Vol. 22, No. 1 Jan. 2002
Newsletter of the
ROCHESTER FANTASY FANS
(via e-mail) by
The Rochester Fantasy Fans
Roch., NY 14603-1701
Dale Gulledge editor
re-posted here by Zonker
Welcome to the new RochesterFantasy Fans newsletter. This is a free service by the RFF to its members, friends, and possible future friends. Many of you know us already. You've attended our convention, Astronomicon , as members, guests ordealers. Perhaps you've watched Wayne Brown'sshow Reality Fast Forward on cable. However, for someof you we may be new acquaintances. For those of you who have met us recently through ourraffles at movie openings, this may be your introduction toorganized science fiction and fantasy fandom. Please take a moment to read this brief article andconsider what we have to offer.
(professional and fan), filk singing, and other related fannish activities.
I can only speak for myself in this, but science fiction fandom is my biggest hobby. It is how I relax. When I look forward to spending my spare time, it iseither reading a good SF novel or discussing it with friends. I am delighted to have found a circle of friends toshare this with. We loan each other books,keep each other up-to-dateon when new movies and TVshows are coming out and soforth. Without my friends, I would have missedquite a few thingsthat I have enjoyed enormously.
For those of you who have been in fandomfor a while,conventions are a familiar concept. But for peoplenew to SF fandom, the science fiction convention carrieswith it a stereotype. Yes, many of us do wearcostumes at conventions. Yes, we do some weird things. Any group with non-mainstream interests is going to seem strange fromthe outside. And to someone meeting us for thefirst time in person, this can be a bit intimidating. After all, how do you join in a game already in progresswhen you don't even know the rules? If youare new to fandom and want to know how to enjoy yourfirst convention, please read my article, EnjoyingYour First Convention, in this issue.
Thanks to Tinseltown
and the Barony of Thescorre
Several members of the Rochester Fantasy Fans have appeared in costume for the openings of 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' and'The Lord of the Rings' at the Tinseltown Theater in Gates . Weraffled off gift baskets as a publicity event for RFF and Astronomicon (seethe UpcomingConventions section of this newsletter for a noticeabout
We would like to extend our thanks to the Tinseltown Theaterfor allowing us to hold these events. Working with Bronwento plan them was a pleasure. We were also delighted by the friendlyemployees who asked how we were doing during the lulls. We hope tobe back for similar raffles at future movies. Please look for usthere.
At the Harry Potter opening it was our pleasure to speak toLady Gwendolyn the Graceful (aka Lee Hillman), Chatelaine of theBarony of Thescorre, the local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Lady Gwendolyn also helps to run a Harry Potter fanfictionweb site called Fiction Alley. We suggested ajoint effort forthe Lord of the Rings opening and sheaccepted onbehalf of the Barony. We were joinedby Lady Gwendolyn and Lady Peregrine, the Baroness-elect. We certainly hope to see more of them in the future.
A Request For Event Notices
Because this is a fan-run, money-losing newsletter,we don'thave a publication schedule worked out yet. We are going totry to come to you monthly around the end of each month with news about theupcoming month. We have limited resources, especially time, sowe are going to miss some newsworthy events. If you know of any sciencefiction or fantasy related events that we should announce, please letus know. Here are our requirements for announcements:
1) The event must have something to do with sciencefictionand fantasy fandom, or be of interest to thefannish community. My rule of thumb as the editoris that if I have seenit at a convention, or in a sciencefiction or fantasy publication,it is probably closeenough.
2) Events must be open to the public. They don't haveto be free to the public, but if there is an admission price, tellus.
3) For events not sponsored by the Rochester Fantasy Fans,we will
include a disclaimer saying that they are not our events. We need to know who the sponsoring person or organization isto publish contact information.
4) All events announced in this newsletter must be within areasonable distance of Rochester, New York. That is wherewe are based, it is where our members are (for the most part) and wheremany of our
readers are. For short duration events, we are only announcing
those within easy driving distance of Rochester. For conventions running the whole weekend, we allow for somewhat longerdriving distances.
5) We aren't running ads. You aren't paying us for thespace and we are assuming that our readers don't want to read anewsletter composed of nothing but advertising copy. Wehave no objection to providinglinks to the web site for your organizationor event. In the end, we'll draw the line at those announcementsthat we believe will interest a significant portion of our readership.
6) This is a text-only newsletter for the moment. Manyof our readers are on slower dialup connections. We don't wantto flood their mailboxes. Keep your announcements to a reasonablelength,and if you have pictures, give us a URL for the event's website.
7) Please proofread your writing. Use your spell checkeras well. I'm not a professional editor and your writing willlook much better if you don't pretend that I am.
Enjoying Your FirstConvention
There are two schools of thought on science fiction fandom. One asserts that fandom is a way of life. Theother insists that it is just a hobby. If you are already in theformercamp, I probably have little to tell you thatyou don't already know aboutattending a Con. However,there are more people for who science fictionis a hobby than there are who consider it a lifestyle.
Even at most conventions, the majority of the members (attendees) are not in costume and have not read every SF book ever published. As
much as some fans tend to forget at times, at every conthere are people who are attending their first con. We oftenrefer to them as neo-fans (or neo-fen, using the colloquial fannish jargon),and we were all neo-fen once.
At their best, cons are social events. They are places to meet people with common interests and renew old friendships. Just because of who my friends are, I saw more of my college friends at thelast World Con than I did at my last class reunion. That is oneof the hazards of a circle of friends spread across several classes.
Many neo-fans will attend a con and miss out on the socialinteraction
because other fen are busy renewing their old friendships. We can often seem like a closed inner circle to theneo-fan. To the "old-hands", I humbly request,don't just invite neo-fento cons, show a few what acon has to offer. To the neo-fen,I offer some specific suggestions:
1) Most of the authors and artists who appear as guests at conventions are great people. They are often quite friendly, and usually very interesting. Not all of the guests' namesappear on the fliers. There areGuests of Honor (GoHs) and other guests. Every con Ihave ever attended welcomes additional guests. Go to some of their
panels. Listen to them, and talk to them. They are somewhat less likely to be swarmed over by fans and may havethe time to chat for a while. Offer to buy them coffee. But please remember that they are human too. They get tired just likethe rest of us. Letthe conversation end.
2) Don't try just one thing. One of the common threads of discussion at Philcon (this year's World Science FictionConvention) was the question, "Which con did you attend?" Thereare people whocome just for gaming, or anime, or filk, or costuming,or the art show. There is absolutely nothing wrong with havinga strong interest in
one particular facet of fandom. If youdo, enjoy it. But take a little time to try other things. The oddsare good that you will enjoy some ofit.
3) The Convention Committee (ConCom) is not just a job. First of all,
jobs come with pay checks. Secondly, noone onthe ConCom has just one job. We can useyourhelp. Fandomhas a long history of volunteerism. That is how conventions actuallyhappen. Just compare the prices of conventions for professionalorganizations with an SF Con. The major difference isthat Cons are run by volunteers. If you see a job being donethat you can help with, don't be afraid to offer. We won't thinkless of you if you don't, but we certainly remember the people whodo. Most of us will be happy to talk to you about fandom, cons,and whatever else too.
On behalf of the Astronomicon'01 ConCom, I offerour profound thanks to thestudents from Alfred College whohelped us out. I haveattended many cons over the years.
I have volunteered at some of them, and I have been on the ConCom of Astronomiconfor the past few years. Our concensus is that you reamong the best volunteers we have seen anywhere.
4) Don't forget to take care of yourself. Eat, drink enough water, get some sleep. You don'twant to be deadtired before the con is over.
5) Don't spend money you don't have. My vice is art. Yours may be videos, games, or books. Don't buy it ifyou can't afford it. If you have to, get a dealer's address and ordersomething when your tax refund arrives. We want you to supportthe dealers in our dealers' room. They are great people,andthey have some wonderful things for sale. We also want you to supportthe artists who have sent us so many works for our art show. But don't file for bankruptcy on Monday.
6) Remember that Cons are social events. Theyarean opportunity to
meet people. I'm a bit shy myself. But I can overcome that by finding or creating a situation centered arounda common interest. That common interest naturally creates an opportunityfor conversations.
This section of our newsletter will carry announcements for
conventions in the coming months. Wewant allofyou tocome to
Astronomicon '02 in November. But in the meantime, we want to thank
all the folks from out of town who have come back year after year. We
know you are running cons of your own and we want to help you get the
word out too.
We will run these notices for several
months in advance. We will try
to note when a deadline for discounted pre-registration prices is
coming up. We will also note other
deadlines when we know about them,
such as pre-registration deadlines
for babysitting services.
Except for Astronomicon,the
Rochester Fantasy Fans do not run,
sponsor or endorse any of these
conventions. We are sure that our
lawyers would have told us to say
something like that. We have
attended several of these in the past.
For this issue, we are getting our
information from a couple of
The Northeast Science Fiction
The SF-Lovers Conventions List:
January 18-20, 2002 -- Boston, MA
The deadline for babysitting
registration is December 31, 2001.
For babysitting information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Memberships are $40 at the door now. They are requesting that all payments now be made at the door to eliminate the possibility of lost memberships.
January 18-20, 2002 -- Troy, NY
Genericon's web site is back up folks! Okay, this is probably old news by the time I've written it here,but they want anyone who missed them while they were down to know that it was temporary.
For non-students, the
pre-registration price is $15 and the price at the door is $20. I wasn't able to find a pre-reg deadline,but this con is in a couple of weeks folks, if the deadline isn't already past, then it is real soon now.
January 18-20, 2002 -- Toronto, ON
Registration is $40 at the door. Prices are in Canadian dollars folks. Enjoy the exchangerate.
See our Convention Calendar
and Con links page
The following cons are not yet listed there.
February 15-17, 2002 -- Arlington, VA
February 22-24, 2002 -- Roanoke, VA
March 1-3, 2002 -- Baltimore, MD
March 1-3, 2002 -- Lancaster, PA
March 8-10, 2002 -- Chelmsford, MA
March 29-32, 2002 -- Harrisonburg, VA
April 12-14, 2002 -- Toronto, ON
April 19-21, 2002 -- Amherst, MA
The Black Road 2002
May 17-19, 2002 -- Marlborough, MA
May 24-26, 2002 -- Toronto, ON
June 21-23, 2002 -- NYC Area, NY
Monster Bash 2002
June 21-23, 2002 -- Butler, PA
October 4-6, 2002 -- Schenectady, NY
The Rochester Fantasy Fans
would like to extend our thanks to the ConCom of Albacon. We have
enjoyed an ongoing exchange of ideas about running Cons with
you for several years.
It is not too late for the cheap pre-reg prices yet! Get your registration postmarked by March 31, 2002 and the price is only $30. After that, through September 6, 2002 the pre-reg price only goes up to $35. If you wait to register at the door, it is going to cost you $45. I'm sure that the Albacon ConCom likes pre-reg
memberships as much as we do.
Nov. 1-3, 2002 -- Rochester,NY
This is Rochester's own convention. In 2002, we are pleased to be
bringing you some wonderful guests.
Our Guest of Honor will be
David Weber, author of quite a number of books, including the
popular Honor Harrington series. Since I knowwe have some military SF fans among our membership, his panels should be a real treat.
Our Artist GoH will be Ruth Thompson. Her work has proven very
popular in our art shows for several years. This year it will be our privilege to have her join us in person.
Our Fan GoH needs no introduction in fannish circles. Forrest Ackerman is perhaps fandom personified. He is a fount of information about SF and fandom, an insightful speaker, and a
delight to meet. He is doing us the
honor of appearing at Astronomicon this year. Please take the time to hear him speak or read one of his favorite stories.
We have a Filk GoH! Mike 'Moonwulf' Longcor has agreed to bring his talents to Rochester.
Don't let him be the only one with a
guitar at the con. We will have filk! With any luck, the hotel will like us anyway.