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RavenCon Report: Saturday 4/22/06

On Friday night (well, technically Saturday morning) gnomi and I caught up on some much-needed sleep. We had arranged my panel schedule knowing that we might be tired due to the overnight train, so my first panel wasn't until 1 PM. We used the morning for shabbat ritual, including kiddush and lunch.



1 PM. Panel: "Blogs and Webcomics: Is This the New Look of Fanzines?" Panelists: Michael A. Burstein (moderator), Mike Allen (time_shark), Barbara Fischer, Robert Jeschonek, Bryan Prindiville. Since I was moderating this panel, it gave me a chance to steer the discussion. As it is, most of what the panelists discussed were, well, blogs and webcomics. I asked about fanzines, and although everyone knew what they were, no one had had as much experience with them as they have with on-line communication. (Nomi and I have participated in APAs, written for fanzines, and published two issues of a fanzine of our own.) The general feeling from the panelists is that blogs and webcomics have indeed become the new fanzines.

One of the threads we discussed was on the instantaneous feedback people can now receive on their work. Such feedback has both pros and cons, which I would detail if I could remember what they were.

At 2 PM, along with madwriter, we went to wait on the autographing line for Terry Brooks. The line was long for a regional convention, and I was worried about making it to my Koffe Klatch on time. I ended up being five minutes late, but since the Koffe Klatch table was nearby I was able to wave to one of the folks there so they could see I would be right over.

Terry Brooks is a gentleman, and he provided me with a small bit of egoboo. When I introduced myself, I started to explain that I've been publishing science fiction short stories for about eleven years. He said, "Oh, I know who you are." Apparently, he makes a point of keeping up with the field. I have no idea if he's actually read any of my stories, but he'd have no reason to tell me he knew my name if it wasn't true.

3 PM. Koffe Klatch. I shared the slot with writer Laura J. Underwood. We were joined by Sam Lubell, Julia Burgess, and Danny Adams (again!). And, of course, Nomi.

After the panel, Nomi and I once again went back to our room to relax.

At 6 PM Nomi and I went to the panel "The Future of Star Trek -- Has the Epitaph Already Been Written?" Panelists: Robert Jeschonek (moderator), Rich White, Peter Prellwitz, and Steve Cross. By an amusing coincidence, only the day before Paramount had announced that J.J. Abrams had been hired to write a new Star Trek movie. So instead of a panel focused on the books, e-books, fanfic, fan films, and what Paramount might eventually do, we ended up with a lot of discussion of the new film. My own feelings have already been summed up by others; I'm looking forward to the film, but if they choose to go backwards and tell a story about Kirk and Spock during their academy days, I think that will be a mistake.

After the panel, Nomi and I hung out briefly in the Con Suite, which was run very well by Kathleen Morrison and Dennis McCunney.

The Masquerade was scheduled to start at 8 PM. We got there around 7:53 PM to discover that Wombat had already begun the proceedings, mostly by just telling people what would be tranpsiring. Because there were so few entrants, we were treated to a variety of sketches performed by Luna-C, a comedy troupe doing parodies of SF film and TV shows. It was a little hard for us to see and hear them, because we were in the back of the room, but I found them very funny. They were also quick on their feet to make jokes about missed cues when cues were, um, missed.

As for the costumes created for the Masquerade, they all looked very nice.

During the Masquerade shabbat ended, so Nomi and I were once more able to use our room key. We returned to our room and spent the rest of the night talking with Danny Adams (madwriter), Christina Yoder (rivendelldragon) and Steve Yoder. We never did get to Bud Webster's room; sorry about that, Bud.



And finally, sometime after midnight, everyone else left and Nomi and I once again collapsed with exhaustion.

Comments

"Egoboo" is actually a standard term from fandom.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egoboo for more information...
Speaking of which, are you still planning to put out Burstzine #3? Just curious...

Terry Brooks is very much a gentleman. He told me a while ago that he loved my name and wanted to use it for a character... but since I haven't picked up the most recent Shannara series, I don't know whether he ever did.

Coincidentally, I was just chatting with Dennis about Ravencon. I'll pass on your compliment! :-)

(Anonymous)

Ravencon kudos

In all fairness, Kat ran the con suite. She likes doing it, and does it very well. I helped out here and there, but mostly just hung out. Alexis and Lee Gilliland, the Fan GoHs, are old friends, so we took the train down on Thursday and stayed with them, then rode with them to the con. I got a chance to meet John Ringo and Dennis Danvers, both of whom I have books by, as well as an assortment of other neat folks.

I was impressed. For a first time con, in a new hotel and new area, they did it very well, and the glitches I could see were all very minor things. I commented to one of the organizers over some small gaffe "If this is the worst problem you have, you are doing very well indeed."

We plan to go again next year, but I hope they eventually find different quarters. The hotel is lovely, and were reportedly easy to deal with and want the con back. But the location (next to the Richmond airport) is a major pain if you aren't driving there. Among other things, there is no place nearby to eat, so you are stuck with the hotel restaurant.

I never did get to meet Terry Brooks, but since I'm not a fan of his work, I'm not overly upset.

We stayed over with Lee and Alexis Sunday night, and took the train back to NYC Monday. It was a nice weekend, and I needed a con about then. :-)
______
Dennis

Re: Ravencon kudos

Yes, it's probably been over a month since your last con... horrors! :-)

Re: Ravencon kudos

I would love to go again, but given the number of Jewish holidays that take place during the workweek next year, I just don't see it happening.

Re: Ravencon kudos

I thought mostly everything was on weekends next year, except for Pesach & Shavous (kind of the opposite of this year).

Re: Ravencon kudos

I'm looking at Gregorian year 2007, because I have to assign vacation days per those years, and not per Hebrew calendar years.

Re: Ravencon kudos

Ah, OK - that makes more sense.
We have no plans to release Burstzine #3, sadly. We gave back the rights to the articles we had collected to the authors; one of them has already appeared in an issue of Argentis. We still have the LoCs, though, and we might see about putting those into print at some point.
Sorry that didn't work out. Do you still have the logo I made you? If you won't be using it, I might want to keep it.
If it's in the paper files it will take us a while to find it, but once we do, it's yours.
That would be lovely - thanks!
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