Con Review: Philcon 2009

philcon2009by Michael D. Pederson


Philcon 2009
November 20–22, 2009
Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Located just across the state line from Philadelphia in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Philcon remains the oldest science fiction convention (yes, they were the first). And this year didn’t show any indications of slowing down from old age. Guests of Honor included Catherine Asaro, Frank Wu, L.A. Banks, and Cory Doctorow. I was disappointed not to get the chance to see Frank Wu; I heard he was there and having a great time but we never crossed paths. On the other hand though, Nth Degree Staff Artist J. Andrew World was quite thrilled to be on a panel with Cory Doctorow.

Programming was, of course, the true star of the show. As always, Philcon put together one of the year’s best programs. With over 250 events listed in the program book there was truly something for everyone. I was kept busy with panels on the science of zombies, natural disasters (moderated by the always-entertaining David Silverman), the fannish generation gap, BBC America, Chuck, and regional science fiction. The only snags I hit were poor attendance to panels on Sunday morning (we had some great parties going on Saturday night) and a lack of program books when I checked in. The program book’s showed up early in the evening on Friday though and the rest of the con ran smoothly. I eagerly await Philcon 2010.


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