Visions of Paradise

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Lunacon

It is highly unusual for me to write a conreport, since I have attended three conventions total in the past 24 years. But this year Lunacon, the regional convention sponsored by the New York City based fan group the Lunarians, was held at the Sheraton Hotel in the Meadowlands, which is less than an hour away from me. I got email from fellow FAPAn Peggy Rae Sapienza several months ago encouraging me to attend it, so I decided I would give it a try. But only for a single day, since I cannot afford to give up an entire weekend of schoolwork.

I arrived at the hotel about 10:00 in the morning. I immediately went to the Dealers’ Room to browse the f&sf books, which is always one of my favorite parts of a convention. They had Sean Stewart’s acclaimed new novel Perfect Circle, which was published by Small Beer Press instead of a major publisher. So I bought it.

I attended 5 panel discussions, which were all moderately interesting: Guest of Honor Michael Swanwick was on a panel comparing how writers, sculptors, musicians, and costumers tell the same story different ways; F&SF editor Gordon Van Geldor was on two panels, one about the decline of the prozines (which everybody blames on the collapse of the magazine distribution companies in recent decades), and the other about what editors are looking for; another panel was about alternate history and historical fantasy.

The fifth panel was a discussion of contemporary fanzines, but only three people showed up. One of them was panelist John Hertz who is on my mailing list and was incredibly friendly and chatty, so he, Ed Meskys and I discussed fanzines for an hour. That was the highlight of the convention for me, since I rarely get to discuss any of my sfnal-related interests with anybody, nor do I meet members of my mailing list very often. It was worth attending Lunacon just for the time I spent with John and Ed.

So overall, it was a good day, and I hope to go back again next year since it will be in the Meadowlands again. The only disappointing part was I never found Peggy Rae anywhere, but at least that gives me something to look forward to doing next year.

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