Monday, October 11, 2010

VCon 35

This year VCon 35 was held October 1-3 at the Vancouver Airport Marriott (which, FYI, is neither in Vancouver nor especially close to the airport). According to its website VCon is the oldest general-interest science fiction and fantasy convention in Canada and the Pacific Northwest. This year's theme was Steampunk.

Having never attended VCon before, I wasn't sure what to expect. It was a small convention, with probably 75% of the attendees dressed in some level of steampunkishness (if that's not a word, it should be!). There were a few panel rooms, an art room, a dealer's room and a gaming room (where I spent most of my time).

The Author Guest of Honour was Cherie Priest (author of Boneshaker and Dreadnought). I bought Cherie's latest book Dreadnought in the dealer's room and then luckily ran into her. In an apologetic tone (like only a Canadian can) I asked Cherie if she would sign my book and if I could take a picture. Cherie was awesome and she took a picture of us with her "monkey arms" (her words) and we chatted for a few minutes before she continued on her way. I felt a bit awkward asking her to sign my book as she was on a break between panels and wandering the dealer's room, but she was very gracious and kept insisting that meeting fans and signing books was why she was there.

I didn't attend as many panels as I'd hoped, the lure of the gaming room called loudly in my ears. I did attend a panel on Steampunk Gaming and a Cherie Priest interview, Cherie was a speaker at both sessions. I could listen to her talk for hours; she's very personable, has strong opinions on Steampunk and tells great stories of her childhood.

I played a number of games over the weekend including a dozen or so games of Forbidden Island. While introducing a few strangers to Forbidden Island I discovered one of them had recently published a book. So I zipped over to the dealer's room, bought the book and had him sign it. :-) I tried a few new games as well. The cool thing about the gaming room is that other gamers you don't know will come over and ask if there's space for them to play. Well, those who aren't insanely shy and socially awkward will ask!

The only RPG I played was a session of Low Life, which uses the Savage Worlds system. I also learned to play Gloom, Pandemic, Revolution and Race for the Galaxy. I'll be reviewing all of those except Race for the Galaxy over the next few weeks. I won't be reviewing Race for the Galaxy as I don't feel I got a good first impression of it (through no fault of the game). I think trying to learn a complex game on the last day of a convention, as well as finding out there was a bunch of ferry cancellations so we had to quickly leave the convention, made for a bad first impression! I'd like to try the game again at some point, perhaps when I am not exhausted and panicking!

While I'm not sure if I'd attend VCon in the future, I'm definitely interested in Steampunk and may attend Steamcon 2 in Seattle November 19-21st.

1 comment:

  1. LOL, I was at VCon as well! I found the panels weren't quite as gripping as previous years; I sort of ran out of things to do.

    I was in the gaming room on the Sunday running Aye Dark Overlord and Once Upon a Time; sorry I missed you!