Saturday afternoon, Georgie and I drove down to northern Chicago to visit DucKon, a small convention in its thirteenth year. DucKon doesn’t bill itself as a ‘relaxacon,’ but its niche seems to be as a haven for recreational subfandoms that have been squeezed out of larger Chicago-area cons. Specifically, there are almost full tracks of activities related to Klingons, “furries”, and techy fandom of the “build a blinkie” or zapgun style. We had been asked to help out Henry Osier with the scheduled Masquerade, a task which ended up being superfluous: there was only one genuine masquerade entrant (Milwaukee costumer Nancy Mildebrandt) and one last-minute refugee from furry fandom. There had already been a fursuit parade earlier in the day, and the Klingons in evidence weren’t considering their outfits as “costumes.” (One of the fan distinctions I learned early on was that between “costume” and “garb”, which is something you wear in persona, as with SCA.) While it was fun to see our Chicago-area friends (and we acquired a few more books from Larry Smith’s extensive inventory) we had a hard time finding panels that interested us. The best was “Building a Better Ray Gun,” chaired by Isher Weapons designer Tulio Proni, which discussed the real world limitations of beam weapons given present physics and engineering: hint, don’t throw out your firearms any time in the near future. “After Tolkien” was a well-done little panel on what to get kids to read after Tolkien (or after Harry Potter), but which didn’t really tell us anything we didn’t already know. “Skeptics vs. Psychics” was Round 13 in an ongoing series at this convention, and interesting for expounding on the current research on psi phenomena and how brain research such as MRI may link in. We had a pleasant dinner with Henry at the hotel coffee shop, slogged through the very brief masquerade and introduced the performers who would fill the time (largely the indefatigable Great Lukeski), and then drove home. It was a lovely day for driving, and we had good traffic both ways, so it was a pleasant outing even if the original purpose kind of petered out. The visit makes me think that I wouldn’t sign up for a full DucKon in the future, but a day trip just to shop the hucksters and see friends might be worth it.