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CONVENTIONS: REPORTS Descriptions and pictures of past cons.

LosCon '01

Con Report by Gandalara

LosCon November 23 - 25, 2001

Arrived early, as usual, on Thursday and wandered around to see if the place had changed. Nope. They gave me a room on the 2nd floor, which worried me at first because the party floors were the 3rd, 4th and 5th. But after remembering that the planes have never bothered me before (the Hilton is right next to Burbank Airport), I figured the parties wouldn't either. Unpacked, called housekeeping for ashtrays (why do they give you a smoking room with *no* ashtrays?) and went and found the wandering badge lady for pre-registered members. Went back to the room, got comfortable, opened a bottle of wine, ordered room service, and settled in for a night of movies and reading. Ah, vacations :)

Friday morning, I left the hotel to make the drive to pick up RaptorLA, who would be camping out on my floor during the convention. Took me 50 minutes to go 25 miles, but that's Los Angeles. Back to the hotel, showed him where registration was and headed into the dealer's room. LosCon has moved their rooms around this year, and I liked it. The dealer's room isn't as cramped, and the only way into the art show is through the dealer's room. Saw some old friends, scoped out the books available, and then Raptor and I went to the Opening Ceremonies, which was basically a panel with GoH Patricia Wrede, Artists GoH Chris Butler, Fan GoH Lynn Gold and 2 people from the LosCon committee. I got restless after a while, so I headed back to the dealer's room to buy some of those books I saw earlier.

I looked in on a panel called Does the Future of Star Trek Lie in It's Past, which was a discussion of the show Enterprise. People are still talking about the perky decontamination scene :) Next door to the panel was Bruce Pelz and his Fan Lounge, along with all the books he sells. The call was too strong, out came the wallet again. Back to the room to unload, and there was a message from SciFiDog on the phone. Returned her call and got the answering machine. Oh well. Called Lizstrata and set up our yearly breakfast date for the next morning. Met up with Raptor again, and decided on Chinese food for dinner. And then I dragged him into Fry's Electronics so he could give me lessons on what to look for in laptop computers. They've all got so much junk on them that I'd never use.

Back to the hotel to watch a little TV - LosCon arranges to have a 24-hour SF channel during the con - the only problem with this is that you don't know whether to attend the con or watch TV :) During this sitting, we watched Hardware Wars, Bambi Meets Godzilla, Closet Cases of the Nerd Kind and the 1965 Dr. Who and the Daleks with Peter Cushing. God, those Daleks were hard to understand. But maybe it was the wine. Then we flipped off the TV and went to check out some parties. UK in 2005 Bid Party. Baycon. The LA in 2006 Space Cadets - where Raptor looked on while I got a tattoo of a spaceship. Upper left breast. Just enough tattoo to peek out. Forry's 85th Birthday Party. On to the dance. Loud music. Very loud music. Giant videos up on the wall. People dancing alone, in 2's and in 3's. In total abandon. We joined them.

Saturday morning. My David Gerrold day. We met Liz for breakfast and talked about everyone we knew online. Gossip is good. After she left, Raptor and I went our separate ways. I headed for The Involuntary Human is Dragged Kicking and Screaming Toward Sentience by the Cosmic Badger. The LosCon book describes it as: "David Gerrold will indulge himself in a freeform, rambling, disconnected, free-associating, scream of consciousness, inquiry into the process by which the unwilling get processed by language into the semblance of consciousness, which is actually only the training ground and not the actual arena of life; during which exposition the memetic traps will be closed upon the metaphorical legs of those members of the audience who have managed to stay awake."

OK. Yeah, I understand all that.

After listening to David be so entertaining, I wandered around the dealer's room, bid on a picture in the art room, talked to old friends, snagged Emma Bull's autograph and then headed for Gerrold's Charity Auction for the SFWA Medical Emergency Fund. Auctions are my downfall. I know this. But I go anyway. It's for a good cause, right? David usually has some good stuff - lots of books, signed scripts, Tribbles, old music - and this time Karen Anderson had brought some stuff that had belonged to Pohl. My, um, purchases this year included a sucker made out of tequila with the worm in it, a Trekkies video, a CD of The Martian Child (if you have not read this story, go to Gerrold's web site NOW and read it), several books - AND - (drum roll, please) a tuckerization in Gerrold's next book. After seeing how much money a Pratchett tuckerization raised for charity at Philly, I asked David why he never did this. "Oh, but I have!" "Well, never when I've been around." "I didn't think people were that interested." (Karen grins) "Well, sure, OK. But I have to get a minimum of $50." (Karen's hand goes up)

Karen wins :)

After the auction, I ran into Kage Baker in the hall and got her to sign some books since I had missed her autographing session. Then it was time to stand around and yak with some friends while waiting for Larry Niven to show up to sign books - I only had one book of his left unsigned - snagged 3rd place in line. Larry sits down at the table, and who should sit down next to him to also do signings - David Gerrold. When it's my turn to hand my book to Larry, David looks up and sees me. Shocked look. And then, in a voice that carries half-way across the hall, "You slut! I can't believe it! Already fooling around with another author! You slut!" He and I crack up. Very confused look from Larry, who says, "I'm not even going to ask."

Went to the Con Suite - and found the whole room FILLED with everything and anything chocolate. Yum. Lots and lots of sugar-buzzed fen. Bjo Trimble asks when I'm going to give up my hair for Locks of Love. Sorry. Never.

Back to the room. I have no idea where Raptor is, so I order a pizza (university students home in on pizza), phone a friend, and look over my loot. Five minutes before the pizza arrives, Raptor arrives. Ha! Raptor then proceeds to teach me how to drink Zima - you put a Jolly Rancher in the corner of your mouth first - Zima then tastes like whatever flavor you've put in there. I think I'll stick to my wine, thank you :) Watched part of the LosCon TV salute to Bill Paxton the last part of Slipstream, Future Shock and the first part of Monolith. Then it was time to go down to the Masquerade. And there we find a line a mile long, slowly inching into a too-small room. I look at the room. I look at all the people. I look at Raptor and say, "Nope." We go back to the room and watch Shrek! We also watched more LosCon TV - a very very sick movie, supposedly banned from Blockbuster, called The Dark Backward. About a man who wants to break into show business and finds success only after he finds a 3rd arm growing out of the middle of his back. Starring Judd Nelson, Bill Paxton as a garbage-eating friend, James Caan, Rob Lowe and Wayne Newton. Sick. Really sick. I handed the remote to Raptor and pulled the covers over my head.

Sunday morning. My Harlan Ellison day. First stop was a panel called Free Enterprise in Space, which was about getting us up there, and the differences between government and the private sector. Just like an OWC chat, except they stayed on topic. Some pretty varied opinions were talked about too. Tempers got a little frayed. Frustration showing.

Went to the Art room to pick up the picture I had bid on and won. A 10 x 12 framed colored pencil drawing of a wanton fairy. Drawn on her knees, filmy gauze not really covering anything, a come-hither look through masses of hair. Entitled "Only You Can Pervert Forest Faeries".

I then went to Harlan Ellison vs. The Internet Pirates - and Harlan was in fine form, even with his wife and 2 lawyers trying to keep him from talking about things he shouldn't talk about. He explained how the case started with just him involved, and has ballooned into the current copyright fight for all authors and their works on the web. He said at the beginning, "Let me just say a few words and then I'll let Chris (one of the lawyers) take over since she knows all the facts." It was a 90 minute panel - Chris got to talk somewhere around the 75 minute mark. It was great.

Immediately following the panel, Harlan had an auction of various things, to help cover legal fees. He was also going to autograph after the auction, and I wanted to get my copy of Edgeworks signed. After seeing what was up for auction, I decided I could get the book signed sometime in the future. I luckily found Raptor wandering the halls and we decided to call it quits. Onto the south-bound freeway to take Raptor home (Traffic. Major traffic. Blech) and then onto the east-bound freeway to get myself home (No traffic. Raptor, next year you find your own way home )

Another LosCon over and done. Almost 1200 people attended. The blood drive collected 56 units. And we learned that turkeys are really very intelligent animals, they're just always stoned on triptophan. Maybe I'll make it to WesterCon in Los Angeles next July. Nine months until WorldCon in San Jose. Heh :)