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Monday, April 7th, 2003

Time Event
9:49a
Brief Odd Con Report
On Saturday, April 5, Georgie and I went to Madison for the day for Odyssey Con 3 at the Raddison Hotel on the West side, near West Towne Mall. We could only afford to go for the day due to the two other cons we need to attend this month--Costume Con on the weekend of the 19th, and CorFlu the 26th. (Watch this space for reports.) I was scheduled for three panels, Georgie for one, and we were running the Masquerade. Shortly after we got there, Chairman Jerome Van Epps also clued me in that Georgie needed to be at the Guest of Honor speeches, since she was going to get an award from the con com. So it was a busy day! We got in about 11:30am, with my first panel, on "Medieval Warfare and Weaponry" at noon. I had been looking forward to moderating this program with GoH Harry Turtledove, but unfortunately, Mr. Turtledove was unable to attend due to the death of a friend, so the con had to make do. Author Roland Green and Madison fan and historian Phil Kaveny made up the balance of the panel, and we had a good time on a rather shapeless topic, aided from the audience by Milwaukee fan Lee Schneider and Former Madisonian (now based in Eau Claire) Janice Bogstad.

We were free for the next session, and typically spent most of the time in the Dealer's room talking with the people there and those that came by. I bought some miniature blinkies that are really cool, although I find the magnetic attachments disappointing. I may modify them so that they have a pin-back.

My next panel was on the Future of Telecommunications, and Georgie had a simultaneous one on Zine fandom. Both went well. I and the other panellists pretty thoroughly dissed the idea of an implanted phone (after all, who wants to have brain surgery just to upgrade?), and speculated that the idea of wearable computers was probably more likely to come to pass. My theory that anyone who carries a cell phone, a two-way pager, PDA, and portable computer probably suffers from "agnosophobia" (the morbid fear you might be missing something)proved popular. The zine panel also went well, and Georgie gave out a spec copy of MilwAPA to an audience member.

My last panel was on World Building for Gaming. Dr. Rich Staatz is a very well organized fellow (as you might hope a Defense Department Analyist would be) and gave a nice handout on the very structured style of gamemastering. I, on the other hand, stood up for the more free-form style of GMing, and we had a very good discussion. The audience seemed appreciative.

We grabbed some hot dogs from the con suite and spent some of the dinner break chatting with Madison fans Cindy Raw and Tracy Benton before going into the GoH speeches. The ConCom gave Georgie an award in recognition of her artwork (The "Two Cow-ers" t-shirts went into a second edition) which consisted of a beautiful wood puzzle made from the art, and a bottle of Barryaran Maple Mead (I tasted a bit, and it really is--maple mead, anyway.)

Then we were able to start Masquerade prep--easy enough initially, since there were only six entries, although they were good and enthusiastic. Things got tense, however, when 9:00pm came and went, The GoH speeches weren't over, and another program wanted the room we were in. We ended up having the contestants stand at the back of the main room until the speeches (and a brief DUFF auction!) ended. The actual Masquerade ran pretty smoothly. Half-time entertainment was provided by The Great Luke Ski, who was really funny and has tremendous energy.

After the Masquerade, we fought our way loose from the inevitable parting chat, and headed home. Although we had to keep our attendance short, Odd Con is a good little con, and we reccommend it. Plans are already afoot (ahoof?) for next year.

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