Vulkon-Orlando (summer) 98 Report

         The second OrlandoVulkon 98 was held on August 28-30 at the Hilton. The guests were Robert Beltran (Chakotay from Voyager), Henry Darrow (Chakotay's father among many roles), and artist Arne Starr.  There were two new innovations at this Vulkon.  The first was the new supporting membership. For half the price of a regular membership, one had access to dealers room, masquerade, and non-guest programming. The second innovation was the model building competition.  There were some pretty impressive displays in both original and kit built models.  It was small but hopefully this will change by the time of the next con.
         There was not much in the area of panels.  Due to last minute reorganization most of  the scheduled panels there were either cancelled or shortened. The rest of the non-guest programming was devoted to games like Trek Trivial Pursuit, Match game, Name That Tune, Pictionary, and the Gong Show.  Candy and Trek books were the prizes at these games.
         Nighttime programming began with Masquerade.  The Masquerade went by quickly. The most memorable costume was a giant Kenny(South Park) in a Starfleet uniform. After Kenny finished making an unintelligible speech he was brutally attacked and killed by a group of Klingons.  The audience then rang out with the appropriate response.  After Masquerade was Vulkon Science Theater 3000. The film being mocked was Godzilla vs. Monster Zero.  While on paper this appeared to be a good idea it failed in execution. The sound went out on the film several times and the jokes were weak in some parts.   This feature could use some work. It might help to use Trek episodes as targets as writers Peter David, Michael Jan Freidman, and  Robert Greenberger have done at the Shore Leave conventions in Maryland.  After Vulkon Theater was the Ten Forward dance. Two problems with Ten Forward. First was the lack of a dance floor.   For most its easier to dance on a hard surface and other cons dances seem able to get them.  The second problem was the fact that the DJs also brought a Kareoke machine with their regular gear. The dance would stop in order for someone Kareoke.  Now when I go to a dance I just want dance and hear some good music, not listen to a novice singer butcher a song.   So next time bring a floor and leave the karoke machine at home.
         I did not go to Robert Beltran or Harry Darrow presentations.  I did not see Robert Beltran until it came time to get his signature for my brother.  I did see a great deal of Harry Darrow since he set his table next to Arne Starr's table where I spent a great deal of time.   He was a class act and made himself accessible to fans for pictures.  Arne Starr produced an excellent picture of the guests for autographing and gave his movie trailer presentation.  Two trailers seemed to have a lot of promise. Pleasantville deals with two teens trapped in a Black and White 50s sitcom.  The teens start to bring some liberating ideas which colorize this world.  The second film is based on a Richard Matheson novel called What Dreams May Come starring Robin Williams.  In this film a man dies with his children and must go to hell to save his wife who committed suicide over their deaths.   Another  trailer of note was Star Trek: Insurrection.  In this installment Picard and crew defy Starfleet and come to an aid of a defenseless people .
         All in all an average Trek con. Not as well done as the Trek cons in Virginia and Maryland which offered more in the areas in panels and non Trek ones at that.  Hopefully this may change since I have looked in to putting together a recommended reading panel.  We will see next spring.
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