Vol.  22,  No.  1   Jan.  2002

Newsletter  of  the           
Publshed  monthly
(via  e-mail)  by
The  Rochester  Fantasy  Fans
POB  31701
Roch.,  NY    14603-1701
Dale  Gulledge  editor
re-posted  here  by  Zonker

Welcome to the new RochesterFantasy Fans  newsletter.  This is a free  service by the RFF to its members, friends, and possible future    friends.  Many of you know us already.  You've attended our   convention, Astronomicon , as members, guests ordealers.  Perhaps   you've watched Wayne Brown'sshow Reality Fast Forward   on cable.   However, for someof you we may be new acquaintances.  For those of   you who have met us recently through ourraffles at movie openings, this may be your introduction toorganized science fiction and fantasy   fandom.  Please take a moment to read this brief article andconsider    what we have to offer.

The Rochester Fantasy Fans has been around for 22 years.  We are a  science fiction and fantasy fan club.  Most of  ourmembers share a   common interest in SF&F books,  moviesand TV shows.  However, we  have    several  members  withan interests in games, comics, SF&Fart
(professional and fan), filk singing, and other related fannish   activities.

I can only speak for myself in this, but science fiction fandom is my   biggest hobby.  It is how I relax.  When I look forward to spending  my   spare time, it iseither reading a good SF novel or discussing it with  friends.  I am delighted to have found a circle of friends toshare     this with.  We loan each other books,keep each other up-to-dateon    when new movies and TVshows are coming out and  soforth.  Without my  friends, I would have missedquite a few thingsthat I have enjoyed   enormously.

For those of you who have been in fandomfor a while,conventions are   a familiar concept.  But for peoplenew to SF fandom, the science   fiction convention carrieswith it a stereotype.  Yes, many of us do    wearcostumes at conventions.  Yes, we do some weird things.  Any    group with non-mainstream interests is going to seem strange fromthe   outside.  And to someone meeting us for thefirst time in person, this   can be a bit intimidating.  After all, how do you join in a game    already in progresswhen you don't even know the rules?  If youare   new to fandom and want to know how to enjoy yourfirst convention,    please read my article, EnjoyingYour First Convention, in this issue.

Thanks to Tinseltown
and the Barony of Thescorre
Several members of the Rochester Fantasy Fans have appeared in costume  for the openings of  'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone'  and'The Lord  of the Rings' at the Tinseltown Theater in Gates .  Weraffled off gift   baskets as a publicity event for RFF and     Astronomicon (seethe UpcomingConventions section of this newsletter for a noticeabout

We would like to extend our thanks to the Tinseltown Theaterfor  allowing us to hold these events.  Working with Bronwento plan them  was a pleasure.  We were also delighted by the friendlyemployees who  asked how we were doing during the lulls.  We hope tobe back for   similar raffles at future movies.  Please look for usthere.

At the Harry Potter opening it was our pleasure to speak toLady  Gwendolyn the Graceful (aka Lee Hillman), Chatelaine of theBarony of Thescorre, the local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Lady Gwendolyn also helps to run a Harry Potter fanfictionweb site called Fiction Alley.  We suggested ajoint effort forthe Lord of the  Rings opening and sheaccepted onbehalf of the Barony.  We were  joinedby Lady Gwendolyn and Lady Peregrine, the Baroness-elect.  We  certainly hope to see more of them in the future.

A Request For Event Notices
Because this is a fan-run, money-losing newsletter,we don'thave a  publication schedule worked out yet.  We are going totry to come to  you monthly around the end of each month with news about theupcoming  month.  We have limited resources, especially time, sowe are going  to   miss some newsworthy events.  If you know of any sciencefiction or  fantasy related events that we should announce, please letus know.  Here are our requirements for announcements:

1) The event must have something to do with sciencefictionand   fantasy fandom, or be of interest to thefannish community.  My    rule of thumb as the editoris that if I have seenit at a    convention, or in a sciencefiction or fantasy publication,it is   probably closeenough.

2) Events must be open to the public.  They don't haveto be free to   the public, but if there is an admission price, tellus.

3) For events not sponsored by the Rochester Fantasy Fans,we will
include a disclaimer saying that they are not our  events.  We  need   to know who the sponsoring person or organization  isto publish   contact information.

4) All events announced in this newsletter must be within  areasonable  distance of Rochester, New York. That is wherewe are based, it is   where our members are (for the most part) and wheremany of our
readers are.  For short duration events, we are only announcing
those within easy driving distance of Rochester.  For conventions   running the whole weekend, we allow for somewhat longerdriving   distances.

5) We aren't running ads.  You aren't paying us for thespace and we   are assuming that our readers don't want to read anewsletter  composed of nothing but advertising copy.  Wehave no objection  to   providinglinks to the web site for your organizationor event. In  the end, we'll draw the line at those announcementsthat we believe    will interest a significant portion of our readership.

6) This is a text-only newsletter for the moment.  Manyof our readers   are on slower dialup connections.  We don't wantto flood their   mailboxes.  Keep your announcements to a reasonablelength,and if   you have pictures, give us a URL for the event's website.

7) Please proofread your writing.  Use your spell checkeras well.   I'm not a professional editor and your writing willlook much   better if you don't pretend that I am.

Enjoying Your FirstConvention
There are two schools of thought on science fiction fandom.  One   asserts that fandom is a way of life.  Theother insists that it is  just a hobby.  If you are already in theformercamp, I probably have  little to tell you thatyou don't already know aboutattending a Con.  However,there are more people for who science fictionis a hobby than  there are who consider it a lifestyle.

Even at most conventions, the majority of the members (attendees) are  not in costume and have not read every SF book ever  published.  As
much as some fans tend to forget at times, at every  conthere are  people who are attending their first con.  We oftenrefer to them as  neo-fans (or neo-fen, using the colloquial fannish jargon),and we  were all neo-fen once.

At their best, cons are social events.  They are places to meet people  with common interests and renew old friendships.  Just because of who  my friends are, I saw more of my college friends at  thelast World Con   than I did at my last class reunion.  That is oneof the hazards of a  circle of friends spread across several classes.

Many neo-fans will attend a con and miss out on the  socialinteraction
because other fen are busy renewing their old friendships.  We can  often seem like a closed inner circle to theneo-fan.  To the  "old-hands", I humbly request,don't just invite neo-fento cons, show  a few what acon has to offer.  To the neo-fen,I offer some specific  suggestions:

1) Most of the authors and artists who appear as guests at conventions are great people.  They are often quite friendly, and usually  very interesting.  Not all of the guests' namesappear on the fliers.  There areGuests of Honor (GoHs) and other guests.  Every con  Ihave ever attended welcomes additional guests.  Go to some of their
panels.  Listen to them, and talk to them.  They are somewhat  less  likely to be swarmed over by fans and may havethe time to chat for   a while.  Offer to buy them coffee.  But please remember  that they   are human too.  They get tired just likethe rest of us. Letthe   conversation end.

2) Don't try just one thing.  One of the common threads of discussion   at Philcon (this year's World Science FictionConvention) was the question, "Which con did you attend?" Thereare people whocome   just for gaming, or anime, or filk, or costuming,or the art show.   There is absolutely nothing wrong with havinga strong interest in
one particular facet of fandom.  If youdo, enjoy it. But take a   little time to try other things.  The oddsare good that you  will   enjoy some ofit.

3) The Convention Committee (ConCom) is not just a job.  First of all,
jobs come with pay checks.  Secondly, noone onthe ConCom has  just  one job.  We can useyourhelp.  Fandomhas a long history  of  volunteerism.  That is how conventions  actuallyhappen. Just  compare the prices of conventions for professionalorganizations   with an SF Con.  The major difference isthat Cons are run by   volunteers.  If you see a job being donethat you can help with,   don't be afraid to offer.  We won't thinkless of you if you   don't, but we certainly remember the people  whodo.  Most of  us   will be happy to talk to you about fandom, cons,and whatever else   too.

On behalf of the Astronomicon'01 ConCom, I  offerour profound   thanks to thestudents from Alfred College whohelped us out. I   haveattended many cons over the years. 
I have volunteered at some 
of them, and I have been on the ConCom of Astronomiconfor the past  few years.  Our concensus is that you reamong the best volunteers we have seen anywhere.

4) Don't forget to take care of yourself.  Eat, drink enough water,  get some sleep.  You don'twant to be deadtired before the  con is   over.

5) Don't spend money you don't have.  My vice is art.  Yours may  be videos, games, or books.  Don't buy it ifyou can't afford it. If   you have to, get a dealer's address and ordersomething when your   tax refund arrives.  We want you to supportthe dealers in our   dealers' room.  They are great people,andthey have some wonderful   things for sale.  We also want you to supportthe artists who have  sent us so many works for our art show.  But don't file for bankruptcy on Monday.

6) Remember that Cons are social events.  Theyarean opportunity to
meet people.  I'm a bit shy myself.  But I can overcome  that by   finding or creating a situation centered arounda common interest. That common interest naturally creates an opportunityfor  conversations. 

on  the  RFF  site

Main  page  &  site  Hub

Astronomicon  Info

ASTRON  archives

LINKS  pages

Meeting  dates

Convention  Photos
(not  Astronomicon)

Upcoming Conventions
This section of our newsletter will carry  announcements  for
conventions in the coming months.  Wewant allofyou tocome to
Astronomicon '02 in November.  But in  the meantime,  we want to thank
all the folks from out of town who have  come back year  after year. We
know you are running cons of your own  and we want to  help you get the
word out too.

We will run these notices for several
months in advance. We will try

to note when a deadline for discounted pre-registration  prices is
coming up.  We will also note other
deadlines when  we know about them,

such as pre-registration deadlines
for babysitting services.

Except for Astronomicon,the
Rochester Fantasy Fans  do  not run,

sponsor or endorse any of these
conventions.  We  are sure that our

lawyers would have told us to say
something like that. We have

attended several of these in the past.

For this issue, we are getting our
information from  a  couple of

convention lists:

The Northeast Science Fiction
Conventions list:

The SF-Lovers Conventions List:
Arisia '02
   January 18-20, 2002 -- Boston, MA
   The deadline for babysitting
registration  is December 31, 2001.

For babysitting information contact babysitting@arisia.org.
  Memberships are $40  at the  door  now.  They  are  requesting that all payments  now  be made at  the door to eliminate the  possibility  of  lost memberships.

Genericon XV
   January 18-20, 2002 -- Troy, NY
Genericon's web site is back  up folks!  Okay, this is  probably old  news by the time I've written  it here,but they want anyone  who  missed them while they were  down to know  that it was temporary.
  For non-students, the
pre-registration  price is $15 and the price
  at the door is $20.  I wasn't  able  to find a pre-reg deadline,but   this con is in a couple of  weeks folks,  if the deadline isn't  already past, then it is real soon now.

Pandemonium 19
   January 18-20, 2002 -- Toronto, ON

  Registration is $40  at  the  door.  Prices  are in Canadian  dollars folks.  Enjoy the exchangerate.

See  our  Convention  Calendar 
and  Con  links  page

The  following  cons  are  not  yet  listed  there. 

Katsucon 8
   February 15-17, 2002 -- Arlington, VA
Shevacon 10
   February 22-24, 2002 -- Roanoke, VA
JohnCon '02
March 1-3, 2002 -- Baltimore, MD
   March 1-3, 2002 -- Lancaster, PA
Intercon B
   March 8-10, 2002 -- Chelmsford, MA
Madicon 11
   March 29-32, 2002 -- Harrisonburg, VA
Filkontario 12
   April 12-14, 2002 -- Toronto, ON
OurCon XI
   April 19-21, 2002 -- Amherst, MA
The Black Road 2002
   May 17-19, 2002 -- Marlborough, MA
Anime North
   May 24-26, 2002 -- Toronto, ON
Contata 3
   June 21-23, 2002 -- NYC Area, NY
Monster Bash 2002
   June 21-23, 2002 -- Butler, PA
Albacon 2002
   October 4-6, 2002 -- Schenectady, NY

   The Rochester Fantasy Fans
would like  to  extend our thanks  to the
  ConCom of Albacon.  We have
enjoyed  an ongoing exchange  of ideas
  about running Cons with
you for several  years.


It is not too late for the  cheap pre-reg prices yet!  Get your  registration postmarked by  March 31, 2002  and the price is  only  $30.  After that, through  September  6, 2002 the pre-reg  price only  goes up to $35.  If you  wait to register  at the door,  it is going    to cost you $45.  I'm sure that the  Albacon ConCom  likes  pre-reg
memberships as much as we do.

Astronomicon '02
  Nov.  1-3, 2002 --  Rochester,NY

This is Rochester's own  convention. In 2002, we  are pleased  to be
bringing you some wonderful  guests.

Our Guest of Honor  will be

David Weber, author of quite  a number  of  books, including the

popular Honor Harrington  series. Since I knowwe have  some  military SF fans among our membership,  his panels should be  a real   treat.

Our Artist GoH will be Ruth Thompson. Her work has proven  very
popular in our art shows  for several years. This year  it will be  our privilege to have her join  us in person.

Our Fan GoH needs no  introduction in fannish  circles. Forrest  Ackerman is perhaps fandom  personified. He is a fount of   information about SF and fandom,  an insightful  speaker, and  a
delight to meet.  He is doing us  the
honor of appearing  at
  Astronomicon this year.  Please  take  the time to hear him speak or  read one of his favorite stories.

We have a Filk GoH!  Mike 'Moonwulf'  Longcor has agreed to bring
  his talents to Rochester. 
Don't  let  him be the only one  with a

guitar at the con.  We will have  filk!  With any  luck, the hotel  will like us anyway.