I-CON 25

Ah, what a joy to have science fiction, fantasy, gaming, stars, lecturers, medieval battles, fascinating panels, a massive dealer’s room, and more all in one location! This comes to Long Island, New York with the I-CON convention. This year is I-CON 25 (and the eight consecutive one for me), being held March 24-26, 2006 at SUNY Stony Brook.

I-CON covers several genres, providing numerous guest stars for them. If you like movies, you can meet George Takei (Sulu), Kevin Sorbo (from Hercules and Andromeda), Marc Singer (star of Beastmaster), Cassandra Peterson (better known as Elvira), Ron Glass (Shepherd Book, from Firefly and Serenity), and more celebrities. I-CON 25’s celebrity author is Terry Brooks, webcomic creators Randy Milholland (Something Positive) and Jonathan Rosenberg (Goats) will be there, anime fans can meet Vic Mignogna (voice of Edward Elric on the show Full Metal Alchemist). More guests are added closer to the convention, from real-world scientists to gaming executives.

The panels are quite diverse. While the full schedule isn’t up until a few weeks before the convention, past panels have included everything from how to made medieval wooden utensils to the state of the gaming industry; from how good science fiction books get made into bad movies, to the benefits and perils of storing information on the Internet.

There is always something to do at I-CON. The dealers’ room is massive, offering old toys, new DVDs, handmade medieval garb and armor, and original artwork. Movies and TV shows are usually airing on large screens, games (of the board, card, roleplaying, and LARP varieties) are played all three days. You’re likely to see demonstrations of medieval combat or martial arts on the great lawn, and you’ll always see someone walking around in costume.

Is I-CON perfect? Alas, no. While this convention some of everything, that means if you want to spend all your time focused on one area (like horror movies or gaming) you’ll find more at a convention aimed only at a specific area. The various events are spread over numerous buildings over the SUNY Stony Brook campus, so be prepared to do a lot of walking. Due to campus security rules, you’ll find neither bladed weapons (for sale or in use) nor Nerf projectile weapons (obviating bringing my Nerf gatling gun). The final schedule isn't posted until a week or two before the convention. And the convention has really cracked down on bootlegs, so you can find plenty of rarities but nothing copied from elsewhere.

I-CON is my annual vacation, my pilgrimage out to eastern Long Island. If you enjoy science fiction, fantasy, horror movies, gaming, shopping, history, science, or any number of items, head over to I-CON 25. (And I’ll be running a B-Movie Night of Z-Man Games on Friday night, followed by a live Knights of the Dinner Table Reading on Saturday. Check it out!)

I Con 25

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