Con Review: I-Con 23

ICon23by Michael D. Pederson


I-Con 23
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.


Con Review: I-Con 22

I-CON22by Michael D. Pederson


I-Con 22
March 28-30, 2003
Stony Brook, New York

What is there left to say about I-Con that we didn’t say last year? When over 6,000 guests descend on the SUNY campus at Stony Brook you know it’s going to be a heck of a party. Too many guests to mention by name, they covered a full spectrum of interests: media stars, gamers, filkers, artists, authors, scientists, and publishers were all represented by over one hundred different guests and programming participants. At any given time there were nearly forty different programming tracks running. Given the size of the convention, it was inevitable that there would be a few grumbles from the crowd… The anime room was unable to get several of the films they had scheduled, the dealer’s room (though very large and well-attended) closed too early on Saturday night, and some of the programming was mis-scheduled. And there will always be people complaining about the official hotel being twenty minutes from the convention. Even with these minor snafus, I-Con still holds its own as one of the top conventions on the east coast.


Con Review: I-Con 21

ICon21by Catherine E. Twohill


I-Con 21
April 19-21, 2002
Stony Brook, New York

I stands for Island, Long that is… Stony Brook, Long Island’s I-CON is billed as a three-day festival, designed to encourage literacy, creativity and interest in science and technology through science fiction and its related genres. Their billing is dead-on. Over 6,000 guests took over SUNY at Stony Brook’s campus the weekend of April 19-21. Workshops and panel sessions were interwoven with medieval jousting on the Quad and autograph jousting from Billy Boyd (Peregrin (Pippen) Took, Lord of the Rings) and a number of stars from Babylon 5. Con content was varied and abundant. At any given time, attendees could hear from writers, gamers, comic artists, and publishers or attend interactive workshops and share their own thoughts and ideas for peer feedback. Tightly organized, I-CON has much to be proud of. I-CON 22 is slated for March 28-30, 2003.