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P-Con Newsletter 19th Feb 2008

 P-Con newsletter

With just under six weeks to go, I thought it was a time to give an update. Actually I meant to do so last Friday, but I figured it might be better to type this while not high on painkillers.

First off, John W Sexton sends his regrets but he found that he was double booked for the weekend of P-Con, and despite his best efforts, he is unable to attend this time around. This is a pity, as those of you who know John know that he is a great guest.

On a better note Charlie Stross was awarded the Skylark award from NESFA (not to be confused with our own NISFA).

Speaking of NIFSA, Catie Murphy was the guest speaker last week, and a very good guest she was too.

Back to P-Con now.

It is a tradition of the weekend cons that although they start on the Saturday, many get together on the Friday night for an informal start. Given the busy schedule, we decided to make this a more formal arrangement. So for the night of Friday 28th March, we will have the opening at 20:00 (8 pm) where we will greet you all. This will be followed by John Reppion introducing Brian J Showers who will launch his latest work “The Bleeding Horse And Other Ghost Stories”. This will then be followed by a selection of Edgar Allen Poe tales, presented by the Moonlight Theatre Company. This is, I’m sure you will agree, a unique start to a packed weekend. We may have another event or two that night as well.

The timetable for Saturday is from 10:00 to 18:00 (10am to 6pm) with entertainment such as the casino from 20:30 (8:30 pm) onwards. Sunday will run from 10:00 to 18:00 (10am to 6pm) after which I will be retiring to the bar.

Work is proceeding on the structure and timing of the panels. Some of the panels (just to wet the appetite) are:
# - Alternate Futures
# - Apocalypse Rising
# - The lion, the witch and the bookshelf
# - Boondoggles we knew and loved
# - Comic Books Go to the Movies
# - Ghosts and Vampires and Werewolves, Oh My!
# - Life As The Partner Of A Full Time Author
# - Myth and Folklore in Fantasy
# - Real and Fake Religion in SF/Fantasy
# - Science Fiction is a Girl thing too!
# - The Universal Library
# - Visualisation
# - World domination a project management approach
# - Writers' Workshops & Critique Groups

Of course
a) there are other panels and events, such as the GOH interview, auction etc as well as others not listed here
b) panels are subject to review at very short notice.

We are expecting a large turnout this year, and because of that there will be a number of helpers (including first aid workers) at the con. They will be spotted as they will have badges with a green background (the committee will have badges with a blue background). Should you have any questions, or encounter any problems, you can ask any of these people. The guests will have badges with a black background, so you can easily tell who is who.

The charity supported by P-Con this year is the Christina Noble Childrens Foundation. For those who have not heard of her, Christina is a Dublin woman who had a very tough background – the type that many people would use as an excuse for being an ass or worse. Instead, Christina had a vision of helping orphans in Vietnam and now Mongolia as well. Known by the kids as Mama Tina, it has been said that government officials will run and hide rather than face her. She is one of the great ones of our time. And lets face it, it’s a Noble cause.

As has been done before, there is a code of conduct for the event. I have been asked why we feel one is required, as is this not insulting to those who cause no trouble. I know many of you attending the event personally, and many of you I consider as good friends. However, I still feel that a code of conduct is a very good idea, as it states clearly what is, and what is not, allowed. This will be printed in the program book as well.

1 First and foremost, have a good time. That’s the whole point of the convention!

2 Badges: This is how we know that you paid and are entitled to be admitted, and it must be visible at all times.

3 The committee reserves the right to revoke the membership of any member whose behaviour they feel is disruptive and is preventing others from enjoying the convention.

4 Children under 12 are only admitted to the convention if accompanied by an adult member who will be responsible for them at all times

5 No more ripping off Monty Python sketches in the code of conduct.

6 Remember, the convention guests are people too! While they will probably love to talk to you, they also need time off. And don’t forget that others may wish to talk to them as well. So be polite, otherwise rule 3 may be implemented.

7 Unless otherwise stated, still photography is permitted in general convention areas. For other recording (video, sound etc) you must get permission from the convention committee and the persons involved. Otherwise, use your common sense.

8 Reread rule 1

9 No live animals - with the exception of guide dogs, - may be brought into the convention.

10 Please turn mobile phones off during panels; see rule 3 above. If you must have the phone on, than have it on silent and answer it outside the panel rooms.

11 Can you still remember rule 1? If not, read it again.

12 Items bought at the auction must be paid for in full before they will be handed over.

13 The convention is not responsible for the views and opinions of the guests.

14 Some panels may be of a more mature nature, please do not attend such panels if you feel you may find them offensive.

One last thing, I’m looking for four volunteers to take part in a quiz over the weekend. This is a literature based quiz, and will pit you against the authors. So don’t be shy and step forward.

You can expect more newsletters between now and P-Con. It promises to be a great weekend, and I know that whoever is running P-Con VI will have a hard act to follow.

Speaking of P-Con VI, I am now stating that I will be running P-Con VI in March 2009, and (god help us all) will also be doing P-Con VII in March 2010. This is my why of giving the fates the finger, because they ain’t taking me that easily. We already have a number of guests lined up for P-Con VI.

Till next time, be well.

Frank

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