March 19-21, 2004
High Point, North Carolina
Ah, Stellarcon. It will always be dear to me as, two years ago, Stellarcon 26 was my very first con. And what a way to be indoctrinated! Surrounded by a Garrison of mysterious men in stormtrooper gear. Hubba, hubba. Well, the 501st was back in even greater force this year. Along with others dressed in Star Wars attire, they collectively honored guest Timothy Zahn for his work in keeping the Star Wars stories going. Stellarcon’s Guests of Honor included Fred Saberhagen (Writer), Rowena (Artist), and Steven S. Long (Gaming). Rowena’s work gracing the cover of the program guide was really impressive.
Organized by the SF3 (Science Fiction Fantasy Federation from UNC-Greensboro) and held once again at the downtown High Point Radisson, Stellarcon’s overall program was just top-notch. Lots of well-crafted concurrent sessions, writer’s workshops, movies, a solid gaming track organized by the ubiquitous Ron McClung, and even an entire kids’ track all day Saturday. The Masquerade, while well-attended, was fairly average with most contestants literally running on and off the stage. And if one was looking for a quick break from the Con’s content, one could drop in to the hotel restaurant or bar and find writer John Ringo telling stories and holding court. Bill Mann, Jr., Stellarcon’s Chair, shared that plans for Stellarcon 29 are still a bit up in the air. As of this printing, their website (www.stellarcon.org) tentatively reports it will be held March 11-13, 2005, in Greensboro, NC. As a University-affiliated group, there are a number of rules they must follow to secure (hotel) contracts. They can only hope that the local businesses (hotels) support them in that process. We wish Bill and his great team the best of luck in getting next year confirmed and well-attended.
The after-hours social events at Stellarcon are always just as much fun as the daytime hours. As the date was fairly close to St. Patrick’s Day, the Nth Degree team couldn’t resist hosting a very green—and glowing!—shindig. Be sure to check out our next Con party to get your glow on. And I can’t end this review without givin’ the props to Bobba Fett. If swooning over a cold, somewhat sinister costume—and the stranger within—is wrong, I don’t ever wanna be right. And to think, two years ago, I was a Con virgin.