Tag Archives: Worldcon

Sasquan World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention – Day 4 Masquerade

Tonight is the Masquerade and for me that was one of the highlights of the convention. Fittingly my first panel of the day was on costume making. It was labeled for teens but I was far from the only adult in there. I was the only male but that isn’t exactly an unusual situation for me. I learned lots including ways to save money doing it. I ended up buying a book called “Surviving your Creativity”. It was written by one of the panelists and has lots of practical solutions to problems you may not have thought of like “How do I go pee in this thing?”

My next panel was a live recording of three Writing Excuses episodes. They are 15 minutes long and talk about writing fiction. The first was about an author survival kit for going to Cons. The second was about plot twists and the third was an audience Q&A on plot twists. They took written questions from the audience and then selected a few to cover. For those of you new to my blog they are excellent for those kids/teens that want to write their own fiction.

Art We Bought
Art We Bought

I went back to the dealer room and the art room which I hadn’t found before. Every time I went into the dealer room I felt that I was finding new dealers. I wasn’t sure if more were arriving or there was just so much to see that I missed things the first time through. We bought one print at the quick buy price and bid on another that we also got. I bought some Tardis pendants for some true Whovians. I also bought the Tardis and Enterprise prints. From her website they appear to be originally murals. I would love one somewhere. Two problems: 1 – Where to put it, 2 – How to pay for it.

Tardis and Enterprise Prints: Darkstars Creation Etsy Store

Tardis Pendant: Keypers Cove Etsy Store

Tardis Pendant
Tardis Pendant

I went back to the kids area with Ian. As we arrived he talked to another person who was dressed as a cat. That person asked where his tail was. That of course led to me having to make a tail. I put some of my new found knowledge to use and made a tail out of colorful cloth, pipe insulation and a little stuffing, all hot glue gunned together. I had trouble keeping it upright on him but my wife fixed that problem.

Kids Ready For The Masquerade
Kids Ready For The Masquerade

As you can see in some of the images, Philip made himself a bow out of PVC pipe and plastic string. It pulled back like a real bow and I think with real arrows it would actually fire. The arrows were completely non functional. One thing that I wasn’t aware of was that weapons of any sort had to be peace bonded. That resulted in Philip encountering security, fortunately in a very friendly way. They checked his bow, drawing back the string, and the arrows. They then deemed it non functional and marked it as peace bonded by putting a blue zip tie on it. They didn’t just single him out, as they finished with him they stopped an adult also carrying a bow.

The smoke in Spokane had been bad all day and it was quite noticeable even indoors. Stepping outdoors to get to the other building for the masquerade revealed how bad it had gotten. I have only once been in smoke condition this bad once before and that was years ago. They were making sure the doors were not held open as people tried to get into the other building. When we got back I looked up the air quality. It was 330, that put it solidly into the ‘Hazardous’ ranking. By morning the wind had come up and cleared it out. Indoors we were just fine. We did hear some stories of people trying to walk in it and having troubles.

“Hazardous” AQI greater than 300. This would trigger a health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.” Source AirNow.gov

The Masquerade is not something that you can really explain. If you have seen pictures of cosplayers on the web that is like watching a baseball game on tv. Being there live is something else entirely and it was wonderful. You can see the official pictures at: Masquerade Pictures

Kamakaze Kids

While the judges deliberated we got treated to an hour of Tom Smith Filk music. Filk came about as a misspelling of folk and basically twists common tunes to science fiction / fantasy humor. As you can see Ian did not make it to the end of the show. That kid can sleep anywhere. We did make him walk back. There was just no way I could carry him that distance. The next morning he had no recollection of the walk.

Ian Asleep At The Masquerade
Ian Asleep At The Masquerade

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Sasquan World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention – Day 3 So Much To Do

Our day started out with a Doctor Who fan fiction video of the 17th doctor. What the blurb didn’t say was that it was Lego and done by a 14 year old. It was 6 minutes long and actually pretty good. I had fun watching it and laughed a few points. The audio could have been cleaner but they are still learning. It will be interesting to see what they come up with next and watch their skills evolve.

At the end they took questions from us. It takes three weeks to make the sets, one week of filming and three months of editing. One person asked them what kind of camera they used clearly expecting an SLR. He pulled a tiny point and shoot out of his pocket and read off the label.

Doctor Who Procession
Doctor Who Procession

Immediately following the movie was the Doctor Who procession. A group of us, a good number in costume, went for a walk through the park. We had two 10th Doctors, a third and two fourths. We also had an ‘Ace’ and a pink Dalek. Lots more had things that represented the show like Fezzes, bow ties and scarves. It was fun to talk to lots of like minded people.

Cosplay 10th Doctor
Cosplay 10th Doctor

At this point we went our separate ways and I went to a panel on 3d printing. There was tons of information and at least three people in the crowd that knew as much as the speaker and he knew plenty. He had designed the base for this year’s Hugos and went through some of that process.

One printer they discussed is one that I would like to get eventually. It is cheap and I saw a kickstarter for it a couple of years ago. At the time it seemed to be a lot of wishful thinking and not a lot of reality. Now they seem to be close to shipping.

On really cool idea that he used for the base is called pepakura. It is another paper craft out of Japan. You use a computer program to flatten a 3d model. You can then cut fold and glue the paper together to make a paper 3d copy. I have found some pdf models. For example here is a Lego man and the website the pdf is from.

My next activity was to go listen to a reading by Brandon Sanderson. I have only read a small selection of his books but I intend to read lots more. I missed what he was reading from but I know it was from ‘The Stormlight Archive’ I think it might be from the third book but I haven’t read the first two so I don’t really know.

I went to two more panels but neither had anything worth talking about. I then went and toured the dealer floor. It was different than I thought. I expected bigger and a lot of useless junk to sort through. While there were a few with the plastic junk that I try to steer my kids clear of, most had made what they were selling or at least knew who did. Most of it was quite expensive and for good reason, it was gorgeous. There were also a number of book sellers. I didn’t buy anything this first day but I did make note of a few place to return to.

After dinner we went to a reading of ‘Where’s My Cow’ by Terry Pratchett. With the audience supplying the sound effects for all the animals and citizens of the city.

Today we also discovered the ‘Con suite’ with free food. I think it would be possible to go the whole Con without buying any food. We ate there a lot as it was convenient and free but we had dinner out a couple of the nights. Tomorrow is the masquerade and for me that was one of the highlights.

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Sasquan World Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention – Day 2 First Night Celebrations

We moved hotels first thing in the morning. The hotel we had booked was the DoubleTree attached to the convention center. We wanted the kids to be able to return to the room if they needed. We got parked but couldn’t get our room until the afternoon.

The registration line was much bigger in the morning. Where I had just walked up to the counter in the evening, now it was a 30 minute line. We have a number of the changes we would make if we get to do this again.

Carousal
Carousel

We still had some time before everything started for the day so we went and explored the park. We walked down far enough to see the upper falls. We then walked back and came across a carousel built in 1909.

Upper Falls
Upper Falls

The first panel that I went to with the kids was one on the upcoming Star Wars movie and our expectations. It was interesting as they discussed the different expectations the kids have compared to us adults who saw it back in the 70s. Did they enter via I, II, III or IV, V, VI or the Clone Wars cartoons. They discussed for us old timers I, II, III were a disappointment because we knew the ending. There was little suspense. For example we know that Obi Wan can’t die because he dies in IV. They also discussed the changes in the DVD release to make the first three a little more PC. Han shot first!

Margaret's Hair
Margaret’s Hair

We then went and checked out the kids area. I like the way they set it up as it offered the most freedom without a lot of worries. The older kids were tagged as comets meaning that they could come and go on their own. Ian was tagged as a satellite meaning that he would be stopped if he tried to leave the room. It was by no means escape proof and they made that clear. It was also a lot of fun so really Ian didn’t want to go anywhere else.

The kids started making costumes. Unbeknownst to us a number of people helping out in the kids area were costumeers. They had a lot of knowledge that we should have made more use of early on. Still the kids had fun and it was mostly their work. Ian wanted to be a colorful cat, Margaret a Time Lady and Philip a Ranger. One of the fellows did a beautiful braid of Margaret’s hair that made a braid crown with flowers woven in.

We went to the opening ceremonies leaving Ian at the kids room. My older two kids were recruited as we sat down. I didn’t know what they were going to be doing. The ceremonies started with Native Storyteller giving a traditional blessing. From there he told three stories to his ‘grandkids’ of which two were Philip and Margaret. The stories were traditional but in the setting the fantasy elements stood out. All had a moral to them. We all enjoyed them.

They introduced the guests of honor. One was David Gerrold who among other things was the creator of Tribbles ie “Trouble with Tribbles”. One of the other guests was a NASA astronaut but his launch date got pushed back and he ended up on the ISS during the con. He appeared via video at the end of which he announced that one of David’s critters had snuck on board. He then threw a Tribble at the camera.

My Little Pony Attacks
My Little Pony Attacks

The first night celebrations were fun. First we got free Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream cones. Yummy and I haven’t one in ages. One activity was ‘Choose your own Apocalypse’. Three guests described their version of the apocalypse and we voted through a series of steps. We had Climate Change, Cheese Monsters (Think the blob made out of Cheese) and a serum that changed people into My Little Ponies (Think Zombies). The winner ended up being the ponies. Ian got to demonstrate by chasing down another kid with a balloon animal that he had from earlier.

Philip Trying On an Armour Helmet
Philip Trying On an Armour Helmet

We all enjoyed watching a group spar with medieval weapons and very heavy armor. The weapons clanked as they connected. They let the kids try some on.

Margaret Trying On an Armour Helmet
Margaret Trying On an Armour Helmet

We had a very late dinner and went to bed.

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