59th World Science Fiction Convention

by AmyJ

I have a confession. I've never been to a "real" science fiction convention before. But if the experience I had at the 59th World Science Fiction Convention is any indication of what the realm of fandom is all about... count me in for more! For those of you unfamiliar with "World Con", it is basically THE official international science fiction convention. It is the time and place where the Hugo awards are announced to recognize various artistic achievements in the broad category known as science fiction: literature, artwork, fan-zines, television shows and movies. (I'm sure there's more... but hey, I'm new to this.)

The fans that participate in World Con vote on who they believe should be recognized for the Hugos. The convention this year was held in the historic city of Philadelphia from August 30th to September 3rd and featured panels on just about any subject you can imagine (from physics to filk), readings, writing workshops, a dealer's room, collectables, a masquerade, and more parties than you can shake a jinka pole at. It's all one big blur to me now. But I do have the distinct impression that I had a wonderful time and this most definitely was not my last World Con.

This particular convention was significant to karlsweb in that it marked the first time that we all had the opportunity to meet in person. For nearly a year now Karl, Toadie, PKBarb, Johryn and I (Amy J) have worked together on this e-zine via chat and email. (Unfortunately Johryn was not able to attend, but was a trooper to maintain the site while we were in Philly. Thanks, J!) I hope I speak for everyone that meeting in person and being able to hang out without the aid of mouses or keyboards was the main event.

Our first evening in Philly was dedicated to getting to know each other as real people. It was wonderful to be able to place a name with a face and a voice. And we had a great time! 


Day One:

The first day of the con involved exploring the dealer's room, art room and attending various panels. The dealer's room and art exhibit were housed in a massive meeting area. Books, jewelry, t-shirts, collectibles... you name it... one of the booths probably had it.  After hitting panels and spending money in the dealerís room, the gang dressed in their Peacekeeper finery to attend the parties hosted by the various cities vying for the next honor of holding future World Cons. One highlight shall forever be etched in memory as the "scratch ní sniff" encounter. A fellow party-goer got up close and person with the our Peacekeeper commander to smell him (yes, you just read that) because they "liked the smell of leather." (Please note: the costume is VINYL.) Yikes o rama!


Day Two:

If you donít know what a Regency dance is, donít feel left outÖneither do I. But apparently I participated in one, along with Karl, Cheri, Toadie. Regency dances are basically the precursors to "line dancing" performed around the 1700s. Did I mention we did this while in our full Peacekeeper regalia? The stares were worth it, because it was a blast!

Karl, Toadie and I hosted a panel on Farscape with a crowd of fellow fans. (See photographic evidence at right) There were great insights from the group as to the powerful ensemble cast, incredible production standards, and great character development that all work to make Farscape the original show that it is. A common theme was speculation over the present story-line for season three and the possible future for John Crichton and the crew of Moya with increased concern on the so-called "Season of Death" and its ramifications.

Day Three:

Following a day filled with yet more panels was the Masquerade. The highlight of the day! There were over twenty entries into the contest this year. The theme seemed to drift toward the elegant influence of Japanese traditional dress and mythology. However the overall winner to the contest proved to be a group costume done in "black in white" that paid homage to the 1950s TV show, The Twilight Zone. I was really impressed with the workmanship that the costumers put into their efforts.

And what came next were the inevitable parties... With a group as diverse and far reaching as fandom, you can imagine the various themes that each party held: sff.net hosted a "Sugar Fest". The suite was packed full of candy for guests to gorge themselves on. Later that evening they hosted a Red Dwarf Party as well. What a riot! Other stops along the way were the Japan 2007, Boston 2004, and the UK 2005 parties.

Day Four:

This is the day that the winner is announced for the host of the 2004 World Science Fiction Convention. The honor will go to Boston in 2004. If you're interested, you should check out their site. Also, this was the day the Hugo awards were announced. You can go to the Millennium Philcon site to find out the categories and winners.http://


I had a frelling fantastic time. If you've never had the chance to visit a Sci Fi Con before, I highly suggest gathering a group of fellow fans and hitting one. It's a weird, wonderful experience that you'll never forget. Promise



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