Monday, November 12, 2007

ICON has risen from its ashes!

ICON 32 was Nov. 2-4 this year back onto I-80. Held in Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, the convention has moved back to the Iowa City area where it began.

Everything said about how this convention went has to be viewed with the understanding that after ICON 31, ICON was dead. Around January of this year, a group of experienced convention runners, lead by Greg Parmentier and Steve Keith Tait, got a bid together and presented it to the Mindbridge Board of Directors (Mindbridge is the corporate entity that is responsible for ICON and other convention in the Iowa City area). After their proposal was accepted they had only 10 months to pull everything together.

The Marriott is a fine new hotel, even if I grumble at having to pay for parking. OSFES went in to do our first room party ever and found an easy connection for our electronics. I most hotels, if you are lucky, you can disconnect the RF cable coming into the television to hook in a video deck. The Marriott had a wall mounted selection of connector plug-ins that hooked into their large flat-screen TVs. So with a few bed-movings, some room decorations (with no tape being applied to the walls), and John Pershing’s home-brew; OSFES’ party went over quite well. “”That’s Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” (pause, wait for it) with Pia Zadora.”

The convention shared its space with a wedding and a couple of meetings that weekend. It was a bit odd to see a non-SF/F group getting into costumes for their event – and they weren’t square-dancers. Their activities were very spread out, their Toastmaster, Rusty Hevelin, had to use an electric scooter to get around.

Yes, they had some problems. A snafu with the Art Show rules caused a lot of artists to not send in art and made the Art Show very small and the Art Auction almost non-existent. Several panels were run by a single individual (at least the ones I got to), but their Moderators (is the main person still called a moderator if they are the only panelist?) kept the panels interesting and on topic. Finally their costume contest had at least as many entrees as Windycon a week later, along with belly-dancers and The Great Luke Ski as half-time entertainment.

ICON has risen from its Gallium ashes – next year join Tanya Huff, Rusty Hevelin, and a host of the usual suspects at ICON 33 on Halloween for another really cool weekend.

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