MediaWest*Con/MediaWest*Con 1997

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Convention
Name: MediaWest*Con 1997
Dates: May 23-26, 1997
Frequency:
Location: Lansing, Michigan
Type:
Focus: multi-fandom
Organization:
Founder:
Founding Date:
URL: Archived link to the 1997 Convention Page
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Some Facts About the 1997 Convention

covers of the 1997 program book
1997 map of the dealers room, printed in the program book
1997 Convention theme
  • The theme that year was Alien Invasions: "Good morning...good morning. In less than an hour, fans from here will join others from around the world, and you will be launching the greatest fannish gathering in the history of fankind. "Fankind" ...that word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interest. Perhaps it's fate that today is Memorial Day, and you will once again be fighting for our fandoms; not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution, but from cancellation. We are fighting for our shows right to live, to exist. And should we win the day, Memorial Day will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice, "We will not go quietly into the night. Our shows will not vanish without a fight. They're going to live on. They're going to survive. Today, we celebrate our MediaWest*Con!" -- Mr. President"
  • There were about 80 dealers listed.
  • The program book had an ad for Boldly Writing.
  • More info on the 1997 convention is at MediaWest*Con 17, Archived version.
  • from the post-con report: "It is our understanding that Orphan 'Zine sales were slow this year. Unfortunately, we have heard that Peg Kennedy has had some financial problems and has apparently gone to ground, not responding to mail, e-mail, etc.. We have not heard from her directly since the con, and have been unsuccessful in contacting her, so we do not know the specifics of her situation. We hope that everyone (including T'Kuhtian Press) will eventually get a full accounting."
  • from the post-con report: "The Bistro Kids wantto thank everyone who attended the Damp Ha«kie PreviewParty. We hope you were inspired and plan to submit your entries for next year's contest A webpage featuring the guidelines is now available (www.http://trek.alliance.net/hotshoe/dhankies.htm) or direct inquiries to Dani Lane."
  • from the post-con report: "Regretfully, there was vandalism done to some of the doors in the door decoration contest It seemed to happen between 1-4 am on Saturday. Both Con Security and Hotel Security were alerted. The culprits seemed to be members of a group or family, not convention members, that had checked into a room (using a Holiday Inn voucher which the hotel had to honor) centrally located to the vandalized are a on Saturday. The people we believe to be responsible checked out very early Sunday morning. The hotel did not inform us that non-con members were staying in the hotel until the acts of vandalism were apparent and we started asking questions. I know that those members who had their doors vandalized were quite upset-and rightfully so. Con Security heard from only two of the victims. We heard there were more, but we dont know who, or what was done to their doors as they did not contactCon Security. Some missing items were later recovered."

Fan Q Awards

For specifics, see 1997 Fan Q Awards.

Skit

Mystery UNCLE Theater 3000 was written by Jessica "Bingo" Ross, Amanda "Snoo" Thomas, Judi "Kyle" Toth, James "Y Chromosome" South, Kelly "My Y Chromosome" South, Melissa" I didn't get to MW*C this year" Jerves, Tara "Neither did I" O'Shea, and Dorinda "Guys, can't we just focus, please?" Hartmann,and was performed by Jessica Ross, Amanda Thomas, Judi Toth, and Dorinda.

Dark Side Story (originally staged at MW'CTV) was performed, as was Scenes Not in the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition by Rob Butler, and The Xena Files by Michael Emond.

Fan Fund

As there were not enough nominations to require a 1997 ballot, a cash award was made to Martynn (Martynn Walther Keisel) who was the sole nominee, and her name will be carried over to the 1998 Fan Fund ballot; she attended MediaWest*Con 17.

Party Suite and Other Gatherings

Personal room parties:

Friday: The Usual Friday Night Beauty & The Beast Party, 8pm-? B&B, B5, other fandoms welcomed. Munchies!

Saturday: Join Master Yoda on Dagobah on Saturday evening to celebrate the 20th anniversary of A New Hope.

Sunday: Stellar Operations Command Recreation and Recruitment Party, Sunday from 7-9pm. Open to all. Fandom: Science Fiction and outer space. Hosted by Senior Commander Novachek.

Party Suite:

Open to all attendees.

Friday, May 23, 1997:

  • 2-4 pm: The Xena and Callisto arcs. (Bianca Gallegly & Charyl Perry)
  • 4-6 pm: Blake's 7 Avon without guilt party. (Pat Nussman & Susan Schtinger)
  • 6-8 pm: Star Wars party and get-together. (Judith Yuenger)
  • 8-10 pm: Wiseguy party. ([April Valentine] & [M R K])

Saturday, May 24, 1997:

  • 5-7 pm: Rat Patrol M&M game and video party. (Anne Collins Smith)
  • 7-9 pm: Moody Blues party. (Susan Powell & Pat Feldman)
  • 9-11 pm: Kung Fu: The Legend Continues party. (Jeanne DeVore/Chicago Station)

Sunday, May 25, 1997:

The members of the CI5 mailing list held a room party. During the party, fans read aloud "When In Rome" by Hestia which had been written for that purpose.

The Fourth Semi-Annual Avon Without Guilt Party (Blake's 7) was held: "Yes, it's another Avonic drool fest from the women who lust after Avon...Without Guilt. Eat (a variety of foods will be spread out, including Susan B.'s infamous Avon Balls), drink, and talk about our favorite anti-hero BSO in the company of your fellow fanatics. Both Avon fans and sympathetic others are cordially invited. Sponsored by Avon Without Guilt--the few, the proud, the sadistic and lustful."

Masquerade Awards

A complete list of winners, with photos, can be seen here.

  • Best Workmanship/Best in Show: Don't be Afraid to Mix & Match by Jesse McClain
  • Workmanship (on wings & tail) /Best Re-creation: A Goyle from New York by Rolaine Smoot
  • Most Humorous: Blake's 7, the Truth by Katheryn Andersen, Mary O'Connor, & Judith Proctor
  • Best Found/Best Cheap: Following Up the Rear by Wolf
  • Most Serene: Little Grasshopper by Samantha Powell
  • Honorable Mention (for hand stitching): Xena, Warrior Babe by Cicatrice du Veritace & Kelly Jeanette Aurora Lowry

Door Decoration Awards

  • Best in Show -Due South -- We're Gonna Ride Forever -- Jean Curley, Donna Pleasants, Jill Collins, Joyce Strohm
  • Funniest Door - Baby-lon 5 -- Michael Emond
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror
    • First Prize: Reduce! Reuse! Recycle! Dalek -- Lisa Truant, Irwin Tan, Stella Luuk, Rob Butler
    • Second Prize: The Force, The Comet, & 20 Years of Star Wars -- June M. Edwards*
  • Third Prize: Poltergeist: The Legacy -- Vickie "Viper" Swanson
  • Non-Science Fiction
    • First Prize: Due South -- We're Gonna Ride Forever -- Jean Curley, Donna Pleasants, Jill Collins, Joyce Strohm
    • Second Prize: The Celestial Portal -- Becky Mock, Kathy Condon
    • Third Prize: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow -- Debbie Ramsey, Catherine Salmon, Sue Cleric
  • Media Personality
    • First Prize: Antonio Bandaras -- The Rising Star -- Deborah Rojano
    • Second Prize: Hunks of Hockey -- Julie Skelly
    • Third Prize: Watcher Training Academy -- Siouxie Sherman, Tracy Ingalls

Door Decoration Gallery

Art Show Awards

Art show winners were selected by popular vote.

  • Science Fiction: End of the Future by Wappel
  • Fantasy: Castle Dragon Albert by MacKenn
  • Detective: The Ties That Bind by Karen River
  • Secret Agent: Shadows & Secrets by McClain
  • Animation: Duck Wars by DeSouza
  • Humor: Dana, Warrior Woman by Leah Rosenthal
  • 3-D: Arsenic & Old Lace by Sandmann
  • Fabric: Undercover with Bodie & Doyle by Wochoski
  • Western: Soiled Doves by Rosenthal
  • Horror: The Beast Within by McClain
  • Portrait: To Reach the Sky by Suzan Lovett
  • Critter: Not Just Another Lawyer by McClain
  • Too Cute to Live: Peek-A-Boo by McCLain

Source: 1997 Art Show Winners.

Vid Show

[We are looking for any info on the pre-1998 vid show winners.] From a progress report:

Due to complains last year, any "slash" themed videos will be scheduled separately; as such, they cannot be considered for the general fannish video competition; however "slash" awards will be considered if there are enough entries to compete.
From the program book:

See schedule posting outside Executive Training Room. Ballots for Fannish Video awards will also be available in that room. If you'd like to schedule something during open periods, confirm with Sheryi Adsit first, then see [Darlene F] for instructions on how to publicize your video.

Sheryl Adsit reports that Fannish Videos will be shown beginning at 7:30 pm Friday.

Saturday and Sunday from 10 am until 2 am, and competition videos will be shown once on Saturday and once on Sunday before voting commences. Any Slash videos will be scheduled separately and will compete in a Slash category; a Slash schedule will be posted if there are any Slash videos submitted.

To read about fan conflicts and tensions regarding slash and gen vid programing at this con, see Media West, Fan Q's and slash fans by Flamingo.

Programming

Friday

  • Video Room
  • Forever Knight: A general overview and discussion. S. Garrett, J. Mergenhagen, L. Wexler [m]
  • Internal consistency: What do you do if the universe you're writing hasn't been consistent, but you want to be? D. Hicks, R. Stuemke [m], C. Walker
  • Babylon 5: A general overview and discussion. T.L. Bogolub, K. Keisel [m], Martynn, M. Womack
  • A writer's bookshelf: What books can't you live without? Discussion T.L. Bogolub, K. Keisel [m], Martynn, M. Womack
  • VR:5: A general overview and discussion. S. Matthews, M. Nowakowska, L. Wexler [m]
  • Dr. Who: A general overview and discussion. G. Blog [m], K. Parker, T. Beck
  • Early Edition discussion group.
  • Starsky & Hutch discussion group.
  • Star Wars: The Collectible Card Game discussion group.
  • Poldark: Finally rerunning after 20 years, how well does it stand up when compared to its modern day counterparts. L. Blunk, H. Commodore, R. Stuemke [m]
  • Researching actors' credits: How to find movies, TV movies, guest appearances, etc. if your favorite actor isn't as famous as you'd like him to be. A. Davenport [m], G. Hefty, D. McLevy
  • On the outside looking in: Is the increasing popularity of the internet dividing fandom into those who have access and those who don't? S. Ballasch, E. Busch, E. Dickenson, L. Mangan [m], P. Neier
  • Beauty & the Beast discussion group.
  • Quantum Leap: A general overview and discussion. J. Bilby [m], T. Blaes, S. Hall
  • Cross-universe stories: How to write them; what works and what doesn't. T.L. Bogolub, S. Matthews, C. Walker [m]
  • Historical accuracy in TV and films: When is it important, and why? M. Brin, D. Hicks [m], J. Nopper, R. Stuemke
  • Sentinel slash discussion group.
  • Jeff Fahey discussion group.
  • L.A. Firefighters discussion group.
  • Working nine to five: the strengths and weaknesses of the Star Trek and Babylon 5 universes. G. Blog [m], L. Wexler, J. Yasner
  • Story brainstorming discussion group.
  • Rat Patrol: A general overview and discussion. T.L. Bogolub, D. Hicks, M. Piatt [m]
  • Lesbian slash: Is there room for letting the girls have some fun too? T. Blaes, M. Mastoris, D. Rojano [m]
  • British TV series discussion group.
  • Shadow Chasers discussion group.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space 9: "Cyrano de Bergerac" or Odo and Kira: "Beauty &the Beast"? What is the appeal for fans, and why won't

DS9's writers consummate this love story? C. Bichler [m], G. Himes, L. Wexler

  • Economics of fanzine publishing discussion group.
  • Kung Fu: The Legend Continues discussion group.
  • Voyage To the Bottom of the Sea discussion group.
  • Wiseguy slash discussion group.
  • Pride and Prejudice discussion group.
  • Fandom on the internet: Our hottest fannish sites. S. Ballasch, T.L. Bogolub, L. Mangan [m], T. O'Brien, M. Womack
  • N.Y.P.D. Blue discussion group.
  • Our favorite soap operas. Susan Hall, D. Lane, M. Piatt [m]
  • 3rd Rock From the Sun discussion group.
  • Introduction to clinical hypnosis. N. Hillman, Ph.D.
  • The Three Stooges discussion group.
  • The attraction of bald actors discussion group.
  • Storytelling K. Mosley
  • Sherlock Holmes & Mary Russell: Love at last? Discussion group
  • The new Star Wars trilogy: Making a good thing better, or tampering with a classic? T. Blaes, G. Blog, S. Mayer, M. Wathne [m]
  • Are the Neilsen Ratings obsolete? Discussion group.
  • The space program discussion group.
  • How to write a filksong discussion group.
  • Westerns discussion group.
  • Highlander discussion group.
  • Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman discussion group.
  • Celtic literature discussion group.
  • Why do we fear alien invasion? Discussion group.
  • UFO's, ESP, and other phenomena discussion group.
  • Drop-in filking.
  • Poltergeist, The Legacy discussion group.
  • Musical theatre discussion group.
  • Millenium discussion group.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer discussion group.
  • Dark Skies discussion group.
  • Everything you always wanted to know about vampires, but were afraid to ask! Discussion group.
  • Mystery U.N.C.L.E. Theater 3000

Saturday

  • Star Trek: Deep Space 9: Where no Trek has gone before: How DS9 repeatedly shatters ST taboos and stereotypes. C. Bichler [m], G. Himes, L. Wexler
  • Video Room
  • MediaWest*Con 17 Blood Drive.
  • Christianity in fandom discussion group.
  • The new Star Wars trilogy: Making a good thing better, or tampering with a classic? S. Hall, J. Nopper [m], M. Schuller, J. Yasner
  • Meet the apocryphals!
  • Staying within the lines: How do you keep your characters consistent with their TV portrayal while still getting them to do what you want them to do? T.L. Bogolub, E. Busch, L. Wexler [m]
  • When the show fades away and the friendships follow, is anyone to blame? S. Ballasch [m], H. Commodore, S. Kaminsky, S. Matthews
  • Catfantastic: Cats in SF&F, and the fans who love "people in fur". T. Blaes, K. Keisel [m], L. Shadle
  • On the outside looking in: Is the increasing popularity of the internet dividing fandom into those who have access and those who don't? G. Blog, J. Lorrah, S.R. Moore [m]
  • Emergency: From a technical point of view, could this show hold up today? B. Franjevic, J. Moleski, D. Pleasants [m]
  • Research: Making the most of your public library. S. Ballasch, R. Rogow [m], R. Stuemke, L. Stoops
  • Crossovers: Why we like it, why we do it, and how to do it. T.L. Bogolub, L. Mangan, J. Nopper [m]
  • Star Wars: Exploring the image of Darth Vader as the people of the galaxy had seen him. Z.P. Florian [m], C. Pryor, V. Wilson, M. Wathne
  • Bonkers for honkers and nuts for butts: Which men rate highest on your lust meter? M. Brin, A. Davenport, M. Urhausen [m]
  • Starsky/Hutch: Intro to S/H, and the "joys" of 'zine production. L. LoCicero, L. McGee, [April Valentine] [m]
  • Editing vs. publishing: What is the difference, and does it make a difference to the reader? L. Blunk, J. Lindner, S. Mayer, J. Yasner [m]
  • Gargoyles: Are the ABC episodes up to quality? G. Barker, T. Blaes, Martynn, T. O'Brien, L. Shadle [m]
  • Hercules discussion group.
  • Web browser seminar: Using search engines to find what you need. M. Micklin
  • X-Files: How do the last two seasons differ from the first two? Is the change for the better or worse? Susan Hall, J. Hughes [m], K. Keisel, Martynn
  • "How to tell a better story" writing seminar. C. Walker
  • The Young Riders discussion group.
  • Strong female characters in media: Exploitation, or a mirror of today's reality? M. Brin [m], B. Franjevic, J. Yasner
  • Star Trek: Is the fandom dying? T. Blaes, T.L. Bogolub, A. Davenport [m]
  • Fannish music videos discussion group.
  • Erotica: What is erotic (slash)? D. Hicks, L. Mangan, D. Rojano [m]
  • Scott Bakula discussion group.
  • EZ Streets: The flip side of Due South? How does it fit in with Paul Haggis' other productions? M. Micklin, K. Nuernberg, M. Schmidt [m]
  • Alternate universes: Cheap fannish trick or valid literary exploration? T.L. Bogolub, S. Matthews, R. Stuemke [m], L. Wexler
  • Mysteries: Never mind TV, gimme a good book! Why we'd rather read than watch - or would we? S. Ballasch, B. Franjevic, S. Hovde, J. Nopper [m], R. Rogow
  • Sign language for fen workshop. A. Hull, J. Ross [m]
  • ER discussion group.
  • The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: The trend toward realism in current fanfiction - what about earlier U.N.C.L.E. themes and plots? J. D'Agostino-Toney, C. Walker [m], L. White
  • Xena discussion group.
  • Star Trek: Voyager: Does having a female captain make a difference? T. Blaes, P. Mauk, M. Neler [m]
  • Is anyone writing romantic slash? Is so, where is it?
  • Star Wars novelizations discussion group.
  • Due South discussion group. The pros and cons of internet fiction. T.L. Bogolub, S. Garrett, L. Mangan [m], P. Mauk, S.R. Moore
  • The Outer Limits: Can the new series match up to the classic version? D. Grono [m], J. Moleski, P. Richards
  • Lord Peter Whimsey: The enduring charm. G. Hefty, J. Lorrah, S. Powell, L. Wexler [m]
  • Is fandom a close knit community, or just another hobby? Discussion group.
  • Man from U.N.C.L.E. writers' roundtable
  • Slash 101: A primer to what's hot. Discussion group.
  • Sliders discussion group.
  • Canadian actors discussion group.
  • Mr. Bean discussion group.
  • MediaWest*Con 17 Plays. 1) "Dark Side Story" 2) "Scenes Not in the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition" 3) "The Xena Files" and "Rats Wars"
  • Blake's 7 discussion group.
  • Poetry "slam". M. Mastoris
  • seaQuest discussion group.
  • Drop-in filking.
  • The science in science fiction discussion group.
  • The appeal of conspiracies discussion group.
  • MediaWest*Con 17 Masquerade.

Sunday

  • Garrison's Gorillas: What happened to the guys after the war? M. Brin, G. Hefty, D. Hicks [m]
  • Sentinel discussion group.
  • Rowan Atkinson discussion group.
  • Video Room
  • Terry Nation, the co-creator of the Daleks from Doctor Who. Now that's he's gone, just how important was he to Doctor Who's success? T. Beck, G. Blog, S. Luuk, L. Truant [m]
  • Tai chi and chi kung workshop. J. Lindner
  • Robin of Sherwood discussion group.
  • Dr. Quinn: Can it last another five years? J. Lorrah, D. Pleasants, M. Urhausen [m]
  • Babylon 5: A general overview and discussion. S. Ballasch, G. Barker, J. Nopper [m], T. O'Brien, J. Yasner
  • The minor characters from Star Wars: Boba Fett, Wedge, Biggs, etc. Discussion group.
  • Erotica: What is erotic (non-slash)? T. Blaes, S. Matthews, C. Walker [m]
  • Music from the movies: How it adds to the success and impact of the film. L. Mangan, Martynn, R. Stuemke, M. Womack [m]
  • Starsky/Hutch: First time or established relationship stories, which do we prefer and why? L. LoCicero, K. Mann, L. McGee [m], [April Valentine]
  • Rat Patrol: Deitrich: The gallant enemy. K. Agel, M. Piatt [m], A.C. Smith
  • Fandom vs. the networks: How to make our voices heard. Discussion group.
  • The Pretender: Fool me once... Can it really make it as a continuing TV series? S. Hall, K. Nuernberg, S. Powell [m]
  • Pardon me, but your character died five pages ago: Medical accuracy in fanfic. J. Bilby [m], S. Hall, S.R. Moore, D. Toxopeus
  • Historical accuracy in TV and films: When is it important, and why? L. Blunk, J. D'Agostino-Toney [m], R. Rogow
  • The new Star Wars trilogy: Making a good thing better, or tampering with a classic? K. Keisel [m], J. Mergenhagen, V. Wilson
  • Menage a...?: Writing slash stories with more than 2 people engaged in sex together. D. Hicks [m], L. Mangan, D. Rojano
  • Brannagh and beyond: Shakespeare and the movies in 1996. J. DeVore, S. Hovde, M. Micklin [m]
  • Collectibles: What are they, and what do I do if I have one? Discussion group.
  • 1996 Slash Talent In Fandom (STIFfie) Awards presentation.
  • Sewing and costuming discussion group.
  • Andre Norton: A general overview and discussion. D. McLevy, J. Nopper, L. Shadle [m]
  • The Jinx Factor: Why is every TV series I really love doomed? T. Blaes, M. Nowakowska, L. Truant [m]
  • The Cadfael Chronicles discussion group.
  • The Champions discussion group.
  • Jurassic Park: The Lost World discussion group.
  • Seminar for advanced writers. C. Walker
  • High Incident: Cop reality or cop fantasy? M. Ferguson [m], B. Franjevic, D. Pleasants, L. Wexler
  • Have modem, will dial: Getting connected with the right equipment and the right server. G. Barker, J. Lorrah, S. Mayer, T. O'Brien [m], M. Womack
  • Sherlock Holmes discussion group.
  • Chris Potter discussion group.
  • X Files: Can Scully and Mulder have outside relationships? Susan Hall, L. Mangan [m], S.R. Moore
  • "Alien Lust": The appeal of SFs offbeat outsiders, from Odo and Quark to Londo and G'Kar. C. Bichler [m], Martynn, M. Womack, J. Yasner
  • Crossover heaven: How to combine an old love with a new infatuation. T.L. Bogolub, S. Powell [m], R. Stuemke
  • Star Trek: Deep Space 9: What about Bajor? T. Blaes, A. Davenport [m], G. Himes
  • Modesty Blaise discussion group.
  • Wild Wild West slash discussion group.
  • Millennium and Profiler: Comparing and contrasting the two series. M. Brin, D. Toxopeus, L. Wexler [m]
  • Babes-o-rama: Which women rate highest on your lust meter? T. Blaes, M. Mastoris, D. Rojano [m]
  • Homicide: Life On the Streets: Have they finally gotten it right? G. Blog, M. Ferguson, B. Franjevic [m]
  • Fanzines and the internet: Changes in form and function. L. Mangan, S. Mayer, S.R. Moore [m], M. Wathne
  • The Wedge phenomenon: Those great secondary characters we love, and how to take advantage of them. T. Blaes, T.L. Bogolub, S. Matthews, R. Stuemke [m], J. Yasner
  • Jewelry making workshop. S. Powell
  • MediaWest*Con 17 Fan Quality Awards presentations.
  • Star Trek: Voyager: A general overview and discussion. G. Barker [m], A. Davenport, P. Mauk
  • Going "pro" discussion group.
  • Alien comedies (Mork & Mindy, My Favorite Martian, 3rd Rock, etc.) discussion group.
  • Profiler discussion group.
  • Zorro discussion group.
  • MediaWest*Con 17 Art Auction
  • Nash Bridges discussion group.
  • Prose "slam". M. Micklin
  • Independence Day discussion group.
  • Drop-in filking.
  • Buckaroo Banzai discussion group.
  • Favorite nude scenes discussion group.

Monday

  • Video room.
  • Star Wars discussion group.
  • X-Files discussion group.
  • The fall TV schedule discussion group.
  • MediaWest*Con 17 "Dead dog" panel.
  • Xena and Hercules discussion group.
  • Star Trek: Comparing the captains discussion group.
  • Summer blockbuster movies discussion group.

Acknowledgements

From the program book:
Co-Chairmen (and your hosts) Lori Chapek-Carleton and Gordon Carleton would like to thank the following staffers and assistants for their hard work: [Darlene F] & Ann Teitelbaum (Programming), Jeanne Sullivan (GoFers, Con Suite), Deborah Laymon (Fan Fund). Keith Grunenwald and Seth Cutts (Security). Jan Gosnell (Fanzine Reading Room). Karen M. Khnck, Jesse McClain, Vivian Sheffield and Roberta Stuemke (Art Show & Auction), Susan Cooper and Susan Smith-Clarke (Fan Quality Awards). Andre Lieven (Masquerade), Carol Reed (Dealers), Sheryi Adsit (Fannish Videos). Kim Dyer (Blood Drive), Peg Kennedy (Orphan "Zincs), the Art Show auctioneers, runners, and auction staff, year-round gluttons for punishment Liz

Vogel, Caroline Nasal, and all the GoFers without whom there could be no convention. Thank you all for your time and effort, especially to those who work not just during this weekend, but throughout the year!

Thanks also to Jeff Walker and various studios for promotional trailers and items for distribution to MediaWest*Con 17 members from such films as The Lost World, Batman & Robin, Starshlp Troopers, Spawn, Contact, George of the Jungle, Anastasia, Buddy, Speed 2, Dark City, Hercules, Men In Black, Kull the Conqueror, Liar Liar, and McHales Navy.

Convention Reports

Until I moved from Texas to Pennsylvania last year, attending MediaWest*Con always meant flying. This year was different, as I was invited to ride with a carpool from New Jersey. One of the women, Dorothy Hartel, borrowed her Dad's enormous old Chevy, into which the four of us and our luggage fit quite comfortably. I was tickled to learn that some of my carpool mates were associated with that group of music video mavens known as the Bunnies from Hell. Now, in order for me to attend MWC, my husband had to chaperone a field trip to the Smithsonian with our ten-year-old and his class, so while I was enjoying a road trip to MWC with the Bunnies from Hell, my husband was experiencing an eight-hour bus ride with the Fifth Grade from. . . er, St. Monica's.

When I got to the dealer's room Friday morning it had just opened, and Orphan Zines was in the midst of the traditional feeding frenzy. Linda and Peg asked if I could help, and I pitched in restocking zines on the table as they were purchased. After a while I got to know where things were, and was able to answer some of the customers' questions or fetch specific zines they wanted. It was quite a privilege, I thought, to see how this operation worked from the inside, and when the feeding frenzy had abated I left to do my own shopping, with new respect for the people who ran the table.

Around midnight on Friday I remembered something I'd heard about on the Man from U.N.C.L.E. mailing list I belong to, and set off to find it. And am I ever glad I did! A group of U.N.C.L.E. fans, consisting of Jessica Ross (a.k.a. "Bingo"), Judi Toth, Amanda Thomas, Dorinda, Kelly Wilson, James South, Melissa Jerves, and Tara O'Shea, had selected a goofy 2-part third-season episode, "The Five Daughters Affair," sat down with copies of the script and a pro tape of the episode, and carefully drafted, timed, and rehearsed a running commentary. What they created was a Mystery Science Theater 3000 Man from U.N.C.L.E. presentation! Bingo, Judi, Amanda, and Dorinda did the actual commentary with microphones at the front of the room as the episode played. They bounced off of U.N.C.L.E. clichés and MST3K conventions, throwing in pop-culture references from Gilbert & Sullivan to Young Frankenstein, pointing out continuity and production errors with glee. The time and effort they had put into it made for a smoothly delivered and hilarious presentation. It was altogether delightful and greatly enjoyed by a packed roomful of fans.

Although I was running the Rat Patrol party Saturday evening, I also got a chance to stop in at the U.N.C.L.E. party and visit with some fans. It was a huge party that spilled out of its room and up and down the hallway, and it was full of friendly people! Indeed, the greatest compliment the Rat Patrol party received was when someone popped in and said, "Wow! This is the biggest party next to the U.N.C.L.E. party!"

I got to be one of the "runners" at the art auction Sunday evening: that is, I carried pieces of artwork through the audience so that people could get a close look at the item that was up for bids. Usually, runners work in pairs and trade off running and filling out the bid sheet. I much prefer running to paperwork, and by sheer luck I was paired with a fan who was just getting over the 'flu and didn't want to run. So she did the bid sheet every time and I got to run every time, and we were both happy. There were four pairs of us, so we were not constantly on our feet. Just before the auction began, the auctioneers introduced the runners and an audience member solemnly pointed to us and said, "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy." That was not only a handy sign of the growing resurgence of interest in Star Wars this year, but a description we wore proudly!

What else was popular this year? A lot of Sentinel art went to auction, as did a lot of Xena and X-Files. Native American crafts, such as dreamcatchers and beaded pouches, were very popular. Wild animals were big; I carried several pieces with tigers or wolves. Unusual media are beginning more common, such as Christmas ornaments, slate clocks, stained glass, and painted plates. The highest bid for a single piece was $575 for a beautiful Jesse McClain Highlander painting. A gorgeous set of three Man from U.N.C.L.E. pictures by Suzie Lovett, auctioned separately, went for a total of over thirteen hundred dollars to one very determined and joyful fan. The auctioneers had fun as usual. A partially-clothed Mulder from X-Files earned the new title, "The Tush is Out There." They also got the audience to "yiyiyiyiyiyi" for the Xena pictures.

One very touching thing happened during the art auction. A fan was deliberately called and kept out of the room by an imaginary problem with her registration, and while she was gone, one of the organizers came up and explained that this fan, a longtime helper at MWC, had experienced several disasters just before the convention and then had her car throw a valve on the way to the con, a potentially catastrophic financial problem on top of all the others. A collection was taken up for her; the organizer suggested that we all put in the price of a cup of coffee, but as the runners collected the baskets I saw that some people had put in as much as a twenty-dollar bill. Later on, the fan was called up to the auction platform and presented with over a thousand dollars to help with her repair bill. There was much rejoicing among us all, and more than a few tears of joy.

Our carpool left Monday morning; we might have left the convention hotel, but we brought the convention along with us. At our first rest stop at a service plaza, we found two other groups of commuting MWC fans and briefly considered holding a mini-con right then and there! As we drove along the Ohio and Pennsylvania Turnpikes, I was initiated into a tradition of this carpool: we went through a batch of newly-purchased fanzines, chose the shortest and funniest stories, and took turns reading them aloud! It certainly made the trip go a lot more quickly. [1]
As always, it was wonderful getting together with so many old friends, meeting new friends, and discussing SW and fanfic writing. This year seemed especially terrific as more fans seemed to intermingle instead of remaining only within given groups. The few panels I attended were lively and energetic with the exchange of ideas and number of speakers. Congratulations to Wanda Lybarger on her surprise birthday party, also. Barbara Anderson and Company, you did a great job! Thanks to all who voted in the STAR aWARdS and congrats to all the honorable mentions and winners. Ditto for the FanQ winners. It was also great to see so many SW zines available this year. I wish continued success to all the editors/publishers...I'm eagerly next May already. Hope to see you all there. [2]
Meanwhile, I've been to MediaWest*Con again and spent another wonderful five days with a number of you in Lansing. Thanks to everyone for making me feel so much at home! I hadn't thought it possible before, but this year was even better than the last ... if it keeps progressing at this rate, I might have severe difficulties readjusting to a bleaker reality after MWC next year. [3]
MediaWest Con – 1997. First big con I went to. Oh My Goddess. Also got to meet some friends from my Forever Knight & Sunnydale Slayers lists (have most of the same folks). Drove with natmerc (a local friend, now in another province) and her sister as far as Guelph, Ontario, then natmerc and I drove onto Lansing, Michigan. I had so much fun. I hadn’t known what to expect except for comments from the Sunnydale Slayers list who’ve attended the con for many years. I had so much fun. And the dealer’s room. Sweet Frelling Amazing. If only I had a million dollars. And the artwork was also bloody amazing. *BOUNCE*. And the vids. Oh my heavens the vids. I still stick in the vcd’s of the Apocalypse West vids, just to placate myself and immerse myself in greatness. [4]
Well, I got back last night and was totally wiped. I had quite a bit of fun, though, especially having talked to people I never usually talk to (mostly in the course of trying to find specific people I wanted to talk to and failing miserably).

As usually happens with me, I didn't go to any of the programming. For those who might be interested, though, there were slash vids at the con--a grand total of four. But whether that had to do with a lack of interest or a sort of informal protest from those who were doing slash vids, I have no idea.

There seemed to be a great number of new zines in different fandoms. I certainly spent more on zines this year than I did last year. I even found someone who had a good sized SHE-WOLF OF LONDON zine--and news that Universal/SciFi Channel wants to do a new movie for it with original cast! I'm tickled!

I did realise one thing about myself that I am not totally comfortable with: I have passed well beyond the point of fannish butterfly or slash slut. I *am* the Whore of Babylon 1 through 5. In short, I sold my soul to the devil: I bought 3--count 'em, 3!--Sentinel zines. Someone shoot me, please! (I don't even *like* this show!!!!)

The really suprising thing for me was that there weren't more HL things out. One or two D/M stories in a couple of multi-medias and one novel, but that's it. Sentinel fever seemed to have taken a firm hold. And there were few pics of Methos, though at least one of the dealers who had HL shirts, etc., said that she didn't have anything because she had been completely wiped out from Syndicon the weekend before. So, all my friends went to Syndicon and I *didn't* even get this lousy t-shirt! :-)

Oh, and speaking of Methos, anyone know how much the double portrait from Karen River ended up going for?[5] It was the one with his modern day, Adam Pierson persona and a larger shot of him in the face paint. Very nice, very well done and I was immensely curious how much it was going to go for.

So, all in all a fun weekend. I now have the mandatory post-con case of laryngitis/cold. Reviews should be forthcoming as soon as I plow through everything and pick something I really want to write about. I do want to say to any DS fans that I definitely recommend DUE FRISKY 4 for the long story in it. It's the sequel to the 'strip-poker' stories in DF 1 (which many might recall I didn't particularly care for), but I really enjoyed this story, especially the characterisation of Fraser at guard duty. The only problem I had with it was that there came a point when I was starting to get slightly annoyed with her style of lots of really short sentences and sentence fragments. But not enough for me to not enjoy the story. And at $4, it definitely made it worth the cost of the zine. [6]

Well.....In spite of everything, I had a good time.

Music Videos -

Was there a slash vid contest? no.

Were there slash vids at the convention? yes. Mine were the only ones.

Did they get shown? yes. Friday night at 1:30 am. Saturday at 11:50 pm (they were supposed to be shown at midnight, but they were early) and again an hour and a half later at about 1:30 am. They were supposed to be shown Sunday at 2:50 am, but I wasn't there to see it (and I wonder how many people were).

When Sheryl A. (the person running the music video contest) announced that there were slash videos to the opening crowd of about 30 people, maybe more, it was warmly received....

I found out from one slash vidder that she wasn't partonizing MWC because she was told (by what member of the con com, I do not know) "we don't want your [slash] vids here" so she hasn't been back. The reason for the lack of slash vids seems to be because no slash vidders (beside myself) went to the convention. Whether other slash vidders were requested not to bring slash videos in previous years, I have no idea.

Panels -

I do go to panels in fandoms I'm interested in or slash panels.

At the Starsky & Hutch (gen) panel, we introduced ourselves. The thrid person mentioned "I got into slash..." and from then on, almost everyone mentioned slash. There was only one 'non-slash' fan in the whole room...It was a wonderful feeling......

The "fannish music video" panel on Saturday turned into a 'how do you do this' sort of free for all. I hope it helped the new vidders.

The "romantic slash" panel talked mostly about fandoms that generate more romantic stories, such as Starsky & Hutch and Uncle.

The Starsky & Hutch slash panel on Sunday was about slash and producing zines. I enjoyed listening to the trials and tribulations of trying to get graphic homoerotic art printed as well as the 'in the old days' stories.

Other events -

The STIFFie Awards were handed out on Sunday morning. I was pleased at the turn out and the new fandoms that made it on the ballot. I was disapointed that some older fandoms didn't get on the ballot (Starsky & Hutch was not represented), but I realize that they may not have received nominations. (there's a line about glass houses and stones that's appropriate, as I didn't nominate anything]. As I KNOW that I will not be going back to MWC, I wonder why slash awards are giving out at a gen con?

One thing I missed that I would have loved to have seen was the Mystery Uncle Theater 3000 put on by Bingo and her gang (sorry, I don't know the other people's names). [I was waiting until the end of the music video contest (which was 6 hours long!) to see the reaction to my newest slash vids.] I did catch the last 10 or 15 minutes and loved what I saw. I was told that the show was taped, so hopefully, I can see it sometime..... right Bingo??

Why was I there -

The main reason I went to Media West was to catch up with people I've been talking on line with and we all managed to meet. It was wonderful to put faces to names. I went to the parties for the fandoms that I follow and enjoyed sitting around talking, watching music vids and episodes...... [7]

Friday the 23rd of May 1997

Breakfast (continental) was served in the lobby, because the recreation room (which I discovered later was the usual place for it) was unusable due to the renovations. Freshly toasted bagels and cream cheese is a very pleasant way to start the day (bagels and cream cheese is NOT an Australian tradition). And who did we meet but Beth Friedman!

Con registration didn't open until after ten, but the queue had started forming a while before. Then when I got to the front of my A-F line, they didn't have my badge because I was supposed to go to the dealer's room for it, because I was a dealer. So there I went, and there it was, and a star was placed upon it, to indicate that I was a dealer. The badge person pointed out the table she said was ours (Judith Proctor, Patricia Roberts and I), but I wasn't sure, since it was all covered over with a drop cloth, and the programme said that we were table #60, and I figured out that this was table #77. So I peeked in one of the boxes, and it had The Way Back in it, and I thought well, maybe this is the table - and then a tall woman in an Avon costume came up and queried - "Kathryn A#######?" This was Judith P######. Tall (well, taller than me, which isn't saying much) with straight dark blonde/light brown hair - and of course the English accent.

So I went back to the Howard Johnson and retrieved the zines (mostly Refractions 3 & 4) and came back and started setting up.

Costume note: my costume for the day was my pseudo-minbari costume, blue satin blousy pants and sleeveless top, with long silver sleeveless jacket (which is reversable - with the pink side out it is my "Bimbari" costume - see my yet-to-be-written con report on the Parliament of Dreams convention.)

Since I had finished setting up, and we were waiting for Patricia, I wandered around the dealers' room, looking at what else was there. Being in the reckless start-of-the-con I-want-to-buy-things mood, when I spotted a table with Stingray zines, I bought all five that were there, since I had never seen nor heard of anyone doing Stingray zines before, and I am very fond of that show. Chatted with Laurie there about Stingray, mentioned the Stingray cameo in "Voice From The Past" in Refractions #3 (c'mon, what sort of a story is it that crosses B5 and Highlander and also manages to get in a Stingray cameo? Well, you'll have to judge for yourself...)

I saw a table covered with photos, including an autographed photo of Peter Wingfield (Methos in Highlander), but no-one was at the table, so I couldn't buy it. I hoped that no-one would buy it before I managed to come back for it when there was someone at the table, but my hope was not large.

I dashed over the road to get more money from the ATM (buying five Stingray zines had lowered my cash reserves) and when I returned there was a line of people waiting to get in to the dealers room, since it was nearly opening time. Patricia Roberts had arrived and was setting up in the middle of the table while Judith was moving her zines closer together so as to free up more space. Pat was still setting up when the hordes descended.

Someone said later, that most fen buy 50% of their stuff in that first rush. In breathing spaces, I did some buying of my own - from those what I was sharing the table with! They had things I wanted too.

In a lull, I took my leave and dashed back to the table where I had seen the autographed photo - and it was still there! The lady said she had three of them. So I bought one, and returned to the table, floating. (Which nobody noticed, because they were busy!)

Judith was organised enough to have bananas, bread, cheese and peanut butter, which she shared for lunch. Every now and then, one of us would have a break and wander.

The Avon Without Guilt party was at 4pm. Judith and I were the only ones in costume. She was still in her Avon costume, and I had unbraided my hair and put on the linked-chain head-dress that I had bought at ConFrancisco in '93. Posed with Beth Friedman. Someone commented that I looked like Verlis (the slave trader in Assassin) and as the Avon costume that Judith was wearing was indeed the one that Avon had worn in that episode, we decided to pose for a photo. She was on her knees and I held her arms behind her back and pulled her head back. People started talking about blackmail opportunities, but we were laughing so much we didn't care. I met many people whose names were familiar, though the faces, of course, were not. One fellow came in late wearing a Star Trek uniform, so we screamed out "Federation!" at him, and then had to explain the joke.

After the party was over, we went back to the dealers room until it closed. Before then, I dashed to the table across the way and bought some con photos of Paul and Janet (you know who I mean) and then when Judith saw "Roads Not Travelled" in the 2nd-hand zine box there, I had a look too, and found a couple there that I wanted. I also went to Karen River's table, which was directly behind us, and bought some prints, and saw the lady herself. Strangely enough, I had assumed she was a brunette, but real life declared she was a blonde.

Russ McMillan came by during the day and picked up her 'tribber's copy of Refractions #3, and I got her to sign my personal copy of the zine. Sandra McDonald came by one of the times when I was off - arrgh! That's the second time I've missed her. She picked up her 'tribbers copy also. But she was, apparently on a table nearby, so there was hope that we would meet this time.

Then when the dealers room was shut, I wandered around the hotel looking for and at a number of room dealers. I found the Richie Forever party half way through. Though there weren't lots of people there, had a nice chat, and discovered to my chagrin something about the last episode that I didn't want to know!

I found a few more buys in the dealers rooms, and chatted to people, and it was dark by the time I returned across the road.

Saturday

Costume note: Wore the Avon/Tarrant costume today. Appropriate considering the Tea For Tarrant party was today. Had the Silver Alpha top on underneath the jacket, and changed from one to the other as the ambient temperature and comfort decreed.

I was the first at our table at the dealer's room, though it had already been open for half an hour. Ah, the parties, that would be it...

Finally got to meet Sandra McDonald when the others came, and she was at her table diagonally behind ours. I got her to sign my copy of Refractions #3, I bought a copy of Highland Blades #2 and got her to sign her story there, and Cindy Hudson was there and signed hers too.

I got the good idea of leaving a message at the voodoo board for Anne Smith, because her reserved copy was the only one of #3 left - that one had been attracting attention because of the cover.

Then, then, Jean Curley finally found me! We had been exchanging notes via the voodoo board, and she said she would come by. She had the Buffy tape for me, and had arranged (after our exchange of notes) for my video clips (which she had converted to NTSC) to be shown in the fan video program (but not entered, it was too late).

Then Anne Smith did arrive, but not before someone was eyeing her copy, so he paid for it, in case she didn't show, and when he returned, he would either collect it, or pay the extra for me to post him a copy when I returned home. So I then put out my copy as a display copy in case people wanted to order it.

When I went to check when my video was supposed to show, they were running late as expected, so we figured we'd pop in to the Tea For Tarrant first, dash down to look at it, and then dash back. Well, we did, but we were late and only caught the end of the third (and last) clip. But someone in the small audience asked who did the clips and Mary jumped up and said "She's here!" and pointed at me, and there was a small bit of applause. (grin) "The Traveller" (the Dr. Who one) seems to be the one that people have liked the most.

At the Tea For Tarrant, there were more people in costume this time, but still most people were in the standard fannish T-shirts. I was in my Avon/Tarrant outfit (with both Liberator and Scorpio teleport bracelets so that I could be schitzo), Judith was in her Blake outfit (with Gareth's shirt) and Mary was in her Cally outfit (the one with the white quilted shoulder pieces and slit all the way up the front and dark green underneath). Here's a picture. I can't remember whose idea it was for the next picture, but after yesterday, well, turnabout is fair play. The guy who was in Federation uniform yesterday arrived dressed as Bobba Fett. There were also two heavily armed rebels who had outfitted themselves from the Acme corporation. So, yes, we did some photo posing, this time an Avon-stands-over-Blake's body scene (the two rebels playing guards and me pointing a borrowed gun into nowhere). I hope they actually got poor Judith as she was lying on the floor!

One of the rebels was a fellow Aussie, Alison Glover, who had been better organised than I, and brought some Aussie food; some Furry Friends chocolate bars, and a small jar of vegimite. I had packed some TimTams to bring, but I had left them (kicks self) in the freezer in LA.

Someone had brought their pet ferret in, and he was being cuddled by various people. There were also things on the video, most notably a copy of the B7 blooper reel, which one couldn't hear the sound on because of the ambient noise level in the room.

Judith's voice was gone today, though at times it rallied, but at other times she was scribbling away in a notebook. It's all because (a) she has asthma (b) medication with steriods does her voice in (c) if her voice gets done in, and she talks too much before it is completely recovered, she loses it again. And of course one is going to talk at a convention! The problem exacerbates itself when one is trying to talk over a background murmur to make oneself heard.

Jean Curley peeped in to the Tea For Tarrant to see how the videos had gone, and we asked if we could borrow the tape so we could actually see the whole thing, and Jean suggested we go to her room right then and watch it, so Mary and Judith and I did.

We had a bit of a look at the door decorations, I think it was at this point, or at some point between the Tea For Tarrant and the plays. One door had a Dalek with an imperative talk-bubble saying "Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!" Jean Curley was one of the group responsible for the Due South door-group.

Then we went our separate ways, and I finally found room 369 open, and I bought 3 zines there - Works of Steele and the first two Relativity zines, figuring I could buy more of the Relativity zines later when I got home, if I liked the first two. I had got over my zine-feeding-frenzy by then, you see. In deciding which ones to get, I of course chatted to the editor. Relativity is a universe of its own, which crosses over Remington Steele, Scarecrow & Mrs King, Equalizer and a bunch of other shows I don't know, by making certain of the characters related to each other. It was concieved and is "owned" by one person, but others have written stories set there. There is a timeline and a family tree all laid out, and the latest volume is #6 (!).

Then I stepped across the hall to #370, the place with the ID badges, and dithered over which ones to get. Overall, over the weekend, I think I got too many of them, but it was such a fun idea...

Then I returned to the table in the dealers' room, and I can't quite remember when this was, but the tale unfolds that Mary had been accosted by the organiser of the Masquerade because she was in costume, and pressed to enter, so either she or Judith thought it would be a good idea for all three of us to enter as a group (Blake, Avon, Cally) and I was game (much more comfortable to make fool of self in company) and Judith came up with this funny script (with suggestions from others) for the MC to read out and for us to act to.

Our original plan was to have tea at 6, but with the Masquerade, the rehersal was supposed to be at 6ish, so if we were to get any dinner at all, we would have to have it before then. So it was about 5:30 that we started for dinner in the hotel restaurant (it being closer). When we finished it was about 6:30, and we wandered back and forth trying to find the rehersal, but the only rehersal we found was the play rehersal. So we tried to find the fellow in charge of the masquerade. We did eventually find him, and he tracked down the MC and we ran through it in a quiet corner.

The plays were at 7pm, and were funny. First Xena/X-Files - though Mary had to explain some of the jokes to us non-North American residents. Then the Darkside Story (a musical based on Westside Story). R2D2 was played by a lass in a motorized wheelchair, with a "This Space For Rent" notice taped on the back. Obi Wan decked out in blue Christmas lights was the narrator - though the lights went out after their inital glow and wouldn't come back on again; "I sense a disturbance in the Force". Luke Skywalker singing "Oh Leia! I've just found my sister is Leia!" wouldn't get out of my mind even after the convention. Then follwed the "out-takes you will never see from the Star Wars trilogy" which was very funny too. "Use the fork, Luke." "...holding Vader's leash" Xena versus Darth Vader I tried to take photos, but too many people's heads got in the way for them to be very good. The singing in the musical was, as is usual, more enthusiastic than operatic, but hey, it's just for fun.

The plays only took a bit over an hour, so we went to the B7 discussion after that and Judith kept on trying to talk when she shouldn't, but it's very hard to participate in such a discussion when you can't interrupt people, or should I say, interject. And there was much to be said, for it got into Blake and Avon, and Star One, and leadership, who was lucky and who was foolish...

That finished at 9pm and I dashed up to see if my badges were ready, and some of them were, but they'd mis-spelt my surname on the one that had my surname on it - as I've said before, people seem to suffer from selective dyslexia with regard to ANDERSEN - it had been written down correctly, but the person who actually did the badge had translated it to ANDERSON without thinking. So I took the opportunity to change it to something else instead.

Then I went back down and we chatted, and took another look at the art show (Judith had fallen in love with a cool picture of Joe Dawson, and she's never seen Highlander; she just likes older men...) and we chatted a bit more, then lined up for the masquerade and chatted to our fellow masqueraders.

Now, the problem with being in the masquerade is that you can't see the masquerade, being hidden behind everything and not able to look out because we would be seen. So I don't know what the acts were, though I did see the costumes. Most impressive was the gargoyle (complete with grey wings) and one whose title escapes me, but the lady was in a long robe with a medieval-looking hat, a bead head-dress, embroidery and cross-stitch over the robe - it was beautiful in detail and also from a distance, and she deservedly won best of show, as well as best detail work. We, amazingly enough, considering the judge said "I don't like Blake's 7 but I have a warped sense of humor" won the funniest act.

Here is the script: Title: Blake's 7, the truth. "In Blake's 7, there was never any sex on screen, thus fans have been left in ignorance as to what actually went on after dark. Was Avon sleeping with Cally? (Cally drapes self over Avon) Or was it Blake she really fancied? (Blake & Cally smoulder) Or are the slash fans right after all? (Avon mimes shock, horror. I don't know what Blake was doing since I had my back turned.) Of course the truth actually is - (Announcer claps hand to head in agony as she is glared at, telepathed at and shot at) There was no sex on the Liberator. None at all. Not once. Never! (As Blake, Cally and Avon leave the stage arm in arm) (sarcastically) Oh, yeah, right!"

Since I didn't see the others, I don't know what our competition was. There was a cute cute cute little toddler dressed up as Xena: Warrior Babe. There was a pirate and his prize... there were ten entries all together.

After the bows and the photos, we started wending our way away, but got caught up in discussion with other fen.

Sunday

After the late night, woke up late. The costume of the day was my second-season Delenn costume, complete with head-bone, which I made for Parliament of Dreams. It isn't a duplicate of one of her costumes, but it is in the same style, just different colours. The head-bone, if worn too long, gives one a headache, so I didn't wear it all the time. Mary and Judith both wore Avon costumes. And later we thought we'd pose for anger meets serenity.

Again, spent the morning at the table, chatting, and selling the occassional zine. This day I managed to get rid of all but one, a copy of Quizine #2 which Annie Hamilton had sent me to sell, but though I tried, even on Monday no-one was buying, so I came home with it, alas.

I dashed out at a quarter after 12 to go to The Pretender panel, and interjected comments along with everyone else. The theories were flying thick and fast. They referred to episodes I hadn't seen, but fortunately I had seen the final episode while I was staying in LA, so I wasn't as badly off as I might have been, considering the revelations that were in that episode.

Judith then dashed off to attend the Stiffies awards (slash awards) and came back happy that [Whitby27] had won the best B7 art award. So of course she put the certificate on top of the Adult art folder. (Judith was selling prints of Val's work, adult in one folder, gen in another.)

Great thing about meeting people at cons - Linda Knights is now my US agent. Beth Friedman didn't want to do it any more, and I was wondering if I should bother at all, but Judith suggested Linda, and we talked and everyone was happy. Now it just awaits me to re-lay out #3 and #4.

Every now and then through the afternoon, one of us would go to Registration to see if our Masquerade certificates were ready, but they weren't.

At 3:30ish, Judith and I went to the last half of the crossovers panel. Judith was sticking up her hand to talk, and I noticed that other people started doing that too. Interesting psychological phenomenon...

At 5pm the FanQ awards were supposed to be given out, but that was cancelled because the person in charge of the counting wasn't there. They put up a notice later as to who had won. All I remember was that Gambit 14 won the best B7 zine, and Karen River the best artist (as if the result for best artist could be any different - yawn). So Judith and Mary and I went to the Fandom & The Internet panel instead. Alara Rogers kept on piping up from the back of the room, and of course various issues were raised about what was better, and the problems of plagiarism and pirating, editing and the lack of editing, ease of reading, curling up with a zine, instant gratification, and moderation (as in Mailing-List moderation) and the lack of it.

After that, we agreed to meet back in an hour, and Mary and I wandered the corridors of the 3rd and 4th floors, looking at room dealers and decorated doors, while Judith went to the "Going 'Pro'" panel. Mary & I found a couple of rooms with 2nd-hand B7 zines, and among other things, I ummed over a copy of "A Companion For My Death" because the cover was so great, but there was adult content - which I didn't want. I bought it when Mary - who had read it before - said she would give me a list of what portions to avoid. Yep, I voluntarily would censor a story.

When we met up again, Judith told us that Susan Matthews (fan gone pro, whose door we had found in our wanderings) was at the panel, and that the best advice there was to go to (Lit) cons, because you meet with pro authors there - contacts, you see.

The art auction was to start at 7pm, but we decided to avoid the rush into it, so that we wouldn't be tempted to bid on things (particularly that Joe Dawson that both Judith and I had liked) and also because we would get the hotel restaurant practically to ourselves because everyone would be at the auction. We could always peek in on it later, we thought. We never did.

As we went up to the restaurant, who should be there in front of us but Pat Roberts, Barbara Teichert, and Nancy D., so we decided to make a party of six rather than two parties of three. "Three, sorry, make that six." "Any raises on six?" "I dunno, can you see anyone else coming?" And Barbara decided she would treat us all. So we ordered our dinners - after some explaining and translation of food terms for the non-North-American contingent - I wanted to know what scallions were, and Judith wanted to know what a tortilla basket was. So the conversation went from differing food terms, to regional foods, food customs, electoral systems (we did have people there from four different countries), then more food differences because we were ordering dessert. For that, we ended up getting three dishes which everyone tasted; peanut cheesecake, amaretto cheesecake, and lime sherbert. The lime sherbert was quite a bright green, but it tasted nice.

We went from comparative electoral systems to education systems, and then another group sat at the table next to us, and as they were a bit noisy, we decided to remove to Barbara's room, since we didn't want to strain Judith's voice.

Then the discussion turned from real to unreal education systems, specifically, what kind of a degree would Avon have had? Did they have non-medical doctors? (yes, Dr. Plaxton) How was the grading system worked out? Who were the Outsiders? (One suggestion was that perhaps more than just being escapees from the Domes, they might be religious, hence the threat of death for associating with them.) What about religion in the Federation? How come Blake knew so much historical trivia? (One suggestion: Blake was a folk-song buff.) How did Jenna become a free trader? And what did happen to her mother? (One suggestion: she was made an example of by the Terra Nostra by throwing her to the Federation legal system, hence the vision of Fed troopers hitting Jenna's mother.) What was the event which marked the start of the New Calendar, and if there was an atomic war when was it, and not forgetting the destruction of the churches, and were these events all related and did they happen close to the same time? (Judith thought the end of the war was the start of the New Calendar, I felt the war probably happened much earlier.) Also tossed in was Star One and Blake, weather control and traffic control and whether the Andromedans were shutting things down or interfering precisely and with malice. Counter-tossed-in by Judith was Avon and Killer. Someone suggested that Gan was given a limiter not because he was completely psycho, but because he was immune to the suppressant drugs. Another suggestion - the Outsiders could have been a source of black-market non-drugged food.

Anyway, a long interesting discussion there was, full of interruptions, digressions, theories and quotations, which went on until we realized that some of us had to get to bed because they were leaving in the morning! But that just meant that the conversation drifted out into the hall, becoming a long goodbye.

Monday the 26th of May 1997 - the last day

This day was quiet and not particularly eventful. Everyone had run out of money, nobody wanted to buy anything, a number of people had gone already, and many more were departing. After noon, people started packing up, and after two, everyone was packing up.

We tracked down Andre, and the masquerade certificates were finally there. And they spelt my name right! They even spelt "humour" Britishly on Mary's and Judith's, though Americanly on mine.

Mary was stuck in the lobby trying to ring Canada and getting no answer. Others of us helped Judith take things to Donna's car. Then we helped Karen River to pack up.

Then it was time for Judith and Donna to depart for Denver.

Hugs goodbye.

Badge removed.

End of convention! [8]

[much much snipped] Mary O'Connor as Avon I spent a lot of Friday in the dealer's room and sold a fair number of zines, especially Jabberwocky. Most people bought the set, but about a third bought to fill gaps in their collection, so I was quite glad I'd made the decision to publish in sections to help people reduce duplication. (Many people bought just part 14 and/or the adult stories - that was something I'd anticipated) The surprise sells of this con were Star Three, which had a Fan-Q nomination (the zine had presumably been impossible to get from Peg Kennedy) and The Other Side of the Coin. I'd greatly underestimated how many Americans had The Totally Imaginary Cheeseboard, but not its sequel. I'll just have to remember to take more next time...

I missed a lot of the panels (which covered a wonderful range of fandoms and topics) because I was busy in the dealers' room, but I did go to one on researching actor's credits. That was quite interesting even if rather US based for my purposes. It's amazing what people can come up with in the way of theatre reviews, old photos etc. once they begin looking hard. There was some very solid information from people who had had a lot of practice in credit tracing. Some useful tips that I noted down:- When looking in photo collections, look under the names of better known actors from the same program. There are often several people in a photo and your guy may not be the one it's catalogued under. There are many publications that reference libraries may own that list theatre performances of years past, there are indexes to periodicals, your actor may be listed in Who's Who, theatres sometimes keep photos from past productions, local newspapers may have pictures/reviews, local photographers may have taken photos of their own, the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company) sell old photos, there's a shop in London called 'Dress Circle' that sells old play bills etc., many actors record audio books, agents may provide career resumes, there are magazines that specialise in theatre memorabilia and they may have useful adverts, and hotbot is reccomended as a search engine on the web.

Collected a fair number of outstanding zine orders from Peg Kennedy and managed to fill in a lot of the missing ones from second-hand boxes. Mediawest is a wonderful con for buying and selling second-hand zines. Many people leave their bedroom doors open and sell zines out of their rooms....

Went to the 'Avon Without Guilt' party in the afternoon and caught up with many old friends and made a few new ones. Good food, good company, who could ask for more? One poor fellow wandered in from outside dressed in Star Trek costume and was greeted with shouts of 'Federation!'. I enjoyed the party, although I couldn't join in very much. The voice was pretty low, and I had to drag people into a quiet corner if I wanted to be able to talk to them. I was dressed as Avon and Kathryn Andersen had an outfit reminiscent of Verliss (the slave dealer on Domo) We staged a suitable pose for the cameras. It has been suggested that if I pay sufficient blackmail, maybe copies won't be circulated......

Went to a filk writing session in the evening. That proved to be a bad mistake. I turned out to be the only person there with any filk writing experience and thus ended up talking too much and being reduced almost to a whisper. A filk session followed afterwards, but I left before too long, it was simply too depressing not being able to join in. I avoided all filk sessons for the rest of the con. Even the concertina wasn't enough to lift me out of that particular doldrum....

Conversed in notes for part of the morning as the voice was very bad. Left me feeling rather alienated as people never stop to chat for long when you can't talk back to them. Sold more zines. Voice picked up a bit later in the day. Went to the Tea For Tarrant. I was dressed as Blake... I think Kathryn was Avon this time. - I remember now, she had the black leather tunic that both Avon and Tarrant wore and a Liberator bracelet and a Scorpio bracelet, so that she could be either Avon or Tarrant at any given moment. I seem to recall a photoshoot of Blake trying to kill Avon... Another good party. They were playing music vids, but the sound wasn't working for some arcane reason. I must confess I was rather pleased by this as it kept the sound level to a point where it made it possible for me to talk. Half-way through we were raided by two guerillas who held us up with a wonderful collection of home-made weapons. (Alison and Kat, I think)...

In the evening, there was the Blake's 7 discussion session. Apparantly some years this is good and some years, it just fizzles out. This year, it was good. A guy came in and commented on Terry Nation's death and how much we all owed to his writing and character development etc. I pointed out that B7 actually owed as much to Chris Boucher who did an enormous amount of work on all the first season scripts and then we were all off discussing the source of the darker influences in B7 and soon after that we were off onto Star One and the morality of that, and a good argument was generally had by all. It can be very frustrating when other people can interrupt you, but you are unable to interrupt back again (Trying to talk louder than somebody else is a mug's game in my condition). People were pretty good about letting me get a word in edgeways when I stuck my hand in the air, but it did take a while for everyone to get used to it. It's hard for twenty people to all be quiet at the same time. Most people are unaware of how much they interrupt in the course of a normal conversation, and I did find it rather frustrating as the only thing I can do when interrupted is to shut up and wait until the other person has finished talking. Still, like I said, it was a good session and you can cover ground face-to-face than would take a month on-line. It's far more stimulating.

In the evening, Kathryn, Mary and I, went to see the plays. These were an absolute scream. Star Wars, the Musical, performed to music taken from West Side Story. I can't describe it all now, but suffice it to say that Karen River made a wonderful Jabba the Hutt, dressed up in a green shower curtain and rubber gloves! This was followed by a series of out-takes that never happened. Wonderful! I wish I'd been able to take notes. I distinctly recall Luke Skywaler having trouble eating his stew, and a voice from off-stage whispering, 'Use the fork, Luke'. Then there was the one where Darth Vader strangled the director with mental force until his lines were written the way he wanted them, and Obi-Wan saying, 'You will write it this way...', and the director going off in a huff and muttering, 'Never work with Jedi Knights'.

Next, the Masquerade. As we were in it, we never got to see the other entrants on stage, but we did get to chat with them round the back. A wide range from a woman with the most beautiful embroidered gown, to a soldier with lipstick on his face....

Next day, Sunday, I took in the Stiffie awards. I didn't win anything myself, but I don't mind being beaten by a good story. Much to my delight, [Whitby27] won a Stiffie for her art, so I collected it to take back home for her. (I missed Val - I've got used to going round cons with her.) Went to a panel on Fanzines and the Internet which was very interesting. I'd never before considered the fact that a web-zine has an ongoing cost to maintain it. There was a fair balance of opinions all around the subject, the main worry of people who didn't post stuff to the web seemed to be the worry that their writing might be claimed or altered by other people. There were also comments on the pros and cons of the rapid feedback possible on the net....

I attended an interesting session on starting writing professionally. It was a small session, and when Susan Matthews (who had ended up running the session) realised that she couln't hear me clearly from behind the table, she very kindly moved round to the front. (Incidentally, she says that a reprint of 'Mind of A Man' may not be barred for all time. She thinks her agent may relax a bit in the future. There's a hope that she could use the material in a pro novel in some way, but as Susan said, the story is so tied into the situation of Gauda Prime that it would seem impossible to adapt it to any other universe.) She recommended a book called 'The Career Novelist' by David Maass. She also recommended writers workshops and SF cons as good places to meet people and added that it was best to have a manuscript in hand rather than just an idea for one. Her new professional novel is called 'An Exchange of Hostages'. The bit I browsed looked good.

At various points in the con, I met people taking place in the Star Wars blaster battle. This a fairly large scale live role-playing game played out in fancy-dress all over the con. There were some excellent outfits. Princess Leia tried to explain some of the rules to me. Some of it seemed to be based on common sense and some on skill ratings. Each player had a card with their details.

I didn't win anything in the Fan Qs either (Star Three was nominated), but if I'm going to be beaten by another zine, I can't think of a better one to be beaten by than Gambit 14. That was quite possibly the best issue of the entire Gambit series.

Kathryn, Mary and I made a collective decision to avoid the art auction and to have tea while everyone else was at the auction. Barbara, Pat and Nancy apparantly had the same idea and we all ended up eating together and having a really interesting conversation comparing the educational and political systems of four different countries. I'd never realised they were all so different. We got onto food and language differences and the joys of trying to describe things like bread when terms like granary and wholemeal and cornflour have very fluctuating meanings as you cross oceans. It got quite entertaining as two out of the four nationalities present would suddenly find they had a word in common, only to have the ground shift as we got onto another term.

After we'd finished eating and a group moved onto the next table (pushing the noise level beyond my ability to cope with) we moved upstairs to Nancy's room. We got into a long and fascinating discussion on education within the Federation, the grading systems and how they might operate, and how underground religious groups might have existed. I really enjoyed this. I think the best parts of cons are the informal discussions. You can never tell when or where you'll get one of these in-depth sessions, they just require the right combination of people in the right mood, and then they take off. Sometimes, you never get them, and sometimes panel discussions hit the same level. It's all a matter of luck. [9]

Don't anybody laugh, but I'm not real sure where to start first! This was my very first Media West, and it was incredible. I loved the fact that I got to meet so many CI5 people face to face. When I (FINALLY) got there Thursday night I made my way to CI5 Headquarters, knocked on the door and boldly enquired "who are you?" to poor Deb H, who was the lucky? one to answer. It gave me quite a warm, fuzzy feeling to have all these heads turn away from Lewis Collins on Robin Of Sherwood long enough to smile and say hi!

Friday night was fantastic, even though the room was sweltering and I disappeared after awhile. There were SO MANY bodies in there that no one missed me anyway! Besides, they had my book of photos to slurp over. Speaking of.... which one of you left the drool marks on the picture of Martin in curls, chain and ciggie????

I saw PAL episodes, I saw PAL episodes...neener, neener... OH MY GOD. (Thank you marcelle, for being so tolerant!) My fanpair, Misti and I practically lived in marcelle's room every night watching her PAL copies on her PAL VCR. First time I've ever seen them clearly. Bodie's eyelashes...Doyle's CLEARLY DELINIATED bum...green eyes! Bodie's pickle <g>, Doyle's bum, the veins in their hands, the muscles in the arms, Doyle's bum...

JILLY--- just remember what you said about the AMericans at Nattercon watching the eps, and you'll know what marcelle's room sounded like!

And the absolute thrill of seeing my first story in print (MOTET), with my name in it...Having people say they liked it! (Am now waiting for the ones who didn't...)

Thank you ladies of CI5 for letting me walk away with 'Green Peace' for the unbelievable sum of $95. Fifth time's the charm. I'm still not sure how I managed it. Figured you all either A) Love me <g>, or B) Thought I'd probably out-bid you, or C) B and A combined so you didn't push the price up.

Guess what? I only had $95 left for art. :) Thank you thank you thank you. I bid on it because no one said anything after $90. So I said $95, then slowly died at the dead silence from the audience. Thanks! :)

Jilly-- your story was wonderful, adorable and just perfect. Thank yu for sending your spirit! Poor Carol kept getting bumped off the IRC, but I notice Mona was on for a bit there.

I'd be surprised if everyone didn't walk away with a copy of [[Jean Kluge's]] beautiful picture of Doyle in Bodie's lap, head thrown back in ecstasy as Bodie nibbles at his throat. It's a print, so anyone can get a copy!

I guess that's all. Well, all I can think of right now; I'm still not caught up on sleep since I had to go to work some 7 hours after I finally got into my bed :(

Mountain Media in July, then Z-Con in Oct/Nov, Escapade in February Connexions in April...and I'm going to England the last two weeks in March.

Think I'll go drool at my art... [10]

Most of Suzan's other stuff went from $300-$500. The piece she got was of B&D entwined with arms overhead, Bodie has a peacock feather in one hand (naughty boy!). There is a portrait of Doyle (who else?) over looking the scene. It's gorgeous, I wish it wasn't rather unethical to scan a pic of it in and post it - just so everyone could get a chance to see it. The companion piece to it (B&D entwined with Bodie holding an interesting looking string of beads and a Bodie portrait overhead) went earlier for over $300. I guess Danajeanne looked so serious about it that no one wanted to risk physical injury by bidding against her!

I bought a print by Jean Kluge. A side view of a barechested Doyle being held by a white tank-top clad Bodie. Their arms are twined around one another, Doyle has his head thrown back and Bodie is kissing his throat. Please excuse me while I go wipe the drool from my keyboard. She had another print of a naked Doyle laying on top of a naked Bodie (from overhead, beautiful bare butt shot- and Bodie has the most adorable blissed-out expression). The good news is that a b&w version is in the zine Motet. I haven't read the zine yet, but we went gaga over the art. There is a great pencil sketch of Cade and the best drawing of Cowley I've ever seen (Lorelei bought the original at the art show at a great price and practically had to pry it out of Dorinda's hands to take it home! Dorinda had to content herself with the zine). There is also the most adorable drawing of a young Bodie and Doyle on the inside back cover. I defy you to see it and not melt into a puddle of goo.

It was a great weekend. There is nothing like watching Pros eps in a room full of other fans, even if you've seen the ep a thousand times before being able to share all the lines and looks and bad clothes is fantastic. The loneliest time was driving home by myself - I had spent the last four days talking, talking, talking... [11]

MediaWest con was wonderful, largely because of the CI5 people. You were great to meet, and I just wish I'd had more time to talk to everyone. Of course, there'llbe Zcon, and MediaWest next year.... I'm turning into a convention junkie. (Not that I ever had far to fall in that department.)

I was all excited about meeting people in person whom I only knew from the Net. So many of you have faces now! It was fun to see how well (or badly) I'd guessed people's looks.

[snipped]

This was my first MediaWest con too, though I've had friends urging me to go withthem for years. Now I see why. For three days you are immersed in fannish culture -- the hotel is full of fans and nothing but fans, and there's a camaraderie and acceptance to it that you seldom see in the real world. This was mitigated only by a faint trace of those-who-oppose-slash, which wasn't enough of a presence to bother me. I would have guessed that at least a third of the attendees were slash fans, with no way of guessing to what extent that is accurate. (Any other guesses out there?)

MediaWest con was wonderful, largely because of the CI5 people. You were great to meet, and I just wish I'd had more time to talk to everyone. Of course, there'llbe Zcon, and MediaWest next year.... I'm turning into a convention junkie. (Not that I ever had far to fall in that department.)

Like E, I was all excited about meeting people in person whom I only knew from the Net. So many of you have faces now! It was fun to see how well (or badly) I'd guessed people's looks.

I was sick before going, almost had to cancel, and was filled with panic at the thought. Luckily, I felt fine through the convention, despite long hours in the car, plenty of bad junk food and a few skipped meals, and less than enough sleep. Con mode. I love it.

This was my first MediaWest con too, though I've had friends urging me to go withthem for years. Now I see why. For three days you are immersed in fannish culture -- the hotel is full of fans and nothing but fans, and there's a camaraderie and acceptance to it that you seldom see in the real world. This was mitigated only by a faint trace of those-who-oppose-slash, which wasn't enough of a presence to bother me. I would have guessed that at least a third of the attendees were slash fans, with no way of guessing to what extent that is accurate. (Any other guesses out there?)

We arrived in Lansing on Wednesday night -- well, actually Thursday morning, as it was past midnight by then -- and so had all of Thursday at the con hotel. Plenty of time to enjoy the fine MediaWest tradition of buying zines in people's rooms. Most of my zine purchases were done that way. I got twenty zines, a few of them authors' copies, most of them second-hand from people's rooms. I never did find the ones I'd gone down there to look for, any of the "Unprofessional Conduct" zines, and a few of the early "Paean to Priapus". Instead I got five multimedia slash zines, 8 Pros slash zines, one Pros genzine, assorted X-Files slash, and a couple of miscellaneous slash items like Shoshanna Green's "Chains of Being" because I love everything she writes even if I'm not into "Space Above and Beyond" particularly.

The Pros party was lots of fun, of course. Meeting everyone. Enjoying the decor - lovely, lovely posters of Bodie and Doyle, and one of Duncan MacLeod. Lots and lots of good photos. The Crafty Old Bastard's shooting gallery. The slash music vids. Seeing Lew Collins on "Robin of Sherwood" - okay, I saw that back when it was first on, when I had no idea who Collins was. My perceptions are entirely different now! Posturing catamite; heh. Someday I'll get a copy of that. (And I'm still not sure of the episode title.)

Another cool thing was winning a door prize - an art book full of photographs of beautiful sexy naked men doing beautiful sexy romantic naked things. Very inspirational for my writing, I tell you. Thank you to all concerned.

There was no specific Pros programming. I thought there should have been. I think there should be next year. Anyone want to help me plan something?

A lot of places were selling photos. I bought scads from Sharon Fetter, but had fun browsing other dealers' rooms and pix in the dealer's room and was most happy with my purchases -- one being the cutest close-up of Doyle I've ever seen, I think. I was looking for pictures of Methos too, and had much less luck -- either the dealers just didn't have anything with Methos or they were sold out. There wasn't even a Methos T-shirt, though there were shirts with Duncan, Ritchie, Amanda, Joe Dawson and even Darius.

Well, the absence of Methos stuff gave me more to spend on Pros.

It was fun sitting and watching Pros episodes with other fans. Of course, it always is.

[snipped]

While I'm mentioning it, let me add that I think "Motet" is a particularly classy zine, a congratulations to Marcelle for getting such good contributions, on the whole. (No, I don't mean *me*, you skeptics.)

[snipped]

MediaWest con was wonderful, largely because of the CI5 people. You were great to meet, and I just wish I'd had more time to talk to everyone. Of course, there'llbe Zcon, and MediaWest next year.... I'm turning into a convention junkie. (Not that I ever had far to fall in that department.)

Like E, I was all excited about meeting people in person whom I only knew from the Net. So many of you have faces now! It was fun to see how well (or badly) I'd guessed people's looks.

I was sick before going, almost had to cancel, and was filled with panic at the thought. Luckily, I felt fine through the convention, despite long hours in the car, plenty of bad junk food and a few skipped meals, and less than enough sleep. Con mode. I love it.

This was my first MediaWest con too, though I've had friends urging me to go withthem for years. Now I see why. For three days you are immersed in fannish culture -- the hotel is full of fans and nothing but fans, and there's a camaraderie and acceptance to it that you seldom see in the real world. This was mitigated only by a faint trace of those-who-oppose-slash, which wasn't enough of a presence to bother me. I would have guessed that at least a third of the attendees were slash fans, with no way of guessing to what extent that is accurate. (Any other guesses out there?)

We arrived in Lansing on Wednesday night -- well, actually Thursday morning, as it was past midnight by then -- and so had all of Thursday at the con hotel. Plenty of time to enjoy the fine MediaWest tradition of buying zines in people's rooms. Most of my zine purchases were done that way. I got twenty zines, a few of them authors' copies, most of them second-hand from people's rooms. I never did find the ones I'd gone down there to look for, any of the "Unprofessional Conduct" zines, and a few of the early "Paean to Priapus". Instead I got five multimedia slash zines, 8 Pros slash zines, one Pros genzine, assorted X-Files slash, and a couple of miscellaneous slash items like Shoshanna Green's "Chains of Being" because I love everything she writes even if I'm not into "Space Above and Beyond" particularly.

The Pros party was lots of fun, of course. Meeting everyone. Enjoying the decor - lovely, lovely posters of Bodie and Doyle, and one of Duncan MacLeod. Lots and lots of good photos. The Crafty Old Bastard's shooting gallery. The slash music vids. Seeing Lew Collins on "Robin of Sherwood" - okay, I saw that back when it was first on, when I had no idea who Collins was. My perceptions are entirely different now! Posturing catamite; heh. Someday I'll get a copy of that. (And I'm still not sure of the episode title.)

Another cool thing was winning a door prize - an art book full of photographs of beautiful sexy naked men doing beautiful sexy romantic naked things. Very inspirational for my writing, I tell you. Thank you to all concerned.

There was no specific Pros programming. I thought there should have been. I think there should be next year. Anyone want to help me plan something?

A lot of places were selling photos. I bought scads from Sharon Fetter, but had fun browsing other dealers' rooms and pix in the dealer's room and was most happy with my purchases -- one being the cutest close-up of Doyle I've ever seen, I think. I was looking for pictures of Methos too, and had much less luck -- either the dealers just didn't have anything with Methos or they were sold out. There wasn't even a Methos T-shirt, though there were shirts with Duncan, Ritchie, Amanda, Joe Dawson and even Darius.

Well, the absence of Methos stuff gave me more to spend on Pros.

It was fun sitting and watching Pros episodes with other fans. Of course, it always is.

One of my little projects at the con was to get the autograph of everyone I could who had something included in Marcelle Gibson's new zine, "Motet". Of the people who were there, the only one I missed was Debbie Ramsey. Maybe sometime.... For the rest of you, thank you! It makes my copy of "Motet" a particular treasure.

While I'm mentioning it, let me add that I think "Motet" is a particularly classy zine, a congratulations to Marcelle for getting such good contributions, on the whole. (No, I don't mean *me*, you skeptics.)

Congratulations also to Beth Friedman, as I also greatly enjoyed "Roses and Lavender", reading it later into the night than I ought to have because I didn't want to stop.

There were a couple of other new Pros zines of which the only one I bought was "After The Battle" by Lois Balzer. I got it because I like her writing, despite its containing gen stories. (It takes a lot these days to get me to read gen fanfic.) Gena Fisher had one I didn't buy -- could anyone tell me what it was like?

Then there was the art show.... Well. I am overwhelmed with envy of those of you who got originals of some of the wonderful art there: the Suzann Lovett Bodie and Doyles, and her memorable Fox Mulder (sheer sex), and the Warren Oddson portrait of Cade that I would have given an arm for but KC needed it more. I liked his portraitof Cowley, too. (I hope Dorinda got it.) The pillows- and-satin Bodie/Doyle picture that E lusted after was bought by my roommate at the con -- ooh, lush and sexy. I'd seen it as a zine cover and hadn't been so impressed. The original was striking.

But the one I *really* wanted was the one Danajeanne got.

No, truly, the thing I most wanted was Kendall's quilt. Are you thinking of making another one, Kendall? So I can save for it? I even toyed with the idea of doing it myself, but (a) I don't know how, (b) I'm the most appalling craftsperson to ever fumble with a needle, and (c) I want to spend my time writing.

For those of you who didn't get to see this quilt -- well, I've seldom seen a more lovely quilt in my life and I am a lifelong lover of quilts.

Funny, though, that among all that art, and some very nice Highlander works, there was nothing of Methos.

I got a large print of Jean Kluge's new painting, "World Enough and Time". That is the 'garden' picture, Bodie in an understhirt kissing the throat of a shirtless Doyle. Describing it can't do it justice; it's one of those pictures where you can smell the earth and feel the diffused sunlight. I had to buy that one, for story inspiration.

I went to two slash panels, and a couple on writing. The first slash panel (subtitles (what is erotic?') started out with a discussion of the homophobia with which slash is greated in RL. Now, as themes go, I think this is a useless one. But when it got into the subject of slash itself, and what is good, and why, it was much more entertaining.

What struck me most there was a discussion of words. Several people said that the word 'cock' was "harsh" or "gritty" (ouch, I thought) and didn't fit in a romantic scenario. I thought this was odd, since I have no problem with it, and I suggested publicly that it is for the writer to use the words as she wishes, to create new connotations by context. Someone else spoke up to say no, you can't do that -- the reader determines the connotations and the writer has to conform. Since I think the opposite, I found it an interesting conundrum. There's no way of proving which is right, it's just different approaches to writing.

The other panel was about what was romantic in slash. I found it interesting to hear what some people thought was romantic, since it's a word whose implications I find increasingly difficult to grasp. Several people suggested that Pros was romantic. I can only agree. (Especially, for example, thinking of "World Enough and Time".)

This con whetted my appetite. I wish I could be at Mountain Media Con, though I don't see much possibility. I will be at Zcon, and look forward to seeing everyone again. [12]

I opted to fly out [of London] on Thursday 22 May to give me the time to get over any jetlag I might be experiencing. What I had forgotten to take into account was the fact that Lansing is 5 hours behind English time, and I would be arriving at the hotel roughly 3am and so the fun began.

[...]

At last I got to meet Judith Yuenger and Deb Kittle, two people I have been corresponding with over the past eighteen months or so. I also got to meet some of the other names from SW fandom who I had come across. There was Marie Treleaven and Carolyn, amongst others, who had already turned up for the convention.

It was then onto the initiation of hall walking. Many people sell zines, photos and other merchandise in their rooms, and once they are set up, the doors are open and you just wander in to see what is on offer. Some rooms have a handy list of their contents by the door but not all so once you had got over the initial feeling of awkwardness about entering a stranger's room, it was fine and I managed to find a few zines that looked interesting. None of them were SW, just 'Highlander'. SW came later.

Friday dawned bright and early, 6.30 am to be exact. Ming, Jean nor I could work out what the actual time was and we had to ring down to reception to find out, by which time we were to awake to go back to sleep so chatted for a while, until breakfast. I went down to Deb's room and a group of us headed down to the hotel's restaurant to sample the cuisine. I opted for the buffet, thinking that if I had a good fill up, I would keep going until the evening. It seemed to work as well.

It was back up to the Millenium Mall where we priced up the issues of 'Telesponder', 'Galaxy Travellers' and 'Child of Darkness; Child of Light'. Then it was time to browse through the piles of SW zines which were premiering at MWC. There was 'Imperium 6', 'Elusive Lover 2', 'Sarlaac 2', 'Bright Centre of the Universe 7', 'I Don't Care What You Smell 3', 'Renaissance', a small selection of which I brought back with me. I will try and sit down and type up reviews of those I brought for the next issue.

To enter the sacred rooms that are known as the Dealer's Room and the Art Show, it was necessary to wear a badge, so we waited until the queues went down before picking up our badges. I was most impressed as my name had been spelt correctly for once. We then decided to avoid the stampede by disappearing up to the mall again.

A while later we hit the Dealer's Room which was pretty crowded so it took a while for us to work our way around the tables. What surprised me was the number of tables devoted to zines. Over here, you are lucky to see one table, sometimes two, which sell zines at a convention which is a real shame as there is a demand which is not met over here. That is not to say that zines are not produced, they are, just not in the number as in America. You could find zines on just about every series ever produced if you had the patience to look through the boxes as only the current issues are displayed. I found an amazing amount of zines which dealt with The Professionals', The Man From Uncle', 'Forever Knight', 'Highlander' (which I found was extremely popular, or anything featuring one character in particular, namely Methos), but a surprising lack of DS9 aand ST: Voyager zines. I managed to find two zines which a friend had asked me to look out for dealing with DS9 but that was it. There were a couple of stalls which dealt with purely SW zines but these were duplicated in the Mall.

Of course, other stalls existed which sold t-shirts, jewellery, photos, trading cards and weaponry and I found that it was worth returning to the Dealers Room at different times each day to see if any new stall had opened. It was amazing what you could find if you just looked often enough.

In the afternoon, Judith Yuenger gave a SW party in the con suite. Various people had made cookies in the shape of the droids, Yoda, and there were two lots of chocolate cookie which either had a chocolate Chewbacca or Darth Vader perched on top. Needless to say, I showed what I thought of Vader by biting his head off. It was there that I saw Han Solo and Princess Leia (or should I say Ken Keisel and Linda Siegel, who dressed as the two characters for the whole weekend) for the first time and a friend from the Net found me. Anne-Marie was extremely brave and turned up at the con. knowing no one and on her own. I ended up spending quite a bit of time with her over the next few days and we trawled the halls as well. The two of us ventured out to the nearby KFC for our dinner before returning to the Holiday Inn to see what else was happening.

We ended the day going to a carefully edited episode of 'Man from Uncle'. One group of people had carefuly added witicisms and sarcastic comments to various sections of the episode which had us all in stitches. It was partly NC-17 territory so not suitable for the young and innocent. So why was I there?

I was late going down to breakfast on Saturday but it was still being served so that was fine by me. Anne-Marie and I went to a panel entitled 'Bonkers for honkers and nuts for butts; which men rate highest on your lust meter? From the title, you can gather what that was all about and it was as silly as you would expect it to be. Throughout the weekend, there were at least three discussion groups or panels going on covering a wide gamete of subjects. I have to admit that I did not get to go to any of the Star Wars ones I am afraid.

Most of the afternoon was then spent checking out the Dealer's Room and Art Show. There were some really talented artists displayed and the pieces were divided into various categories. Erotic, portrait, cartoon, photography, jewellery and needlecraft were some of the categories which people could bid for. All of the pieces had a reserve price, set by the artist, and anyone could jot a price down stating what they would pay. I was tempted by a few pieces but as I could not make up my mind, I decided to let the pieces go. The final auction was scheduled for Sunday evening.

I also found a room which was showing fannish videos. These were basically songs, which had been in the charts, with new videos added. The videos were made up of clips from TV series and the scenes used reflected the songs. From the ones I caught, there were a lot of 'Remington Steel', 'War of the Worlds' and 'Star Trek: Voyager', and on the whole they were well put together. They must have taken a lot of editing and I have to admit that my favourites have to be the Tom and B'Elanna (ST:Voy) ones.

Back up in the Millenium Mall, a group of us decided to go down to the restaurant for a bite to eat. Then it was off to the Ballroom to watch three plays. The first was an X-Files and Xena skit, with the main thread being Skinner's lack of hair. This was folowed by the first of two SW sketches. First we had another take on the SW special editions and then it was time for the out-takes which were hilarious. Unknown to us, George Lucas was in the audience directing Darth Vader and was not too amused to have a Jedi mind trick played on him. There was then another SW party in one of the bedrooms in honour of Yoda. The room was amazingly decorated with mock vines running down curtains, walls and around mirrors, along with lizards everywhere. With the low lighting as well it had an excellent and with some non- alcohol punch, a few of us were very merry. After that I wandered around for a while before fuming in for the night.

Sunday was somewhat quiet. The convention was already winding down with people opting to leave that evening or early Monday, so there were a few room sales going on. I did not come across that many bargains although there was one room which was doing prints from TV shows so I had a few 'Highlander' ones printed.

Going round the Dealer's Room, I had discovered what had happened in 'Highlander's' season finale and when I was getting my prints done, I came across someone who actually had the episode on tape. Laurie kindly alowed me to join her and some friends in watching that afternoon which really made my day, especially as we saw The Modern Prometheus' before 'Archangel' and added bonus.

Then, it was time for the Star Awards which Judy Yuenger puts together each year. The awards are for writers and artists in SW fandom whose work has been produced in the various fanzines published over the previous year. This ceremony was held in a side room which had been renamed the cantina. Inside there was a doll display, or should I say model figure display, with the theme being ESB. We all sat down and Judy started the proceedings.

Starting with SW zines (eg. Tremor in the Force'), multimedia zines (eg. 'Flip of a Coin'), letterzines (eg. 'Bound by the Force'), newsletters (eg. 'Southern Enclave'), foreign zines (eg. 'Sarlaac'), writers (vignettes, short and long stories, filks) and artists (cover and general) were covered. Of the foreign zines, 'Sarlaac' was runner-up, while 'Bad Feeling Too' edited by Louise Turner won. Gerald Grotty won two runner-up awards for cover artist and general artist. Well done all of those who won.

Opting to turn in early and sort out my suitcase which had a mass of zines to be bought back home, I returned to my room and turned the TV on. Flicking through the channels what did I come across but 'Archangel' so I watched that again before finally getting some sleep.

It was all over. The convention officially ended at noon and Anne-Marie went to sit in on a panel only to find that no one else bothered so we pottered around to see if there was anything happening. Very little was happening anywhere, although MWC has the extremely good idea of arranging for a parcel service to send your zines home. I dreaded to think how much it would cost me and did not ask the price for shipping material to England.

Anne-Marie and I sat in the lobby talking for absolutely ages about all kinds of things, watching the world go by. We had a late lunch/early tea before opting to go back to her hotel and watching TV. We came across a show which covered the changing face of science fiction on television which was hosted by William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Dean Cain and Carrie Fisher, so worth watching just for Carrie being on the small screen again.

Then it was back to the Holiday Inn to do my final packing before catching my connecting flight to Dallas the following day.

Would I go again? Probably but if I did it would be with a lot more room in my suitcase and a strong rucksack which I could use as hand luggage on the journey home. I don't think that I would stay until the Tuesday morning again, probably leaving at some point on the Monday but it is definitely worth arriving on the Thursday if only to trawl the halls looking for all of the bargains which might be one off zines that you have been trying to track down for absolutely ages or a model.

It is also a great opportunity of being introduced to members of fellow SW zines from around the globe and being able to put faces to names that you have seen in zines, such as [[Z.P. Florian]], M.J. Mink, Ming Wathne.

A big thank you has to be made to everyone who made my stay in Lansing so enjoyable. Thank you very much. [13]

References

  1. ^ MediaWest*Con 17 - Anne Collins Smith, Archived version and Memorial Day Weekend 1997 -- Excerpts from Convention Report by Anne Collins Smith, Archived version
  2. ^ A fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #48 (1997).
  3. ^ A fan's convention report in Southern Enclave #48 (1997).
  4. ^ Favorite Con Moments dated July 16, 2004; reference link.
  5. ^ Another attendee later reported that it sold for $150.
  6. ^ In 1997, Michelle Christian posted a con report to the Virgule-L mailing list. It is quoted here with permission.
  7. ^ Stacey D a review of the convention to the Virgule-L mailing list. It is quoted with permission.
  8. ^ MediaWest*Con #17 by Kathryn A., Archived version
  9. ^ see the much, much longer report at Blake's 7 - Mediawest con May 1997 by Judith Proctor, Archived version
  10. ^ from CI5, quoted anonymously (May 25, 1997, 5:36 AM)
  11. ^ from CI5, quoted anonymously (May 27, 1997)
  12. ^ from CI5, quoted anonymously (May 27, 1997)
  13. ^ report by Suzanne Godsalve, printed in Galaxy Travellers #7