Conventions : Reports : loscon '07
Con Report by HOST Jade
I'm new to cons. I'm also prone to panic attacks in groups larger than 10 or 15 persons. The first I ever attended was LACon IV in August, 2006. I survived...
The experience was worth the stress. I'm going to a few cons this year, and, sometimes, I even remember I have my camera. This time, I also rememered to take a few notes...
Registration: So nice to see a familiar face! Our own Gandalara is once again a volunteer at con registration. HeHeHe--shocked her a little; she wasn't expecting to see us! SciFiDog is expected later in the day; it's going to be fun to see another friend around the place.
The dealers' room is well-attended; there are just a few empty tabels. The art show/gallery is terrific. I want...! Theresa Mather has several pieces in the show. She's the Artist GoH... One of the pieces is soo tempting, but I can't quite justify the price. Not that the price is out of line, just that no one in the family would understand...
Just a few panels strike my fancy. Good turn out and participation.
Historical Linguistics: Described as an essential factor in keeping a world alive when the writer isn't looking at it. Several books offered as helps in the process [Murmurs of Earth: the Voyager Interstellar Record - Carl Sagan], [Language for Time Travelers - L. Sprague de Camp], [Thinking in Pictures - Temple Grandin].
Online or Pulp? the great debate rages on. Is new media changing the face of publishing? Are digital books the new way, or are there still those who will prefer the pulp editions? This was a lively discussion and many factors discussed [e-ink, podcasts, marketing, the feel and smell of paper...] The general consensus is that "real" books will be around for a long time.
Should Sanity be Illegal? I don't know why I thought this was a funny title for a panel. The discussion was quite animated. Someone proposed it would be easier to lock up the sane people than the insane ones. Another point taken is that our judicial system is "punitive" and we don't want to punish someone for having an illness... Finally, who decides what is "sane" and what is not? An odd question came up during the discussion: "If gravity were twice as strong, would colors be the same?" This question was offerred by Todd McCaffrey. Hmm...
Mutate Now: A lively discussion around what mutations would/should be desireable. If we could choose our mutations, and when they would occur. An observation is made by one of the panelists--"When we get the technology to meddle, someone is going to meddle."
In the patio outside the main hall, there is a miniature "dig". Essentially 8 large bins of sand to be sifted through and treasures to be found. One bin contained pottery pieces to be reassembled, another various small toys... All of the bins contain clues to the scavenger hunt conducted this weekend. There's a large net hanging over the wall, and a table of other "found" artifacts.
At the other end of the patio, swordplay ensues. One of the onlookers is spinning yarn; I got a quick lesson on how to ply my own yarn--nice interlude. In the carport beyond the swordplay, there is a small truck complete with an R2D2 navigator droid, not to be confused with the R2D2 that is wandering around the dig, or the rest of the con floor ;-)
Throughout the weekend, I encounter con attendees in costume. Some of them hold still long enough to have their picture taken. That is, they do when I remember I have a camera and ask them for a picture. There's a blood drive, and a trio of belly dancers are entertaining those who volunteer. I'm getting a little more confidant; most of the people here speak the same language (SF and fantasy) and are generally willing to stop and chat a bit. The artists and authors are all really just people, too. Going to come again...
Your favourite convention not listed here?
While I live only 1/2 hour from El Segundo, I'm considering staying at the con hotel next year. Commuting makes one tend to cut the day short and I actually skipped the last day as well. I really think I miss a lot of the other activities available as a result.
The masquerade was held Saturday evening. We (myself and my "ride") left for home as guests were lining up at the door. Costumes were worn at the con all weekend, but the masquerade entries, of course, were nowhere to be seen before 8:00pm on Saturday night (in the ballroom). The filk concerts were also "the end of the day" and some of the better anime presentations were reserved for later at night. I really wished we could have stayed later each day...