Necronomicon 2000 was held on October 20-22, 2000 at the Radisson Inn Sabal Park. James Hogan and Lynn Abbey were Guests of Honor. Additional guests included Jack Haldeman, Barbara Delaplace, Owl Goingback, Lew Hartman, Joseph Green, Timothy Zahn, Rick Wilber and Richard Lee Byers.
There was no construction work done on the hotel this year. The restaurant was open this year. Unfortunately the hotel overbooked for the weekend. At least three groups who reserved suites did not get them. It seemed that thermostat was set extra low on Saturday. It was low enough to wear my sweater for the rest of the day.
The Necronomicon film program was up to the usual standard. The best SF/Fantasy theatrical and TV films of the last year were shown. Such films included The Sixth Sense, The Arabian Knights, GalaxyQuest and Dogma. Joey Reynolds provided a Doctor Who presentation, which included recent documentaries and The Curse of the Fatal Death, a special starring Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Grant and Joanna Lumley as the Doctor. There was also a Star Wars presentation that featured fans films like Hardware Wars, Troops, and Dark Redemption. Animae was on at all hours. This included a presentation of music videos using English songs and animae footage. Songs came from artists like Limp Biskit, Sarah McLuaghlin and Ramstein. In some videos it appeared the music synch in the lips of the characters.
There were three trivia contests at this year's Necronomicon. The first was a movie quote game. A panel of learned movie buffs was assembled. An audience member would read a quote and try to stump the panel. The panelists were rewarded with Mardi Gras beads if he/she were able to identify where the quote came from. If the audience member were able to stump the panelist, he/she would be rewarded with beads. If they failed to stump the panelist they would receive candy or popcorn. The second contest was the traditional trivia contest that encompassed all areas of speculative fiction. OASFiS was well represented with Arthur Dykeman in The Freakin Four team and I was in General Products Incorporated. Competition was fierce. The winner was General Products Inc. The team also consisted of Lowell C. Johnson, Dennis Pupello, and Perry “D.B. Cooper” Bruns. The third trivia contest was based on the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire show. Contestants sat in the hot seat and were asked four multiple-choice questions. A prize was awarded for each successful answer. The contestants got eliminated if they answered wrong. Again OASFiS was well represented by Arthur Dykeman and myself. Arthur successfully answered all four of his questions. I stumbled on question number 4. I could not remember whether Damon Knight or Jerome Bixby wrote the story that inspired The Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man”.
Ed Wysocki discussed The Heinlein Mystery. Robert A. Heinlein wrote an article in the book The SF Novel. In the article, Heinlein discussed how a device that was described in a story and became a real device used in navy ships during World War II. This incident was also refered to in a few of Heinlein’s letters in Grumbles from the Grave. Wysocki has been trying to figure out what the device was. Wysocki got in contact with long time Heinlein friend Yoji Konodo. Konodo got in touch with Virginia Heinlein. Mrs. Heinlein could not remember what the device was but said it was probably linked to fellow Annapolis classmate Cal Lanning. Lanning was at both Pearl Harbor and Midway. He was decorated with both the Legion of Merit and the Naval Cross and retired as a Rear Admiral. Lanning also collaborated with Heinlein on an article on orbiting nuclear weapons. Lanning also did some work on Combat Information Center (CIC) used in navy ships. Given the dates of the letters Wysocki has been able to narrow the number of possible where the device may have appeared in to 22 works. The best candidate so far is “If This Goes On” since there is a landcrusier battle that involve a CIC. At first he thought it was the dead reckoners but Wysocki found out they had been in use for before any of the stories were written. The Wysocki’s best guess now is that it is some infrared signal system. He has published his investigation in the Annapolis alumni journal and The Heinlein Journal. Wysocki is continuing his investigation.
Kevin Kinne, Frank Frey, Matthew DiPalma, and Timothy Zahn discussed War What is it Good For? Frey pointed out that war has always been a theme in SF since the nineteenth century.. DiPalma thinks that any intelligent species is bound to be competitive. Zahn felt to end war everyone has to agree to it. Countries can avoid war if they truly wish. The United States avoided war with England in the middle of the Civil War. The Soviet Union avoided war with Japan before World War II. Kevin Kinne believed the road to peace lies in the ability to compromise. Frey discussed the fact that experience can color someone’s writing by comparing the works of Robert Heinlein and Joe Haldeman. The panel discussed how race and culture could affect war.
Heinlein, Asimov, and Clarke were the subject of SF Trinity panel. Ed Wysocki, Barbara Delaplace, George Ewing and Craig MacDougal started the panel by discussing personal encounters they had with the Big Three. Barbara Delaplace felt Heinlein had the most impact on the field. Asimov’s contribution was writing real science that added respectability to the field. The panel went on to discuss the strengths of the trinity. Of the three Heinlein has been poorly treated by Hollywood. I told the panel of a very bad adaptation of “Nightfall” which came to theaters in the late 80s. Other writers such as Burroughs have not aged well. All three were nuts and bolts inventors. In the area of prediction some feel Asimov predicted pocket calculators. Heinlein predicted the coming of the Cold War in “Solution Unsatisfactory”. Some said that Astounding was read both by Von Braun and the scientists at Oak Ridge. Delaplace felt that Heinlein did woman characters better than any of his contemporaries.
There was an unexpected surprise at masquerade. Veteran of several Necronomicon masquerades, OASFiS member Arthur Dykeman was a judge at this year’s Masquerade. The job was not easy since there were several good costumes. OASFiS was also well represented by Rhiannon Smith’s “Dead Teen”. Julia Langston, OASIS Masquerade winner, won second place for being both Christine and the Phantom from Phantom of the Opera. Other Second Place winners included Katie Myer’s Fallen Angel, Demons Delight (a trio of malevolent spirits), and Amanda Swilley’s Wood Sprite. First place winners included Bill Manto’s Donna Matrix (a techno fairy), Mickey Lacoose’s Queen Nepahrateri (the queen was wrapped in gauze with her jewelry showing), Nasgul from Lord of the Rings, and Crow the Spirit animal. The Best in Show award went to a group that recreated the movie cast of the X-Men. Wolverine, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Sabertooth, Storm, Magneto and Toad were all brought to life.
The future of Cybersex was the focus of the The Midnight Sex Panel. The panel consisted of Rob Sommers, Chris Kosarich, John Urbancik, Craig Cadwell, and Gary Roen. The concept of full complete interaction was explored. This would be the next step from chat rooms. Uses for this technology was as wide ranging as education, therapy, long distance relationships. The panel and audience discussed the problems of using it in the classroom. Roen feels human’s nature fears change and the technology will an addition to human relationships not a replacement. Urbancik and Sommers both believed that the technology would never replace true human contact. Sommers believes that intimacy could only happen between real people. Urbancik feels this technology will only be a toy and have little impacts on relationships.
As always there was always a lot to do at Necronomicon. I came late to ice cream social since I was rewatching The Sixth Sense (a film which almost demands a second viewing). There was the Ygor Party that had an Andy Wharhol theme this year. Always interesting if difficult to have a conversation. There was live music with YoMamaDilla and the Klingon oriented group Warband. There were dances on Friday and Saturday night. The dances were all right although some would wish the DJs would expand their collection a bit. Dealer’s Room had something for everybody including a masseuse. I finally got a copy of Callahan’s Lady from South Florida bookseller Pete Rawlik.
With the exception of hotel rooms, there were no real problems. The change of dates did not affect attendance. Hoepfully room reservations will not be a problem next year.
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