SHORE LEAVE 26
I don't do Trek conventions. I'm not a Trekkie. I've seen a few episodes of TOS, several of TNG when my uncle would watch it, and the tribble redux on DS9. I know who the different captains are, I understand why people in red shirts are doomed, and I can appreciate general references to the show. I'm just not really terribly into it. My only reason for going was to help out Luna-C, of which I am now a member.
Having done anime cons for about four years, and having been to a grand total of five sci-fi cons (four of those being consecutive years of MarsCon, which is small and unassuming and does not bite), I wasn't terribly sure what to expect. I was told that Shore Leave is about 50% Star Trek and 50% General Fandom, which calmed me down a bit. I ended up bringing along my Slytherin uniform, along with the things I'd need for the show.
Now, to be fair, I didn't see much of the con itself. I didn't attend any panels, and I only peeked in on a few events. Most of my time was spent hanging with the troupe, talking to individuals, or scoping out the dealers' room. For me, this was a good way to approach the whole thing. So, a bit on those.
The dealer's room at a sci-fi con is always going to rock, unless you're looking for anime. This one, obviously enough, was loaded to the gills with Trek merchandise. There was a corner of old Doctor Who books that caught my attention for awhile, and the rest was general sci-fi. Another great thing about these dealers' rooms is their complete willingness to give you access to cool things. There was a rack of general costume-type things, and in the far right bottom corner, an excellent metal- and woodworker who has cashed in on the Harry Potter trend and started making wands.
Something that's completely un-anime-con, however, is the wide array of fanzine tables. Now, before I start speaking against these fine ladies, let me say a few things in their favour. One, they are (or hire) some excellent artists. Two, they're some of the sweetest people you're ever going to meet. Three, props for writing, printing, and binding all by themselves.
On the other hand ... I have never seen so much bloody Kirk/Spock in my life.
Don't get me wrong. I'm a red-blooded fangirl. I can appreciate some nice slash. But this has to be one of the most disturbing pairings I've ever seen. And yet, according to my friend Gecko, it's got a huge following and a long standing. Thus, I am now firmly convinced that 'TOS' is actually short for The Original Slash.
Speaking of which, on the way to the pirate party Friday night (which I was in for all of five minutes before deciding that I was too tired and the alcohol was too difficult to get to), I walked past a K/S party. All older women. One walked out fanning herself, looked at me with a grin, and said, 'Woo, it's hot in there.' I hated to poke at her fandom, so I just sort of grinned back in that Men-Don't-Know-What-We're-Really-Like way and said, 'I'll bet.'
The sorts you're going to meet at these cons are many and varied, of course ... as at any con. I actually met a lot of folks who, like me, were just along for the ride. There were very few hall costumes, but this had the advantage of making the ones that were there seem all the more impressive. My Hogwarts uniform ended up holding me up in several conversations.
Luna-C in general is a fun crowd. We had two shows: one full one Friday night (rather sparsely attended), and three skits during the masquerade halftime Saturday. It seems that, at least at this con, the attendees aren't used to seeing fully fleshed-out comedy/parody skits, which are pretty much the norm at anime cons.
For those of you who don't do sci-fi cons, the masquerade is incredibly no-nonsense. There's none of this 'two minutes for a single person, three minutes for groups up to three' crap. You get on, you do your thing, and you get the hell off. If your skit is longer than a minute, the audience starts getting antsy. The youth category was first, and between the tiny Corellian smuggler and the four-year-old Jack Sparrow, I thought my head might very well explode from Cute Overload.
The older competitors were either very good or painfully bad. There was one anime costume in the bunch, and a fairly common one at that (not that a lot of these people would have known or cared). Apparently, Shore Leave also has a tradition of stage ninjas. Kasa and all. They were terribly entertaining. They also, to my surprise, believe in opening skits to introduce the emcee. Made me feel rather at home, that.
Would I go to Shore Leave alone? Prolly not. There just isn't enough there to keep me occupied on my own, and I only really enjoy the ambience with a couple friends near me. When I go next year, I'm hoping to get a few friends in a room in the main hotel with me. That would make it a lot better.
Gecko's photos -- Hosted on Photobucket.