EclectiCon (New Jersey)

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Also see Eclecticon.

Name: Eclecticon
Dates: 1994-2006
Location: Newark, New Jersey, United States
Type: media con
Founder: Kathy Agel
Founding Date:
URL: Eclecticon 2006 information(website is in archive mode, convention is defunct); 2002-2005 can be found archived here; 200-2001 archived here; and 1999 archived here
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

first page of flyer for 1994 con
second page of flyer for 1994 con

General information

A no-guest media fanzine convention held in Newark, NJ.

Eclecticon is one of the East Coast's largest media fanzine conventions, focusing on fanzines and the varied fandoms that inspire them. We're international, multigenre, and host fandoms from all around the world and are celebrating our tenth year [in 2006]![1]

A notice in 1997 in The New Monthly states that this is a "pet-friendly con. Pets registered as apocryphal members will receive their own membership packets with special membership materials."

In 1999, Eclecticon created its first website to offer registration and programming information to its members. It can be found here via an archived link.

The con featured panels, contests (including a trivia contest, a "write that caption" contest and a door decorating contest), a dealers' room where zines and fanart could be purchased, and a video room (or two) where VCR vids could be shown. room parties were held along lines of fannish interests (Stargate SG-1 or Blake's 7) and members could also book the con suite for 2 hours if they needed more room. Authors could also reserve time to read from their fan fiction. Some years there were official con t-shirts. Membership peaked at 300 in 2001.

A 2007 livejournal post lists Eclecticon as a con which "Has a furry track or large furry attendance." In the past this has led to some to suggest there was crossover between mediafannish and furry communities at Eclecticon New Jersey.[2] However, the organizer states that as far as she is aware, the convention "had ZERO furry presence at all (unless you count the attendees’ pets)"[3]. This illustrates the perils of different communities using the same or similar names for their conventions. It is likely that Eclecticon New Jersey has, over the years, been confused with another event with the same name held in Sacramento, CA in the 1980s and early 1990s.[4]


Panels offered at the con in 1996 included one on "using foreign languages in fanzine stories," and fandom-specific panels on Rat Patrol, Wild Wild West, Lord Peter Wimsey, Man From U.N.C.L.E., and Blake's 7.[5]

Panels offered in 1999 included: Multimedia Zines -Is There a Trend?, Villians: What makes a good one?, Slash: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations!, Copyright and Fair Use, Fandom and the Internet, The Internet - Getting Connected, and various writing workshops. Fandom panels included Emergency, Buffy, Sentinel, Stargate SG1 and Blake’s 7.[6]

In 2002, there were fandom-specific panels on Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Smallville, The Sentinel, Forever Knight, and Brimstone alongside multi-fannish and meta-fannish panels such as Are Spoilers Spoiling Fandom?, Is The Net Killing Fandom, and Military Shows: The Fraternization Question.[7]

In 2003, fandom-specific panels continued with the addition of new TV shows like West Wing, Dead Like Me and Queer As Folk along with meta panels such as "Slash and the Media: Is increased media attention for the genre a good thing for fandom?" and "The Greying of Fandom." [8]

In 2004, panel subjects included Lord of the Rings: Books vs Movies, Harry Potter: Books vs Movies, MI-5: Does it Live Up to the Legacy Of Fan Favorites Like The Professionals?, and "" Fannish Commonalities: What Other Things Do Fans Have In Common? The video programming room that year included fandom-specific vid watching during the afternoon, and evening shows of slash vids, gen vids, and last year's new vids.[9]

In 2005, multi- or meta-fannish panels included "Fanfic Pet Peeves, Academia and Fandom", and "Canon Relationships: How Come No One Ever Writes them?" Fandom-specific panels included panels on Law and Order, 24, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Star Trek. In the video programming room, fans watched SG-1 vids and vids which had premiered during the previous year, 2004.[10]

In 2006, panels included: Academia and Fandom, Fanfic in Fanzines vs. Fanfic on the Internet: Pros and Cons, The Aging of Fandom, Filking, Fan Fiction: Written for the Writer Or for the Reader?, Zine Production: Layout & Design, Should TPTB Stay Off the Internet?, Live Journals And Blogs, BDSM. The vid room ran several vids.hours of California Crew ‘classic’ along with vids shown in previous years. Fandom panels included a wide range: Rat Patrol, Battlestar: Galactica : Science Fiction or Political Show?, CSI, Gilmore Girls, Harry Potter, Sentinel, Heroe, Bones, Supernatural


Numerous charities were supported by the convention fund raising drive. In 1999, $1200 went to the New Jersey Schnauzer Rescue; Lifeline, a program of United Animal Nations with helps the aged and indigent with catastrophic veterinary bills; and Saint Andrew's Food Pantry, a church-run food bank which gives food to the needy regardless of religious affiliation. In 2005, the charity was the Companion Animal Rescue and Education of Bayonne, NJ,

Dealer's Room

One of the conventions strong points was its dealer's room were fans could sell fan related merchandise along with fanzines. A list of the zines premiering in 2002 show over 40 new zines.

Video Room

The ever popular video room was a place where fans could watch TV episodes and movies and enjoy a selection of fanvids and obtain copies of the vids.. The convention never hosted a formal vid show or contests, but in the later years would offer scheduled programming for fanvids. This included fandom-specific vid watching during the afternoon, and evening shows of slash vids, gen vids, along with last year's new vids. One attendee described the video room setup as bearing "more than a passing resemblance to the Mission Control room at NASA."[11]}} Not all volunteers were comfortable showing slash fanvids, even though the visual content in the fanvids did not contain sexually explicit material as the vids used broadcast TV and movie broadcast from the 1960s-2000s

Among the volunteers who ran the video room

  • Dave Gold
  • In 2003, the video room was run by Owen Smith.
  • In 2004, the video room was run by Anne Collins Smith with technical assistance from John Werner.
  • In 2005, it was run by John Werner.

In 2022, Anne Collins Smith remembers:

One of the curious things about the year I ran it [the songvid show, 2003] was that it was during the gradual changeover from VCR to DVD. DVD machines at the time--including the one used at the convention--were persnickety and often refused to play home-burned DVDs. So if a vidder submitted vids on DVD, I would contact them and ask them also to submit the vids on tape, just in case, or, if that was inconvenient, I believe I offered to tape the DVD vids onto a videotape myself.

I also remember that the vidders were very pleasant to communicate with. I was very much in awe of vidders at the time, with something of an "I'm not worthy" feeling that made me nervous about contacting them, but they were quite cordial and set me at ease.


People signed up and brought VHS tapes to the vid room to show, mostly fannish TV shows; [my husband's] job was simply to pop the tapes in and out of the machines as requested. This was one of the years that Agel was pimping Firefly by showing it every chance she got, and while she may not have intended to pimp the vid room coordinator, that was what happened! He saw "War Stories" and was instantly hooked.

I think that was the year I made up some half-hour video mixtapes - some with vids from particular fandoms, like Highlander or SG-1 - some with mixed fandoms that were all gen or all slash - to be played when there wasn't anything else going on the vid room. I had a Go-Video that made excellent copies. I don't have the tapes any more - we moved the next year and gave them to a local fan friend (who was delighted to get them).[12]

Eclecticon 1994

November 4–6

Eclecticon 1994: Con Reports

Eclecticon was held in Newark, New Jersey on November 4–6. This was the only con that I have ever attended other than MediaWest. It certainly was vastly different! Much smaller and slower paced. I actually had time to sit and talk to people. Since most people work on Friday, the con was not well attended that day. I checked in and went and got my badge (and ended up talking to the people manning registration for almost half an hour!). Went into the Dealer's Room and again spent more time talking than I did buying. The Dealer's Room was small but there was a really good variety of things available. The panels that day were small but the discussion was lively and interesting. On Saturday and Sunday, the con was really' hopping. The Dealer's Room was a lot more crowded and the panels were well attended. We also visited the Art Room. I was surprised at how much they displayed and the variety of items. Late in the afternoon, a group of us (Debbie Kittle, Sheryl Haven, Mary Jo Fox, Jennifer Moore, Ming Wathne and I) followed Barbara Anderson and Rebecca Carey to a local mall. They had a Starlog store there. Wow! Talk about a lot of stuff to buy! I could easily have bought $100 worth of stuff in just a few minutes. On the wayh ome,we stopped at Barbara's house so she could change clothes and we got to her Harrison Ford collection. Poor Barbara! She's probably still cleaning up the slobber and drool!!! Back at the con we all attended an Indy party hosted by Jeannie Webster. On Sunday, we went to the Art Auction (which was very well attended) and then made a pass or two through the Dealer's Room. Then, it was back to the room and before I knew it, we were having an impromptu SW party. The room was crammed with people talking about everything and anything. Deb Kittle had bought me those transforming heads so she dragged them out of my suitcase and was sitting on the floor showing everyone how they worked. It really was a funny picture. Imagine if you will -- Cheryl Pryor, Jennifer Moore, Mary Jo Fox, Arwen Rosenbaum, Amanda Palumbo, Barbara Anderson, Rebecca Carey and 2 girls whose names I've forgotten all sitting in a group around Deb Kittle and watching her play with toys!!!! I had an extension for the room until 3 PM and believe me, I practically had to throw everyone out at that time. Kathy Agel and her staff deserve a pat on the back. They did a really nice job. The staff was friendly, courteous and went out of their way to insure that you had a good time. They had hall costume awards. Staff members giving out certificates and bejeweled ribbons for the best costumes. The Dealer's Room and the Art Room were well laid out so that there was plenty of room for buying and viewing. The panels were varied and easy to fmd. Everything ran very smoothly. The hotel staff also went out of their way to help make your stay pleasant. It was a fun weekend and I'm looking forward to attending again next year.[13]

Eclecticon 1995

  • October 27-29, 1995
  • focus was media fandom and media fanzines
  • held at the Ramada Hotel, Newark, NJ
  • "Four varied tracks of panels and discussion groups, writing workshops (slash and gen), an artshow, video room, trivia contest, art and charity auctions, hall costume contest, Name that Soundtrack contest, free raffles, Friday night mixer, Saturday night trick- or-treating and Halloween party, Sunday afternoon ice cream social and photo op, plus our famous con suite with never-ending munchies and soft drinks and Continental breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings!"

Eclecticon 1996

Eclecticon 1996: Con Reports

I had been hoping to go to Eclecticon, a fanzine convention in New Jersey, for years, but the airfare from Texas was just too much. When we moved in the summer of '96 to Pennsylvania, I figured this was my opportunity at last!...

Thursday evening I arrived at the convention hotel and immediately found Kathy Agel. Although I had brought a sleeping bag, I learned I would not need it that evening. Kathy needed someone to sleep overnight in the dealers' room (a common practice at many conventions) and offered me a free cot if I would do so. Of course I agreed! The hotel's idea of a "cot" was a comfortable twin bed on wheels. I had my own key so I could lock up and sleep tight, and a handy bathroom just outside. Tired out by the long drive, I had no problem falling asleep, surrounded by boxes of fanzines.

The next morning I was able to store my gear and take a shower in Kathy's hotel room. It was so warm that day that I decided to wear my Rat Patrol costume with shorts--and to my horror, found that I had left my chukkas at home! It had taken me weeks last spring to find just the right pair of tan lace-up ankle boots, and now they were under my bed two hundred miles away...

I also managed to spend some time that morning in the con suite, nominally helping out, but actually listening to Kathy's mom tell stories about her volunteer work and about Kathy's childhood (!). Her mom was truly amazing, and did a lot of work to get the con suite going.

Friday from noon to six I worked the orphan zine table, as well as the T-shirt table and Criterion Press. The convention T-shirts were blue, with a terrific multimedia design that I was able to admire upside-down from behind the table. There was a mysterious pile of T-shirts behind me, with an identical design, but pink; I had no instructions regarding them, so I ignored them. Since orphan zines was the first table you saw when you walked in the door, _everybody_ came by there, so I got to meet lots of people as they came in. It was not terribly busy on Friday, so I also got to see who the other dealers were and what they had. One of the dealers had rare color transfers of the Rat Patrol for T-shirts, tote bags, and mousepads. Naturally I had to nab one! I had mine put on a T-shirt, which she was able to do right there with a heat press.

I also got the opportunity during the afternoon to take a break and get a bite to eat from the con suite. Kathy's con suite was truly amazing. There was a variety of food all weekend, including cold cuts at lunch and hot food at dinner, with all kinds of munchies, veggies, and home-baked goodies in between. Bravo!

Friday evening I was assigned to the con suite, both to work and to host a Rat Patrol marathon. I had to chase out an U.N.C.L.E. discussion group so we could set up, but they were remarkably nice when bribed with the Kahlua buttercream cookie cups I had brought (recipe follows the con report, since so many people asked for it). We started around seven o'clock, showing Jackie Edwards' excellent Garrison's Gorillas music videos as people filtered in, then showed six Rat Patrol episodes in a row. Jill Riley had brought a complete set of eps and was able to satisfy requests from the audience, including the ever-popular "Chains of Death Raid," as well as "Truce at Aburah," "Moment of Truce," "Double or Nothing," "Hourglass," and "Touch and Go." I had forgotten to get copies made of the M&M Game, so we didn't do that, but we watched in anything but reverent silence, munching M&M's at will. It was a pleasure to see my friend Jill again, to meet her dear friend Michele for the first time, and to visit with many other fans!

As the Rats were winding down we were pleasantly surprised by an amazing opportunity. Tasha Richards, the listmom of Channel D, a Man from U.N.C.L.E. Internet mailing list, came in waving a videocassette. She had just flown in from Nevada, where Babylon 5 is shown on Thursday. The tape contained the most recent episode, "Hour of the Wolf," which the rest of the congoers would see on the air on Saturday!

Many of our RP company were also Babylon 5 fans--and after six episodes that ran well over our 7-9 time slot, the rest of us weren't complaining--so we popped the tape in. Now, I'm afraid I couldn't fully appreciate the rare privilege of seeing this eagerly-awaited episode a day early, since I don't watch the program regularly, but I found it intriguing and suspenseful....

I had time to attend one panel that morning at ten. Linda White and Gini Hefty did a panel on using foreign languages in fanzine stories. Linda had prepared a handout on Russian for use in Man from U.N.C.L.E. fanfic, giving the Cyrillic alphabet, customary rules of trasliteration, popular phrases and examples of how to work them smoothly into a story, notes on Russian culture, and more.

When I originally signed up for the con I had let Pat Ames, who ran programming, know what my interests were, and told her I'd be willing to serve on any panel that needed a warm body. I wound up on six panels, which is a lot, but I got released from working for each one! At eleven I was on my first panel, a Rat Patrol panel on Hans Dietrich with Kathy Agel. Kathy told me to start, so I brought up the idea that Dietrich was based on Rommel and mentioned some of the parallels in their personalities. The audience took that and ran with it, and we had a fascinating discussion of how Dietrich's career might have gone after North Africa, ranging from information on POW camps for Germans in the U.S. to details of Rommel's campaign in France and the conspiracy against Hitler.

My next panel was from 1-2; Lee Orlando and I led a discussion of the Wild Wild West. We invited the participants to share with us how they came to watch the series and what they liked about it. A surprising number had grown up watching the show with their dads. Lee observed that many of us, though we were girls, preferred the adventure and excitement of "boys' stories" to the domestic/romantic limitations of "girls' stories."

We discussed the Wild Wild West again at the next panel! The panel from 2-3 consisted of Kathy Agel and me again, and was a generic Rat Patrol panel. I had come prepared with several media zines to show people what kind of RP fan fiction was available in zines like Of Dreams and Schemes, Heroes' Plight, and of course Kathy's zine Remote Control. Both Of Dreams and Schemes and Remote Control are also good sources of Wild Wild West fanfic, so we spent some time discussing the similarities between the series. We observed that Christopher George (Troy on RP) bears more than a passing resemblance to Robert Conrad (West on WWW), and that each hero had a super-intelligent, multi-lingual sidekick (Jack Moffitt on RP, Artemus Gordon on WWW). Each program had a very catchy theme song and featured a nostalgic American form of transportation, be it a jeep or a steam train. Finally, and perhaps most important, each program featured a brilliant, charismatic recurring antagonist who develops a relationship of mutual respect with the hero, despite their continuing enmity. These "villains" have become very popular with fans: while Miguelito Loveless appeared in only ten of the Wild Wild West's 100+ episodes, he appears in a much higher percentage of the fan fiction; Hans Dietrich, who appeared in about half the Rat Patrol episodes, is featured in the vast majority of fan fiction.

That evening I worked the con suite again, helping to prepare delicious hot food homemade by Kathy. The Due South crowd had brougth some episodes to show in the con suite, so I got to see them too. One was "Flashback," the delightful final episode shown only in Canada. Another was a seriocomic adventure involving dognappers. Afterwards I volunteered some miscellaneous music videos that I had brought along. My friend Graeme Cree's video commemorating the security guards of Classic Trek to the tune of "Another One Bites the Dust" was a big hit, as was the Sesame Street celebrity version of "Put Down the Duckie." I'd forgotten the latter was on the tape and was about to fast-forward when I noticed several people singing along! Then we were treated by Judith Chien to a tape of her excellent music videos, including a Batman/Catwoman piece using Tom Lehrer's "The Masochism Tango."

Saturday night our other roommate showed up, so I finally got to use my sleeping bag! Sunday morning, after another delicious con suite breakfast, I was on the Lord Peter Wimsey panel with Marina Frants and Sue Bredon-Smith. Sue quizzed the assembled group on whether they had begun their acquaintance with LPW with the television series or the novels; virtually everyone had begun with the books. We discussed the differences between the two TV series and how they reflected the differences in the books they adapted and the differences in the approaches to adaptation employed by Masterpiece Theatre, which did the earlier series, and Mystery!, which did the later.

Next was the U.N.C.L.E. panel, where, although nominally a panelist, I listened with delight like the rest of the audience to some fascinating behind-the-scenes memos and other documents that co-panelist Cindy Walker had obtained as part of her graduate research into the Man from U.N.C.L.E. There was also a spirited discussion of Girl from U.N.C.L.E. and the roles generally accorded to women in both U.N.C.L.E. series. Next, I checked badges from noon to one; I was very grateful to a gofer who spelled me for a few minutes so that I could grab a sandwich, chips, veggies, and soda from the con suite's lavish lunch buffet. At one o'clock I was on my last panel, this one on Blakes 7, with Victoria McManus and Judith Proctor. We focused on the less-used characters, starting with Dayna and Soolin and moving back to Gan and Zen. Judith shared with us her fascinating theory about the origin of Zen and the creation of its personality.

After that panel was over, the con was pretty much winding down. I helped clean up the con suite and discovered one of the major advantages to this task: I was deluged with leftovers to "please take home!" Finally, when everything was stowed I joined Kathy, Pat, and some others for a "Dead Dog" dinner in the hotel restaurant. This was the first time since breakfast Friday morning that I had to spend money for food--the con suite had kept me well-fed all weekend! Dinner was fun and relaxing, a nice way to wind down. Afterwards it was time to go, and in less than four hours I was back in my own little home.[14]

Eclecticon 1997

Eclecticon 1997: Con Reports

I thought I'd get started on this. Here goes Friday. As I've mentioned, Sarah and I hit the road early and had a smooth trip. We pulled into the hotel at about 11:30 a.m., shocking my two roommates who had arrived on Thursday. They were still putting themselves together.

Sarah couldn't get into her room yet, so we unloaded everything into my room. As we returned the luggage dolly to the lobby, I mumbled, "I wonder when Brooke will get here?" This seems to be a magic phrase. Whenever I wonder about Brooke's arrival, she appears. As happened this time. She and Michelle were about six feet from me, coming through the main entrance.

Does this mean that Brooke is really a figment of my imagination that I can conjure up on demand? I'm thinking of trying that sometime here at home. ;-)

Registration had just opened, so the four of us picked up our packets (with Sarah attempting to pay twice), and I also picked up my roommies' envelopes (kind person that I am <cough, cough>). Then we all retired to Tarrant Nostra Headquarters and added Brooke's and Michelle's luggage to the clutter.

Brooke presented the TN with a Wisconsin-style pressie: a huge hunk of sausage in the shape of a football. (It was almost too artistic to later chop up into bite size pieces for various parties.) Brooke had also brought along tons (literally) of fine Wisconsin Cheese and a couple of platters of her infamous Scotch Toffee (the TN was happy to assume custody of one of those <g>). I loaned her my cooler as a cheese larder, heroically sparing B7 fans the danger of food poisoning, as the cheese took all weekend (and longer) to consume. Michelle was drafted to craft the "Avon Ball Memorial Plate" and a fine job she did.

We proceeded to study the programming information and gleefully noted several B7 panels on the schedule. There was also the strange case of the LARGE Michelle. The Due South Slash Panel had only one person listed as moderator, Michelle, and her name was in bloody huge type. We never did discover the significance of that.

At 1 p.m. it was off to the Dealer's Room. <pant, pant> Not many of the dealers had arrived, but we managed to do some early shopping. Several of us grabbed up copies of Diverse Doings 1. As I was passing a t-shirt dealer, someone gave me a big smile and said "hi." It only took me five or ten minutes (remember, I was operating on only three hours of sleep!) to realize the significance of the friendly hi. This person had read my name badge (imagine that) and recognized my name. I shrewdly decided to read her name badge in turn. It was Space City's own Deborah Rose. I'm proud to report that Deborah was already in full shopping mode and had just purchased a B7 shirt (with a lovely Tarrant on it, I might add <g>). There's nothing like newbie enthusiasm. It was a pleasure to watch Deborah acquire treasures all weekend long. And to the dedicated newbie goes the spoils; she found one picture that I'd have grabbed up if she hadn't gotten to it first.

Back to the lobby where hotel rooms were finally available. Vickie and others began showing up. We got everyone to their own rooms and headed back to hit the second dealer's room and the con suite. It was then we discovered a bit of a mystery. There is a glass-enclosed lounge near the con suite that is designated as a place for smokers to puff away. Lorna traditionally decorates the door with a small card of The Cigarette Smoking Man from XF. Which she had done earlier. Then it had gone missing. We thought some CSM fan had appropriated it. But now--surprise, surprise--it had reappeared and was even slightly crooked (as she had placed it). We never did figure out where it went during the hour or so it was missing.

At this point time sort of blurs. Lorna and I covered our door with appropriately decorative objects: Tarrant, Vila, Avon, Methos, Krycek, Mulder, and Cigarette Smoking Man. Robin arrived--and I was glad to see she made it before dark. We gobbled up delicious eggplant parmigano and zucchini squares in the Con Suite. We opened our room up for shopping (we were selling some used zines and some pics--got a good business all weekend long). We watched some new XF vids. Tried to go to the B7 party at one point, but no one appeared to be there. We went back to our room--lucky thing, as the owner of the Mary Ridge script had just put in an appearance. She handed over a PAL tape with some Pacey goodies (that I hope to get converted next weekend). Yum! And she showed us the XF script (purported to be the script of the upcoming movie). We howled over Chris Carter's notations, especially when he described the one Mulder-Scully bit as a moment of "awkward physical intimacy." That became a catch phrase for the con. "Now in your A/T story, would you say that is a moment of 'awkward physical intimacy'?"

At about this point, we had our first visit from "The Cookie Monster." We never found out who he was, but he visited our room with regularity as if he shared it with us. He wouldn't take just one cookie from the welcoming yummies we had set out, he'd grab up handfuls and stuff them in a plastic bag he carried. (Don't know why--it wasn't as if the con suite wasn't sagging under the weight of the food Agel provides.) He also wandered into the depths of our room (rather than staying in the public area--with zines and food--near the door), studiously inspecting our jumble of luggage, boxes, etc. Was he looking for booze? (If so, he was in the wrong room.) Women's underwear? (Well, we do wear underwear, but it was kept modestly out of sight.) Something else? It was a bit spooky and unnerving. We weren't sorry when he left. [15]

"I haven't been to an east coast fan media con before (unless you count FarPoint this year, which has actor guests and where I practically never left the art show anyway), and I had a very weird moment when I first walked into the hotel and did not recognize any of the first ten fans I saw. That hasn't happened to me at a con in years. Of course, soon I was seeing dozens of people I know, and meeting dozens more. But it did suggest to me that there might be more of a geographical division in fandom than I was aware of. (Another thing that suggested that to me was the number of people who buttonholed me at ECon asking how to get Manacles or Oblique zines. I tend to think of those presses as having very good distribution, but apparently they don't out here.)

ECon also shares space with mundanes in an airport hotel, but again I didn't notice any problems. The two dealers' rooms were widely separated, with the main one in the lobby and the second one on the floor above, but the second one was next to the fantastically well stocked con suite, so I imagine it got its share of traffic. If I were a dealer, though, I'd certainly have preferred to be in the main room, whereas at ZCon it didn't look to me as though it would have made a difference.

ECon had no art show this year, more's the pity, so I had to volunteer in other areas :-). Among other jobs, I slept in the main dealers' room as overnight security. Talk about being locked in a toy store! I had to speak sharply to a hotel employee who tried to come into the room through the unlockable back entrance at some ungodly hour Friday night/Saturday morning; he interrupted a fun Highlander dream, too.

At ECon I did go to a couple of panels, but really only because I was on them, which I discovered when I got to the con. A group of folk and I had a fun conversation about editing, but we were basically preaching to the converted, namely ourselves: editing is good, editors should keep their own egos in check, authors shouldn't adopt their editors' opinions blindly, here are strategies for choosing an editor, etc. It occurs to me that Escapade might be able to do a Purposely Controversial panel that would draw in the people who wouldn't have been caught dead at the ECon panel, the ones who are anti-editing; but I can't think of a good way to phrase the topic. Can anyone else?

(I was very amused by the programming track in that room, by the way. The day started with "How to Do a Zine," followed by "Grammar Q&As." With the technical bits out of the way, then, it went on to Cindy W's writing workshop and my panel on editing. And then, when we've all learned everything there is to know, when we're skilled and polished and terrific, it's time for the slash workshop! See, that's why all the *best* writers are slash writers. ;-) )

I also did a Space: Above and Beyond panel, which, while not particularly dull, confirmed me in my belief that "Title-of-Show" panels aren't particularly interesting, either. Though I understand that the S:AAB panel at Escapade two years (?) ago was great. Maybe I'm just not the person to run it.

Along with not having to get a hotel room, I never had to buy food at ECon, either; the con suite was stocked with a frightening variety of food. (I'm grateful to Kathy for the work she puts into cooking for the con, and I think she's bloody insane for doing it.) I worked in the con suite for a couple of hours making people sandwiches during the Sunday lunch rush, which was hectic and crowded and hurried and high-energy until it abruptly hit "exhausting." One fan, not quite sure of the system, asked if we made the sandwiches for her or whether she should serve herself; unfortunately the woman working beside me wasn't a Highlander fan and didn't understand why I promptly collapsed in helpless giggles and demanded a huge banner across the sandwich-prep area saying "We Live To Serve You!"

I spent a lot of time at ECon talking with vidders and listening to them talk, in fascination. Vidding is not an art form I expect I'll ever get into, but I like vids and want to learn to understand and critique them better. I'm considering asking whether the new vidder list will let me join as a groupie. (Sandy, I *swear* I will write that loc on "What Separates Me From You" before I die.) I also hung out a lot in a hotel room belonging to the Mulder/Krycek mailing list and the Tarrant Nostra, an odd combination, and got to talk to Cody Nelson about her stories. By the end of the evening and after many wonderful songtapes ("The Chain," especially), I could feel the M/K urge closing in on me, and I am trying to fight it off, since I still want to work on other stuff first. I'm not sure I could write the kind of M/K I want to read, anyway, so I'm quite happy to continue letting others do it for me...

Again, the best part of the con for me was just sitting and talking with people, often in the wonderful con suite. So I'm not even sure, having written all of this, how interesting or useful these con reports may be to others; I've never written one before, and perhaps I won't again. Still, that's why you all have Delete keys, right? [16]

Eclecticon 1998

Eclecticon 1999

Eclecticon 1999 was held Nov. 5-7, 1999 at the Ramada Hotel in Newark, NJ. A list of panels is archived here. An archived index of the website is here.

Video info:

We have two TV/VCR setups available.

The A/V room will be showing a variety of shows, movies and clips, from old and new sources. Music videos can be seen in the Con Suite (and we reserve the right to limit the number of "Hotel California" videos to no more than 75 or so). Older music videos can be seen in the Con Suite, but newer vids will be shown in the video room. The schedule will be available at the convention. If you have specific requests for episodes or any tapes you would like to volunteer to show, contact David Gold at the addresss on the Questions page.

Since the number of rooms in which you can reconnect wires to accommodate your own video recorders varies (they're inversely proportional to the number of times visiting airline crews have jimmied the wires off beyond repair), we will again plan to have a second TV/VCR setup in the con suite, which will be available for reservation in 1/4 hour, 1/2 hour and 1 hour blocks (plus limited 2-hour blocks, the number to be determined by availability), to show videos that you've been meaning to share with your friends, but just haven't gotten around to. See Dina Willner in the con suite to reserve blocks of time.

Fan video creators - contact Kathy Agel at the con address if you wish to show any of your videos at the con.


Eclecticon 1999: Con Reports

The Con Mom herself was handling registration and it was smooth and quick. (Econ manages to run like a piece of precision machinery while maintaining an atmosphere of down-home warmth.) That is it would have been quick if I hadn't been sidetracked by photos of Molly and Tucker, Kathy's two adorably winsome dogs. They were so sweet but sadly misnamed. Molly (sex aside) should be Avon. They share a prominent nose and a calm, cool disposition. Tucker is Tarrant to a T; he has long legs and lots of energy. There was one pic where he was attempting to climb over the larger Molly; Molly had an expression of long-suffering patience on her face. I can picture the same expression on Avon's face if Tarrant were scuttling over his reclined body.

The dealer's rooms weren't quite open so we strolled by the con suite where a variety of tempting yummies were set out, including raw veggies, hot dips, crisps, pretzels and sweets. We settled in for a bit of noshing with Steve joining us. Steve kept saying to take the pretzels away from him and I begged people to put the crisps out of my reach. No one listened to our pleas, so our vices controlled us until we dragged ourselves out of the room. Steve then gave us a private sale opportunity at Judith's table. I bought, bought, bought for myself and for friends who couldn't be at the con. New zines, old zines...hooray! My tote filled up quite quickly. But that didn't stop me from trekking on to the other dealer's room. Where I did more buying, depleting some of Linda Knights' stock. By then I realized I needed to take some of the zines to my room or risk injury.

And I ended up in our room for most of the rest of the afternoon. Not by plan; it just happened. We had a steady stream of shoppers and visitors who provided entertaining diversions. Around 3 pm, Roommate 3 finally noticed how excited Tarrant was (she's usually a lot quicker on the uptake) and burst out laughing. Val and Linda were among our shoppers, with Linda attempting to keep control of zine frenzied buyer Val (who reportedly has bought duplicates copies of zines during feeding frenzies of the past). As I told Val, mere duplication is nothing. We know fans who have bought three copies of the same zine at the same con.

Before we knew it, it was time for the B7 slash panel. There were three B7 panels at the con. All were interesting, congenial and well attended, with most of those in attendance contributing to the discussions. Susan Beth, Tiger and Brooke moderated "B7: Slash That Works, Slash That Doesn't--and Why." As I didn't take any notes at the con (bad move!) I have to rely on memory. I hope others will provide corrections and additions to my panel reports.

Some of the things that don't work for some fans: Blake giving up the revolution for Avon, Avon falling on his knees in admiration of Blake's rampant tower, generic slash (any two names could replace the ones in the story and no one would notice the difference), driving a character into submission by housekeeping (though a few of us maintained that five days of housekeeping would turn us into demoralized wusses ;), saint or super anybody characterizations. Something that does work: any pairing when presented in a believable fashion. Which had Judith mention that she'd like to figure out a way to do Travis/Blake. Someone suggested making it Travis/Blake's clone and Judith seemed to like that possibility. (Judith: actually it was Servalan/Blake in the het panel)...

To prevent a conflict with the FC Party, Steve and Judith had managed to switch their "Blake and Tarrant - What Were Their Objectives?" panel to Friday at 8. Early on during the discussion, we concluded that the men were not alike. Blake was a political animal. Tarrant was a product of the military.. That led to interesting examinations of each character as individuals. In regard to Blake's long-range plans, some attendees thought he intended to have each planet govern itself should the revolution succeed. It was pointed out that might not be the best plan given what has happened to the Soviet Bloc after it broke up. We all pretty much agreed that Blake's goal was broad and sweeping--he wanted to bring down the Federation in its entirety--while Tarrant was content to chip away at smaller injustices (trying to prevent the Teal-Vandor War, etc.)...

Carrying in as much food as we dared (we tried to obey the one item law, but Brooke had done a dairy drop the day before, so we had to serve as Dairy Smugglers; and we had custody of Susan Beth's fruit, so we had to deliver that as well), my three roomies, my friend Jen, and I slithered into the FC party a bit past the 8 pm startup time. Only our hostess Tiger, Val and Linda were there. So much for our attempt to be fashionably late. ;) And to hopefully hide our smuggling by sneaking in under the cover of a crowd. We played it cool, dumping food as if we were just your every day one-item-each party goers. (Unlike Brooke and Pat N-J later, who tried to talk their way out of seven cheeses AND Scotch toffee by counting the many cheeses as "one" item. <g>)...

As Susan Beth already reported, a couple of male mundanes peeked in the open door as they strolled past. I couldn't hear what the mundanes said, but they smiled and seemed friendly enough. They probably wouldn't have been too shocked if their eyes had locked onto the chocolate bobbits or adult art (provided by Val). I did wonder what the mundanes thought of our lone male, Steve, and his rather large harem....

It was off to the het smut panel at 10. SB has again beat me to the punch and reported on this. I heartily second her praise of the "Smut Test" handed out by the panel's perps: Oliver Klosov and TigerM. It was a hoot. Snickers built to laughter as the assembled fans read through it. I'll be looking forward to a bound copy of this in a future zine. I questioned the perverted fans of het about what they wanted in het stories. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised to learn they greedily want both erotica and emotional involvement. I agreed with many of those present who don't like women to be victims or doormats in het stories. We prefer stories where the women are as strong, if not stronger, than the men. For me it's a knee jerk reaction to traditional Romance, where there are far too many treetrunk thigh males rescuing whimpering damsels in distress. That's not my cup of tea. This was no doubt the panel where Judith pondered Servalan/Blake (that I mistakenly remembered as Travis/Blake). I'm in agreement with Susan Beth's take on birth control in the New Calendar (which she shared at the panel): that all Federation citizens are dosed with birth control as teens; it needs to be undone to restore fertility. Unplanned pregnancies in the B7 universe need clever plot device explanations to work for me.

After the panel I made a last run through dealer's rooms but didn't luck into any missed treasures. Many of the dealers had already packed up and moved out, so I didn't linger for fear of a premature case of post-con blues. Next on the agenda was tidying our room and setting it up for my roommate's Krycek party. Never one to miss an opportunity to enlighten, I made sure to display my Krycek/CSM button on top of the tv. Those Ratboy fans are far too fixated on Krycek/Mulder; they need to expand their horizons. <eg>...

Miscellaneous Con Notes: It was disappointing that I never got to connect with Barbara T (except as ships passing in the night) at the con and didn't get to spend much time with a handful of other B7ers. Judith P was wearing a gorgeous burgundy costume one day. (Was that a character specific costume, Judith?) (Judith: My 'technomage' outfit, otherwise known as any excuse to glam up in a velvet cape) New zines added to my personal collection: All Change and Chronicles 64. There weren't many room dealers this con, which may explain why we sold so much. Nor many decorated doors.

Let me end with a big thank you to Kathy Agel and her wonderful crew of volunteers who put on the con. They couldn't have been more kind, friendly and accommodating. It was a fantastic weekend. [18]

Judith and I discovered that our panel on Tarrant was scheduled to coincide with the FC room party on the Saturday night, so we managed to get it switched to Friday night, but first there was the B7 slash panel with Brooke, Tiger and Susan Beth. It could have done with a bit more serious discussion on the merits of Og as a slash partner, but apart from that was enjoyable.

I was very restrained I thought in our Blake v Tarrant panel, but aren't I always. Followed that by a Buffy panel, but left early cos there were too many spoilers for episodes we haven't seen in the UK yet.

Friday night was a bit of a shock as I discovered American fandom doesn't gravitate to the bar. I'm sure I was the only con member the whole weekend to buy alcohol. In fact, the only other time I saw booze being consumed by the con goers was at the FC party when someone drank one of the bottles of beer I brought. Very strange.

Went to watch to filking, as I ended up doing all three nights. The highlight was a duet by Val and Pat Carter of Judith's filk My Favourite Things out of the aforementioned Dark Fantasies 6. A sample - "Beat up and rape Avon in a long graphic story, No soppy romance, but all that is gory. Beat him and hurt him till every cut stings, These are a few of my favourite things."

On Saturday morning I decided to go for a walk after breakfast. First problem, the hotel is on a freeway. However, spotted what looked like a path to the right, followed it and it turned into a pavement (sidewalk to the Americans). Followed it a bit more and it turned into a flight of stairs down into undergrowth. Nevertheless I bravely battled through and by the process of various right turns I ended up walking a narrow towpath on the freeway that got so overgrown in places I had to walk on the freeway itself - good job it wasn't that busy. Eventually got back to the hotel and decided to give up walking for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday Vickie arrived and I bumped into her in someone's room (I think Susan Beth's) at an informal early morning gathering. I was up early again, but I'd moved an hour and a half nearer to NJ time and, yes, I did get in sync just in time to fly home.

Went to see Judith and Julia's panel on computers in SF. Then I went zine buying. A friend who is really into Joxer asked me to get her an erotic Xena zine (trying saying that), so imagine my joy at spotting one called Joxerotica. I gave it to her yesterday; she was well chuffed.

Saturday evening and I went to the auction. The only thing I bought were some Hercules CCG cards. though I bid on a couple of other things. Then it was the FC party. It was cool seeing everyone together and that's were most of the photos came from. When I was looking at the photos I realised I had already forgotten who some of the people were - that's the problem of meeting so many people in such a short time.

Sunday opened with another B7 panel, this one on het. Vickie gave us all our test papers and info sheets. These were so funny and should be on a web site for others to read - are they? [19]

Eclecticon 2000

Eclecticon 1999 was held on Nov. 10-12, 2000 at the Ramada Hotel in Newark, NJ. An archived copy of the website can be found here.

Eclecticon 2000: Con Reports

Friday morning I awoke refreshed and reported to the con suite for duty. I found a discussion of various Internet fandoms in full swing; Dina Willmer, one of the people responsible for getting me hooked on the Magnificent Seven, related a story of how she had once stumbled across a brand of bourbon with "Ezra" in the name; no sooner had she mentioned it online than quite a number of Mag 7 fans rushed out to their local liquor stores to buy it! I let Kathy Agel, who runs the convention, know that I was available, and she promptly assigned me to post flyers for new fanzines.

I bumped into Judith Proctor mid-morning, a Blakes 7 fan from England from whom I was to collect some paperwork for another friend who couldn't make it to the convention this year. I introduced myself, and we wound up having a lovely chat while hauling boxes from her room to the dealers' room. I used to be a huge B7 fan myself, and still enjoy it, so we had something in common. A very energetic person, she scorned the "lift" and preferred to carry the boxes up the stairs--fortunately they were small boxes, and her room was only one flight of stairs away. Still, I got my exercise for the day! She played a hilarious comedy CD for me that featured some former cast members of B7 and other British comedians, and I wound up buying one of those plus another CD of music. She was also selling one of the neatest little novelties I've seen in a while: figurines of B7 characters similar to D&D figurines, meticulously hand-painted (by her teenaged son, as it turned out!).

About noon on Friday my official job began! I spent most of my time at the convention at the Criterion Press table selling fanzines for Kathy Agel and chatting with buyers. For a gregarious person who loves fanzines, this is an ideal staff position! In previous years I sometimes covered both the Criterion Press table and the Orphan Zine table, but this year there were enough volunteers to staff Orphan Zines separately, which made my life tremendously easier. It was very entertaining to spot people's fandoms by seeing which zines they bought. Agel had three new Magnificent Seven fanzines for sale, and many people simply scooped them up one-two-three. She also had a new all-Rat Patrol fanzine and a couple of multi zines that included Rat Patrol, and many people scooped *those* up one-two-three. She had one new all-Stargate SG-1 zine and one SG-1/Real Ghostbusters crossover zine, and plenty of folks snagged those two and asked for back issues as well, since Stargate is a relatively new fandom and many folks are still just coming into it.

There were a couple of things to get Rat Patrol fans excited at Eclecticon this year. One was the publication of Lines in the Sand 3, which debuted at this convention. Kathy Agel has taken over editing the zine, and she had some very fine stories to publish in this issue. Chari Wessel's "Arabian Nights Raid" is pure magic, a lyrically evocative novella that captures all the romantic adventure of the deep desert. [L.C. Wells'] "Erinyes Raid" offers us a chilling encounter with dark forces as well as troubling insights into Moffitt's family. A new author, Starr, puts Hitch in a classic Rat Patrol dilemma and provides a classic Rat Patrol solution in "The Long Walk Home Raid." "The Second Chase of Fire Raid," by Judith Wolford and Cindy Taylor, is an engaging vignette following up on the series pilot. I was tickled to see "The Plane and Simple Raid," a Quantum Leap/Rat Patrol crossover story that Liz Knauel and I wrote together--Liz's was really the idea and the drive behind the completion of the story, and it was a lot of fun working on it with her. Jean Coleman's "Inheritance," an unusual story set in pre-war Holland, closed the zine with a flourish. Chari Wessel illustrated the first and last story and the zine's front cover with her usual excellence...

I participated in two panels Friday evening. The first was on World War 2 fandoms in general; the panelists were Cindy Barwin, Lucy Carr, and I. We had quite a varied audience, including Judith W. and Cindy T., who had never been to a convention before, and some fans from England, who hadn't been to Eclecticon before. So I suggested when we started out that we go around the room and introduce ourselves and state which WW2 shows we particularly liked. This had an interesting effect; every now and then someone would mention a show that hadn't been mentioned before, and inevitably someone else would say, "me too!" Thus we found several fans of the TV version of "Dirty Dozen" and a good many who acknowledged "Hogan's Heroes" as a guilty pleasure. "Garrison's Gorillas" was another frequently-mentioned show, and Cindy Barwin had brought along a flyer for a new GG zine, "Reluctant Heroes," which we were glad to hear about. We also learned that many, though not all, WWII fans had gotten their start watching TV with Dad. We discussed the upsurge in interest in WWII in general in the U.S., including the popularity of the History Channel, often nicknamed "The Hitler Channel" because of the high proportion of documentaries about WWII. A question posed by Lucy Carr about the proposed WWII Veterans' Memorial led to several different topics to which the audience enthusiastically contributed, from accounts of visits to other WWII memorials around the country to stories of fathers, uncles, and other relatives who had been in the war. We also talked about the contrast between the war as fought in the actual battles, and the war as experienced on the homefront, both in the U.S. and in England. One of the British fans observed that the effects of World War II in England were still overshadowed by the memory of World War I, which, she said, was much worse for them.

Next I was on a fanfic panel with [April Valentine], who is always energetic and entertaining. We ranged freely over a number of topics, including a brief history of early fanzine publication; Martha had some wonderful insights into the influence of Interphase, an early Star Trek fanzine produced by a professional artist, on fanzine production. We also discussed, along with our audience in general, the comparative duties and privileges of zine editors, website owners, and archivists: the first two can pick and choose what to publish/post, and may vary in the degree to which they edit; the latter generally has to post whatever she gets, though certain limitations may be imposed. Martha also told us about some upcoming panels that she is planning for a convention next year, on estate planning for fans with large zine collections, and a kind of "Antiques Roadshow" for fans wondering about the value of their collectibles.

After the panels, I stopped in at the video room. I thought I was supposed to be showing music videos that evening, but I was mixed up; it was actually time for Doctor Who: The Brain of Morbius. David Gold, who runs the video room, let me know that the room was free for people to show whatever they wanted after 9:30, and several folks expressed enthusiasm for music videos, so I promised to come back with the vids after Doctor Who was over. Indeed, I wound up coming back a little early and watching the last fifteen minutes or so of Brain of Morbius. I'd forgotten how much fun that episiode was! And, since I hadn't seen or read Frankenstein last time I'd seen Brain of Morbius, I had never realized before how many Frankenstein themes it demonstrated. It was followed by an old episode of "Jack Horkheimer, Star Hustler," (a short astronomy-related "filler" still shown on some PBS stations) which I suddenly realized that I had seen! He was announcing an unusually good viewing possibility for Perseid showers that year (1984, the year I got married and moved to Texas), and I even remembered going out in the middle of the night to see them! Afterwards I got out the music videos that Kathy Agel had given me to show, and we watched them all with great enjoyment.

Saturday morning at 10 a.m., Judith Wolford, Cindy Taylor, and I were on a panel together about collaborative writing. Judith and Cindy have been writing together for some time now and have amassed an impressive array of jointly-written stories. Although I usually write by myself, I recently collaborated with a friend in Texas on the aforementioned Quantum Leap/Rat Patrol crossover story, which appeared in Lines in the Sand 3 along with one of Judith & Cindy's stories. We talked about our different experiences and methods of collaboration, and audience members shared their experiences as well. Judith and Cindy explained how they get started and how each story "belongs" to one of them (usually the one who came up with the idea) who then has veto power over what happens in the story. They described the ten-paragraph outlines they generally write before starting, and how each of them writes the scenes she feels most comfortable describing. They write the scenes independently and send them back and forth to each other by email with comments and revisions. Over the past few months they've been able to achieve a smoothly integrated joint writing style so that it isn't easy to tell where one author's writing leaves off and the other's begins. I was especially fascinated by their method because it was completely different from the way that Liz and I wrote our story. We found early on that we didn't collaborate well by email--we needed to be in each other's physical presence! Our story was co-written mostly in-person at conventions, when we scrounged free scraps of time to sit at Liz's laptop and take turns typing and reading aloud what we'd written. In response to an audience member's question about why one should co-write rather than write by oneself, Judith and Cindy also talked about how they complemented each other's strengths and weaknesses--one writes action scenes, one writes romance scenes, one tends to write lots of description, one tends to be very concise. I contributed that Liz and I had collaborated in order to write a crossover story; she was very familiar with QL but only slightly familiar with RP, while I was very familiar with RP but not very knowledgeable about QL. Again, we were able to complement strengths and weaknesses. One of the audience members shared how she and a friend were cowriting a DS9 story in which she wrote the character of Bashir and her friend wrote the character of Enabran Tain (head of the Cardassian Obsidian Order who appeared in several episodes). It reminded me of how Cynthia Walker and Nan Mack co-wrote the Escape from New York Affair, with one of them writing as Napoleon Solo and one of them writing as Snake Plissken. We also talked a little bit about beta-readers and the extent to which they may influence a story-in-progress, and how a beta-reader's job is different from a co-author's. A couple of audience members mentioned the idea of having different beta-readers for different aspects of a story: one for medical details, one for a given foreign language, one for historical details, etc.

When I returned to my post at Criterion Press, I was greeted by an old friend, Tom Beck. He had let me know a few days earlier that, contrary to his previous expectations, he would be able to visit Eclecticon after all, if only on Saturday. We chatted for about an hour--of course, since we were science fiction fans, we discussed Dorothy Sayers, the World Series, children's literature.... everything, that is, except science fiction! Tom and I were on a panel at MediaWest*Con a couple of years ago that addressed the newly-published version of Sayers' last unfinished novel "Thrones, Dominations." I had recently attended a conference on Sayers at a college near Pittsburgh, at which my mother had given a talk on "The Place of Dorothy Sayers in the Golden Age of Mystery," and with her permission I had brought some copies for people I knew would be interested. So I gave one to Tom, who was quite pleased.

Next I had lunch with Terri Evans, Ursula Clarke, and Dorothy (my roommate). Terri and Ursula came all the way from England for the convention! Terri was the first zine editor to accept one of my Rat Patrol stories; I had corresponded with her by snail-mail before either of us even had Internet access. It was delightful to meet her in person at last, and to see Ursula again, whom I had met at a previous MediaWest*Con. We talked about the differences between American food and English food; Terri was quite pleased with the service, the portions, and the quality of the food at the hotel restaurant. Somehow this led naturally into a discussion of beer and cheese! We also talked about what fandoms we were presently enjoying the most, and what TV shows we were watching in general.

On Saturday evening I got permission to leave my "post" a little early to attend a pizza party held by DCS, a D.C.-area sci-fi club that has kindly agreed to consider Central Pennsylvania a suburb of Washington, D.C. We had pizza with veggies, pizza with meat, buffalo wings, and Pokebits--candy in the shape of Pokemon characters. The members had decorated the room with pictures of characters from various shows, grouped by themes which we took turns trying to guess.

I left a little before 7 p.m. so I could go help out at the charity auction. We had received a surprising number of items to auction off, which was marvelous, except that there was only an hour scheduled for the event! Lee Orlando, the auctioneer, did a very good job of moving things along rapidly. From 8 to 10 I showed music videos in the video room. Of course, I had already shown most of the vids Agel gave me the night before, but just when I was afraid I would run out of things to show, Jill Wells turned up with a tape full of Sentinel videos, and we popped those in. The music videos were very popular, and I'm hoping we can show even more next year!

Then at 10:00 p.m. Judith Wolford, Cindy Taylor, Lucy Carr, and I were on a Rat Patrol panel. We soon discovered one of the wonderful advantages of being the last panel scheduled--we had no time limit! We talked about anything and everything--the upcoming convention, upcoming zines, story ideas.... Kat Parsons was there, and shared with us her progress on her amazing and ever-growing database of Rat Patrol fan fiction. At some point I think--I'm a little fuzzy, looking back--that we may have actually planned an honest-to-goodness zine. All I remember is that I didn't volunteer to edit it. Somewhere around 12:30 a.m., audience member Michele Toohig got up to leave, declaring firmly that it was the hour and not the company, because this had been the best panel at the convention! (Lucy and another participant later separately confirmed Michele's assessment, much to my delight.) We went on and on until about 2:30, with audience members gradually dropping out, until finally Dorothy, Judith, Cindy, and I trooped back to our room for a little more conversation and finally parted company about 3 a.m.

Sunday morning I managed to stagger out of bed and hit the con suite for some breakfast noshing. People were *still* talking about the election, which wasn't over yet. Bleah--I thought I came to the convention to escape real life! I put in a couple of hours in the dealers' room until it was time for my last panel, a 1:00 panel with Cindy Barwin on Emergency!. We swapped recommendations for good fanfic sites, since most E! fanfic is on the Internet, and expressed different views on the feasibility and desirability of crossovers. Terry O'Neill, an audience member whom I recognized immediately from Man from U.N.C.L.E. fandom as well as the aforementioned Sayers panel, declared that any crossover involving Emergency! with a different genre, such as a science fiction show, should be told from the viewpoint of the science-fiction show, since E! can fit into that universe, but that universe can't fit into the E! universe. I thought that was a very interesting perspective. I also said that I found it distracting to have Johnny and Roy used casually in fanfic set in other universes, or to have characters from other universes pop up as cameos in E! stories, because cameos tend to "speed-bump" (my term) or "klunk" (Terry's term) the reader by reminding her that she is reading an artifact rather than living an adventure. Then again, we had an audience members who really enjoyed multiple-universe stories and doesn't have a problem with speed-bumping or klunking, so we agreed to disagree.

Sunday afternoon I helped pack up the dealers' room and scavenged some leftover goodies from the con suite to take home. I also agreed to take the collected food from the canned food drive home and donate it to a food bank, since Kathy's van was stuffed beyond its limits already. As it happened, the Enterprise Rent-A-Car had run out of the economy vehicle I'd reserved, and had given me a full-size car at the economy price, so I had plenty of room to accommodate the request! When we were all done loading at last, I joined Kathy and a number of other staff members for the dead dog dinner in the hotel restaurant. As always, this was a relaxed time to let down our hair and wind down from the convention. I learned to my surprise and delight that Dina, my Mag 7 friend, was a mystery fan and even attended Malice Domestic, a convention that is a favorite of my mother's! We also talked about recent and upcoming conventions, and who had gone where and seen what. Finally, though, it was time to bow out and head home. Another enjoyable convention, and another one to look forward to next year! [20]

Eclecticon 2001

Eclecticon 2001 was held on Nov. 9-11, 2001 at the Ramada Hotel in Newark, NJ.

The following are notes compiled by Morgan Dawn from her interactions with fans who attended Eclecticon 2001, accessed Feb 12, 2017. An archived copy of the website can be found here.

Eclecticon 2001: Con Reports

  • There was a Rat Patrol room party
  • a reporter from the Christian Science Monitor talked to an attendee about Harry Potter
  • there was a Rat Patrol panel entitled "Dietrich ueber Alles."
  • episodes of Barney Miller were shown in the vid room
  • there was a panel about the Westgern TV and movie genre. Among the topics discussed: while there are degrees of moral ambiguity portrayed in Westerns, and characters may display shades of gray, Westerns offer an underlying belief system that strongly affirms clear standards of right and wrong, and rejects moral relativism. Cowboy codes of ethics were promulgated to young viewers in the 1940's and 1950's, which promoted not only the traditional values one would expect of the time, like courage and honor, but also some that seemed surprisingly progressive given the stereotypical view of Westerns as prejudiced, such as respect for women and fair treatment for Indians. Conditions may be ripe for Westerns to continue their tentative comeback, and that the events of 9-11 in particular might whet people's appetites for shows with clear positions on right and wrong.
  • some vids shown at a private room party: a Magnificent 7 music video; part of the Chicago Loop tape of vids, a batch of Sentinel vids including the hilarious "Man Song" by Media Cannibals.
  • A memorial service was held to reflect on the recent 9/11 tragedy. A copy of the service is archived here.

Eclecticon 2002

Eclecticon 2002 was held on Nov. 8-10, 2002 at the Ramada Hotel in Newark, NJ. The programming schedule is archived here. A copy of the website can be found archived here.

Eclecticon 2003

Eclecticon 2003 was held on Nov. 7-9, 2003 at the Ramada Hotel in Newark, NJ. The programming schedule is archived here. A copy of the website is archived here.

Eclecticon never featured a formal vid show. Instead, fan videos were shown at various times throughout the day in the Video Room. In later years these videos would be grouped into Gen, Het, or Slash vid categories, with the 'prime time" slot being reserved Saturday evening for newly released vids. It usually competed against other popular activities. Below is a list one attendee made of vids shown at the 'newly released' vid slot.

2003 Vid Show

Song Fandom Vidder
Back to Back Emperor's New Groove Sorka
On the Sea Horatio Hornblower Sorka
The Space Between Smallville (first season) Sorka
Unforgiven 2 Batman Beyond Sorka
Photograph The Fugitive (the movie) Sorka
Human Behavior Pitch Black Sorka
Where Are You Going? LOTR (Fellowship) Sorka
Sexy Multi Sorka
Because You Love Me Professionals Recycled Media
No Place That Far Starsky & Hutch Recycled Media
You Made Me That Way Professionals Recycled Media
Waterloo Due South Recycled Media
Saints & Angels Professionals Recycled Media
I Just Knew Multi Recycled Media
Where Your Road Leads Starsky & Hutch Recycled Media
Beautiful Mess Sentinel Recycled Media
You Don't Professionals Recycled Media
I Believe Stargate SG-1 Recycled Media
You're Lookin' Hot Multi Recycled Media
Hold Me Like There's No Tomorrow Starsky & Hutch Recycled Media
Fingerprints Sentinel Recycled Media
Please Remember Me Due South Recycled Media
Everybody Jay & Silent Bob Dementia, Ink
Fade Whedonverse (Faith) Dementia, Ink
Unwell Buffy Dementia, Ink
Bad Day Sorority Boys Dementia, Ink
In the year 2525 Multi Mudd (as part of Succubus Productions)
Always a woman Sarah Brightman Mudd
Superman Queer as Folk Mudd & Angel
Sweet Little Sheila Last Dance with Mary Jane Angel
It's in His Kiss multi Angel
Don't let the Sun go Down on Me Star Wars Angel
Happy Together Multi Angel

Eclecticon 2004

Eclecticon 2004 was held on Nov. 5-7, 2004 at the Ramada Hotel in Newark, NJ. The programming schedule is archived here. A copy of the website is archived here.

The morning started with a beer quest to Newark town centre so I could have a nice selection of odd bottled beers ready for the weekend. The convention started at 1pm and I spent most of the first afternoon alternating between the dealer room and the con suite (something you get in US cons - a room full of nibbles and soft drinks). In the evening, I tried an anime panel but it was mostly about US shows I've never watched, so I left early. My update Blake's 7 panel happened and we had four people plus myself - a lot of the B7 peeps are either not coming this year or not arriving till Saturday. Nevertheless, we has a bit of a discussion about the latest scant details from Blake's 7 Enterprises. The highlight of the day though happended at 11pm and the Harry Potter party - much fun and wizard related games. The party started with the sorting hat and I became a Ravenclaw. Lots of silly games in which everybody ended up winning Potter stickers and bookmarks etc. Ended about 1am - quite late for Eclecticon, though still early for a UK con.... [21]

I snagged copes of DHD 4 and "Unrequited" by Graculus. I ended up fangirling Tyger Tiger again, but I think I didn't come off so goofy this time. I also got some hot TPM manga by Fuumin "Love and the Force." And, I snagged Chelseafrew's Stargate VCDs for vidding purposes...*cackes evilly* Somedays I feel I need an entirely separate machine for vidding...

Anyway, I felt the panels this year were rather lame. We only went to one, the one on "Fandom Morals" which turned out to be a rehashing of "What trolls do to a fandom." We didn't even get to what I *thought* it was going to be about until the very end. (Fandom plagiarism, etc.)

I also squicked Marzilla by showing her various Snarry pics ;) I refrained from buying any, since I haven't even hung my Shanks pictures, never mind more art prints... [22]

I'm back from Eclecticon, which was a lot of fun. Not so much in the actual convention participation way, but more in the hanging out with good friends and buying zines that I should know better than to buy kind of way. I've found myself becoming more and more aggressively anti-social when it comes to things like panels, which more often than not these days consist of a number of somewhat dim people who really like to hear themselves talk.

But there was good Stargate talk, and epeeblade's descriptions of the latest in gay porn films, and deannie and noelql killing bunnies with me and chelseafrew, and rosemitchell and her darling baby, who isn't a baby at all anymore, but rather is perfectly capable of flagging down a waiter all by herself in the hotel restaurant and requesting a new fork because hers took an unfortunate plunge from the high chair.

Anyway, overall it was exactly what I needed after all the stress from last week. [23]

Then on to the con hotel, which seems to become harder to get to every year. Earlier, we'd been pleased to learn on the con mailing list that the hotel now had wireless internet. When we checked in, I asked if they had wireless and I was informed yes, it cost $9.95. Okay, good, I said. However, Lanchid was unable to access the internet once we got to the room. (In California, payment was requested/accomplished when the user first attempted to log on.) On Saturday, we learned that you have to pay for it at the front desk and receive a password to access the wireless network. New Jersey: A Modicum of Customer Service.

I don't really have any active current fandoms, so I believe I only made it to two panels this year: Joan of Arcadia and Firefly. Both were enjoyable and I got promises of URLs for fic featuring Jayne from two people. I'd intended to go to other panels, but just never made it. It was nice to see a Dr Who panel again, but, er, well, I was rather wary of the panelists' ability to hold an interesting discussion.

I did a lot of gophering at the registration table (which means I got to talk to a lot of people, which is why I do it) and a lot of hanging with friends (brak666, starbuck3614, JudyC, but not with caorann because she was asleep). Met some new people and had drinks in the bar, well one drink. Then after an hour and a half, I chased down the bartender to get the check as we'd given up on ordering another round. NJ: A Modicum of Customer Service. [24]

Additional reports as gathered by Morgan Dawn from her personal recollections, accessed Feb 13, 2017:

  • A panel called "Original Fiction: Does it have a future in Fandom?"was held. Among the topics discussed: encouraging fanfic writers to try to write their own original fiction as well; whether it will become accepted to publish original stories in zines mixed in with 'regular' fanfic; whether there is a market for original fiction in zines when one can buy original fiction in bookstores at regular paperback prices; fiction archives on the web, vanity publishing, and print on demand zines, and zines on CDs.
  • a panel called "Blake's 7: Where should it go from here?" Among topics discussed: the DVD release being pushed back to allow for tie-in with the audio plays, the copyright owner lacking funding for the animated series, and all other 'discussions are ongoing'. Steve R. discussed a fifteen minute parody that was done with current British comedy actors called "Blake Junction 7" which featured a slashy scene between Blake and Avon in a bathroom. He also handed out publicity post cards showing the cast dressed as the B7 characters. The panel discussed whether radio plays would find an audience here in

the USA and whether the US would be open to a show that is basically about rebels blowing up government installations in the light of 9/11. Re: the radio plays the consensus was that the US favored audiobooks instead of broadcast. The panel lasted 30 minutes.

Eclecticon 2005

Eclecticon 2005 was held on Nov. 11-13, 2005 at the Ramada Hotel in Newark, NJ. The programming schedule is archived here. A copy of the website is archived here.

... I sort of drifted between the con suite and the dealers' rooms until my panel.

I'm Just In It to Fi(c)x It!

I wanted to know why some very good shows that many fans watch do not get much fan activity, and why other shows of lesser quality get a lot of motion momentum. In my panel, we came up with the answer.

Fannish, not watchable

Many gaps in plots and poorly illustrated character relationships
Amusing or light-hearted tone
Episodic in nature
Substantial worldbuilding with many underdeveloped and undeveloped areas
Characters have a goal which defines but does not structure the show
Pretty characters and visuals
At least one OTP
Ex. Smallville, Supernatural, Harry Potter, SGA

Watchable, not Fannish

Show thoroughly explores its own plot premises and character relationships
Unhappy tone
Must watch each episode to keep up
Universe is constantly jossed
Distinctive dialogue
High quality
No fannish evangelist demanding fic of friends
We wound up the hour by speculating on a Fannish but Unwatchable Show. Much time was spent during the weekend speculating on how the pilot would work. I almost want to run a virtual season, but of the people I was talking to about it, I am the most prolific writer. Ack!
Ex. Homicide, West Wing, Babylon 5, Sports Night

Did some more bouncing around the dealer's room and consuite, dinner with I'm no longer sure whom, and then I went to a panel m_j_ ran on Fandom and Academia. I think the conclusion we came to is that we're not sure we want to be research subjects, there's not enough studying of sports fans and non-Internet media fans, if fans are to be studied at all, and what we really need are librarians and historians to get interested in fandom and preserving some of our stuff.

I also, at some point, watch an episode of Dr. Who with the 9th Doctor. My esential problem with Dr. Who had been that the sets were so cheap that I couldn't suspend disbelief. That's been overcome with that series, and I think I would like it, if only it were on Region 1 DVDs.

I covered the con suite from 9 to a little after midnight (Nat, that's why I missed your Dr. Who panel. No one came to relieve me. I'm sorry if I never said that straight to you, I really had intended to go.)

Now it's time for Prison Break, so Saturday and Sunday will have to wait for tomorrow. [25]

The first panel I went to on Saturday was the Story Plotting Game. That was actually more fun than I was expecting it to be. We only had time for two rounds, but they were great rounds. [info]amedia and a woman named Carol (whose LJ name I didn't catch if she has one, and if someone has hers, please give it to me, she was cool) aka [info]meritahut led it because the person who was supposed to do it couldn't make it. Anyway, the first round was us taking 5 minutes to write out a generic plot, then exchanging plot cards, and taking 10 minutes to write out a story based on the generic plot. In the second round, everyone used the same plot. [info]amedia said she would put them up on the con website (or her website?) and then you will be able to see the cool stuff people came up with. I will post mine to this livejournal in a separate post. my stories from the story plotting game

The Stargate Atlantis general discussion panel was fun, but not terribly memorable. It was nice to be in a room with a lot of people who are genuinely fond of the show, though. The roommate dislikes it is underwhelmed and the other people I know are h8trs. They mock with love, but they're still, you know, mocking.

Then I went to a panel on Incorporating Technology Into Fanfic. All I have to say about that is to apologize once again to everyone I dragged to the panel. It's not that the panel was bad, but the description wasn't very clear and if we had known what it would be, we would not have gone. Just not that interested in the subject matter.

<digression>The same people ran a panel on Strong Women Characters that was a disaster. I think we were just dealing with a generational disconnect. They had issues where people faulted women for being unrealistically strong. Fans of my generation seem more likely to complain that a female character isn't strong enough, sometimes in situations where they wouldn't blame a male for similar behavior, and sometimes where the character isn't strong enough. Also, a panelist who wouldn't shut up about her own life story made it all the more fun.</digression>

My second panel of the con went very well, but it was poorly titled. I intended it to be a panel questioning whether the John/Rodney uber alles of the fic was really born out by the canon, but the title "John/Rodney – Most Popular? Most Canonical?" was somewhat deceptive. Also, I ran out of material about halfway through the panel. However, we did amass a nice list of authors who have written non-McShep fanfiction.

[list snipped]

If you have websites or lj names for any of the above, please let me know.

I went to the auction and had a fair amount of fu. I bought one item I had no intention whatsoever of buying, I was outbid on the British edition of HBP, but I did get two items that I had wanted. It was loads of fun.

I saw part of a premiering vid show. Nothing stuck out except Flamingo and someone else did a vid to Cowboys are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other that was very charming and managed to present me with a new, underlying theme for Starsky & Hutch. Wow, did those boys dress as cowboys a lot.

I declined to watch the showing of The Brotherhood afterword (it distresses me that they lose the ZPM because Rodney can't keep his mouth shut), so Nat, Brak Caorann, Sorka and I went to the bar. We departed quickly because the people from the funeral had pretty much taken it over and it was loud, but I was able to buy a Bailey's before we went. I will state for the record that I was drinking Bailey's and I was drinking Fresca, but I was not drinking Bailey's and Fresca because that would be wrong.

So we went up to Nat and Laura's room and failed to watch something on DVD because of region issues, so we wound up plotting more of the pilot from my panel the day before. Then we watched the Boondocks premiere and it was hilarious. I highly recommend it.

Sunday, I bought a Beauxbatons bag. Has Beauxbatons been added to the list of schools? I want to go there.

I went to a very good panel on TV shows on DVD. We just talked about why some shows are being released, and why they are or aren't being released as complete series, or at certain prices, and there was just a lot of supertextual, "Well, this is how the Hollywood money works," talk and it was a great time.

Also went to Natlyn's most excellent panel. Got some useful URLs, which will presumably be in either Nat or Lanchid's con report that Natlyn has put into a well-organized and useful reference page. Also, tried to turn still more people onto LJ. But, best of all, I got to talk up is a fantastically useful bookmarking tool. Not only does it allow you to bookmark, annotate, and tag (as opposed to using folders), it allows you to see other people's bookmarks. It's very simple to get started and you can even send your friends links if you know their usernames. I am zvi_likes_tv. If you are on, let me know your username.

I got to see the episode of Prison Break that I had missed in Deannie and Noel's room, but I wound up scooting out of there for lunch before we stopped watching and started talking. :( Lunch was long. It felt like we couldn't leave. This is the next to last Eclecticon, and it's just a really nice place to hang, you know?

The car trip with natlyn was fun. lanchid was so much asleep, she didn't really count for the purposes of travel. But we talked about why there aren't very many gen cons or gen zines, and we decided that part of the problem was that the word gen wasn't very precise. We decided to rename it ex fic (short for explorer) to make the point that it's an exploration of the fannish world, it's just not relationship oriented.

Another term I attempted to popularize this weekend was NeoLantian, for those people originally from the Milky Way and now living on Atlantis. There was another neologism I think would improve fandom if only you would all bow to my whims, but I forget what it was. Nat? Do you remember?

Anyway, I had a really excellent time at the convention. [26]

Eclecticon 2006

Eclecticon 2006 was held on Nov. 10-12, 2006 at the Ramada Hotel in Newark, NJ. The programming schedule is archived here. A copy of the website is archived here.


  1. ^ Eclecticon 2006 page, accessed January 23, 2009
  2. ^ furry cons, accessed January 23, 2009; archived here, cited here on Fanlore as evidence of the connections.
  3. ^ Personal message sent to Morgan Dawn on 6/26/22
  4. ^ See EclectiCon (California); EclectiCon 2 Furry Party – The ConFurence Archive, Archived version; see also an ad for the California Eclecticon on page 42 of Starlog
  5. ^ Eclecticon 96 convention report, accessed January 23, 2009; WebCite.
  6. ^ 1999 Panels.
  7. ^ Eclecticon program 2002, accessed via wayback machine January 23, 2009
  8. ^ Eclecticon program 2003, accessed via wayback machine Nov 3, 2009
  9. ^ Eclecticon program 2004, accessed via wayback machine January 23, 2009
  10. ^ Eclecticon program 2005, accessed via wayback machine January 23, 2009
  11. ^ Anne Collins Smith series of comments at morgandawn Eclecticon New Jersey Convention: Vid Show Playlists, Archived version
  12. ^ morgandawn Eclecticon New Jersey Convention: Vid Show Playlists, Archived version
  13. ^ Judith Yueger in Southern Enclave #40
  14. ^ by Anne Collins Smith, Archived version; also: Eclecticon 96 convention report, Archived version.
  15. ^ see original source for much more, Ecclecticon 97 - REPORT by Carol McCoy, Archived version
  16. ^ In 1997, Shoshanna posted a convention report to the Virgule-L mailing list. It is reposted here with permission.
  17. ^ Video
  18. ^ from a much longer report at Ecclecticon 99 - report by Carol, Archived version
  19. ^ from a longer report (with photos!) Ecclecticon 99 - report by Steve Rogerson, Archived version
  20. ^ by Anne Collins Smith, Archived version
  21. ^ Steve Rogerson - Eclecticon day One, Archived version and Steve Rogerson - Eclecticon Day Two, Archived version and Steve Rogerson - Eclecticon Day Three, Archived version
  22. ^ Epeeblade - E-con et al, Archived version
  23. ^ Cori Lannam - The post-con grind, Archived version
  24. ^ natlyn: Eclecticon 2004, Archived version
  25. ^ read the rest of this report, plus comments at zvi talks about tv - Eclecticon con report, Archived version
  26. ^ Sunday/Monday dated November 15, 2005, by zvi-likes-tv; WebCite for Sunday/Monday.