Sunday, October 5, 2008

Back from FenCon

Abandoned Towers, in the person of Crystalwizard, spent Oct 3-5 roaming around at FenCon, handing out slips of paper with the magazine home page on them and taking in all the sights. We now present this overview of the con.

Far too many panels to choose from, but that's a good thing. It did mean, however, that I wound up missing some I wanted to see, because I was doing something else I also wanted to do.

Jay Lake was one of the guests and he ran the FenCon short story workshop. I spoke to several of the authors who attended his workshop and they had happy, glowing things to report about his teaching, his critiquing and his professional manner. I had a chance to speak with him myself. He's both a great author and a great person. Professional, polite and humble. He fit himself right in with all the other con guests unlike some authors who are famous for walking around acting like they are above everyone else. He's also actively trying to improve things in the sci-fi industry to benefit all authors and that's something I can't applaud enough. Jay's got a number of things in print. Go buy his books.

Dr. Gregory Benford was also present. Guest of Honor and not what I expected a physicist to be like. Down to earth, funny, a regular guy who I wish I'd had more time to talk to. I did get to listen to his keynote address and found the information he presented fascinating. It sparked an idea for a story as well... now if I can just find the time to write it down.

This was FenCon 5 and the maturing showed. The con ran smooth (at least from a regular visitor perspective) and while everything was fun, the masquerade was a grand time. A number of interesting characters showed up on the costume stage. The unseelie court put in an appearance, a steampunk chick waltzed across the stage, a trio of pixies flitted about for a bit then turned dark and started bellydancing and a stormtrooper, wearing a kilt(!) strode out and demanded applause.

But the act that outshone all the others (in my personal opinion) was Admiral Adama. The man who played him could be almost a dead ringer for the actor in the series. He strode onto the stage and his voice rang out with a loud, clear "So say we all." The entire audience responded back. He captured everyone as he recited Adama's entire speech. Perfectly. I expected a standing ovation but there wasn't time. Each participant in only had a minute or so and he was off the stage as soon as the last "So say we all." was delivered. He did get a thunderous round of applause and he won first in one of the categories.

Many enjoyable discussions, interesting and fun filk music and lots of tasty munchies in the Con suite later, I'm home and exhausted. But it was a grand time and I can't wait for next year.

FenCon - Make plans to come to DFW and play


Jeff Draper said...

I sat a few tables away from Jay Lake in a bar during a writer's conference a few years ago. My impressions match yours; he's the kind of guy you wouldn't mind sharing a drink with.

Forrest Schultz said...

Ah, I see they still have "filk" music at sf cons !! I have not been to a con in a LONG time, so that brought back memories. Do you know how "filk" music got introduced to sf cons?? I am wondering if people today know. Well, in case you don't, one time at a con the person typing up the brochure (and this was back in the days when they used typewriters, not word processors) made a typo -- he intended to type "folk" music but hit the "i" key instead of the "o" key so that it came out "filk" instead of "folk". The people at that con made a big deal of poking fun at the con for having "filk" music. Well, the word got around in fandom and next thing you know, all cons were saying they would have "filk" music. That is how it started, in case you did not know. I learned that at one of the Atlanta cons in the late 1980s.