Con†Stellation XXXV: Horologium (The Clock)
13–15 October 2017——Huntsville, Alabama
|GoH: Mary Robinette Kowal||Artist GoH: David O. Miller||MC: Toni Weisskopf|
The final Con†Stellation is over 🙁
We will be transforming this into a history site
Please bear with us as that transition will take some time
Like many parts of life, science fiction/fantasy conventions develop their own lingo—with regional and local differences. We want to welcome folks who may not quite follow the expressoins so we're trying to explain some of those terms, especially as they relate to Con†Stellation. We intend to add more sections to this page as time goes along.
This page is a work in progress.
What is a "general interest Science Fiction & Fantasy convention"?
Con†Stellation calls itself a general interest sf/f convention. By that we mean that we celebrate all aspects of science fiction, fantasy, and related genres. While Con†Stellation tends a bit toward the literary side, you'll also find our staff & members playing genre games, watching movies & TV, buying collectables in the dealers room, messing around with fantasy weapons, craving that beautiful picture for sale in the art show, and doing just about any thing you can think of that relates in any way to the genre. We also don't focus on just one author or on just one specific type of fantasy or on just one series of movies or any other specific interest. There are fine conventions out there that do that quite well (though you may have to travel quite a distance to get to one of the few cons if your focus is narrow enough).
We want to be straight with you—we're a local fan-run convention so we don't have the resources (space, manpower, money, etc.) to be all things to all people at all times. As an example, back in the day (before a lot of you reading this were even born) our type of convention would be the place to go to see movies in the Video Room. But then, the DVD wasn't even a gleam in it's daddy's eye and VCRs (plus the tapes to plug into them) were new, expensive, and far from common. Over the years genre TV and movies became much more affordable and ubiquitous. Now it would be wasting the hard-earned membership money you gave us to spend it on a Video Room that very few people took advantage of. Were we a huge con with many thousands of people there would be enough people who wanted to see the latest obscure (fill in the country of your choice) TV show that we could devote a room to show the entire season and fill it up with eager viewers.
Instead, we focus on not focusing.
No matter what your interests are you'll almost certainly find other fans—and that term includes all the professionals attending the con—who share one of more of those interests. Being a smaller convention then works to your advantage in that you can actually find those folks then sit and talk to the fans (and pros) about the latest novel from what's-her-face or see if anyone remembers the name of that movie that had who's-it in his first featured role (and someone probably will know) or break open the shrink wrap on a promising new game and try it out with several folks who'd heard of it and wonder how good it is just as much as you do.
What do you mean "Membership" why don't you say "Tickets" if that's what you mean?
The short answer is that we don't, in fact, mean tickets, we mean memberships. Tickets are what you buy to go to a movie or a play or a concert and watch other people perform. Memberships are what you buy if you want to be a participant in something, and we definitely want our members to participate.
A surprisingly large percentage of our members directly help run the convention at some level—on the convention committee (concom) that works for months planing, then runs a department during the con; as staff that works in setting up, running, and breaking down all the con functions; or just as "gophers," the folks who pitch in an hour or three over the weekend to do whatever needs to be done. (And something pretty much always needs to be done.) But even if you don't participate in that way, we'd love you to be the one raising your hand when a panelist calls for questions or stopping another member in the hall to compliment their costume or telling the art show staff how excited you are when you discover a great piece of art you can afford. We think of our convention as a full-contact participant sport. (Well, OK, not full contact. Remember what your kindergarten teacher told you—play nice and share your toys.)
What is a "Con Suite" or "Hospitality Suite"?
People are social animals and conventions of people—no matter what else they are—are social functions. We strive at Con†Stellation to provide things that will inform and educate you about many aspects of science fiction/fantasy (and about science) but we are not robots. No matter how much some of us profess to want to be.
The Con†Stellation Con Suite (or Convention Hospitality Suite) is one of the places to go unwind a bit and grab a drink or a quick nosh or strike up a conversation or just take a load off. Yes, all the food and drink is free... well, your membership money pays for it. The suite is open around the clock for relaxing or soft drinks. Other than late evening or the wee hours, there should be at least some finger foods available. (The 4 fannish food groups are Sugar, Salt, Fat, and Caffeine.) Periodically through the day you'll find much more substantial fare. We recognize that often there's not time for you to go get a full meal somewhere and still catch all the panels and other events you want to see and we don't want you fainting from hunger. (Fat chance of that at Con†Stellation. Pun intended.)
What the Con Suite is not, though, is a place to get all your meals. Play nice. Take some food if it looks interesting (and leave some for the next guy or gal) but also take the time to go out and get a balanced meal. The 6-2-1 rule is a very good idea. (At least 6 hours of sleep a day, at least 2 meals a day (Con Suite or party munches don't count), and at least 1 shower a day... that last is self explanatory ;-)