I’m not sure why, but people don’t really think about fantasy and science fiction when they hear Idaho mentioned. By stereotype we all wear western clothes, pack a handgun and talk like we’re out of a western, so basically if everybody thinks we act like the folks in Firefly what’s the big surprise that we do indeed appreciate fantasy and sci-fi? Which brings us to Fandemonium 2009, the annual Idaho Con.
Those that know me are fully aware that I’m a major fan of fantasy, I read it, write it, listen to it and watch it all I can. I do appreciate science fiction, don’t get me wrong, but as much as I appreciate writers like Asimov, Heinlein and Bova they don’t quite measure up to my deep admiration for the writing of Tolkien, Eddings, and Burroughs. So the thought of there not only being a Con in Idaho, but the fact that this was the first year that I heard of it really makes me want to kick myself in the butt!
Cons are a really difficult thing to set up, I actually had the opportunity to sit down with the people that put it all together and it’s a daunting process. You have to convince guests to show up and then you have to get people to come when you finally finish busting your hump to get it all set. One thing that people don’t think about is that it’s all done by volunteers, and volunteers lose their enthusiasm quickly if their hard work comes to naught.
Tomorrow I start a 3-day marathon, roughly 9am to midnight covering the events of Fandemonium, yes folks I get to put on my journalist’s hat and play with audio, video, pictures and of course written articles for one of my websites. Its been a few years since I’ve sat down and done actual interviews so I’m going to try and stretch those muscles again, but mostly I’ll probably observe and write about what goes on around me, that’s more my style.
I used to go to Cons a lot when I was younger, but it’s been a long drought since my last one, and that was completely by accident. I was weather diverted into Oklahoma City after 3 days of hard, hot work fixing a KC-135R tanker and I rode up in an elevator, still dirty and funky because when we were done getting the plane flyable, we flew. So, I’m in an elevator between a Klingon and a wizard, complete with a pointy hat, and they are looking at me like I’m the odd man out.
Part of the fun of doing this for me will be covering events with my daughter. As I’ve often said I have a face for radio and a voice for print, so having her as a partner brings the face and voice that won’t scare people away. But, if anyone is from the northwest and within driving distance of Boise drop by and say “Hi” tomorrow, Saturday or Sunday (Aug 7th-9th 2009) and see what’s going on. And no, I won’t be wearing a Conan costume to the age 18+ Cosplay. I don’t think my karma could take the ding otherwise.
Writing about events that interest you is what I consider the heard of citizen journalism, try and spread the word about those things that interest you and indirectly help those interests take off and grow, and sometimes it calls for a little sacrifice. While most are looking for a way to squeeze a dollar out of the net I’ll be laying out about $200 to cover an event in miscellaneous ways, for one thing I turned down the free press pass, I’d rather the Con generate a few bucks more to make next year a little bigger.
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