Welcome from the Chair May 2024

Greetings fellow fans,

Another month (or so) and another update from me on what is happening with the con. Well, it is about 75 days before the week of the con. Most of the committee got to do a site visit and talk to the convention center and the Hyatt hotel people. We’ve come a long way in planning things for you guys to do at the con. The space we have at the convention center even has a “light saber”. Well, that’s what the convention center people call it, and it does kinda look like a light saber.

The Hyatt is nice. We looked over all the space, and everything looks cool. I would have liked a few more elevators, but “you gots what you got”. The con suite is nice, as well as all the rooms.

We’re still waiting for NASA to give us access to one of their astronauts. When we signed up for program there was a list of a bunch of astronauts we could choose from. Including the entire crew of the Artemis mission to the moon slated for 2025. So, naturally those were at the top of my list. Well needless to say, I heard back and was told that the entire crew of the Artemis mission was unavailable. Sure, they were on the list, and what space geek wouldn’t pick them.

So, after them were my next choice Jeanette Epps of Syracuse. Figured it would be great to have a New York astronaut. Well, she’s on a six-month mission on the international space station as I write this. But NASA’s list was long, so I expect one of the current roster of astronauts to show up to Buffalo in July.

This brings us to what will we have at the convention. While some of us were at Boskone lining up some program participants and the like, one of our committee heard that they were re-instituting the Frank R. Paul awards. Well, when I got word of that a couple of e-mails went out and the Buffalo NASFiC will be the hosts of this years Frank R. Paul SF Art awards. They are awards given out for excellence in science fiction and fantasy art used on science fiction novels and magazines. We are honored that they chose our convention to hand out the awards. We’ve given them the prime time of Saturday right after the masquerade in the main programming room.

Speaking of the masquerade, or as people now call it the cosplay competition, that is scheduled for Saturday night at 8PM (or in cosplay terms 8ish) in our main programming room. It will be broadcast to all our virtual attendees. From what I hear, it’s going to be a pretty decent competition. But it’s not really a competition as much as a showcase for costumers to come show off their cosplay, have a snack, and possibly walk away with one of the snazzy rosettes for your cosplay. Who doesn’t want to have an acknowledgement of all the effort they put into their cosplay.

One of the highlights of any convention is the con suite. You want to chill a bit between programming items? The con suite will be the place for you. Since there aren’t a lot of science fiction conventions in the area, a lot of fans aren’t familiar with the idea of a con suite. One of the “responsibilities” as I see it is to provide fans with some nourishment during the con. At Astronomicon we’ve had spaghetti, chili, sandwiches, and other “hearty” food. I know from one of the Eastern conventions, they plan on doing waffles for breakfast at least one morning of the convention. All included as part of your membership. We know that fans are usually short of finances when attending cons, and who can afford hotel food and drink (yeah, $3.00 for a can of coke is outrageous). So, we want to give them more than chips. We plan on offering attendees stuff for every meal of the day. Breakfast fixings (I mentioned waffles), sandwiches at lunch, and dinner fixins’. We will have fruit, veggies, water, soda, so you won’t go thirsty or hungry at the con. I agree with the 5-2-1 rule wholeheartedly.