CONvergence 2001

December 1st, 2003 | by Sqotty |

This is the Twin Cities big convention. Held at the Radisson Bloomington, a hotel nicely laid out for SF conventions, with main party rooms in the cabana surrounding the pool, and meeting rooms throughout the hotel. Attendance was expected to hit 2000, which puts it on a par with BayCon.

The con itself has done a great job of setting up a film room, complete with sofas and easy chairs. The two main media guests will be holding court there and presenting “The Empire Strikes Back”. Sounds to be most impressive. The dealers room was full of stuff appealing to most fans, t-shirts, games, swords and daggers, costume stuff, jewelry, as well as books, although I thought that the book selections were lacking (two used book dealers and one new books dealer with a small selection). There was also a science room with displays provided by local astronomy groups and the local chapter of the Mars Society.

The Science Room
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On the first night, although there were many panels, I pretty much missed them, except opening ceremonies, which was very entertaining, opening up with a video poking fun at the hotel they were at last year (“Change the date, or change the hotel…next time, change the date”) with a Wizard of Oz parody. A group of storm troopers made a special presentation of Dr. Pepper to the guests. There was also a 42 towel salute as a send off to Douglas Adams, author/creator of the HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy.

The Friday night party scene was excellent. The local KAG group, IKV RakeHell, were doing their 60’s hippy protestors, handing out draft cards and chanting “give war a chance”. The Sith party served up “Hore Frost”, an intoxicating beverage that was served ice cream float style. Even some of the Feddies showed a touch of style and imagination with very nice, non-standard, star fleet uniforms.

The IKV RakeHell Party
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The IKV RakeHell Party
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The science panel on the solar system (John Lynch, Jay Curry, Michael Sanford): “panspermia” discussion that life on earth did not originate here, but came here via comet, meteor, or other means. discussion of a previous solar system that existed here, prior to what existed, referred to as Nemesis, and bacteria carried here on meteorites contain living amino acids. Seeds found in the pyramids have become germinated, proving that although there cannot be life without water, there are still delivery systems that can carry life from one location to another. is a recommended website on the subject. An interesting point was made that we (the Earth) have NOT been visited by alien visitors, as they would, most likely, leave behind some bits of their native micro-biology, and if that should prove stronger than the native micro-bilgy, life here as we no it, would have been wiped out. This can be extrapolated and taken further. There was also discussion of free roaming planetary bodies.

Empire Strikes Back: both Peter and Michael agreed that no one, except maybe the three top billed actors (Mark, Carry and Harrison) had a complete script due to the tight security involved in the making of the film. Michael was asked if George Lucas liked his death, said that Lucas told him that it was the best screen death he had seen. Asked who they modeled their characters on, Michael said “Hitler!? I don’t know”, Peter said he went done to the zoo, modeled after apes and chimps. Chewie would get a guideline from the GL. David and Peter admit they have their call sheets, the only souvenirs they have from shooting empire. Peter told us that the voice of Chewie was actually recordings of a brown bear made at the San Diego Zoo, but he still had to make noises in order to get reactions from the cast embers during the shoots.

“The Empire Strikes Back”
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“The Empire Strikes Back”
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Down on the cabana was a leisure chat room, Krushenko’s, where topics of discussions included biohorror genre, and what makes it different from other horror stories, from H.G. Wells and H.P. Lovecraft to Michael Crichton and the Andromeda Strain. This discussion eventually lead into FrankenFood, the genetic engineering of food stocks and the socail/health impact it is having, such as the recent Starlink corn ending up in the human food chain debacle.

Room parties were the places to be on Saturday night, jammed pack with partiers drifting from room to room and conversation to conversation. Krushenko’s was frequently busy, and the RakeHell protest party was jammed pack through most of the evening. The Feddies were out in full force, and the frequent encounters with the Klingon’s ended in drinks and good cheer. The highlight of the evening was Klingon Wedding of K’Elvis, the King of Rock and Roll!

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Sunday was, as with most three day cons, a relatively slow day, with nothing happening until after 10, and more accurately after 12, as most con goers were sleeping in after a long night of reveling. Michael Sheard and Paul Mayhew were back at it, signing autographs for the fans and chatting it up. Nice guys, and I, for one, hope to see them again.

The closing ceremony was the main event of the day. Most cons that I had been to that had a closing ceremony, I found it rather dull, however, ConVergence was different. It was opened by the/crew of the IKV RakeHell performing “The Big Sleep Strikes Back”, a Star Wars noir skit written in a style reminiscent of the hard boiled detective novels of Raymond Chandler. The audience roared with laughter as Qui-Gon Marlowe went on the trail to find the missing Luke Skywalker, hired by Princess Leia weilding a cigarette at the end of a very long extended filter wand, only to be chastised by her when he fails to turn up anything but Han Solo frozen in carbonite. It ended with Marlowe requesting the barkeep to “play it again, Sam” and the Stars Wars theme.

Scenes from “The Big Sleep Strikes Back”

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Additional photos at Convergence

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