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Friday, March 21, 2008

Norwescon Report One

posted by on March 21 at 13:35 PM

I arrived at Norwescon 31, SeaTac’s biggest science fiction convention, this morning with no real idea of what to expect. Actually, wait. That’s not entirely true: I expected people in costumes, and I’ve seen tons of those: Storm Troopers, pirates, super heroes, and lots of women dessed in what I think is best described as gypsy slut. It’s hard to begrudge them the costumes, though, because they’re all so damned excited: seeing friends they haven’t seen in a year or a few years.

After I took about an hour to get used to the layout of the convention—rather than being spread across a convention center, it’s all through the DoubleTree Hotel next to the airport—I went to a panel whose title was “Where Will All the Young Men Go?” I thought that it would be about the shrinking male demographic in sci-fi fandom, and so I went. Turns out, that’s not what the panel was about. Instead, the three-man panel—author Mike Shephed Moscoe, Timothy Armstrong, and Chis Vancil—was there to talk about where they thing the young men will eventually go: space.

There are lots of issues with outer space, so much so that it has to be discussed one gender at a time: Vancil started talking by saying that “For the purposes of this panel, women don’t exist.” As one non-panelist pointed out: “To paraphrase John Wayne: Space is tough. It’s tougher if you’re stupid.” Tell me about it: Issues with space travel include prostitution, marriage, and, even more important, as one woman asked: “Who will be the law out there?” Moscoe replied: “Sean Connery.” Sounds good to me.

Then I met the lovely ladies posted above, who are part of a Tacoma group called IKV T’Mar. They like to dress up as Klingons and do community service. They’ve supported a number of charities, including raising money for MS and cancer research. I bought a button from them that reads “nuqdaq yuch Dapol,” which means, roughly: “Where is the chocolate?” Now I’m going to go to panels about Second Life and something called “Filk.”

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I'm not going now that they don't allow the biohazard party. I have one friend who is a member of biohazard, and they know how to throw a party. Full booze bar, 15 kegs and nightly KY wrestling matches. Without biohazard it is just a bunch of people in star trek uniforms

Posted by wisepunk | March 21, 2008 1:33 PM

Words fail me after seeing that picture. It's sorta like how it would be if I saw my grandma dressed up like Princess Leia.

Posted by bma | March 21, 2008 1:35 PM

I belong to a group where we dress up like Romulans and play cricket.

Posted by Sucking Gene Roddenberry's massive cock | March 21, 2008 1:37 PM

If you really don't know about Filk, you're in for a "My God, it's full of stars" moment.

Posted by kid icarus | March 21, 2008 1:40 PM

"Where DO YOU KEEP the chocolate?"

Sorry. It was only one time. I was drunk and experimenting.

Posted by pox | March 21, 2008 1:42 PM

@4: He really, really is.

Also, you should keep track of how many times you hear the name "Leslie Fish". And every time you hear said name spoken like she's Jesus, do a shot.

Posted by Sweeney Agonistes | March 21, 2008 1:54 PM

Oh yeah, you'll see a lot of costumes that are just generally RenFairish/gothy/etc. Big scifi cons are like geek Mardi Gras.

Man, I haven't been to a convention in three years, and I really miss it.

Posted by Beguine | March 21, 2008 1:54 PM

Look out, time for boring hipsters to start mocking people who actually enjoy themselves. Everyone knows actually having fun isn't cool.

Posted by gfish | March 21, 2008 2:03 PM

@8: I've sat in filk circles. Your brand of fun is not cool.

Posted by Sweeney Agonistes | March 21, 2008 2:08 PM

Oh God, they're filking? I can't wait to read your report on that. Transcribe lyrics.

Posted by mattymatt | March 21, 2008 2:10 PM

where are the pics of the "gypsy sluts"?

Posted by mickey in AR | March 21, 2008 2:10 PM

The great thing about cons is that they dispel this notion that nerds are anti-social non-sexual being. In fact, you'll find the vast majority are highly social and highly sexual (and there are some serious hotties at Norwescon).

Posted by bob | March 21, 2008 2:11 PM

I'd actually describe this picture as "Klingon slut."

Posted by My Other Car's the Tardis | March 21, 2008 2:12 PM

I'm going tomorrow to see the Dan Simmons reading. w00t!

Posted by mint chocolate chip | March 21, 2008 2:31 PM

@9: Not in about 20 years, if you're making Leslie Fish references.

Posted by gfish | March 21, 2008 2:34 PM

@10: Try January.

Posted by Sweeney Agonistes | March 21, 2008 2:38 PM

I'd so be sooooo there if they offered the "Klingon National Armies Greco-Roman Nude Wrestling Event" but ever since the unfortunate incident at the San Francisco event, no con has dared present it again...

Posted by michael strangeways | March 21, 2008 2:45 PM

Biohazard doesn't do the hospitality room / after-party any more? That sucks. Boo, Sci Fi Convention putter-onner people, boo.

Posted by Dr_Awesome | March 21, 2008 2:55 PM

Can you podcast the filksongs?

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 21, 2008 3:27 PM

@18: It wasn't the convention's doing, it was the hotel's. The hotel became much more strict about liquor licensing and room capacity, and vastly raised the deposits and fees required for public parties. Most of the large party organizations chose not to participate this year due to that.

Posted by stresskitten | March 23, 2008 10:36 PM
Posted by Michael Hanscom | March 24, 2008 9:22 AM

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