Farpoint Report

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In 2003, we were snowed in at Farpoint and the con effectively ran an extra day as we took turns for the hotel’s sole snow shovel. This year, the snows came early, and often, but nothing threatened to spoil the con.Our drive down Friday was uneventful and the minute we pulled in, we began seeing friends. Now, Farpoint is a relaxed, friendly, fan-run con that pulls in about half the Shore Leave audience so things are scaled back. Not as many marquee guests, fewer people crowding the aisles, and so on. But after coming for so many years, most everyone is familiar.I had no obligations on Friday so took time to catch up with whoever I ran into. David Mack, Keith DeCandido, his girl friend Wren, and Glenn Hauman joined us for dinner as we trekked over to Andy Nelson’s a fine local barbecue establishment.  Back at the hotel, we took over a portion of the bar, as fellow authors began arriving.As usual, programming kicked off Saturday with me doing a one hour panel that’s partly about me and partly about showing movie trailers. I then enjoyed another fun performance from the Boogie Knights even though Kate was not among them. I had all of an hour to chat with others until I joined a writer’s workshop with Howard Weinstein, Dave Galanter, and Robert Harlan Jones. For two hours we talked about writing, taking questions, sharing stories and tips.I spent an hour with Mike Friedman and Peter David as we hatched up new schemes for the future.At 4, Howie and I talked about the current V TV series comparing it with our experiences with the original version from the 1980s (he wrote several of the novels and I edited the comic adaptation, giving us a perspective). This was followed by Peter, Keith, Glenn, Allyn Gibson and me discussing the Year in Comics which proved quite lively.In the evening, I was a Masquerade judge and while the entrant number was small, overall it was a good quality collection. As my pal Sharon wrote, “There were 5 Young Fan entrants and 12 adult entries. There were a lot of first time entrants and a couple entries that were in the wrong categories, but they got straightened out during judging.” I was judging with celebrity guests Sam Witwer, Felicia Day, and Lee Arenberg. Of all the celebrities I have judged with these last 30 years, this was perhaps the most uniformly prepared and attentive collection I have worked with. When we went to deliberate, they knew who they liked and why so the debate was lively but informed leading to a quick resolution.Before the awards were handed out, Marty Gear (in full steampunk vampire attire), auctioned off lunch with Felicia. Heather Scheeler, backstage with me, estimated it might reach four figures. Well, it didn’t take long to break $1000 but as it kept climbing, jaws were dropping. Felicia reminded the audience, “its just lunch!” but was shocked as the number grew. Backstage, Lee and Sam were amazed and came out to watch the tally. In the end, she earned $5000 for charity then immediately tweeted the news to her 1.7 million fans, which says something about how she managed to raise so much money.The awards included the second annual Robbie Greenberger Award for Originality and I was most pleased to be handing that out to an amusing piece that used the Snow Con riff. The audience seemed to agree with out decisions so that was good.The night ended with the Ten Forward dance where I, a man totally lacking in rhythm, was surrounded by a bevy of attractive women. A fine night was had by all.

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