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Copyright 1998 by Leigh Kimmel

ToBeCONtinued... is a brand new con that was held over the weekend of April 24-26, 1998, at the Ramada Inn in South Bend, Indiana. It was run by the Midwest Science Fiction and Fantasy Association, or MSFFA, a fannish organization based in South Bend.

I very nearly didn't go at all, since I was struggling with finishing a term paper and I had some serious doubts about my ability to get it finished by the deadline. However, I decided that I probably could get it done, and that I'd only spend the weekend being miserable if I didn't go, so I went ahead.

Overall, I had a good time and was able to meet a number of people I hadn't seen in ages (not to mention being able to go back to a city where I'd lived a number of years ago and haven't seen for over four years). I also got to meet a good friend of mine, Colleen Bellairs, whom I'd previously known only via correspondence (both snail-mail and e-mail).

The ConCom was wise in concentrating on doing a few things well instead of trying to do everything and winding up having them come off badly. For instance, there was an art show, but no voice auction. Although hall costumes were encouraged and there was a contest for the best hall costume, there was no formal masquerade. There were two tracks of panels (which I didn't have time to see, since I was tied up helping a friend in the dealers' room, alas), but no formal video room. The dealers' room was rather small, but there was a variety of products being sold, ranging from books to costumes to musical instruments. Although the art show did have a number of empty panels, it had a wide range of high-quality pieces, many at quite affordable prices.

The con suite was open almost the entire time of the con, and had a wide variety of foods and drinks available. Each evening they had some entertainment in the con suite, rather like the MSFFA room parties at other conventions. Unfortunately there was only one room party, the Babylon 5 party on Saturday night, but since this is the first year for this convention, it is quite likely that people who are apt to hold room parties haven't gotten organized to come to it yet.

The biggest problems were with the hotel, which was in many ways a mess. However they are in the middle of a major renovation, so it is thoroughally possible that things will be better next year. Unfortunately this does not appear to include the addition of elevators. Having to lug everything up stairs to get to our room was not exactly enjoyable.

Copyright 1998 by Leigh Kimmel

For permission to quote or reprint, contact Leigh Kimmel

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