Conventions : Reports : CONDOR '07
Con Report by HOST Jade
CONDOR is billed as "San Diego's longest running science fiction and fantasy convention." This is my second trip to CONDOR, and was far and away much better than last year. I think my general perception was they had a better organized program or just maybe I was a little less nervous this year. At some point during the weekend, I was told CONDOR is considered a "relaxed" Con--meaning it is small and local.
This year's theme was "Death and Beyond", inspired by "Dead Like Me's star Ellen Muth, the GoH, who was unexpectedly forced to cancel just days before the event. The writer GoH was Timothy Zahn, well known, mostly, for his Star Wars books. Herbert Jefferson, Jr. (Boomer - Battlestar Galactica) was the media guest.
Lots of things going on in the background, here. There is a "people bingo" game all through the weekend, a scavenger hunt (Death Race 2008) on Saturday, Hogwarts School of Withcraft and Wizardy classes, RPGA gaming, and an anime music video contest. A Filk concert on Saturday night at the same time as a Masquerade and a Wizard Rock concert. There was also a good sized Art Show and the Dealers' Room.
The Handlery Hotel is nice, and most of the panels took place in fair sized rooms upstairs. Unfortunately the room used for the art show last year was not big enough to accommodate, and the room selected instead was not well lighted for the purpose. The Masquerade started 30 minutes late, as they didn't prepare the room ahead of time, which then delayed the Wizard Rock concert that took place "immediately" after (they had to reset the chairs and sound equipment). The Dealers' Room was smaller than last year's and even more sparsely attended. In general, however, it was a good con to attend -- well worth the time spent.
The panels and panelists were very good. Some of the panelists really did their "homework" preparing for the event. I saw ledgers and notes aplenty, and in a lot of cases had trouble taking notes because the discussions were quite lively.
Cheating the Reaper: Reincarnation and Serial Lives, Uploading Your Brain, Immortality. Three separate panels, and we wanted to talk some more. Couple of questions--is there an OS you would trust your brain to? Do you die when you upload your brain? Is your clone really you? OH--"gives a whole new meaning to 'the blue screen of death'"
The Afterlife: Is There Life After This, Interpretations of the Christians' Heaven, Differenet Cultures' Concepts, SF and Fantasy Interpretations. Three more panels--lively groups. Lots of books mentioned--I highly recommend Mur Lafferty's Heaven series (available at podiobooks). OH--"It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter."(proverbs 25:2)
A reading by David Brin: lots of laughter in here. This sent me off to Baen's Universe, as he read from a serial published online, The Ancient Ones. David Brin is very actively a promotor that SF Groups apply their charters to "promote" SF and Fantasy, especially in education.
Monsters As Heroes, Vampires As Lovers: Two panels working on the "goth". Is it just me? I've only noticed these in the past few (okay 20 plus) years, or have there always been stories that take these concepts to the limit?
Close Friends You've Never Met: This is about meeting and knowing friends we've met online. Some of us have been friends online for years, and never had the chance to meet face-to-face. The panelists had lots of stories of their own to share. One of them even pledged us to "secrecy" before she started giving us details re: how her car really got into the accident.
Researching for Art: the Library, Google Images, etc. Getting the requirements right according to the author, what's been done by others and what is known. Granted, there's no such thing as a "unicorn on a motorcycle", but there are factors that do come to play...
Your favourite convention not listed here?
The "con suite" was generous and well-run. Cereals for breakfast, chili fo rlunch and plenty of fruits and veggies and bread for snacks. The weather was nice all weekend, we sat around the pool area and chatted for hours. Two years in a row, there's a little girl (10 or 11yrs.) in a dragon costume hawking her Girl Scout Cookies. I think she sold out again.
Now, I've got yet another long list of books to find and read or reread.