I-CON 27

I-CON 27, the Long Island, NY science-fiction, fantasy, and gaming convention, was held on April 4-6 out at SUNY Stony Brook. For me, this marked a personal milestone: my tenth annual I-CON convention, a decade of panels, games, events, and amazing costumes. And the convention remains as wonderful as ever.

I got to hear Harlan Ellison give an hour-long lecture/q&a, and he is as vibrant, acerbic, and brilliant as ever. I met Jeffrey Combs, who autographed my CD of him reading "Herbert West, Re-Animator." I listened to Tracy Scoggins discuss her career, including her season on Babylon 5. Alas, I only got to hear Billy West for a small time, due to scheduling pressures.

I-CON 27 was scattered all over the Stony Brook campus, and I got in my share of walking this weekend! Panels I attended ranged from the new-to-me area of Alternate Reality Gaming, to unrealistic biology in Star Trek, to "What Makes A Gamer Tick... and Explode," to "Things That Make People Paranoid," to "Supermisogyny!" Not all the panels were good -- the Star Trek one was a bit dry, and one computer art demo consisted of a person slowly filling in lines on a screen -- but I enjoyed myself at almost all of them. I also relaxed in the video game area, enjoyed combatants slugging it out with mock swords and weaponry, and chatted with fellow conventioneers.

I was active at the convention as well: I ran the terrific game The Great Space Race (got my butt kicked), gave my second annual lecture on "Super(hero) S&M!" (how could it not be fun?), won at a Thurn and Taxis game, and came in second place in a South Park Trivia contest! This year also marked the first time I had my biography run in the program. Cool!

Also cool were the numerous people in costumes. There were innumerable folks who came as their favorite anime costumes (I can't count how many Narutos I saw), superheroes and supervillains, original creations, and even Ronald McDonald and the Hamburglar! Some Ghostbusters were there (and they turned their car into the Ghostmobile, shown above), as was someone with Captain Pike's automated chair. Corsets and medieval garb were omnipresent, and I wound up going through 2.5 rolls of film.

It was announced that next year I-CON will be held at a different college in Suffolk County; Harlan Ellison ended his lecture by vowing he wouldn't be coming back to I-CON again. Ellison noted that he's promised this before and still winds up coming back, so I hope he'll return. And no matter where the convention goes, I'll always return to I-CON.

(Also, a shout-out to Scott and Donna, who put me up (put up with me?) during the convention, and kudos to Scott for volunteering in the gaming area for the whole weekend.)

Reviewed by James Lynch

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