Norwescon 28 Progress Report Beta
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“Exploring the Language of Science Fiction and Fantasy”
January 2005 Progress Report
An Annual Regional Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention
Chairman Shawn Marier
Vice Chairman Tracy Knoedler
Publications Director Patricia Booze
Progress Report Team
Editing: Betty Claar
Cover & Back Design Judy Suryan
Interior Graphic Design Gayle MacArthur
Contributing Artists Stephen Hickman
Contributing Writers Tracy Knoedler, Jeanine Swason, Sally Woehrle, Thane, Eric Weber, Betty Claar, LouAnna Valentine, Doug Booze, R’yhaandar Korra’ti, and the Programing staff that never wants to take credit for all their hard work!
The First Page
Greetings from the publications team!
In this issue of the Norwescon’s progress report, you’ll find a whole slew of information on the upcoming convention and a little bit more.
The little bit more is a wonderful short story by David Moles author of story’s that have appeared in Asimov’s, Polyphony and Strange Horizons and one of our own Fairwood writers. And just to make it more interesting it’s a two parter, with part two finishing off in the Norwescon 28 program book, sneaky aren’t we! We’d like to thank David for his wonderful work and contribution to this year’s Norwescon.
We’d also like to thank Stephen Hickman, our Artist Guest of Honor for contributing art for this progress report. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and we look forward to seeing you at the convention.
By the way if you missed the last issues of the Norwescon Progress Report check out our website at www.norwescon. org for the complete issues.
I’d also like to personally thank the convention committee, Chris and Jackie Nilsson for their technical help, Shawn and Tracy and mostly my staff for all their hard work, support and vision. And as always if you’d like to contribute to our up coming publications with stories, artwork and hey even take a hand in helping produce our publications, contact us at email@example.com
So sit back, get comfortable and spend and few minutes checking out one of the best conventions in the country.
The Chair’s Point of View
It’s mid-December as I write this and Norwescon is just a couple months away. The convention committee is busy trying to get everything done in time; we have had a few minor road bumps, but overall, this Norwescon is shaping up to be another great one. The biggest road bump is that our Artist Guest of Honor John Howe has decided he will not be attending this year As I write this, we are looking for another Artist Guest of Honor. The good news is that the rest of our Guests of Honor are going to be at the convention.
Writer Guest of Honor: Michael Bishop
Science Guest of Honor: Suzette Haden Elgin
Spotlighted Publisher: TOR books represented by Tom Doherty
Special Guest of Honor: Alan Dean Foster
As you can see Norwescon has a great lineup once again; and I’m sure you are all looking forward to meeting them.
Besides our GoH’s, we have also invited over two hundred panelists covering a wide range of expertise: authors, artists, scientists, costumers, and so many more. Our panelists will present hundreds of hours of programming choices. For a complete list of attending pros, see our website (www.norwescon.org) and look for the programming participants section.
But Norwescon is not just about panels it is also about of our special events. We will have all your old favorites such as the Masquerade, Dances, Movie Previews, Sword Demos, Gaming Tournaments, Lazer Tag, Medieval Faire, Autograph Sessions, and the list just goes on and on.
Personally, I feel that one of the best special events we host each year is the Philip K. Dick Award Ceremony. This annual award is presented for a distinguished Science Fiction paperback published in the USA. We normally get a number of the nominated authors to attend and read selections from their works.
But wait, there’s more... The art show showcasing artwork from some of the best artists in the genre, as well as many up and coming artists. Come to Hospitality for a drink and a comfy seat for good conversations. Our ever-popular gaming rooms, where there will be open gaming as well as tournaments. The Artist Alley is back for a second year (in a new and easier to find location), where you can find artists creating new artwork in front of your eyes.
Let’s not forget about all the room parties. We have an entire wing of the hotel (the infamous wing 5B) set aside for all the fan groups and conventions to host parties. The parties range from small get-togethers where you can talk about your favorite subjects, to loud, crowded parties with lines out the door. So however you want to spend your evenings, there is sure to be a party with your name on it.
Now that I have told you about some of the things going on at this year’s Norwescon, let’s talk about how we put on this convention. Norwescon is put on by a large group of dedicated volunteers who work year-round. We are always looking for more people who enjoy the convention and want to give back to the fannish community. There are plenty of tasks that need to be done before, during and after the convention, and we would love for more volunteers to help us. If you are interested in helping send me email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or find me during the convention and we can talk about what you can do to keep Norwescon going strong.
Finally, this Norwescon is going to be a very special one for me. By the time you read this article I will be a father of a baby boy. The old joke in fandom is we can never find enough volunteers, so we breed our own. So, who knows, in 30 or 40 years, maybe my son will have the honor and privilege of chairing a Norwescon.
I hope to see all of you at the convention.
Norwescon 28 Chairman
Philip K. Dick Award Ceremony at Norwescon 28
By William Sadorus
Here’s a question for you: What do Richard Morgan, Carol Emshwiller, Richard Paul Russo, and Michael Marshall Smith have in common?
Answer: Well, in addition to being authors of some of the best science fiction books available, they are also the last four people to receive the Philip K. Dick Award. (Remember: The Philip K. Dick Award is for the distinguished science fiction published in paperback original form in the United States. The award is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and is presented at Norwescon. Get it?!)
So if you knew the answer, great! Good job! If you didn’t know this and you haven’t been to Norwescon before, you’re forgiven. If you didn’t know the answer, and you’re a long time member of Norwescon, what happened? You gotta know by now that Norwescon and the Northwest Science Fiction Society (NWSFS) are extremely proud of our association with the Philip K. Dick Award, and that we put on a great ceremony on the Friday evening at each NWC. In addition to seeing the ceremony and award presentation, you also get to meet the nominated authors and hear them read from their books. It’s always a fun time, and there’s normally a pretty full crowd of people in the ballroom. For NWC 28, look for us on Friday, March 25th, at or around 6:00 p.m. in the one of the sections of the Grand Ballroom. The time and place could vary, but check your day planner when you check in at the registration desk, and make certain you plan to get there early!
Meanwhile at the time of writing this article, I haven’t as of yet received the list of this year’s nominees. We’ll list them on the norwescon.org web site as soon as we receive them. So make certain the check back with us on a regular basis for the quickest updates and news flashes.
Back to the authors I listed above, maybe you’d recognize the names of the books that these authors received the Philip K. Dick Award for: Altered Carbon, The Mount, Ship of Fools, or Only Forward, (listed respectively). If you recognize the titles, great! If you don’t know of them, run down to your local library and check them out. Or, better still, go to your favorite bookstore and buy them. You have some GREAT hours of reading ahead of you and they will make a nice addition to your own library. See all of you at NWC 28. Thanks!
Programming at Norwescon 28
As the New Year dawns upon us, our wonderful convention grows closer and closer. Santa was missing elves this past season because they are in the Programming Department, busy at work for the last several months planning many exciting events for your enjoyment. Actually, a whole team of dedicated people have been brewing up what should turn out to be the best Norwescon ever (tip of the hat to Juan Antonio).
Norwescon will have a virtual fen’s cornucopia of interesting topics to choose from, including the exploration of languages. Members will get the chance to learn to speak and write Klingon, Láadan, and other languages (provided we can find enough instructors) in several workshops throughout the convention weekend. We will also be exploring true linguistics (check out the appropriately named item elsewhere in this report).
The Fetish Fannish Fashion Show will again take center stage on Friday evening in the Evergreen Rooms. This will be a colorful and unique adult oriented display of the latest fashions for the fan. We are even planning a surprise for the audience that will make this a must see event for congoers.
The Art Track at Norwescon 28 is sure to be incredible. In addition to the spectacular “Slide Show” our Artist Guest of Honor, Stephen Hickman, will be showing, we will have a number of top artists showing off their works, including Michael Whelan, Mark Ferrari, and Todd Lockwood. There will be numerous workshops, demonstrations, and discussions covering techniques, color, styles, and so much more. For the second year in a row, Norwescon will play host to an Artists Alley (check the Norwescon website for details). We also plan to have several tours of the Norwescon Art Show by the ones who should know: the artists themselves!
The evenings will offer a variety of events for the convention member to choose from. There will be the usual dances, filking, and the Midnight Horror Readings every night of the con. We are bringing back the Rocky Horror Picture Show on Friday night, Laser Tag on Saturday night, and a wide assortment of panels, workshops, and events for all those congoers that want to keep their convention experience going until the wee hours of the night. Don’t forget to stop by the Small Press Publishers Social on Thursday night in Presidential Suite 1360 beginning at 9:00 PM. This will be a great opportunity to check out what is being produced outside the NYC houses.
Another item that should be a magnet for the SciFi Fan will be the collection of game shows we hope to produce at this year’s Norwescon. In addition to old stalwarts like Clay-O-Rama and SF/F Pictionary, we are cooking up some others that will take TV and game board favorites and remake them with a Norwescon twist. A full schedule of games will be posted to the website when we confirm all the rooms, days, and times for what should be a great time to be had by all.
For those of you who like the waving of swords and the clash of heraldry, Norwescon 28 will have ample samples of medieval chivalry, swashbuckling examples of the art of skewering your opponent, and knightly demonstrations during daylight hours. Check the website for further information that will be posted as plans coalesce.
Norwescon 28 will have a marvelous selection of literary based panels, workshops, and events. There will be hours and hours of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and general literary discussions. There will be workshops on WorldBuilding, Poetry, and other topics. Subject matter will range from theme related examinations of language use in the genre, to the basics for the beginning writer in the SF/F field.
In 2005, Norwescon will be expanding the Media Track to include dialogue about books that become movies and movies that become books. This will be an earnest attempt to examine the literary side of Hollyweird as well as the differences and similarities of these two mediums.
Don’t forget to take in a reading while you are enjoying your Norwescon weekend. Sit back and relax as one of our many fine authors enthralls you with a selection from their body of work. Enjoy thirty minutes, or more, of some of the best that the genre has to offer. One of the many strong points of Norwescon is the numerous panels we have that are science related. Although he could not make it to the con, Dr. James Glass has created a very interesting, educational, and informative Physics Track for Norwescon 28. We will also have panels on general science topics in addition to linguistics; panels related to astronomy and space exploration; and a few discussions of controversial science subjects.
The convention weekend would not be complete without a slate of GoH related events. In addition to Opening and Closing Ceremonies, you can catch any one of our Guests of Honor at a one-hour reading, a sixty-minute interview, or at Norwescon Honors. This last event is something that is very special wherein we pull out all the stops to honor our GoHs for their many extraordinary accomplishments. This is something you will definitely want to attend.
Norwescon 28 will be filled with these events and so much more. Keep checking the website for updates as plans are made and the program is finalized. You won’t want to miss the fun!
The Artist Guest of Honor for Norwescon 28
Throughout the almost three-decade history of Norwescon, we have been extremely fortunate to play host to many of the true giants of the genre. The writers, artists, scientists, costumers, fans, and special people that the con has honored during our special weekend of Science Fiction and Fantasy have earned virtually every award, both major and minor, that the SF/F field has had to offer. The amazing accomplishments and towering talents of our Guests of Honor have added to the prestige of our event, and have made it easier to attract the best and brightest. This year will be no different with Writer GoH Michael Bishop, Science GoH Dr. Suzette Haden Elgin, Special GoH Alan Dean Foster, Tom Doherty representing our Spotlighted Publisher (Tor Books), and Artist GoH Stephen Hickman.
Yep, that’s right; THE Stephen Hickman will be the Artist Guest of Honor at Norwescon 28 next Easter weekend. Mr. Hickman has won the Gaughan Award, several Chesley Awards, The Hugo Award, and The Spectrum Award among many others. He has been active as an artist and illustrator for over three decades, during which time his work has been the cover art for over 450 novels produced by every major publishing house in the industry. “His work has been inspired by the masters of fantasy and science fiction writing — J.R.R. Tolkien, H.P. Lovecraft, A. Merritt, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Clark Ashton Smith. His illustrations have been used as cover work for many contemporary writers, such as Stephen Brust, Tom Cool, Gordon Dickson, David Drake, Harlan Ellison, Robert Heinlein, Anne McCaffrey, Larry Niven, and Steve Stirling.”
Mr. Hickman is excited about coming to Norwescon next March and he is looking forward to a great convention. Let’s make sure to pull out all the stops and give him a super Pacific Northwest welcome when he arrives. If you want a sneak peek at what his display in the Art Show will look like, just go to the Norwescon website and follow the link on his name. Awesome!
We also need to thank John Howe, our former AGoH, for originally agreeing to attend our convention. While he regretfully had to cancel his appearance with us, due to personal reasons, he sends us his best wishes for a successful Norwescon.
Computers and Norwescon
The Computer Track has lots in store for the members of Norwescon 28. Here’s an update on what we will offer. New on Saturday morning (9-11 AM) will be a robot demo! Panelists, including Mindstorms Robots, will bring in interesting projects things they have done with robots. Children will be very welcome to come if suitably supervised.
A plethora of other computer related panels will be aimed at members with varying levels of computer skills or programming backgrounds. There will be something for everyone, from the beginner on up. Check out the Norwescon website in the coming weeks for updates on what might interest you.
Parking at The Doubletree Seattle Airport is like all hotels Limited. So arrive early to get a good spot.
Introducing the Linguistics Track
This year our Science Guest of Honor is a linguist as well as a SF writer in whose work the science of linguistics plays an important role, so it seemed appropriate to have a Linguistics Track as a subset of the Science Track. In this track, we’ll present panels that try to explore interesting questions about the nature and limits of language, about various kinds of languages (human and non-human, natural and artificial, real and fictional), and about the role of language in SF/F and in the human future. We’ll also offer congoers the opportunity to actually begin to learn a ConLang (Constructed Language) in a number of workshops.
Days Gone By at Norwescon
For those of you that enjoy talking about the past, the History Track has some very interesting topics you won’t want to miss. This timely collection of events has decided to go with such uncontroversial topics this year as “3000 Years of Marriage”, “History Misuse in Movies”, and “Plagues and Pestilence”. If these panels don’t have everyone talking, it’s because we have awed them into silence.
Story Time at Norwescon 28
Norwescon 28 will be the site of science fiction tales, fantasy adventures, and horror stories. This will take place in the reading room for our convention weekend. Fen can gather and listen to the written word straight out of the author’s mouth starting on Friday morning. A complete list of who is reading what will be posted to the Norwescon website when these plans are finalized. There will also be a complete schedule outside the Reading Room, as well as a copy in the main lobby near the information table. Here are a few examples of the stories that will be told during the convention:
- Janine Ellen Young: Londinium--A Dragonslayer comes to Victorian London in search of his past only to find the deadliest dragon of all waiting for him under the gas lamps and fog.
- Kathy Watts: Death Chart--An astrological ghost story.
- Leon J. West: Fisheater Stories -Come hear tales of Cuiui -island-god, city-fish, patron-monster, and oldest of the Dark Towns that exist in the wastelands between our own shining cities.
- Lorelei Shannon: Ink, Blood, Skin--A tattoo artist suspects her favorite client is a serial killer.
- Mary Rosenblum: Eternity Shift--Ani Huang, on a mission of personal vengeance, finds far more than a simple assassin in the garden core of orbital platform, New York Up.
- Irene Radford: Guardian of the Freedom--Merlin’s Descendants #5: The prologue of the new historical fantasy due out the first week of April.
- Jerry Oltion: Anywhere but Here--An interstellar exploration novel, the sequel to The Getaway Special.
- Louise Marley: Singer in the Snow--A novel in my Singers of Nevya series, about the psi-gifted Singers who are the only source of light and warmth on the ice world of Nevya.
- Yoon Ha Lee: Clockwise Shadows--Post-apocalyptic college parody wherein a conspiracy of college students, gamers, and black squirrels attempt to restore the world’s spaceflight capability.
- Bobbie Benton Hull: Missionary Kids on Mars--Selective readings from Journey to Mars, and Mars Base: Alpha One of the Missionary Kids on Mars series.
- Roberta Gregory: Mother Mountain -The story of a girl with wings.
- Mark J. Ferrari: The Book Of Joby -Take the general story of Job from the Judeo-Christian Old Testament, the Arthurian myth-cycle, shake them together vigorously in a paper bag and pour them out into contemporary California, and you’ve got The Book of Joby.
- Arinn Dembo: Icthys--We are what we eat-and some of us are very good Christians.
- A.M. Dellamonica: Gentle Rain from Heaven--A short story from the Proxy War series.
- Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff: The Meri--My first fantasy novel is being re-released by Sense of Wonder Press.
- Margaret H. Bonham: Prophesy of Swords--Heroic Fantasy about the return of a champion whose trusted friend betrayed and murdered him.
- Donna Barr: The Find--Be careful what you dig up on the beach.
Norwescon is proud to announce that we have, as our Guests of Honor, Michael Bishop, Dr. Suzette Haden Elgin, Alan Dean Foster, Stephen Hickman, and Tom Doherty representing our Spotlighted Publisher: Tor Books. Between them all, they have earned and garnered almost every award the genre has to offer. Our SF/F weekend would not be complete without a chance to truly commemorate these wonderful people for everything they have created, for everything they have accomplished, and for the vast amount of entertainment, provocative thought, and just sheer joy that they have given us through their works. Please join us for Norwescon Honors on Friday, March 25th, at Noon in Evergreen Room 2 as we feat these shinning stars of the genre.
Fandance Film Festival
Forget about tuxedo, parachute, and collagen injections – this is a film festival you can have fun at! As a part of the “Let’s Make a Movie! Workshop,” Norwescon is hosting the Fandance Film Festival, a collection of shorts and oddities made in the workshop by members of Norwescon. More than just the movies, this 120-minute extravaganza of entertainment will also include the filmmakers who will regale you with terrifying tales of their productions.
The integral part of this is, of course, the movies. We need ‘em! The shorter, the better (ten minutes maximum length – no minimum length) and any genre is fine but the judges reserve the right to be way grossed out by what they see. We reserve other rights as well, but we can’t spell them out here and if you tried pronouncing them your tongue would become a macramé Klein bottle and there’s no two ways about that!
There aren’t any prizes or anything (that we know of), but we might give a big hand to all the participants and hand out PopTarts.
The rules for submitting movies are simple:
- Send a VHS copy of your short. You might consider looping it a few times, so we don’t keep scrubbing over the same piece of tape, but it’s your call.
- You must be a member of Norwescon, and preferably at the convention.
- You must be willing to consent to having your brain consumed by frenzied face-eating space monkeys.
- You must ignore the previous rule.
- Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for us to contact you.
Print out and complete the entry form which can be found on the Norwescon website (http://www.norwescon.org). Include it with your tape. Send submissions to:
The Fandance Film Festival [address omitted]
If you have any questions, please write to Edward Martin III at [omitted]
The Norwescon 28 Writers Workshop
You still have time to advance your writing skills through critiques by professional writers. Dust off your science fiction, fantasy and horror manuscripts and email them, by January 31, 2005, to the Norwescon 28 Writers’ Workshop at email@example.com. Complete guidelines are posted at http://www.norwescon.org. Manuscripts submitted after the deadline will be reviewed for possible acceptance on a case-by-case basis.
Masquerade Half-Time Entertainment
This year, Norwescon is pleased to welcome the performers of Tsunami Taiko to our main stage. In 1989, after attending a summer taiko program for children, several families wanted the activity to continue year round as private lessons. Tsunami Taiko officially formed in the summer of 1990 and after a few months started to take performances, becoming the first children’s group in the Pacific Northwest. Currently, all members are college students or recent graduates who have grown up playing in a children’s taiko group. After the departure of instructor Scot Kamimae in 1999, Tsunami Taiko’s members have collectively taken over the artistic direction of the group. The group includes members originally from Kona Daifukuji Taiko, Ho Etsu Daiko, and Taiko Center of the Pacific Youth Group. Tsunami’s current members are from Seattle, Hawaii, and Chicago, who have all developed a passion for taiko in their many years of experience. Their style is a unique mix of members’s individual taiko background. For more information, see Tsunami Taiko’s web site at www.tsunamitaiko.com.
Midnight Horror Readings at Norwescon 28
Yes, Virginia, it’s almost that time of the year when we gather together and try to scare the pants off each other. Each Easter weekend, for more years than some folks can remember, aficionados of darker tales have met at the witching hour to tell stories of the macabre, the supernatural, and those who have passed to the other side. Up to six readers will tell their spookiest stories, beginning at 11:00 PM each night of the convention. Feel free to join us, but beware: this will not be for the faint of heart!
We will be doing a Name Badge Necklace Workshop at Norwescon 28. As you’re doing your New Year and Spring cleaning, keep Norwescon in mind! We would love to get donations of necklaces, with beads that can be re-strung that, you will otherwise send to a thrift store. The beads should be interesting in color or shape and need to be larger than seed beads. Bring donations to the Convention Information Table in the lobby or to any ConCom meeting prior to Norwescon. Don’t be surprised if you see them later around the convention! For more information or questions, contact Amy Hanson ([omitted]).
Clan Carn and the Shire of Wyewood are hosting this year’s Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) Faire. Join us for an informative and educational afternoon of Rapier and Heavy Fighting demonstrations, Heraldry and other Arts and Sciences displays, as well as an introduction to SCA Combat Archery. The SCA is a not-for-profit educational organization that studies the history, arts and sciences, chivalry, and culture of the Middle Ages by recreating it. For more information on the SCA visit their web page at http://www.sca.org. If you would like to participate in the Faire, please contact Bryan Hawkins at [omitted].
The Norwescon 28 WorldBuilding Workshop
Building believable but fictional planets, organisms, and cultures is not easy but can reap great rewards. This series of workshops introduces some basic and advanced concepts on how to create your own world with enough reality to support your fictional universe. We’ll explain basic planetary geology, and star system design through developing intelligence, spaceflight, and anything else you ask us about. Bring your own world to get specific detailed help or just join us as we build our own on the spot.
The Ideas: Part I of II
by David Moles
Later he could never remember exactly what it was; but he remembered the Manila envelope it came in, and the texture of the onion-skin paper inside.
His mother must have been there when he opened the envelope. He would have thought she would remember it, her four-year-old son getting a letter from an anonymous correspondent in upstate New York.
But sometimes people don’t remember the important things.
His mother does remember the comic book, though. He drew it in colored pencil, or maybe crayon; drew it while lying on the linoleum floor of the spare room, where his father had laid out the buildings of the Fisher-Price town, with masking-tape stripes to separate the wide lanes of Main Street. They didn’t have a stapler, then, so his mother sewed the pages together for him with a needle and thread. Nothing fancy, just three our four big stitches, but the comic book held together till he lost it.
Later he would say that the comic book hadn’t really captured the idea very well. Probably, he would say, it was the influence of that Superman comic, the one he’d been reading at the airport. (Or that he’d been looking at the pictures of, anyway. It was the Istanbul airport, and the comic had been translated into Turkish. He was a precocious reader, but not that precocious.)
He doesn’t remember what his own comic book was about, but he remembers that he didn’t get it right.
He wishes now that he’d kept the Manila envelope, and the idea that came in it. He’s pretty sure it was one of the good ones.
He’s sitting in a coffee shop, now, in that town in upstate New York. The coffee shop is across the street from the post office. There are four post offices in the town, and he’s not sure this is the right one.
He’s watching the people who go in and out.
He’s trying to see who is checking the post-office boxes.
The next idea -the next one he can remember, anyway-came when he was seven or eight. There might have been others in between, but his family was moving around a lot for a while there, and it could be that the ideas didn’t catch up with him until they’d settled down in California. His mother doesn’t remember this one either, but by that point he was probably opening envelopes without her help or supervision.
This idea, he remembers. It was for about a dictionary for an alien language. This idea is one of those that makes him think that sometimes the post office box in New York recycles them, when they’re not being used: a couple of years ago he picked up a collection of short stories in an upscale airport bookstore, and one of them was about an old bookseller who discovers, on one of his shelves, an alien dictionary.
In terms of style, the story was not truly original; it owed just slightly too much to Borges. But it was a very good story.
And he had to admit that it did more justice to the idea than his version did. His version started with “aardvark”, and got about as far as “abduction”.
He gave up, then, having filled six pages of his yellow, tapebound, school-district-issue composition book.
In his memory, most of the entries in between are variations on the word “abandon”.
The man thinks about that now, as the waitress pours just a little more coffee in his cup. The waitress is almost old enough to be his grandmother, and the coffee shop is the old-fashioned kind: eggs over easy and hash browns and only one kind of toast, unless of course you’d prefer an English muffin. For lunch, grilled cheese and French fries; for dinner, corned beef and cabbage, or Salisbury steak, with mashed potatoes and frozen peas. Fish fingers on Friday, in case anyone happens to be Catholic.
The man opens a packet of sugar. He is afraid to drink too much coffee; he is sure that if he goes to the bathroom, the person he is watching for will choose just that moment to check the post office box. He knows this fear is irrational, but he can’t do anything about it. It is better than his other fear. His other fear is more rational.
His other fear is that even if he does see the person he is watching for, he will not recognize them.
In elementary school and junior high there were more ideas. There was one about a submarine. There was one about cannibals. There was one that he thought later must have been some sort of envelope-stuffing mistake, pages from two ideas shuffled together, about spaceships and lasers and purple Maurice Sendak trolls.
The ideas came in Manila envelopes closed with copper clasps; they came in an older sort of envelope of a type he’d seen in his grandfather’s basement, black-flecked gray paper closed with string wound around flat red cardboard spools, and sealed with yellowed Scotch tape. They came in professional white security envelopes, with his name and address neatly typed, and visible through a clear plastic window. There was even a period, one July, when they came in the heavy red-trimmed envelopes of Christmas cards, printed with pine trees and cartoon reindeer.
He didn’t do much with any of them. There were distractions: homework, and puberty, and careless adolescent cruelty, and girls.
He’s marked the box he’s after. That was the first thing he did, at eight o’clock when the doors of the post office opened. What he doesn’t know is whether anyone will actually check it. All these years the return address on the envelopes has been the same, but it wasn’t until this year that he thought of writing back. There was no reply.
To be continued in the Norwescon 28 Program Book
“The Ideas” was originally published in Flytrap #2 (May 2004), from Tropism Press, edited by Tim Pratt and Heather Shaw.
“David Moles’ short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s and Polyphony, and on Strange Horizons. He is a graduate of the Viable Paradise Writers’ Workshop and a member of Fairwood Writers. His favorite idea is the one he hasn’t written yet.”
As you may know, Norwescon is an all volunteer run convention. Without volunteers, we could not exist.
The volunteer department is busy planning the tokens that will be available to the people working at the convention. We will be giving Norwescon lanyards to all the volunteers. Tokens to wear on the lanyard will be awarded to volunteers for each set of hours that they work.
There will also be a lounge with food and a special volunteer event with prizes and goodies.
If every attendee could give Norwescon 2 hours of their time, we would have plenty of help and would not have to come around begging for help. So please consider volunteering some of your time at this year’s convention.
To sign up as a volunteer, send an email to ”firstname.lastname@example.org”.
Last year Norwescon started something new. We decided to offer special membership rates to any group or club that wanted to attend the convention. The group rate would be equal to the pre-reg rate at the prior year’s convention. In return the group would accumulate volunteer time equal to 6 hours per person.
What this means is that any group or club of 10 or more people, each person over the age of 16, can get memberships to Norwescon this year at the pre-reg rate of $45 per person. These must be submitted as a packet of at least 10 memberships.
The volunteer hours can be worked by any member of your group. So if your club also has a table or a party to man, remember that set up, tear down, and late night count as double volunteer hours. Any member of the group, even if they were not included in the group membership, may donate volunteer hours to the group. The group with the most cumulative hours and the group with the most average hours per member will receive an award.
Groups and clubs will also be given the opportunity to place an advertisement in the Norwescon post-con report.
For further information contact the Norwescon Club Liaison, Jerry Geiseke at clubliaison @ norwescon.org or by checking out the Norwescon web page under volunteers.
Fanzine Library Needs New Librarian
The current chief librarian is looking for someone who is interested in fanzines and running the at convention lending library for future Norwescon’s! Our librarian has had fun, but now she’s out of ideas and it’s time for someone new.
If you’re interested, contact the convention committee or the current Librarian via the Norwescon website at www.norwescon.org
Anyone living near the post office for zip code 98168. To pick up the mail for Norwescon, log it and distribute to appropriate person. This is a pre-con job.
Plans, prepares and delivers sandwiches, snacks and beverages to con staff and volunteers working during the convention. This is an at con position. You will be a very popular person.
The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame
The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame presents readings, films and forums
Every other Tuesday: Interactive Readings and Forums w/ noted SF writers and guest scientists
February 08: Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Peter Oppenheimer PhD, Babak A. Parviz PhD
February 22: Nancy Pearl
Mar 08: Jane Yolen
March 22: Nicola Griffith, Kelly Eskridge
April 05: Kim Stanley Robinson
Every other Friday: View SF cult classics from five visionary directors with commentary by local SF authors and film critics.
February 04: Brother from Another Planet, directed by John Sayles
February 18: Brazil, directed by Terry Gilliam
March 04: Until the End of the World, directed by Wim Wenders
March 18: Twelve Monkeys, directed by Terry Gilliam
April 01: Dark City, directed by Alex Proyas
For more information on Readings and film listings visit: SFhomeworld.org http://www.sfhomeworld.org
Science Fiction Museum and Hall Of Fame 325 5th Ave. N. at Seattle Center
SFM Online Writers Workshop in Science Fiction taught by James Gunn
Dates: Second Quarter of 2005, check website for exact dates
Cost: $235 for members, $275 others
This eight week online workshop will guide students through the process of creating an original science fiction short story. There is a small instructor student ratio, so you’ll get unparalleled personal instruction from one of greats in the field.
Through close reading and questions, James Gunn will work with you at all stages of the writing process. Beginning with a core science fictional idea, students will flesh out their stories by writing scenes that focus on character, setting, and dialogue. These scenes will then be revised and expanded into a complete short story. During the second half of the course, students will critique each other’s stories and have their own critiqued.
Additional reading assignments are keyed to each lesson.
Class will be conducted via email/listserv and is open to all. The size is limited to only eight students, so be sure to sign up early, as it will fill quickly.
About the instructor: James Gunn is a preeminent author and scholar of science fiction. His novel The Immortal was made into a television series; other works include Alternate Worlds, an illustrated history of science fiction, and Isaac Asimov: Foundations of Science Fiction, which won a Hugo Award. He was awarded the Byron Caldwell Smith Award in recognition of literary achievement and the Edward Grier Award for excellence in teaching.
He is the Director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas, and a past president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the Science Fiction Research Association.
He has published nearly 100 short stories and 26 books. He has also edited 10 books, including the landmark The Road to Science Fiction anthology series.
Additional information and a Download the registration form can be found at SFhomeworld.org http://www.sfhomeworld.org
An automated email confirmation will be sent when you place your reservation on line at www.doubletree.com. At the website, select DoubleTree Seattle Airport Hotel. When making your reservations enter the Group/Convention code NWC, and use the comment area to specify the party wing if you will be hosting a party. Be sure to save your confirmation email. If you prefer to call when making your reservations, the toll free number is 1-800-222-TREE or use the local number 206-246-8600. Be sure to ask for an email confirmation.
If you have special needs for your hotel room such as furniture removal, cribs, rollaways, refrigerators, etc. it’s best to call the local number (206-246-8600) so that someone familiar with the services and inventory of the Doubletree Seatac Hotel can assist you. (Please visit the hotel page at www.norwescon.org for details about furniture removal fees.) On occasion, if the front desk of the hotel is busy, the call may be routed to the central reservations center. If you have a special need and you’re connected to the central reservation center, try calling again at another time.
Most of our members make room reservations several months in advance of the convention and find that their needs change as the convention approaches. So, we suggest that you review the email confirmation of your room reservation a couple weeks prior to the convention. As soon as possible, contact the hotel with any changes. If your reservation is confirmed for a Thursday check in and you don’t arrive until Friday, your room will have been released and your reservation cancelled.
Check in is at 3:00 p.m. so that housekeeping has an opportunity to clean rooms that were vacated at the Noon check out time. Depending on occupancy, some rooms may be available earlier. At whatever time you check in, the hotel staff can only offer you the rooms that have been released by the housekeeping staff. If you are offered a room with two queen beds in Wing 2 and your preference is for the tower, you can ask if there’s one in the tower that is still being cleaned. If the room you prefer is being cleaned, you will need to return to the front desk later to check in. Some of our members request specific room numbers; the hotel staff will do their best to accommodate the request. However, if the room is occupied by a guest who extended their stay into your reserved date, they cannot force that guest to vacate the room.
Tipping is a custom based on the generosity of an appreciative customer and is subject to no concrete rules. But here are some suggestions.
Ask at the concierge desk for a cart if you prefer to move your luggage without the help of a bellman. Bellmen need their carts to assist guests with luggage. Please do not ask a bellman for his / her cart. If a Bellman helps you with your luggage, a typical tip is $1 — 2 per bag. (Additional tips should be provided for special services and information.) In the bar, Cocktail Servers usually receive $1 per round for parties of two; more for larger groups. If you go to the bar to retrieve your drinks from the Bartender, $1 per round for parties of two to four; more for larger groups is customary. In restaurants, consider leaving 15% — 20% of the bill for the server. You can leave a tip for Maids/Housekeepers daily or on the last day of your stay. $1—2 per day or $10 per week is recommended. (More if additional services are provided.) Room Service Waiters usually receive 15% — 20% (unless a tip is automatically added to the bill). Buffet Servers: $1, if they are helpful and get your drinks. Doormen: $1 a bag if you are helped; $1 for whistling a cab. This information is intended as a guide. One may tip more, if the service warrants.
Carpool with your friends.
Deborah Wood Memorial Blood Drive
“Tell the people you love that you love them every day, because you never know when the day will be their last.”
-Donald Lee Bohnas
Every year Norwescon invites the Puget Sound Blood Center to collect blood for those in life-threatening situations. Each unit of blood can be used to help save three lives. Annually, Norwescon selects a special member of the science fiction community who has passed into the next world, to hold the blood drive in their memory. This year we have selected Deborah Ann Wood, “The Ribbon Dragon Lady”. As her daughter, I hope that everyone will help; you could truly save someone’s life. It is not as exciting as stopping a speeding bus with a bomb on it; but you will have that warm fuzzy feeling inside knowing that you saved a life.
Below is a list to help you determine if you are eligible to donate blood:
- It must be over 56 days since your last donation.
- You must weigh at least 110 pounds.
- You should have eaten a well-balanced meal, including plenty of fluids, 3-4 hours prior to donation.
- You should not be showing symptoms of a cold, sore throat or flu.
- You need to be over 18 (you can donate if you are over 16 by having a signed permission from your parent).
The Blood Center staff will be at the convention on Friday, March 25. As they did last year, they will set up in the Salon (located on the Maxi floor). Check your pocket program for hours of operation!!!
Marion Zimmer Bradley Memorial Food Drive
Another Norwescon is fast approaching, and again we ask that everyone try to help by bringing nonperishable food items to the convention. There will be labeled donation barrels in the lobby for your convenience. If you have too many suitcases or passengers in your vehicle, and you are unable to bring the food with you you can donate money as you register. Northwest Harvest can use this money to buy food in bulk, and even perishable food items. If you are unable to donate at registration, please think about coming to Sunday’s Charity Auction and bidding for items that the convention has collected to help end starvation in Washington.
Northwest Harvest was started in 1967, and collects over 17.7 million pounds of food each year. In Washington, over 40% of those receiving support are children and infants with another 16% being elderly people. Northwest Harvest receives no funding from any city, state, county, or federal government, relying solely on private contributions.
For those of you who wish to bring food with you, a list below will give you some good suggestions...
Soups and Stews
Spices & Seasonings
In 2000 Norwescon permanently named this annual drive in memory of Marion Zimmer Bradley. Marion was not only a former Norwescon GOH, but attended many local conventions as a panel participant. More often than not you would find her in childcare, playing with the future of our conventions. She was a very special lady.
Your help can make Washington a better place. Remember that a little can go a long way.
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Registration Lines
We in Registration think registration is the best part of the convention, and everybody should want to spend more time there. Doesn’t everyone? Seriously, we realize that you come to the convention for the programming, the games, the art, etc., and not to stand around in lines. Here then, are some tips for getting through registration quickly.
First, we encourage you to pre-register. You will save a few bucks, and your badge will be pre-printed and waiting for you when you arrive. This year, you can register online at http:// www.norwescon.org/?menuarea=memberships. Registering online allows you to pay by credit card, gives you an immediate email confirmation, and ensures that we don’t mistype your badge name.
Have your photo ID handy. Regardless of whether you are picking up a pre-registration or buying a registration at the door, we need to see your photo ID. If you are paying at the door with check or credit card, the ID needs to be a driver’s license or state ID card.
If you are under 18 or accompanying people who are, get a minor permission slip from http://www.norwescon.org/ permissionslip.html, and fill it out before getting in line. The minor’s parent or guardian must sign the permission slip, and either the parent or another adult designated by the parent must be on site and a member of the convention.
If you are buying a membership at the door, please find and fill out a registration form before you get in line. If you fill it out completely, legibly, and remember to sign the bottom, the registration process will be much smoother. Please fill out one form for each person over 12 attending the convention. Children under 12 can be listed on their parents’ forms.
If you have pre-registered, we encourage you to bring a copy of your registration form. If you registered online, bring your email confirmation. 99.9% of the time, these will be unnecessary. But at a 2500 person convention, having verification of your registration form with you reduces the time required to dig through our paper files and fix the problem should one occur.
The hotel will have alternative suggestions for parking if their lot is full. Ask the attendant in the parking kiosk
NEWS FOR ARTISTS:
This year, Artists will purchase memberships and art show panels in an a la carte fashion. If you are interested in selling your art at Norwescon, first buy a membership using our online registration system, then follow the art show links on our home page to enroll as an artist, buy panel space, and list your artwork. We want all of our artists to have their data entered before arriving at the convention, but if you need to add or delete a piece or art at the last minute we will have data entry terminals for the artists use at the door.
If you are not planning to attend Norwescon but want to mail in art for the art show, you will still need to buy a Norwescon membership. This takes the place of the mail-in fee we have charged in the past. Once you have enrolled in the art show, you can find instructions for how to mail your art online.
If you have other questions about the art show, send them to email@example.com Norwescon will have an Artist Alley again this year, where artists can do live demonstrations of their work.
If you are interested in participating in this, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
KidKon Presents: “A Fantasy Forest”
By LouAnna Valentine
“We’re so excited! And we just can’t hide it!” The Valentine clan is taking over KidKon this year and, boy, do we have some exciting things in store for our young fans! I’ll be heading up the department. My daughter, Kim (Valentine) Poua and her husband, James, my son, John Valentine, and his wife, Melissa, are all on board to ensure tons of fun for all the little ones. All of us are committed to providing each and every one of our young members with a fun, safe, and rewarding experience.
This year we hope to transform our space into “A Fantasy Forest”, complete with trees, mushrooms, butterflies and perhaps, a unicorn or two! Within this magical space will be scheduled craft activities, story hours, group games, special guests and special events designed to inspire the imaginations of our young fans. Sadly, the castle will not be coming to the convention this year as we need the extra room for all our new, exciting programming. But, hopefully, with all the new activities and events, it won’t be missed (much).
We’re still working on details and scheduling; but some of the things we are considering are a KidKon dance, a Fairy Costume Tea Party and, on Sunday, our very own Easter Bunny to hide eggs and provide treats for the kids! Once we have everything in place, we will post our schedule on the web site. Schedules will be posted on the flyer walls, and also available at information table. We also plan to make it easier for you to find us this year with more prominent signage.
Across the hall in our gaming room, John will be in charge of all the video gaming while James keeps a lid on the board/card gamers. I expect John and James will have their own special gaming events planned, as well, so stay tuned.
We will also be participating in some traditional cross-over events such as Lazer Tag and the Masquerade. Our goal this year is to make sure that every child who wants to participate in the Masquerade can, regardless of whether or not they have their own costume. To that end we ask that, if you have any costumes that your own children have outgrown and no longer use, please consider donating them to KidKon so we can loan them out to children who have none. If you have costumes you would like to donate or lend to us, please contact me at 253839-7033 or at Tourdemondo@Yahoo.com. The children would all appreciate your generosity.
If you are interested in volunteering, whether or not you have children, please contact me at either the phone number or email address above. Also, If you have a craft, game or other activity you would like to share with the children as our guest please contact me as well.
September 20, 2004
Today I saw a faery while walking in the forest. I have often heard that contact with faeries is risky because one never knows just how they will react to the presence of humans so I was careful not to reveal myself to her.
She seemed somewhat sad and melancholy and completely alone. Faeries never venture out alone but travel in groups. Not as friends but conspirators who plan adventures and strategies of a common purpose. And they are never sad, mischievous and naughty and at random unpredictable times will grant wishes, but never sad.
This faery was sad and alone, something faeries never are.
I think she wanted a friend.
My camera was in my back pack and by the time I had brought it out to take the photo, the faery had gone. All I have is a sketch drafted from memory.
©2004 Gayle MacArthur