Con Review: Stellarcon 35

stellarcon2011 by Michael D. Pederson

 

Stellarcon 35
March 4–6, 2011
High Point, North Carolina

If I could give points for “Well, they tried” Stellarcon would get an A+. They’ve been having some staffing problems the last few years but this one brought them a little closer to a solid staff. They still have some work to do though.

Booking Guests of Honor Todd McCaffrey and Larry Elmore was a brilliant first step in revitalizing a con that seems to be having a midlife crisis. Todd and Larry are both friendly, out-going guests that give good programming. Bringing back Jackie Cassada and Nicky Rea as Gaming GoHs after a long period of involuntary GAFIAtion was another great idea as well. As usual, I got to run my Inside the Stellarcon Studio interviews—this year I interviewed Cassada and Rea as well as Fan GoH Bill Mann, who was nothing but fun. That’s always a real highlight for me and the interviews were all very well attended.

Great guests and creative programming were, without a doubt, this year’s high points. On the downside though… As good as the panels were, there could easily have been more. There were several major chunks of dead time scattered throughout the schedule. With six rooms for programming, and a total of 29 hours of programming time to fill my rusty math skills tell me that they could have slotted up to 174 hours of events. There were a mere 88 events on the program grid, roughly half of what they could have done (by comparison, MarsCon—in a smaller hotel and still building up from being a relaxacon—had 83 events). I greatly enjoyed everything I did at Stellar this year, I just wish there had been more.

 

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