by Michael D. Pederson
November 21-23, 2003
Silver Spring, Maryland
I can’t remember the last time that I enjoyed a small convention as much as I enjoyed Capclave ’03. Attendance this year peaked at about 200 fans, all determined to enjoy themselves as much as possible. This is Capclave’s third year and their first disaster free weekend—their previous cons took place during a hurricane one year and the DC sniper the next year.
This year’s Guest of Honor was William Tenn, Golden Age author and satirist. It’s always impressive to see a small convention bag a big name for a guest and Capclave pulled no punches. In addition to Tenn they also scheduled Alexis Gilliland, Yoji Kondo, Bud Sparhawk, Steve Stiles, Scott Edelman, David Hartwell, Darrell Schweitzer, Lawrence Watt-Evans, and quite a few others.
I participated in three panels that were all well-attended and extremely fun to be a part of. The first was a discussion of comic books as short fiction that included Steve Stiles and covered nearly fifty years of comics history. After that I had an enormous amount of fun discussing SF/F television with Tee Morris (writer/actor), Mike Zipser (host of the Washington cable program Fast Forward), a couple other panelists, and a packed room. Needless to say, we were an opinionated group. The last panel that I was scheduled for was “Fanzines: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” with Alexis Gilliland, Rich and Nicki Lynch, and Steve Stiles. Between the five of us we had about 150 years of publishing experience (with my meager ten years added in). Needless to say, I was honored to be included. The one panel that I got to attend as an audience member was a reading by Michail Velichansky (whose second appearance in Nth Degree is in this very issue). He read a fantastic story that he wrote at this summer’s Odyssey.
Kudos need to be awarded to next year’s Capclave chair, Lee Gilliland, for stepping in at the last minute (9:00 pm Thursday!) to take over the con suite when the previous two con suite organizers got sick. Capclave 2004 is scheduled for October 15-17. More info will be posted at www.wsfa.org.