Dragon*Con

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Convention
Name: Dragon*Con
Dates: 1987-present
Frequency: annual
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
Type: ?
Focus: science fiction and fantasy, comics, gaming, anime, etc.
Organization:
Founder: John Bunnell, David Cody, Robert Dennis, Mike Helba, Pat Henry, Ed Kramer.
Founding Date: 1987
URL: http://www.dragoncon.org/
1998 con program cover
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Dragon*Con is the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the world. This massive media convention is held yearly over Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, Georgia.

History

Dragon*Con began in 1987 as an organization of fans who wanted to continue an Atlanta convention after their city hosted WorldCon in 1986. In 1989, it became much bigger with 2,400 members, thanks to hosting Anne McCaffrey. Until 2013[1] the convention maintained a Pern-track called 'Weyrfest'- making it one of the only conventions to do Dragonriders of Pern programming. In 1990 the con doubled in size, having Tom Clancy as guest and also adding the Atlanta Comic Expo to its attractions. Dragon*Con eventually dropped the Expo from its name, but it's still part of the convention.[2] From there, the con kept growing year by year, with the organizers planning for a 15% increase in membership each year. Now it's one of the bigger media conventions in America, frequently mentioned in the same breath as San Diego Comic-Con. Attendance in 2012 was over 52,000.[3]

Programming

The largest single section of Dragon*Con programming consists of the fan tracks, each of which has a dedicated room and is organized by a separate team of volunteers. Some tracks are devoted to single shows or franchises, such as the Trek track and the Stargate: Multiverse track. Other tracks cover broader genres, for instance American Sci-Fi Classics or Horror. There are sometimes more specialized tracks with topics that pertain to that year's particular guests. There are also tracks geared towards professionals, including writers, artists, and film-makers. Many of the artist and writer guests are on panels that give advice to budding professionals, and a lot of the artists have hours in the Artist's Alley where they make themselves available to con members. Because of the way the tracks are organized, each track is almost like a mini-convention in itself, with continuous programming from morning to evening.

Another big focus of the convention is gaming. There are organized tournaments for card games, and a huge open gaming area. The convention's Exhibition Hall, where companies display or debut new products, can be heavily skewed toward new gaming products. Several popular games, such as Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering, have given away special Dragon*Con cards, made for and distributed exclusively to con members. The gaming tournaments and panels have grown to the point that gaming now has its own program guide.

1988 Flyer, page 1 announcing Anne McCaffrey as guest. Click to see larger version.
1988 Flyer page 2.

Apart from all the usual fannish attractions, the night life at Dragon*Con is extensive and goes on, quite literally, all night. In the bigger venues, panels start giving way to bands in the evening hours, and there are dozens of room parties of varying sizes every night. The 2013 version of the website states that "We will again offer late-night DJ'd dances Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, beginning after the last concert and lasting until dawn."[4]. There's also all-night filking.[5]

At the annual Dragon Awards, which began in 2016,[6] fans can nominate and vote to "recognize excellence in all things Science Fiction and Fantasy."[7]

Notable Events

Beginning in 2002, the convention began to host a yearly parade down Peachtree Street. In recent years--with 1,800 participants in 2011 and 3,000 in 2012--it's grown to become the largest parade in the city of Atlanta.[8]

In 2009, the cast and crew of Battlestar Galactica (2003) were presented with So Say We All, collection of fan essays and thank you notes. [9]

Con Reports

1992

This con comes under Stein's law of convention flyers: never trust a con who uses more than one color on the flyer. They have a terrific line up of guests (William Stout is one who I'm tempted by). They have a large membership, and a great art show filled with big name pros and original book covers. They also have really loose sales for the art show (Dealer's tables yes, art show - no). I attended in 90, and David auctioned. Heather sent in 91, and had nibbles instead of sales. It might be a good con to be seen at, but I'm not sure about the sales aspects for this year. Panel and mailing fees are high for few returns. I'll be skipping this one this year. [10]

1995

DC was a nightmare. It was difficult to get in to see the work, the aisles were so close together that it was hard to move, see, even breath I No one in a wheelchair could get through - which made a lot of people very angry. It was just lain SCARY! Check-in was terrible.

Check-out was a breeze. [11]

There were so many things wrong with Dragon Con it's difficult to organize my thoughts. On a desirability scale of 1 to 10 it would take two points just to get on the scale. The Art Show panels were packed so close together that if anyone stopped to view a piece there was a traffic jam, since passing space was nil. It was set up in the regular zig-zag pattern.

No informed artist holds the Art Show Director Rosanne Stutts at fault. She did not plan it that way. The squeeze may be blamed on the Dealers Room promoter who tried to squeeze as many dealers in as possible. It was not necessary however as I saw spaces empty that could have allowed the art show to expand a little. If anyone had really cared. Something did happen which really upset me. llhen panels are pre-assigned it is the luck of the draw where you wind up. Right? When Dave Pancake and I got there Thursday evening the floor plan was made and we found our spots. Great! We had a front row panel. What great luck!!

When we came down the next day they were moving our art work to a location somewhere deep within the maze. We were told the fire marshall said the front row panels had to be moved and were shown a new floor plan.

... We were assured that the art show would not show preferential treatment to a proffesional. But they did, it happened. Dragon Con not only scorns artists but they treat guests and other i i c attendees with a certain amount of disdain. Many who were listed as guests in the progress report found that the convention never heard of them when i they got there. I was one of those listed on the "guest " roster, yet I had to purchase my own badge and found there was no compensation for all the preparation I went through for my program. Many other "guests" were bitching about the lack of even the most common courtesy. One man who with his pregnant wife had to wait in line for 25 minutes only to find out he was one of the disappeared was hassled when his wife had to sit down. "I don't expect special treatment," he said. A little common courtesy would be nice."

Common Courtesy appears not to be expected from Dragon Con. People were scheduled to be on programs when their plane was just landing, co: an hour after the plane took off. There seemed to be no planning or organization. They seemed to act as though they did not know they were going to have a convention on Thursday until late Tuesday evening. And Atlanta wants to screw up another World Con in '98??[12]

Alot of people had things to say about the DragonCon Art show. It was the NASFIC in 95, and they expected to be treated well. Rosanne Stutts is a long time art show director, and she usually handles everyone very well.

This year, the worst possible thing happened. The Fire Marshall nixed the original spacious layout for the art show. The con waj starting, and communication lines were strained to their worst. Ed, the Con Chairman, made a quick decision to move the physical placement of the show and the dealer's room. Thus the art show was suddenly stuffed into a much smaller space.

Rosanne takes all responsibility for not making other arrangements. I find that to be refreshing, since blame could have easily been passed around. The art director could not just turn people away, when she had already promised space. She did what she felt was best, and absolutely crammed the space with zig-zag panels. A buyer had to travel in one direction, and couldn't stop to really look at any piece because there were usually people behind them wanting to move along. The panels were so close together, it was difficult to divide your viewing time between the right and the left.

A buyer could easily go claustrophobic inside the rows. Sales suffered. Viewing suffered. The check-in and check-out was smooth as possible considering the crowding. The rest of the mundane details of the auction, sales and print shop went well. The ASFA meeting was filled with people ready to rail and stab out angrily at the con. Time was given for explanations and rebuttal. Promises were made for special care next year.

What about next year? I suppose the concom will be extra sensitive to the needs of the artists. They are a big show, and know the ropes pretty well. They can't make up for the treatment and lost revenues of 95, but there will still be buyers in attendance looking for things this year. I guess we'll have to wait and see. [13]

Dragon*Con 1995: A Bidder's Eye View (c)1995 by Perrianne Lurie

It was with some trepidation that I prepared to attend the 1995 NASFiC, which was to be combined with Dragon*Con. I'd heard all the bad mouthing of Dragon*Con by various SMOFs, who seemed to object to their emphasis on media, comics, and gaming, but was not at all put off by this. I was a bit concerned by Ed Kramer's prediction of 13,000 attendees (which turned out to be an underestimate), and was more than a little paranoid about how many of them would be convinced to vote in the 1998 Worldcon Site Selection (for Atlanta and against Baltimore).

For several weeks before the con, I and many other program participants tried without success to get a preliminary or final program schedule. I did not find out what I'd been scheduled for until the day before the con, when I downloaded the complete schedule and searched it for my name. I discovered that I'd been scheduled for five panels on Friday: three in a row from 11:30 am to 3:30 p.m., one opposite the banquet, and one at 10 p.m., one on Saturday, and another on Sunday afternoon. Needless to say, my first stop after registration would be program ops.

Registration ran fairly smoothly, although they did not have my badge at the "Guest" table (since I had purchased a membership by virtue of voting in the 1995 NASFiC site selection at MagiCon), and (as I later discovered), they did not give me the "Dear Guest" letter that all the program participants were supposed to get. This may have been just as well, since much of the information in the letter was erroneous.

When I got to program ops, there were a lot of program participants looking to find out what their schedules were. They were all eagerly pouncing on my GEnie printouts when the "official" staff arrived and suggested they look through the pocket schedule (which was less up to date than the GEnie printout) to find their panels. I was lucky not to have been scheduled for simultaneous events; others were not: one participant was twice scheduled for two events at the same time (she took the people from her reading with her to one of her panels, thus achieving the impossible by being in two places at once!), and one unlucky soul was scheduled for three events simultaneously. There were no individual itineraries, and the program had not been cross-referenced by panelist. (Had they been thinking ahead, they might have had a computer in Program Ops to allow at least a word search of the text.) I gave the staff a written list of the four panels I wanted to drop (which they either lost, ignored, or failed to pass along), wrestled my GEnie printout free from other anxious panelists, and set off in search of my bid table.

After asking several con staffers with headsets for instant communication with I-don't-know-whom (who were all less than helpful) I found the "round room" where the map of the bid tables was located. My table was located between an empty table (which was subsequently filled with a group of, I believe, Misty Lackey fans) and the Philadelphia in 2001 bid table. They cleverly staggered the 1998 bidders so that none of us was adjacent to another. On the other side of the Philly table was Niagara Falls in 1998, followed by Chicago in 2000, and then the ACME Atlanta in 1998 bid. Boston in 1998 was next to the tables for the seated Worldcons, LACon and LoneStarCon. After several hours of searching for the rest of my bid committee, I finally got the bidding materials and was able to open the table.

The most frequently asked questions at my bid table during the con were (in order of frequency): 1. Where do I register for Dragon*Con? 2. Where's the bathroom? and 3. What's a Worldcon? (Usually, once I'd answered #3 and explained how to vote, they walked away in total disinterest. It seems our fears about the hoards of Dragon*Con regulars being convinced to vote for Atlanta were groundless.) I didn't sell a lot of bid-related merchandise or presupports, but we collected about a dozen site selection ballots to hand carry to Glasgow, and a lot of other fans stopped by to complain about Dragon*Con and promised to vote for Baltimore. We had bid parties, but the hotel charged us $70 corkage, even though we'd been told by the con com that it would be waived. I heard from one of the Dragon*Con directors that they'd wanted to charge us $240, but they'd been talked down to $140, of which Dragon*Con paid half. The other bid parties were also charged corkage (although it wasn't as much since they weren't serving alcohol), but at least one of them had seen the threatened charge disappear from their hotel bill before they checked out.

The art show had to be seen to be believed. Due to some sort of miscommunication about the dimensions of the space available and the fire marshal's recommendations, there was about three times as much art as could fit in the available space. On Sunday, Ross Pavlac measured the aisles and found a maximum clearance of 30 inches between the panels (which were arranged in a maze-like zig zag pattern), with a some aisles only 26 inches wide. They made the aisles one-way, because two people could notpass each other in that space! There was a lot of really niceart, but no one could see it because you couldn't stand back farenough, or were hyperventilating from the claustrophobic spaces. And if you were in a wheelchair, or simply large (as fen are wont to be), you couldn't get into the aisles at all. It was also very hard to even find the art show, which was tucked away in a corner of the dealers' room with no signs to indicate its presence.

The art show rules were not posted (although they tell me that there were some written on the individual bid sheets), bags were not checked for cameras or stolen art, and there was no place to leave bulky packs, etc. I was told by a member of ASFA that when the artists showed up to check in, they were sent to the 28th floor of the hotel to get a computer print out of control numbers for their art (which they then had to take back with them to the art show, which was on the basement level). On Sunday morning I was back in the art show with one of the artists, and she remarked that the art on the end panels wasn't the same as it had been in previous days. It seems they were rotating the art on the end panels (the only ones you could see without entering the maze) for better exposure. I guess it never occurred to them that people might bid on the art and come back to look for it later!

The Dealers' Room was large, but populated by a lot of comics and weapons dealers, a handful of gaming and jewelry venders, a total of four book dealers (only one of whom had new books), and a smattering of other miscellaneous merchants. There was no map available, and it was very difficult to find your way around (especially since they insisted that you leave via a one-way escalator in a different part of the room from the entrance stairs).

The "main" Guests of Honor were all at the Opening Ceremonies and Locus Awards/Harlan Ellison Tribute Banquet, but were not scheduled for panels on the main track of programming. Timothy Zahn and Bjo Trimble had panels, but they were in the separate Star Trek and Star Wars tracks. Harlan Ellison had a "Meet Harlan Ellison" solo spot, a reading (in a room large enough for 30 which was filled with well over 100 people--many more were turned away-and without the slide projector he had asked for repeatedly), and two autographing sessions. George Alec Effinger was less fortunate: his reading was scheduled opposite Ellison's talk and he had only one autograph session, both on Friday. He was also not informed about the banquet until a few hours before it began, and did not find out he was expected to give a speech at the Ellison tribute until after the banquet had begun. Effinger was also left stranded at the airport (the Dragon*Con staffer who was supposed to pick him up apparently missed him and didn't think to have him paged). I don't know if he was ever reimbursed for the $20 cab fare. Also, the filk GOH, Leslie Fish, did not have a GOH ribbon, and was not introduced as one of the guests of honor at either the Opening Ceremonies or the banquet. (In fact, one of her concerts was scheduled opposite the banquet, so she only had leftovers to eat!)

Most of these problems would have been invisible to the attendees, but so many panels were canceled or depopulated (either because the panelists didn't know they were supposed to be there or had dropped the panel because their preferences had been ignored, etc.) that people noticed. Only one of my panels was fully populated, and it was only listed as having two panelists; for another panel, I was the only one who showed up, so I talked about bidding with an audience of other bidders and a former Worldcon chair. One couple passed by my bid table on Thursday evening and complained that all four of the panels they'd wanted to attend had been canceled. There were also no restaurant guide or maps of the dealers' room , art show, or local area available at the con. The film program was only mentioned once in the daily zine (which claimed it was too long to print), and copies of the schedule were never handed out to anyone. I was told a single master copy was posted on the door of the film room, but, since I never found the film room, I can't confirm this.

The security personnel were over-officious and frequently rude, keeping people out of the exhibit hall and dealers' room/art show long after the scheduled opening times, etc. At one point, they wouldn't even let the artists into the art show! And if you asked them a question, they never seemed to know the answer, or even who to send you to for an answer. (What did they use those radios for, anyway?) The lack of communications among members of the con staff led to a lot of needless grief for con goers. Program ops, green room, guest registration, and the cashier all had different answers to inquiries about membership refunds, banquet tickets, and airport transportation, which sometimes conflicted with the written information in the "Dear Guest" letter--which only some of the guests received--and daily 'zine. (I finally got a partial refund for the banquet ticket, shared a taxi to the airport--at our expense--with three other program participants , and am still waiting for my membership refund.)

Also, despite all those "security" personnel with the radio head sets, people had complaints about security lapses. A group of four adults and one child came up to me on Sunday morning after having gotten refunds from Dragon*Con (after their concerns about a dangerous situation were ignored by con security) and asked if they could change their site selection ballots (which they'd marked for Atlanta and mailed before the con); they were willing to drive from Baltimore to Annapolis to retrieve them personally!

There were a few things at Dragon*Con that did work well. The program book was very nicely done, with a full color, wrap-around Michael Whelan cover and a new short story by Harlan Ellison. The daily 'zine came out daily (although many of the schedule changes were not included in it). I'm told that the "Queen's Own" and Star Trek programming tracks ran smoothly. The MST3K and Atlanta Radio Theatre presentations were quite popular, as was Cliff Stoll's talk (next door to MST3K).

Several of the guests of honor, and even members of the Dragon*Con committee and ACME came up to me during the convention to tell me they would be voting for us (or asking how to presupport). I expect to see them in Baltimore in 1998.

-- -Perrianne Lurie [14]

1997

1998

A 1998 con report:

What can I say? It's fun! Just like the conventions I used to go to in the early 80's when media and book fans mingled, and everybody, including the guests, had a good time.

It's huge! So big that the Hyatt Regency couldn't hold it all. Main programming such as The Masquerade, Dawn Look-A-like contest, Art show, and rock music shows filled the hotel, and fan programming and dealers rooms spilled over into the Apparel Mart a few blocks away.

Guests included Harlan Ellison, Forrest J. Ackerman, Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen, C.J. Cherryh, Patricia Tallman, Jonathan Harris, Anthony Daniels, and Star Wars authors Kevin J Anderson and Rebecca Modesta.

Jonathan Harris was an unexpected treasure. I had so many things to choose from in that time slot. Frustration, indeed. It was awful. I decided to sit down and listen for a little while, and stayed for the whole hour. Mr. Harris told us stories about his acting career and how it all started. He faked his resume. We learned about Irwin Allen's finger. Mr. Harris resisted biting it off. You could hear Dr. Smith in his voice. He got a standing ovation when he came in, and after he finished.

The Atlanta Radio Theatre Company performed two live radio plays on stage, The Man Who Traveled in Elephants by Ray Bradbury, and The Passion of Frankenstein by Thomas E. Fuller Both performances were wonderful.

Another production deserves mention here. Attention Xena and Buffy fans (and even those who aren't). Buffy, Warrior Princess was the best live musical performance I have ever seen in fandom. The actors could sing, dance, do stunts, and fight! Buffy was true to both shows and never insulted your intelligence. I won't go into detail here because it will be available on video! Thanks to Cosmic Video Productions, those who couldn't get there will be able to enjoy it.

DragonCon had so many program tracks. There was no way I could get to all of them. I list a few here ... Star Trek, Babylon 5, British SF and TV, artists, comics, computers, first fandom, [gaming], Pern, Highlander, Xena, Hercules, Sliders, and more.

I Spent an hour or two on the Star Wars programming. Mr. Anderson and Ms. Modesta were terrific guests. They seemed to have as much fun as we did, especially during those epic lightsabre duels between Anderson, Modesta, Darth Vader and fans. I would have loved to see the Star Wars Masquerade Ball, but it was up against the Guest of Honor Banquet. I have mixed feelings about that event. It started off well enough with good food, and a speech by Harlan Ellison about freedom to publish, but after that first hour, it was tough to sit through. Maybe I was a little too tired.

Yes Virginia, there was a Hospitality Suite. I dropped in twice. Did I mention rock and roll bands, dance parties, miscellaneous theater groups, and other performers? Didn't see most of them, either. Too overwhelmed by the end of the day (2:00 AM) and not in the mood. Other bits are blurry. I saw one of the South Park creators at a live on line video conference. Yes, a South Park movie is in the planning stages. That's all I can remember. The event was moved to a different room and pushed back two hours later than scheduled. Oh well, you expect some problems at an event this big, anyway.

I loved every frantic minute and had few complaints. The only thing that didn't impress me was the two level dealer's room. Explanation time folks. I've been told that the dealers were very unhappy. Not being a dealer myself, I'll comment from the fan and potential buyer's point of view. The basic layout was as follows: The Walk of Fame (autograph area) , comic publishers and other big name companies occupied the top level of the Apparel Mart and everyone else had tables below. Simple, right? WRONG! You shouldn't have to hunt for a dealer's room, of all things.

It was an access problem. Those nice big obvious doors by the Apparel Mart entrance downstairs were blocked off as an exit, so you couldn't go in! You had to ride up one escalator, which meant a wait in line at peak hours, walk all the way around to your left or right, and then find the only working escalator down (maybe) It was well hidden with no helpful signs that I could see. I must have passed by that sucker a dozen times. Circling the huge room over and over frustrated me so much that I wasn't in a buying mood. At least The Decipher booth was good. I learned a little more about the SW card game from helpful staff.

With that unpleasant business out of the way, on to the good stuff. Yes! Masquerade time! We saw Star Trek costumes, a Sailor Moon group, historical costumes, GandalfGandolf from Lord of the Rings, Vampirella, Dawn, and so much more. Dawn had her own look-a-like contest the night before. I was at the Banquet and missed it. Sigh. I kept hearing about how wonderful it was. And now, a few words about the Master of Ceremonies-- Anthony Daniels, a fearless man who works with children and Ewoks--and fans. I first leaned about DragonCon through his infamous Star Wars Insider Wonder Column. This is all his fault! Mr. Daniels was everywhere-at Opening Ceremonies, The Man Who Traveled in Elephants radio drama, The Dawn Look-a-like Contest, and Masquerade (as MC) in a gold and black jacket. He dared to walk into the audience while judges were deliberating, and picked out people with interesting costumes, especially women with interesting costumes, and stood them up on chairs for all to see. There was a moment on stage with Vampirella.....

If you ever get a chance to see Mr. Daniels in person at one of his question and answer talks, don't miss it, but beware. You might get dragged on stage to breathe like Darth Vader, imitate the Fox Fanfare, or read his introduction off of an index card, in front of the gods and everybody. If he asks "Who knows the Star Wars theme?" and you don't want to be singled out for humiliation---keep your mouth shut. Content yourself with humming the Star Wars theme through your nose like everyone else. And if all this wasn't enough for one human being to manage, he spent the rest of his time signing autographs. Where does he get his energy? I get tired just watching him! [15]

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

  • "Diana Williams, Amand-r, and I did two panels today at Dragoncon. The first was on fanfic and was called "Fans Have Writes, Too." Umm, I didn't name either of the panels or write the descriptions. The second was called "There Can be only One." The description of that panel was very vague, something like: "re-explore the magic and wonder of the Highlander universe." I think the kewlest thing to report is that the Highlander panel was packed. Every seat was taken, and people were standing in the back. The audience was about 50/50 male and female, and the age range ran all across the spectrum with many people in their 30's and above. We had more than several people come up to after the panel to ask why the con didn't run HL episodes in their media programming and requesting more of such. Told them to request it when they made application to the next Dragoncon. There is a section in the application that asks what partipants want more of. Another neat thing is that we had DVDs and videos all ready to run for the HL panel, but we never got to them. The entire audience (mostly) really wanted to discuss the philosophical, ethical, and moral issues brought up by the series and (less so) the movies. I'll save a more detailed discussion of what occured during the panel for later when Amand-r and Diana can edit and help me get the discussion straight and well organized (mind boggling thought: me, amand-r, and Diana *straight* and well organized. Well, well organized can happend. I'm not at sure about *straight*). In brief, however, I was very impressed with the intelligence, knowledge, and thought provoking comments of the audience. They were great. The fanfic panel was on all fanfic, not just HL, though HL was discussed a lot. The room was less crowded that the HL panel. There were maybe about 20 or 30 folks there. But once again, I was impressed with the intelligence and thoughtful questions of the audience. One of the first questions asked was something like "Who do so many fanfic writers post their work without doing basic work on spell checking, editing, and posting and formatting?" Amand-r, Diana, and I had a great time talking about the need for good beta readers which was followed by a discussion of different kinds of betas and how to find a good ones. As I said: This is a preliminary report. More will follow. I want to co-write it with Amand-r and Diana. But I thought y'all might be interested."[16]

Program Books


References

  1. ^ Fantasy Literature Track, (Accessed September 30, 2013).
  2. ^ Dragon*Con History, (Accessed September 30, 2013).
  3. ^ Dragon*Con History, (Accessed September 30, 2013).
  4. ^ Live Performances and DJs, (Accessed September 30, 2013).
  5. ^ Live Performances and DJs, (Accessed September 30, 2013).
  6. ^ [Wikipedia:Dragon Awards|Dragon Awards] on Wikipedia
  7. ^ The Dragon Award Nominations, retrieved May 2019
  8. ^ Dragon*Con History, (Accessed September 30, 2013).
  9. ^ "So Say We All" @ DragonCon '09 by Grant Gould, 2009-09-07
  10. ^ from Artistic Endeavors #1
  11. ^ from Artistic Endeavors #30
  12. ^ from Artistic Endeavors #30
  13. ^ from Artistic Endeavors #30
  14. ^ Dragon*Con Review (July 21, 1995)
  15. ^ Dragon Con 1998 by Margaret McNickle, Archived version
  16. ^ Preliminary reports on HL and fanfic panels at Dragoncon dated Aug 31, 2003 at the CriticalEdge Yahoo group, Archived version