MediaWest*Con/MediaWest*Con 1996

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Name: MediaWest*Con 1996
Dates: May 24-27, 1996
Focus: multi-fandom
Founding Date:
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Some Facts About the 1996 Convention

1996 program covers, includes map
1996 MediaWest*Con theme
  • About 100 new zines premiered.
  • Bill Hupe announced at MediaWest*Con that he was closing up his fanzine business in the fall and turning it over to Peg Kennedy. He also retired from organizing the MediaWest*Con dealers room.
  • The second Progress Report was mailed in May and included the Art Show rules and space reservation form, as well as the 1996 Fan Q ballot. The convention organizer posted to alt.fandom.cons on May 7, 1996 that: "There were errors in the ballot originally sent out by Susan Cooper which we have tried to correct in the ballot included in PR2. However, it has come to our attention that some names were still misspelled. Our apologies to anyone whose name was mangled."[1]

Fan Q Awards

For specifics, see 1996 Fan Q Awards.


Saturday night presentations will include The X-Aisles" and The M-Files: Pinkie & The Brain Meet The X-Files" by Michael Emond, and a musical interlude by Jessica Ross.

Fan Fund

The winner of the 1996 Fan Fund was Pat Nussman; she attended MediaWest*Con XVI.

Party Suite and Other Gatherings

Virgule-L mailing list members advertised their room party as the "WSEWR PARTY" to preserve the list's anonymity and avoid confusion with the Virgule convention. The party organizers apologized that the mailing list party would conflict with the Terranova Situation party but they had already committed to holding the Blake's 7 bash on Friday night, leaving only Saturday available. They invited list members to put together a short compilation tape (no more than 15 minutes) to promote their favorite slash couples. The second VCR was also available to play any other episodes, porn or music vids.

The annual Terranova Situation party was Saturday night from 7-9pm in the zine series' author's room. That year's theme was a holiday party, in honor of the guys' first Christmas together.

Masquerade Awards

There is currently no information about the masquerade contest or the winners.

Door Decoration Awards

About one door:
Our Professional Slash Wrestling door won Funniest Door in the door decorating contest and I think Debbie (a.k.a. Queen o' the Con) is including a picture of it with her trib. In case not, the idea was that slash couples share many traits with pro wrestling tag teams—the drama, the angst, the hurt/comfort, the stupid outfits. So we put together pictures of several couples, in silly clothes and compromising positions where possible, and gave them wrestlerish tag team names. We started with the real WWF wrestling dream team, Diesel and Shawn Michaels: Dudes with Attitudes, and the heading "Hold me, hurt me, crush me, put me in a leg lock...make the puffin face." Our teams were: Bodie/Doyle from the bowling alley as Moe and Curly; Castillo and Crockett as the Cabana Boys; Kirk and Spock from the Landru episode as the Captain and T'enniele (apostrophe thanks to Lorna B.); Blake and Avon on the ground in "Hostage" as Alpha Males; Illya and Napoleon on the ground and touching as Kissing Cousins; and Fraser and Ray as Mountie and Mountee. [2]

Art Show Awards

There is currently no information about the art show or the winners.

Vid Show Awards

Song Interpretation -- Single Medium

Song Interpretation -- Multi-Media

Constructed Reality -- Single Medium; Original (No Entries)

Constructed Reality -- Multi-Media

(Intentionally) Humorous

Video Box


(M) stands for "Moderator.


  • Writing: What do we get from it besides free zines? What do we want to get from it? Toni B, Susan B-S, Debra H, Jane M (M)
  • The Professionals Random Intro Gen/Slash (1/2 hour) Susan P
  • Kung Fu: The Legend Continues Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Dawn M
  • The Roles of Bruce Abbott and Kathleen Quinlan Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Robin Ann S
  • Babylon 5: The appeal of imperfect characters and complex stories. Marcia B, James C (M), Ken K, Martyan, Janet M
  • Alien Nation Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Tony B
  • MASH Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) John M, Steve P
  • Beauty & The Beast Fandonm Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Tony B
  • Mel Gibson Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Susan H, Mary P
  • Star Wars: Do we really need to see the first trilogy? Seth B, Chandra, ZP Florian (M), Janice M, Louise T
  • Firearms for fan writers. Karen P
  • Andre Norton: a general overview and discussion. Maccia B (M), Dawn M, Linda S
  • Star Trek: Deep Space 9: What is it about the Garak/Bashir relationship that is so compelling? Sharon G (M), Janet M
  • Due South Random Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Elyse D
  • Black Adder Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Paul R
  • Wiseguy Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Cicatrice du Veritas
  • Wild Wild West Random Intro Gen/Slash (1/2 hour) Jane M
  • What writers are looking for in an editor. Toni B, Roberta S (M), Louise T, Debra W
  • Making music videos discussion group.
  • The Wild Wild West: The strangest western ever, or just one more horse opera? James C (M), Patricia F, Kalrina, Kathy K, Linda S
  • Space and NASA discussion group.
  • Man From UNCLE Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Cindy W
  • The Chief Fandom Intro Gen/Slash (1/2 hour) Susan P
  • Ninja High School Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Tim B
  • The Champions Fandom Intro Gen/Slash (1/2 hour) Susan P
  • Forever Knight: Have changes improved or detracted from the series?" Florence B, Cicatrice du Veritas, Mary Ann E, Janice M (M), Janet M
  • Star Wars writers and artists workshop. (2 hours) Judith Y
  • Bankers for honkers and nuts for butts. Becky C (M), Sharon S, Laura T, Mary U
  • We are not alone: UFO's, HAARP, et al discussion group.
  • Bravdheart Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Mary P, Noel S
  • Hogan's Heroes Fandom Intro Gen/Slash (1/2 hour) Melissa M
  • Kiefer Sutherland/Lou Diamond Phillips Fandom Intro Slash (1/2 hour) Martha B
  • Garrisons Gorillas Fandom Intro Gen/Slash (1/2 hour)
  • Babylon S, X-Files, VR.5: The appeal of the conspiracy story-the importance of loyalty, trust and betrayal. Marcia B, Crystal P, Melody W (M)
  • Fans in therapy: Can a therapist grasp and appreciate fan activity/creativity? Cicatrice du Veritas, Nancy H (M), Roberta S
  • Ten years from now will there still be such a thing as face-to-face fandom, or will everything be done electronically? Toni B, Sheila K, Cindy W, Debra W(M)
  • Starsky/Hutch Fandom Intro Slash (1/2 hour) Martha B
  • Sherlock Holmes Fandom Intro Gen/Slash (1/2 hour) Jane M
  • Brother Cadfael Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Kathy K
  • Due South Fandom Intro Slash (1/2 hour) Jane M
  • Dr. Who: The new Dr. Who-the history of time travel? Thomas B (M), Gary B, Jennifer K, Kevin P
  • Jewelry making workshop: Dreamcatchers. Susan P
  • Kung Fu: The Legend Continues: Beyond Peter, or hey, I really liked the original series! Tim B, Carol Anne R, Gaylen R (M)
  • Voyage To the Bottom of the Sea discussion group.
  • Star Wars Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Z.P. Florian
  • Filking Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Crystal P
  • Planet of the Apes TV series Fandom Intro Get) (1/2 hour) Mary S
  • X Files: Real paranormal topics in the series. Tim B, James H (M), Mary P
  • Martial arts in films and TV: The best and the worst. Pam B (M), TM C , Joyce Y
  • Hypnosis: an introduction. Nancy H
  • Online and on our way: A beginner's guide to online services and the internet. Chandra, Debra W (M)
  • Media card collectors trading session. Cynthia M
  • Animaniacs Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour)
  • Emergency discussion group
  • Elfquest Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Katrina
  • The Internet: Will discussion with production personnel help or hinder fandom? Sheila K, Mary Ann M, Debra W (M), Melody W
  • Storyteller. (2 hours) Kathy M
  • The Sentinel discussion group.
  • Empowering ourselves: Are fans pursuing fannish activity to escape the miseries of real life, or to grow creatively in a supportive environment? Toni B, Nancy H (M), Louise T
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: is there a place for female buddy action heroes? Florence B, TM C, Patricia F (M)
  • She Wolf of London Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Susan B-S
  • Young Indiana Jones discussion group.
  • Forever Knight Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Nancy, D, Mary Ann E
  • Stan Rogers: the Canadian folk singer—an introduction. Susan B-S, Signe H, Crystal P (M), Mary S
  • Dinosaurs: the real thing vs. the reel thing discussion group.
  • Buckaroo Banzai discussion group.
  • Quantum Leap discussion group. Ball C Simon & Simon discussion group.
  • Hercules discussion group.
  • Drop-in Hiking (4 hours)
  • Blake's 7 discussion group.
  • The Civil War discussion group.
  • Nowhere Man discussion group.
  • World War II series discussion group.
  • Kiefer Sutherland and Lou Diamond Phillips discussion group.
  • A dramatic reading. Scott R
  • The allure of vampires discussion group.


  • The Tick discussion group.
  • X Files: Assistant Director Walter Skinner -- Ruth B, Sheila K, Leslie R
  • Writing: What do we get from it besides free zines? What do we want to get from it? Susan G, S, R (M), L, Sharon W
  • Star Wars: The Collectible Card Game Bianca G, Cheryl G, Tammy O, Charyl P
  • Led Zeppelin: Page & Plant Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Jean Lorrah
  • Braveheart: a discussion of the movie; or, "If it's not Scottish, it's crap." Susan H, Dani L, Mary P, Noel S
  • Black Adder Pandora Intro Gen (1/2 hour). Jane M
  • Beauty & The Beast: Assuming "she's not dead", how much of Catherine's life Above does she have to give up? Tim B, Toni B, Cicatrice du Veritas, Lynne W (M)
  • Keeping characters consistent with their TV portrayal while still getting them to do what you want them to do in a gen story. Marcia B, Carol H-S, Jan L (M), Roberta R, Debra W
  • So, you want to be a martial artist. Pam B, Florence B, Mary L, Gaylen R (M), Joyce Y
  • Zorro Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Mary Ann M
  • Lord Peter Wimsey panel Anne C-S (M), George F, Dorinda H, Sue S
  • David Duchovny Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Marta C, Susan H
  • Due South: How has the relationship between Fraser/Ray evolved? Sharon G (M), Lucy J, Jane M, Melissa M
  • How To Write A Better Story (2 hours) Cindy W
  • Scott Bakula: From stage to Quantum Leap and beyond... Terri L, Dawn M, Mary S (M)
  • Vadek Bareil Fandom Intro Gen and Update (1/2 hour) Gayle-Lynne G
  • Disney's Gargoyles: Cops and cornices - an overview of story arcs and characterization. Tim B, Martynn, Mary Ann M, Terry O'B (M), Linda S
  • Rat Patrol Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Kathy A, Anne C-S, Mary P, Linda S
  • Lois & Clark: To "I do" or to not "I do": will the deepening romance hurt or help the series? Florence B, TM C, Sheila K, Jessica R(M)
  • Star Trek Deep Space 9: How has adding Worf altered the character dynamics and long-term plots? Mary Ann E, Gayle-Lynne G (M), Roberta S
  • Equalizer Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) LA C, Marta C
  • Courtyard Ring of Steel combat theatrical group demonstration/workshop yard
  • Starsky/Hutch Fandom Intro Slash (1/2 hour) Linda M
  • Star Wars: Obi-Wan - protective martyr or manipulative liar? Chandra (M), ZP Florian, Carol H-S, Marti S, Veronica Wilson
  • Writing: How does reading other fan writers affect your own writing? Toni B, Susan G, Susan P (M), Roberta S, Debra W
  • "Soap operas": Why they are a fan writer's dream come true. Pam B (M), Gary B, LA C, Margie N
  • Rat Patrol 1996: the year of the rat: present revival of the fandom. Anne C-S, Dorothy H, Mary P, Linda S
  • Reboot Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour) Jackie H
  • Babylon 5: Third season developments. Toni B, Ken K (M), Martynn, Terry O'B, Melody W
  • Elementary fanfic: Taking that wisp of an idea and turning it into a well-crafted story - tips, tools and thoughts.
* Cicatrice du Veritas, Jan L (M), Jean Lorrah, Cindy W, Linda W
  • Due South: How has the relationship between Fraser and Ray evolved? Elyse D, Daniel L, Mary L, L, Mary W (M)
  • Highlander: Who Wants To Date Forever? The hopelessness of the Highlander's love life. Gary B (M), Sandra M, Janet Miller, Carol Anne R
  • Who died and left you in charge?: Why doesn't fandom seem to be the nurturing environment it was intended to be? Susan B-S (M), Nancy H, Debra W
  • Chicago Hope: Has Geiger's departure affected the series? Pam B (M), Becky C, Signe H, Margie N
  • X Files: Do Duchovny and Anderson "make the show"? Could anyone else be Mulder & Scully?
 Crystal P, Jessica R (M), Lynne W
  • Great babes of the galaxy: Women in sci-fi and fantasy. Tim B, Marcia B (M), Carol H-S, Louise T, Joyce Y
  • Knight Rider Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour). Stella L
  • Robin of Sherwood: Everything you always wanted to know about Robin of Sherwood... Helen A, Laura C, Christine H, Mary Ann M (M)
  • Wiseguy Fandom Intro Slash (1/2 hour) Darlene F, Ann T
  • Slash In Odd Places: What Fandoms Haven't Been Touched? Debra H (M), Katrilla, Jane M
  • Star Trclc Voyager: Is it working yet? Gary B, Toni B, Susan B-S, Patricia F (M), Nancy H
  • Writing for the heck of it. Susan P
  • Nowhere Man Fandom Intro Gen (1/2 hour). Debbie R
  • X Files: Excuse me, but is the horror aspect really necessary? Martynn, Mary Ann M, Crystal P, Jessica R (M)
  • X Files: Tales of the unexplained: Has anyone had a real life experience like any of the cases on the series? Susan H, James H (M), Nancy H, Linda S
  • Fandom on the World Wide Web: TV sites, fiction archives, and how to find them.
 Chandra, Mary Ann E, Sheila K, Terry O'B (M), Melody W
  • Space: Above and Beyond discussion group.
  • Forever Knight: Have changes improved or detracted from the series?* Judith C, Patricia F (M), Sandy H
  • Fan club presidents, past, present and wannabe discussion group
  • Westerns discussion group.
  • PLAYS: "The X-Aisles," and "The M-Files: Pinkie & The Brain Meet The X-Files" by Michael E, and a Musical Interlude by Jessica R, followed by MASQUERADE; Ring of Steel combat theatrical group will perform following the costume presentations
  • Anne Rice: What do we like/dislike about her vampires? Sandy H , Lynne We (M), Sharon W
  • Cats in fandom discussion group.
  • Drop-in filking. (5 hours)
  • The Marshal discussion group.
  • Mystery Science Theatre 3000 discussion group.
  • Sliders discussion group.
  • Profit the series discussion group.
  • Kindred: The Embraced discussion group.


  • Star Wars: Do the pro novels fit into the fannish universe? Seth B (M), ZP Florian, Carol HS, Louise T
  • Writing/editing:Fans who swing both ways - writers and editors who work both sides of the fence, slash and heterosexual erotica. Kathy A, Dawn F, Pat Nu (M), Sarah T
  • The Internet: Is it fracturing fandom into two groups: those "with" and those "without"? Elyse D, Sandra M, Debra W (M)
  • Hercules/Xena: what's going on between Hercules & Xena and Gabrielle & Dolus? Bianca G (M), Cheryl G, Cheryl P, ZP Trevelan
  • Lois & Clark: How has Lois knowing that Clark is Superman changed the series? Sheila K, Jean Lorrah, Jane M, Jessica R (M)
  • Birdkeeping. Stella L
  • Quantum Leap: the unseen season: if they brought it back, what stories are left to be told? Janice B, MJ Frank, Sandy H (M), Terry L, Sharon W
  • Hurt/comfort: how to write it without killing off your characters. Toni B, Debra H, Sandra M, Susan P (M), Robin Ann S
  • Wiseguy: Will the TV raovie be considered an alternate universe, depending on what the writers choose to incorporate/ignore from the original series? Cicatrice du Veritas (M), Susan H, Margie N
  • Star Wars: Do we really need to see the first trilogy? Gary, Carol H-S, Ken K (M), Roberta S, Joyce Yasner
  • Fandom on the Web: how to set up your own home page. Mary Ann E, John G, Melody W
  • Shakespeare is better than chocolate! Signe H (M), Jeanne D, Merle M
  • Rat Patrol: Deitrich uber alles. Kathy A, Anne C-S, Mary P, Linda S
  • Babylon 5: The appeal of imperfect characters and complex stories. Margaret B, Guy B, Carol Anne R, Roberta R, Joyce Y (M)
  • Seminar for advanced writers. (2 hours) Cindy W
  • Star Trek Saavik dreams and stranger things: why we love the supporting cast Tim B (M), Toni B, Mary Ann M
  • Vampires: From blood-bloated peasant/ghoul to Frank Langella and Nick Knight: why the image change? Where to from here? TM C, Mary Ann E, Sandy H, Lynne W (M), Sharon W
  • Starsky & Hutch: the partnership that begs to be "slashed".
 Susan B, Nancy G, Linda M, Kim S
  • From Jane Marple to Jane Tenneson: The British female investigator - how does she compare to her American counterpart? Pam B, Susan B-S (M)
  • Kung Fu: The Legend Continues: true destiny: cop or priest, warrior or priest, father or priest; contrasts and divergences. Kris B, Jeanne D, Nea D, Carol F
  • The fourth annual Slash Talent In Fandom (STiFfie) Awards presentation. (1 1/2 hours)
  • ER: The Characters of ER: If one had to die, who would you choose? Gayle-Lyime G, Mary Ann M (M), Margie N
  • Due South: General overview & discussion. LA C, Elyse D (M), Daniel L, Mary L, Mary W
  • Star Trek: Sexuality in the ST universe-enlightened or infantile? Tim B (M), TM C, Janet M
  • Fandom: The Next Generation: Are new fen learning fannish etiquette; how can it be taught, and what is it? ZP Florian, Nancy H, Debra W (M)
  • Ring of Steel combat theatrical group demonstration/workshop
  • Writing: How to turn your creative talents "pro". Jane M (M), Sandra M, Roberta R
  • Quantum Leap slash: Growing by leaps and bounds—what's the attraction?
 Susan G, Terri L
  • Alien Nation: Are the new TV movies breathing life into the fandom? Tom B, Mary Ann E, Gayle-Lynne G, Lynne W (M)
  • Star Trek: Is the fandom on the decline? Gary B, Seth B, Susan B-S (M)
  • Fandom and the 'Net: Getting started-a guide to your technical/hardware considerations. Chandra, Terry O'B (M), Debra W, Melody W
  • VR.S: general overview and discussion. Ruth B, Leslie R
  • Babylon 5: Was Delenn more effective before the metamorphosis? Is Londo a good guy or a bad guy? Is Vir growing a backbone? Margaret B, Marcia B (M), Kris B, Patricia F, Martynn
  • Lay or lie?: Grammar basics to make your (antic the best that it can be. Nancy H, Jan L (M), Jane M, Crystal Paul, Mary S
  • MacGyver vs. Legend: Comparing/contrasting Richard Dean Anderson's roles.
 Judith C, Mary Ann M (M), Karen P, Linda S
  • Forever Knight: What would Nick do with his life if he was cured? Florence B, Mary Ann E, Janice M (M), Janet M, Sharon W
  • You Killed My Family/Lovcr/Friend, and Now You Die. Has vengeance been done to death? Debra H (M), Roberta S, Louise T
  • Starsky & Hutch: A 70's show fandom in the 90's, Toni B, Sandra M, Margie N, Martha B (M)
  • Fannish Jeopardy.
  • X Files: How docs third season compare to the first two seasons? Susan H, Ken K (M), Mary P
  • Keeping characters consistent with their TV portrayal while still getting them to do what you want them to do in a slash story. Becky C, Susan G, Debra H, Susan P (M), Lynne W
  • The Man From UNCLE: Why do we watch Illya or Napoleon? Susan B-S, Linda S, Cindy W (M), Linda W
  • X Files: Perceptions vs. reality: We know it's all make believe...but how much do we believe. Tim B, Susan B-S, James H (M)
  • Beading as art, costuming and/or personal adornment; sharing ideas and resources. Martha B (M), Carol Anne R, Robin Ann S
  • Babylon 5 Versus Star Trek: My Universe Can Kick Your Universe's Butt! Guy B, James C (M), Jan L, Joyce Y
  • Nash Bridges discussion group.
  • Sapphire and Steel discussion group.
  • Blake's 7 vs. Star Trek: The Next Generation discussion group.
  • Science in science fiction. David G, Paul R (M)
  • The Professionals discussion group.
  • MEDIAWEST*CON ART AUCTION (until Midnight or the last piece is sold!)
  • The Man From UNCLE in the 1990's discussion group.
  • Zenna Henderson: a general overview and discussion. Tim B, Cliandra (M), Carol Anne R
  • The Prisoner discussion group.
  • Drop-in filking. (5 hours)
  • The Outer Limits: the classic 60's anthology series. David G (M), Paul R
  • Escape From New York discussion group.
  • The enduring appeal of mysteries discussion group.
  • American Gothic discussion group.
  • Live Vampyre: the Masquerade Game discussion group.
  • Where have all the good shows gone?: Are there really no good "fannish" shows this season, or is fandom just getting pickier? Gary B, Marcia B , Debra H (M), Roberta R
  • Barbara Hambly's vampires discussion group.


  • Chicago Hope vs. ER: which is the better crafted show? discussion group.
  • The rise and fall of British TV discussion group.
  • Dead Dog Panel.
  • "Fringe" fandoms: on the outside looking in? discussion group.
  • X Files: Heterosexual "slash"? Or, what else can you call Mulder/Scully? Becky C (M), Jane M, Crystal P, Mary S
  • Mundane interaction: How much do we tell mundane friends, family and co-workers about our involvement in fandom? Where do we display our fan art, especially explicit and/or slash pieces? Susan B-S (M), Robin Ann S, Linda S
  • Do films based on TV series help or hurt the existing fandom? discussion group.
  • Where have all the good shows gone?: Are mere really no good "fannish" shows this season, or is fandom just getting pickier? Gary B, Marcia B, Debra H (M), Roberta R
  • Actors vs. their characters: who do you love more? discussion group.
  • How has computer generation changed science fiction and fantasy productions? discussion group.
  • Star Trek Kevin Costner as James T. Kirk? Some playful speculations on re-casting the original Trek with our favorite stars. Margaret B, Tim B, Katrina (M)

Convention Reports

Media West was great. I have to say that, going into it, I did not know what to expect and some of my expectations were incorrect. For one thing, MW is totally a fan-sponsored and produced event. I thought there would be TV promoters pushing stuff for various shows. There was none of that. There was, however, more than 100 fan dealers throughout the hotel. The Dealer Room was great, but I really found some treasures in the dealer hotel rooms... There were introductions and discussion groups for various fandoms going on all the time. There were four Starsky and Hutch sessions. Three were slash and one was gen. I attended three of the four. My motto is, 'I'll take the boys anyway I can get them! :-))' All the sessions were fun. There were probably 30 people at the S&H gen session. I got to meet several online friends, and was surprised to learn that only half of us were online. (I can't imagine not being online, sounds like work. Kudos to those who aren't online and put in the effort to keep the fandom going. [3]
MediaWest passed in the usual high speed blur of confusion, excitement, and exhaustion. I mostly pursued non-SW activities, which I won't bother folks hereabouts with. However, I did look in on the Forces of the Empire Cantina, which gets more impressively atmospheric every year. The doll miniature set display was once again both highly creative and truly wicked - if possible, it surpassed even the imaginative tour de force of 1995. And this year, I managed to show up in time to attend the SE party while it was still going on; that was a most pleasant and relaxed get-together. One SW-related item of note did catch my attention whilst in Lansing. Several people were advocating the possibility of (in future) holding a separate small SW con, the same (Memorial Day) weekend, but elsewhere (the idea being to locate close to a major urban hub for the convenience of long distance travelers). At first, I was very taken with this idea. MediaWest has gotten very large, Lansing is not the easiest/cheapest place to get to, the Holiday Inn is not (with all respect) the greatest facility available, and I've had my own frustrating experiences with the administrative difficulties of (to do them justice the greatly overworked and overextended people who run MediaWest. However, after some thought, I've concluded that I would not go to a SW-only con IF HELD THE SAME WEEKEND. MediaWest (despite some problems) offers a unique diversity (of subject matter, of people) I would not be willing to give up. I adore SW, and SW fandom holds a special place in my life, but I value that exposure to other universes, too. Now, if somebody wants to put on a small, easily accessible, all-SW con some other weekend, I would definitely want to know more.[4]
Well, I could go on for hours about how much I enjoyed [MediaWest], blah, blah, blah, but that seems kind of obvious. I loved meeting all of those with whom I've been corresponding for so long. It was wonderful to see you all in the flesh and I just hope I can make it again next year. Other highlights? The FOE cantina and the Star Awards, of course. Oh, and seeing Gerald's art for "A.W.O.L." (A Tremor in the Force #9) for the first time. And the cardinal birds and the French toast and maple syrup and the tornado in Ontario and the visit to Suncoast Video with Debbie Kittle, Marie Treleaven, and Ming Wathne. Sigh, I could go on forever ... [5]
MediaWest went by too fast. Yeah, I know MWC always goes by fast, but for me it really zoomed by. It seems I wasn't the only attendee there with a record low of spending money. That's okay, in a way, because there seemed to be a record low number of new zines for sale. Depending on who you asked, most of the dealers did alright. But all around, it seemed an atypical con this year. [6]
This year's MediaWest was different from others that I have attended in the past. It seemed to be more of a Relaxacon than anything else. There was still the Dealer's Room feeding frenzy although this year it didn't seem to be quite so frenzied. There seemed to be fewer dealers this year - many that I'd seen for years seemed to be missing. There were very few room dealers this year. We usually make several room runs a day and this time only made one or two during the entire con. The panels also seemed to be less attended than in past years. I don't know if this was caused by apathy or fewer people attending the con. I do know that they had a sign at the hotel registration saying that they had rooms available. Panels included "Do we really need to see the first trilogy?", "Writers and Artists Workshop", "Fandom Intro Gen", "The Collectible Card Game", "Obi-Wan - Protective martyr or manipulative liar?", and "Do the pro novels fit into the fannish universe?" SW zines that debuted here were A Tremor in the Force #9, Bright Center of the Universe #6, Elusive Lover (from Germany), Flip of a Coin #17 (Harrison Ford), The Force of Fate (novel), I Have a Bad Feeling About This (Star Wars zine) #2 (from Scotland), Sarlaac (from Sweden), Snowfire #2, The Sacrifice (a reprint of stories), Tales From the Cantina #3, and Tales of a New Republic #2. The STAR a WARdS were well attended and were held in the Imperial Room courtesy of the Forces of the Empire. I'd like to thank them for the use of their facility. The medals and certificates were presented by the lovely Oola (who used her tentacles to good advantage). Thanks, Oola. A SW Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Cheree Cargill. When I first got into SW, it was considered a "dying fandom." Cheree was still printing A Tremor in the Force and Southern Enclave. SE was one of the few places where SW fans could discuss their favorite topic. She has done much to keep SW fandom going and this was the recognition that she so justly deserves. Thanks, Cheree. I was also given a medal and certificate for "Outstanding Contributions to SW Fandom." (I know who instigated this and I'm going to kill you!!!) Seriously, it was a lovely gesture and I can't tell you how much I appreciated it. Thanks from the bottom of my heart. It is proudly displayed in my home. It was a good con. This time we seemed to have more time to spend sitting around and actually talking to people, not only catching up on the latest news from everyone but discussing our favorite topic of conversation - Star Wars. [7]
The NatPack's Wake went beautifully. There was a live reading of the blooper script (which was video taped this morning), a viewing of the all-Nat channel, and lots of lovely conversation and fun. Affiliation pins were given out during the weeken with a preponderence of Cousins attending, but there WERE a number of Knighties as well and more than a few FODs showing their support. The Fan Q award winners were announced at 5 PM this evening. Due to the problems with the ballot, MediaWest declined to present a Fan Q for Forever Knight short fiction, which means there was no award to any of the nomines in that category. Best novel was presented to "Kind Soul," Best Fanzine was given to "Daydreams & Knightmares," and best FK artist was Ann Larimer. The art auction is still going on. There was a lovely Vachon by Fister-Liltz which went for $70.00 and a Nick by candlelight for $100.00 (which was a REAL steal!). I managed to get the Nick and Nat I wanted (entitled 'Nick at Nat') by Karen River for $150.00. [8]

I had, as usual, a great time at MediaWest. I didn't win the Holiday Inn lottery, so I stayed at the HoJo's across the street. It turned out that there were vacancies in the Holiday Inn all through the con, but I didn't discover this until I was already registered and unpacked at the other place. (For anyone who's curious, I'd characterize it as a bit ratty, but cheap and reasonably clean. Those last two are ideal traits in an overflow hotel, as far as I'm concerned.)

The dealers' room seemed less packed than in years past. I can remember when trying to get close to Bill Hupe's table on Friday was something only the strong and determined would even attempt. The traffic was a lot lighter this time around. I'm waiting with trepidation to see what the consequences of Bill's retirement will be. Not that I've got anything against Peg, but it is the end of an era.

Although I didn't buy much (there wasn't a lot of new B7 fanfic, and I've gradually bought up most of the old zines I'm interested in) I did come home with a borrowed copy of Beloved Adversary, which I'll review later [in Rallying Call #18 </ref>.

It sounds like I'm describing a dull con, but I arrived there earlier, left later, and still had less downtime than I ever have before. That trend is a little frightening. There were lots of parties, including the Blake bash, and a lot of hanging around talking to friends whom I only get to see in the flesh once or twice a year. (I suppose I should confess to having in the back of my head an irrational belief that should I find myself in Lansing in, say, January, I could visit that Holiday Inn and still find, if not a full-scale con, at least a couple of room dealers.)

Although I also enjoy Eclecticon, and hope it continues to grow, I love being able to drive to MediaWest. I don't have to worry about fitting things into my suitcase, just wedging them into the car. This year it was especially nice to be able to pack a lot of clothes, since the weather was unpredictable.

The panels weren't especially interesting this year, not that I went to very many. The het-and-slash panel was surprisingly mellow, either because people are learning to 1ive and let live, or because at 10:30 Sunday morning, nobody was in any condition to do anything else.

The MediaWest effect: when I was finally ready to leave, I tripped in the HoJo's parking lot, fell and skinned one hand. A trivial accident, and one which could have happened to me anywhere. But since it was MediaWest, on the drive home I found myself wondering if the effects could be heightened and worked into a story. Let's see - I'm leaving bloodstains on the steering wheel, and when I shift my grip I start bleeding again--yeah, that could have posssibi1ities... [9]

It was great to see so many of you at Mediawest and I hope you enjoyed the Avon pinata, Blake target, and the caption wall. Our Professional Slash Wrestling door won Funniest Door in the door decorating contest and I think Debbie (a.k.a. Queen o' the Con) is including a picture of it with her trib. In case not, the idea was that slash couples share many traits with pro wrestling tag teams—the drama, the angst, the hurt/comfort, the stupid outfits. So we put together pictures of several couples, in silly clothes and compromising positions where possible, and gave them wrestlerish tag team names. We started with the real WWF wrestling dream team, Diesel and Shawn Michaels: Dudes with Attitudes, and the heading "Hold me, hurt me, crush me, put me in a leg lock...make the puffin face." Our teams were: Bodie/Doyle from the bowling alley as Moe and Curly; Castillo and Crockett as the Cabana Boys; Kirk and Spock from the Landru episode as the Captain and T'enniele (apostrophe thanks to Lorna B.); Blake and Avon on the ground in "Hostage" as Alpha Males; Illya and Napoleon on the ground and touching as Kissing Cousins; and Fraser and Ray as Mountie and Mountee.

Next year, maybe the evolution of Lightbulbs With Ears Fandom: it used to be one had curls and one had straight hair, or one was dark and one was it's one with hair and one without (Frank/Vinnie, Ray/Fraser, Skinner/Mulder, Heard/anybody; Vila/anybody...Avon/anybody [10]...Hi Joan!).

The con seemed quieter this year, not as many people wandering the halls in search of used zines and parties, quite a few empty tables in the dealers' room, just not as many people in general. At least, that was my impression, but I spent almost the entire con in our suite relaxing (and it was great) so I wasn't in the area near the dealers' room, art show, and panels as much as last year and the years before. And I had as much fun as last year, thanks to my outstanding suite-mates, although Kath and Donna were sorely missed, of course. I hope we're all going to be there next year. [11]
This year's MediaWest was just OK, from my perspective. Part of the problem was that, due to time - and energy -consuming minor domestic crises, I arrived extremely tired. Due to roommates who wanted to party until 3 a.m.--in our room—I left early and thoroughly exhausted... next time I either room by myself, or find somebody whose body clock more nearly coincides with mine.) I was disappointed by the lack of good new B7 zines, and especially B/A. On the plus side, Sue, the B7 room party was great. It was so nice to be able to converse with fellow fans instead of having everything drowned out by over-loud music videos. And taking a hearty swing at the Avon pinata was very soul-satisfying, even if all it did was put him into a spin. Incidentally, was it just me, or did the con seem smaller (as in fewer people) this year? [12]
Vila had the best representation of all at the B7 party at MediaWest con that we hosted. His was the drinks container, nicely iced down. This was my second B7 party and was a great success...much better than last year when the music vids captured everyone's attention. A lot of thought went into this year's party and it showed. It was a Carnival atmosphere. There was the Blake target (just on the following page), Avon pinatas aka as Troll Avon and when there where two, the Twin Horrors (one was stomped until it gave up it's contents of gold-covered, chocolate coins, the other keeps Sue's cat company), Gan, bless 'im, was a sawed off 2x4 plank (something along the lines of thick as a plank and about as useful) and Tarrant, well let's just say he was constantly underfoot (he was a doormat) the girls didn't have a physical presence, but they were well represented in the photo captions. All in all, it was a good party ...with great hosts! [13]
I've written reviews before about how wonderful I think that Media West conventions are that occur over the U.S. Memorial Day weekend at the end of May so I'll try not to repeat myself. The reason for this article is to let you know of the interesting multitude of Doctor Who related things that occurred at MW*C this year. First and foremost was the sheer feeding frenzy of interest in anything Doctor Who related this year. This can be directly related back to the fact that the Doctor Who movie aired scarcely a week and a half before the con. People were buying up fanzines at a pace that I have never seen before. The DW panel that was held during the con was attended by approximately three times as many people as in previous years. People on the panel included myself (thanks to the other panelists for allowing me on at such short notice), Gary Blog, and Tom Beck. The absences of Jennifer Adams-Kelley and Kevin Parker were definitely missed at this year. Discussion about the movie was very intense with overall consensus that people really liked the movie.[14]

Media fandom is weird. The homosexual themes in TV shows that had no homosexuality in them seem to sell the best - Kirk/Spock, Man from Uncle seemed to hot this year. Nakid TV stars very popular.

There seemed to be a money wall at $ 100. People stopped bidding around there. The high piece went for about $450.

The two bids to auction is really beginning to bug just about everyone. The real workers of the art show dislike it, but the main guy in charge keeps the auction there. Well, there's always a ton of stuff in the auction.

There is some interest in more fantasy oriented work at this show as well. Cute sells well here. [15]
A Media oriented convention, and you need at least a supporting membership in order to get work in the show. Buyers often bring their 'get-a-life-savings' in order to find that special picture of their fantasy friend. Sometimes you can really hit it big, sometimes you miss altogether. [16]


  1. ^ MediaWest*Con XVI on alt.fandom.cons dated May 7, 1996.
  2. ^ from Rallying Call #18
  3. ^ by JMS in Black Bean Soup
  4. ^ a fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #45 (1996)
  5. ^ a fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #45 (1996)
  6. ^ a fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #45 (1996)
  7. ^ a fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #45 (1996)
  8. ^ Susan Garrett's report to the FORKNI-L mailing list: MediaWest Con-Sunday Report dated May 26, 1996; reference link.
  9. ^ from Rallying Call #18
  10. ^ A reference to the realization that Paul Darrow wears a hairpiece.
  11. ^ from Rallying Call #18
  12. ^ from Rallying Call #18
  13. ^ from Rallying Call #18
  14. ^ Enlightenment no.75
  15. ^ from Artistic Endeavors #32
  16. ^ from Artistic Endeavors #31