Necronomicon 98

         Necronomicon 98 was held on October 9-11 at the Radisson-Sabal Park in Tampa FL.  Guest of Honor was C.J. Cherryh.   The convention ran smoothly with only the expected delays.   The only problem I saw was that the con suite on a floor where they were remodeling most of the rooms.   That may have been beyond the con staff control and only a minor problem.
         The panels were all literary or science oriented.  Anyone who wanted their fill of media could go to the any of five video rooms.   Some of the better productions of the last year, like Dark City and Merlin, were being shown.   They also showed the entire From Earth to the Moon miniseries.   There were 2 rooms devoted to Japanese animation.   Both showed a fan translation of Hayao Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke, which will be theatrically released by Disney next year with a translation by Neil Gaiman.
         The panels were pretty well attended by both fan and pro alike.  The first Must a Lead Character Be Likeable panel with Owl Goingback, Lynn Abbey, and Timothy Zahn agreed that a lead character does not have to be likeable but fully fleshed out and interesting.   Fan Fiction on the Net discussed some of the history of fan fiction of popular TV shows and its future on the Internet.   The midnight Usual Sex Panel was an informal discussion on topics ranging from the social effects of viagra to a video store selling edited copies of Titanic.  The religion panel discussed religion in both the real world and in fiction as well as its relationship to fandom.  Political Correctness panel tried to determine the line between politeness and the insane tendency to censure anything which might be considered controversial.  The panels were all pretty informative however some could have used some tighter moderation.
         Necronomicon held a SF Trivia contest on Saturday afternoon.  Timothy Zahn acted as host. Questions came from literature, media, comics and even pulp magazines.  Next time it might better to keep it to one hour rather than two.  A team fielded by Arthur Dykeman, Leslie Hammes, Nancy Peck and myself came in a close second (only 8 points behind first).   Winners were awarded dealers room gift certificates.
         There was plenty to do at night at Necronomicon.  Friday night had the 3rd Annual Cthulhu Memorial Ice Cream Carnival of Souls.   This was a good place to relax, get some nourishment, play games and meet with people.  This was followed by Whose Line Is It Anyway, a fannish adaptation of the popular British game show.  During the game there was some excellent improvisation from local writer Richard Lee Byers.  Saturday night started of with Masquerade.   Notable costumes were Ambassador Kosh from Babylon 5 (a trend I have be seeing at recent Masquerades), Alpha Centauri from the Peladon episodes of Doctor Who, Captain Tremas Renault of the Psi-Corps, and the Sailor Scouts from Sailor Moon.   Later that night was the Atlanta Radio Theater Company performance.  The short plays consisted of Rory Hammer, Space Marshal: The Doomsday Planet (an old time space opera), The Crimson Hawk: Compliments of the Vixen (a salute to the old pulp heroes) and Bumpers Crossroads: The Crying Bump (a sitcom) complete with commercials.  The main feature was The Passion of Frankenstein, an adaptation of the Mary Shelly novel by Thomas E. Fuller.  Both nights had late night dances, which had a good light show. Music quality varied from night to night, the Friday DJ doing a better job than the Saturday DJ, who went on 70s riff, which was too long.  Necronomicon had one of  the most intensive nighttime schedules for a local convention.
           Necronomicon was overall a well-run convention with plenty to do.
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