SHORE LEAVE 27
Shore Leave was good to me last year. Farpoint was good to me mid-year. And Shore Leave was good again this year. Unfortunately, seeing as I got in rather late on Friday night, I missed some of the things I would have liked to do. Nonetheless, I was there for the majority of the con, and enjoyed immensely as usual.
First things first: the masquerade. I would like to give huge kudos to the staff for the sheer level of organisation. For those who've never been in a Farpoint or Shore Leave masquerade, here's the deal: when you report in, you're given a little ticket stub with all your info (you are not required to turn this in or anything - it's just for your own edification). You're assigned to a 'den' according to your number, so that the coordinators can find you. Oh, and the video feed backstage is actually good and has sound. That was the best part. And the trophies are gorgeous - once I get ahold of a camera, I'll prove it.
Art room. They moved it and no one could find it. To my credit, I tried. Staff: if you're gonna move an event or room, put up a little map showing where it's gone.
Panels? Lots of science ones, as usual, which is a nice thing. The great thing about this con is that I can actually come away learning things. The new Doctor Who panel was the one I was most excited about, though ... but it came off as somewhat unorganised and not as good as it could have been. I really would've liked the chance not necessarily to run it, but to at least supply stuff to the people who ran it.
Guests ... not bad. Pat Tallman is an awesome lady. The Chromatics are also awesome people, and did a great halftime show.
Time for my one complaint: the dealer's room. Okay, now, there's some awesome stuff there. Sir Nicodemys was back, as well as a fellow who deals in replica swords (very nice quality ones, too). The fanzines were back, of course ... lots of jewelry, of course ... and ... bootlegs.
Now, my feeling is that if it can't be accessed commercially in one's region, one should have the right to download it, or else buy it for the price of the medium upon which it is recorded. Dealers were selling new-season Doctor Who, anime and J-drama, and God knows what else that I already have downloaded, for a stupid amount of money and at ridiculously bad video quality. It drives me mad to hear that people actually shell out for these, when they could download them or even just trade for them. Shore Leave? Nix the bootleggers. PLEASE. This is the only thing I dislike about this con, but I dislike it with a passion.
Tip of the hat goes to the massage-chair lady, who clearly knows where her clientelle really are. More cons need that sort of thing, especially if people are having to take the Beltway up and back.
Could sign off with a 'Good con as usual,' but I want to add a little extra. Shortly before the con, Bobbi Gear (a regular judge and the wife of Marty Gear) died of cancer. She was a wonderful woman, and sorely missed by everyone there, including myself. My condolences go out to the Gear family and everyone on staff who was close to her.