Norwescon 29 Progress Report Alpha
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Journeys, Adventures and Quests of Fantastic Fiction
Progress Report Alpha
An Annual Regional Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention
Chairman Shawn Marier
Vice Chairman Tracy Knoedler
Publications Director Patricia Booze
Editing Team Betty Claar
Layout Team Gayle MacArthur
Front Cover Art Donato Giancola
Back Cover Art Rob Rogalski
Interior Graphic Design: Gayle MacArthur
The First Page
It’s that time again to start planning for the next Norwescon. Well actually we’ve already been hard at it for a few months, but it’s time to let you know what we are up to!
Before you move onto the interesting stuff, a special thanks from the Norwescon 29 Publication staff goes to David R. Silas for his generous contribution of his short story. We also want to thank our unaccredited writers and Leslie Howell of the Science Fiction Museum for providing content.
So, sit back, get comfortable and spend a few minutes checking out the start of a very exciting year!
The Chair’s Point of View
As I write this Norwescon 29 is just 6 months away, and the Norwescon ConCom is busy planning what we hope will be another great convention. This year our theme is “Journeys, Adventures, and Quests of Fantastic Fiction,” so one of my goals is to take you all on the fantastic adventure called Norwescon.
To start us out on our journey, I need to talk about some of the fine people you will find at Norwescon. The first person you might come across is our writer Guest of Honor, Lois McMaster Bujold. Lois is a multiple Hugo and Nebula award-winning author, who has been creating wonderful works of fiction since the 80s.
As you continue on your adventure through the Doubletree you might stop by the Art Show to see the fantastic art of our Artist Guest of Honor, Donato Giancola. Donato may not have been creating his art as long as some of our past guests, but he is as much a master of his craft as any of them. He has won multiple Chesley Awards, and once you see his artwork you will know why.
As your quest continues through the convention, you are bound to attend panels and events were you would hear interesting tales from our Toastmaster, Robert J. Sawyer. Robert has been writing some of the best science ction novels currently available, which have been wining him numerous awards including a Hugo and Nebula.
But what are we questing for? Fantastic Fiction! During your journey you will get to meet two of the people responsible for getting all those fantastic books into your hands. Our Spotlighted Publisher this year is DAW Books, represented by both Betsy Wollheim and Sheila Gilbert. I’m sure they will have great stories about all the authors published by DAW over the years.
To round out the Norwescon Experience, we will be inviting hundreds of writers, artists, scientists, and others to entertain and educate you on a wide variety of subjects. Not to mention all the special events we have planned, such as the Philip K Dick Memorial Award Ceremony, Masquerade, Dances, and so much more.
So I hope you all will join us for another fantastic Norwescon.
Norwescon 29 Chairman
Journeys, Adventures, And Quests of Fantastic Fiction
For this year’s theme, Norwescon 29 takes a look at one of the most compelling aspects of Science Fiction and Fantasy; the ability of a good story to transport us to imagined worlds far beyond the commonplace. With the turn of a page, a simple step down a road, and we nd ourselves moving through complex intrigues of power, love, heroic deeds, and destiny with sights and sounds that we had not yet dreamt of. That is the real power of tales of fantastic ction.
A seven time Hugo nominee, our Writer Guest of Honor, Lois McMaster Bujold, fits marvelously into this role of teller of fascinating stories. Whether you know her from her hero Miles Vorkosigan, her many short stories and novellas, or her more recent Chalion series, Lois weaves stories of human emotions against a backdrop of epic proportions. We are fortunate to have Lois here this year.
Donato Giancola is our Artist Guest of Honor. The recipient of 7 Chesley Awards to date, his works have appeared in galleries, exhibits, and on numerous book covers and magazines. He describes himself as a “classical-abstract-realist working with science ction and fantasy subject matter’. We eagerly await the display of his work in the Art Show. It is an event that you are not going to want to miss.
Our toastmaster, Robert Sawyer, has been described as “the dean of Canadian science ction” and at NWC we are happy to have made “the Dean’s List”. Rob is a Hugo Award winning author (Hominids) with regular appearances on television programs including Discovery Channel Canada, CBC Newsworld, Canada A.M., Gabereau, and CBC Radio. If you are a fan of his Neanderthal Parallax or Quintaglio Ascension series you will not be disappointed as we put Rob to work as our toastmaster.
The Spot Lighted Publisher will be DAW Books. Established in 1971, it was the rst publishing company ever devoted exclusively to science ction and fantasy. DAW has a well-deserved reputation for discovering and publishing the hottest talents in the industry, including Tad Williams, C.J. Cherryh, Mercedes Lackey, Melanie Rawn, C.S. Friedman, Jennifer Roberson, and Tanith Lee. It is still a small private company, owned exclusively by its publishers, Elizabeth R. Wollheim and Sheila E. Gilbert. We welcome Betsy and Sheila to NWC 29.
Join us, and our guests of honor, for a look at Journeys, Adventures, and Quests of Fantastic Fiction. See you at NWC 29!
Bodacious Babes Clothing Exchange
There will be another Bodacious Babes clothing exchange at Norwescon 29. This is an opportunity for those us with “fan friendly” figures (also known as Big, Beautiful Women or BBW) to clean out our closets and drawers, to share the wealth with others. We bring costumes, dress clothes, casual clothes, hats, shoes -anything we don’t wear any more, doesn’t fit any more, or received as gifts but didn’t like.
Last year, those of us who attended made a pledge to bring at least one item from our wardrobe that we just couldn’t bear to let go of, even though we knew we should. Passing it on to someone we KNOW will appreciate and take good care of it MIGHT make it easier to let it go. As always, unclaimed clothes will go to a local women’s shelter, so nothing will go to waste.
For more information, contact Becky Citrak at [omitted].
Norwescon 29: Moving Stuff Around!
Greetings Norwescon early birds! As the title suggests we are indeed moving some things around this year and want to give you a early heads up. Please take special note of things with an * by them and be the first on the block to be in the know.
Evergreen Room: 1 Programming
Cascade Room: 1 Green Room/Pro. Registration.
2 Green Room/Pro. Reg.
3 Reading Room
* 9 Gaming
* 10 Gaming
13 Art & Craft Demo Room
Olympic Room: * 1 Volunteers
* 2 Hospitality
* 3 Hospitality
Northwest Ballrooms: Dealer Room
* Rotunda wing 5/6 floor 1&2: * Tai-Chi 9-11 Fri-Sun
Gaming Noon-4am Fri-Sun
Hallway Past Wing 7: Artists Alley
Grand Cloakroom: *Cloakroom/*Art Show check-in (Note: It’s now on the grand ballroom side and not in the dealer’s room!)
Mt. Baker/ Rainier: Writers Workshops
Salon: Thursday-Programming Friday-Blood Drive 8-5 Saturday-Programming Sunday-Programming
Grand Ballroom 1 Art Show
Wing 7: 7101 *Office Wed-Sun 7106 *Security Tues-Mon 7108 *Dispatch Tues-Mon
I regret to inform you that Norwescon 29 will not be offering KidKon to our attendees. This is not something that the executive team or myself wanted, but something we have to do. In recent years the insurance requirements put on childcare, and any events catering to children, have dramatically increased. It has reached the point that Norwescon can no longer operate KidKon. This is not something that I wanted; as I was looking forward to allowing my son to enjoy all the events and activities offered at KidKon.
We will work with the hotel to provide a list of licensed daycare and babysitters in the area available for parents. We will also continue to have programming which will be childfriendly; but an adult will need to attend the programming with the child, as per our current rules for children attending the convention.
We hope that you will understand the dif cult position we have been place in and will work with us during this transition.
Shawn Marier, Norwescon 29 Chairman
Art Show Progress Report
Hi everyone. I am Kathleen Reilly, Norwescon’s Art Show director for Norwescon 29. Lori Burtis will be working with me and handling most of the onsite detail. The Art Show staff met to discuss upcoming proposed changes for this year’s convention. Among them will be a change back to paper forms for the artists, different hours to cut down on the Sunday customer back-up, the number of bids sending art work to auction and a different layout. Everyone was excited about the changes which should make the art show run smoother this year. Notices will be sent to the artists this month by email or postcard, reminding them about the art show and providing information about the proposed changes. There are several people interested in volunteering for the art show to help with the data processing which should speed up the check-in process for artists and staff. Details of the changes will be posted on the website and in the next progress report.
Fanzine Library Endangered, New Organizer Needed
Norwescon is looking for somebody to take over the fanzine library. In the past, the library has served as a tool for new fans to learn about fanzines and experienced fanzine fans to discover new ones. The job entails soliciting fanzines before the convention, setting up a fanzine display, and checking on it periodically throughout the convention.
If we do not get a volunteer soon to run the fanzine library, it will not happen at Norwescon 29. If you want to see Norwescon’s fanzine tradition continue, this is your chance to make a difference.
If interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
by David R. Silas
Dust poofed with each tramp of his boots as Merrimor the Mage mounted the last long steps to his secret tower room.
“It’s Dragon Time,” he growled to the gryphon on the bookcase just inside the door. A real gryphon would not have t inside the tower, much less the bookcase; this was a mockgryphon, stitched together by Tench the Taxidermist. It used to be a cat and several small birds. Now it was molting.
“I bet Glaboret doesn’t have a gryphon on his bookcase,” Merrimor gloated, patting the mock-beast’s head. “We’ll teach him a lesson, won’t we, my pet?”
Merrimor scratched his head and spun about on one heel, staring at the shelves lining the walls. What had he come up here for? Ah yes, the Dragon. He started for a shelf, but his long robes tangled around his legs and sent him tumbling to the oor. He sneezed his way out of the dust cloud and pulled down the book he wanted: Volume 2 of Flaubelin’s Incantations and Recitations.
And there was the incantation, right between “Avail ye not of dungeon walls” and “Crick to crack the donkey’s back.”
Merrimor never understood why Flaubelin alphabetized by the fth word and in reverse, but then he never understood Flaubelin’s fondness for frog frappe either. Flaubelin was a great man, and must have had a reason. Volume 3 was an index, which might have made things easier, but Merrimor lost that in an unfortunate incident with a ery demiurge back when he had more hair on his scalp than on his chin.
He wiped the dust from his eyes and nose, arranged his great blue robe artistically about his paunch, and cleared his throat. In his best Voice of Doom, he began the incantation.
“Come to me, O Dragon Whitt, come to me most speedily; Come to me, O Lizard Lord, and speak to me most readily.”
No sooner had the words left his lips than the tower shook with the rustle of mighty wings. A great scaly hand thrust through the window and groped about the room. Claws as long as Merrimor’s arms scattered books and papers everywhere.
Merrimor scampered about the small room, keeping just ahead of the claws, tripping over books and stirring up dust. He saw his chance and dived past the claws, into the corner by the window where he kept his heavy staff.
“Back, worm!” he cried, striking the armored wrist beside his face.
The hand disappeared through the window. A huge amber eye replaced it, staring at him unblinkingly.
“I might have known it was you, O Lord of Lard,” said the Dragon. “You always were quick with the staff.”
Merrimor doubled over in a fit of sneezing from the dust. Tears poured from his eyes, and he gestured weakly that he would be fine in a trice.
The Dragon sighed. He began to whistle a tune only a dragon could appreciate and sharpened his claws on the tower wall. The moat below was clogged with rubble from Whitt’s ling when Merrimor was once more able to speak.
“You thrice befouled spawn of serpents!” he cried. “Look what you’ve done to my study! It’ll take weeks to clean up.”
The Dragon continued his manicure, casting one halfclosed eye at the outraged Mage. “If you called me just to insult me, be quick about it so I can return to me virgin. I’m only halfway done and she’s most delicious.”
“Certainly not, O Prince of Wormlings.” Merrimor bowed as deeply as his belly would allow. “I have a job for you.”
Whitt sighed. “I hope you don’t want me to snatch another woman for you. The last one didn’t turn out too well, I hear.”
Merrimor colored. He was touchy on the subject of his wife, ever since she ran off with all his love philters, his best robe, and his Japanese gardener.
“No. It’s my neighbor, Glaboret the Geat.” He pointed vaguely northwest, where he thought Glaboret’s castle lay. “He’s a most unpleasant man, and I want you to deal with him accordingly.”
“Glaboret?” the Dragon said in surprise. “I always thought him a rather nice fellow, as Geats go. Not being his neighbor, perhaps I have no idea the depths of his per dy. I do hope this will be fun, though. It’s very dif cult to nd amusing things to do anymore. After a few thousand years you nd you’ve done just about everything.”
“Oh, have as much fun as you want. As long as you get rid of him in a suf ciently dragony way. And you, as a dragon, would know more of funlled dragony ways than I.”
Whitt contemplated the cloudless blue sky. “You’re right,” he said in a faraway voice. “I’ll think of something.” He looked back at Merrimor. “Any particular shape you’d like me to do it in?”
Merrimor gaped, at a loss for words.
“Oh, you know. Like maybe a gyrfalcon, or a unicorn. I’ve been told I do a particularly effective Crawling Slime.” Merrimor shuddered. “What’s wrong with dragon-shaped?”
“Well ... nothing, really. But a cocker spaniel, say, or a gold sh doing dragony things is so unexpected. It’s a lot more fun, that’s all.”
“What about the terror you strike in the hearts of men just by showing up as a dragon?”
“Well, I suppose there are sacri ces. I go more for subtlety these days. How about a titmouse?”
“You know, a little bird.” With that the Dragon disappeared. “Like this,” said a titmouse on the windowsill. Merrimor jumped back and swallowed before answering. “No,” he said slowly, “that won’t do at all. I could never explain to the Mage Convention that I sent a titmouse to scourge my worst enemy. They’d laugh me right out of the Awards Banquet. I think on the whole I prefer a dragon.”
“Hmph!” said the titmouse. A tongue of ame shot from its beak, scorching Merrimor’s arm and setting ablaze a stack of ancient and valuable manuscripts.
“All right!” Merrimor said as he beat at the ames with the hem of his robe. “Far be it from me to tell a dragon how to run his business. Take any form you want; just rid me of this turbulent pest!”
“Oh, very well,” said Whitt, a dragon once more. “I suppose something will occur to me.”
It took Merrimor some minutes to control the re. In the end he sacri ced a jug of extremely palatable wine. At last he looked up from the sodden ashes, his face a mask of remorse (though for the loss of the books or the wine, none can say). The golden eye of the Dragon continued to regard him with interest, and not a little amusement.
“Still here, you bescaled vermin?” roared the Mage. “Begone, and have done with this juxtaposed meddler!”
“Shortly, O Grandly Bepaunched Relic,” said the Dragon, winking. “I just thought to ask Your Wisdom what this malodorous neighbor of yours has done to merit such dissatisfaction.”
Merrimor’s face grew red and his eyes bulged. “What has he done?” A chain of snorts exploded from his nose and his hands clenched convulsively. “What has he done? Why, daily his minions invade my elds, slaughter my livestock, and have their way with the innocent daughters of my herdsmen. That’s what he’s done, you prying beast!”
“That’s it? Hardly enough to warrant such extreme measure,” said the Dragon coolly. “If you don’t mind my saying so.”
“He has set my elds a re on more than a single occasion.” “Even so --”
“He appropriates my ships on the high seas!”
“I didn’t even know you had a port --”
“-that he stole from me in the rudest manner, I can assure you. And he regularly raids my villages to kidnap recruits for his bands of brigands.”
“But still,” the Dragon said affably, “you have to expect that sort of thing from neighbors. There must be something especially infamous he’s done. Something really vile and low ...”
Merrimor lowered his eyes. He shuffled his feet and glanced at the winking gryphon. “He has ...” the Mage began, his voice little above a whisper, “he has taken for himself pears from my own special orchard, if you must know.”
“Not the Magic Orchard of Torinos the Wise!”
“The very same,” nodded Merrimor gravely.
“Oh!” cried the Dragon. “Most exceedingly vile; beyond doubt most evil and villainous. And quite unneighborly, to boot! I shall certainly deal with him sternly, and at once.” Whitt snorted twice, without fire, and was gone.
Part Two of Dragon Time will be publish in the Norwescon 29 PR Beta due out in Feb.
David R. Silas is a member of the Fairwood Writers and Live is Kitsap County.
Open the Door to Better Writing
Now is your chance to advance your writing skills through critiques by professional writers. Norwescon 29 and the Fairwood Writers Group are sponsoring a science ction, fantasy and horror writers’ workshop for short ction up to 10,000 words and novel excerpts up to 15,000 words.
We offer individual sessions with a small group of the convention’s attending pros; we also offer short-story participants a group-session option that allows you to critique the other submitted manuscripts as well as receive feedback on your own. Our submission deadline is Jan. 31, 2006. Guidelines are posted at http://www.norwescon.org/ ?menuarea=panels&item=workshops. Please contact email@example.com with any questions.
Dust Off Your Laser Tag Gear for Saturday Night Laser Tag is Back!
Laser Tag is twenty years old so it is time to celebrate. What were you doing back in 1986? Even if you weren’t a gleam in your parent’s eyes, you can still be on the team. Retro gear will be on hand as well as our modern gear. If you have your own gear, feel free to bring it! It must be compatible with Worlds of Wonder (1986-1989) or Tiger (1995-1997).
If you have any questions, contact Scott Perrin at [omitted] or [omitted].
Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame Events
SFM hosts Films, readings and seminars throughout the year. Please check out the calendar of events at http://www.sfhomeworld.org/.
Writer’s Workshop January 23 – March 19 On-Line
SF Writer’s Workshop with author James Gunn
SF magazine editors complain that they aren’t seeing enough good science ction stories these days – writing good science ction is hard! If you’re writing short stories, sending them in and getting rejection letters maybe it’s time to let a professional provide critique your work.
Heinlein’s first rule for writers was: You must write. Gunn’s corollary: You must write with a purpose. Many aspiring writers obey the rst rule, but not all pay attention to the second. James Gunn’s on-line writers workshop begins with purpose and organizes students’ writing through idea, character, setting, dialogue and their development in the form of dramatic scenes. Writers who stick with the eight-week course and its regular critiques will emerge with a well-crafted story whose process they can replicate because they have done it before, step-by-step.
Heinlein’s second rule was: You must nish what you start. Writers enrolling in the On-Line Workshop should follow that rule as well. The text for the course will be James Gunn’s THE SCIENCE OF SCIENCE-FICTION WRITING. Writers who want to preview the course will find a syllabus in Appendix B.
Cost: $275 includes an SFM membership for non-members $235 for SFM members