March 26-28, 2004
Stony Brook, New York
Every time I hear fans complain that kids don’t come to cons anymore, I want to pack them up and ship them off to Stony Brook to show them that some young adults really do attend conventions. This year was my third year attending I-Con and I’m still impressed with the huge numbers of college-aged fans that are in attendance. A lot of this is because, in addition to the art and literary programming, I-Con runs quite a bit of media and anime programming as well. Holding the con on a college campus doesn’t hurt either. This year’s guest list was pretty amazing, with Author GoHs Daniel Keyes and Connie Willis, Artist GoH Rowena, and Special Guests that included Scott Edelman, David Kyle, Stanley Schmidt, and Esther Friesner. Oddly though, with such an amazing array of literary talent gathered in Stony Brook, the programming schedule had the weakest literary track that I’ve seen in my three years at I-Con. It was a bit of a disappointment. Well, that and the fact that for the second year in a row our fanzine was placed on the “Cool Stuff” track rather than the Literary track. I don’t mind being considered cool but I’d much rather be placed on a track with my fellow writers and editors than on a track where the only other participants are Furries (I’m still not sure how I ended up on a Furry panel, but it turned out to be fun). These complaints aside, there was plenty to do and not enough time to do it all. I-Con seems to continue to grow every year and is billing itself as the Northeast’s largest SF convention. It looks to me like it’s becoming Dragon*Con North; I leave it to you to decide if that’s a good thing or not.