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08 September 2004 @ 01:48 pm
A Brief Review Of WorldCon  
Just a brief overview of some of the things we did this year:

- concerts. Lots of concerts. Besides our regular filk concert and single-song participation in the Pegasus concert (thanks for asking for us, Tom!) and the Filk and Fable panel, we appeared three nights (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) at the "Mended Drum" convention bar space and on Thursday night at the Columbus bid party. A lot of concert slots spread out by quite a bit, so the quality definitely varied. The high point was probably Friday night (best crowd), the low point was probably Saturday night (all the running around finally got to us and made for a very sloppy start, though we recovered OK).

- meals. Through a very specific decision, we chose to eat few meals "on the run" this time. While it meant we missed even more of the con than one usually must for a WorldCon, it meant that we finally got to spend some time with Pete and Jill Grubbs, which was a real pleasure. By having dinner with quadrivium, we got to talk much more than before with the mythical Wesley. We also got to sup with Steven Joel and France, as well as with autographedcat and kitanzi and billroper and Gretchen.

- panels (filk). Enjoyed the Juried One Shots and the performance panel greatly. Still don't know how I end up doing a guitar workshop, as I think of my guitar work as merely adequate at best, but had some beginners so was able to maintain an air of superiority (*G*). Crashed the Future of Recording panel when Spencer couldn't stay and ended up having a rather interesting conversation about the effects of new tech vs. the effects of inertia in the market. Had a very good time with the Filking Disasters panel and heard a couple of new stories.

- panels (non-filk). Had the chance to moderate panels that I was not necessarily the best resource for, so I both felt I contributed and was able to concentrate more on the panel flow than getting my own ideas and insights out onto the floor. I always enjoy neofan panels, and since the first panel focused on "Making Connections" I felt honored to get to work with Nicki Lynch, Toni Weisskopf (who turns out to be one of those people I've known forever but never knew her name) and the DUFF guest Norman Cates. We were able to talk both about what kind of things to do at the convention (though we didn't fall into the trap laid by the audience member who sweetly asked, "What do you recommend I do this weekend?") as well as fannish activities not necessarily convention-limited. I contributed much less to the "Ending the Convention" panel, since the interest was on huge cons, but I did manage to keep the panel flowing smoothly between the panelists and audience questions. In both cases I received compliments from the panelists on how well I moderated the panels ... aw, shucks ...

- panels (attended). I got to the panel on treatment of Death in fiction, which featured GoH Terry Pratchett and our own andpuff, which was very lively, humorous, and thought-provoking in its way. I got to TP's speech (my first ever GoH speech that I've attended) on Saturday Morning due to an unplanned early awakening, a serendipitous event that I was actually rather glad occurred ("Don't go toward the sandwich!") The production of "The Filkado" was lots of fun, even though we had to leave a little early due to dinner plans. I hope someone got it on video.

- open filk. Hmm? Well, I got into the open filk room Saturday night, and was in a rendezvous filk with Ropers/Pete Grubbs/Brenda on Friday night. Other than that, my fingers just hurt too much.

- parties. Only made it to the parties that were open after midnight, so I missed most of the low-key ones. Xerps was good as always (don't ask about the punch recipe), as were the various parties in the costumers' suite (including the annual Evil Genius party).

- events. Got to hear part of the Hugos on Saturday night, as we were "on deck" to perform in the Mended Drum as soon as the Hugos finished. The Masquerade was larger than in recent years, with fewer large groups but some very well-done individual costumes. No running gag this year, but who needed it with the constant Terry Pratchett costumes and associated humorous narration. The Masquerade MC, whose name escapes me, was fantastic - was able to use the crowd's activities to help stretch the timing between presentations, but had the perfect amount of control to keep things in hand so that they stopped when the next contestant was ready to come on stage.

And then there was the "One-Man Star Wars Trilogy", performed by Charles Ross. Since he first performed it in 2001, I doubt if it qualifies for a "Best Dramatic Presentation - Short Form" Hugo. Too bad, because it was one of the funniest damn things I've ever seen. Rather than describe it, take a look at the demo on the web site and then remember that those are not by any means the funniest bits.

He'll be in Atlanta January 13-16. And hmmm ... his One Man Lord Of the Rings premiered in 2004 ...

- missed things. Well, we were so busy (and I don't drink much before I have to perform) that there were no extended sessions in the bar just talking to people. A few quick hallway-meetings had to suffice for most of the people I usually only get to see at cons. Didn't see the Art Show at all. Only ran through the Dealers' Room a few times (this is not necessarily a Bad Thing, as I spent a lot on books anyway). No real opportunity to do anything to help prepare for the Scottish WorldCon (though I did get to meet Kevin Standlee, new head of Events, who was on my "End Of the Con" panel). Had a number of panels I was interested in that I ended up missing - par for the course for WorldCon, though, so no big deal.

In all, a well-run WorldCon. NESFA-style programming once again offered superb and well thought-out choices. Filk sub-program was much lighter than at many recent WorldCons, and the filk programming was usually well integrated (and listed in!) the main programming schedule. Filk Office (note- NOT a lounge!) was conveniently located and well staffed and well run - I will be stealing many ideas about this for 2005.
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
FilkerDavefilkerdave on September 8th, 2004 07:25 pm (UTC)
The Masquerade MC was Susan di Guardiola.

And yes, she IS very good.
Ericacatalana on September 8th, 2004 08:57 pm (UTC)
hmm, I think I know her from SCA dancing stuff. Small world...*Grin*
FilkerDavefilkerdave on September 8th, 2004 08:59 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure you do; wasn't it at MilPhil you were talking with her about it?
(Anonymous) on September 10th, 2004 04:25 pm (UTC)
The Filkado did get videotaped, and there will be tapes available. Email me for the details.
-- Gary M.