimmel (center bottom). Lower far right: Seriously ladies, which would you rather kiss, a Wombat or a Frog?

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Elevators often play an exciting role in conventions, and Arisia 03 was no exception. Walter, one of the operators mused "that the con-goers seemed like nice folks...not too normal maybe...but maybe we're the ones who aren't normal." Fans weren't the only ones in outlandish costumes, and yes, we managed to overload an elevator and had to call out the Fire Dept. Not that getting stuck in an elevator is always a bad thing, if you can arrange to get trapped with a dazzling duo or an especially bad kitty.

sfr3d.gif (19860 bytes) 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
columns - events - features - booksmedia                    home  /  subscribe