Octocon in 2015

Since the end of the 2013 Octocon I have not really been working on the next Octocon, which will be in 2015. We had a meeting were we laid out some general plans for 2015, including something that will be great fun if we can pull it off.

However nothing serious has actually been done. I dropped an e-mail off to the hotel to start the process of negotiations for the rooms we want to use. It will hopefully be a painless process, but is an important part of the Budget, as the hotel takes up a large part of our spend.

Once we have an actual date, it will most likely be in October of 2015, set we will move onto organizing an actual website. Some of you may have noticed that the Octocon website had a fatal error at some stage in December. Rather than try to fix the old web site which we intend to replace anyway, we decided to just put a holding page in place.

Hopefully we can get some good help with the website, and continue to grow the convention as it has over the last few years.

Thoughts on Conventions

I have been going to conventions since 1998. my first ever convention was Octocon Lite, a one day event that to a certain extent has had a very lasting influence on my life.

The first time i heard of Octocon was just after the 1997 Eurocon in Dublin, and I regretted not having heard of it in time, as i am sure it would have been brilliant for me to have attended that event.

Either way 1998 was my first event, and since then I have tried to explain why I love going to conventions.

In those early days it was not the people I had met and become friends with, as I had still not learnt how to handle  my shy and socially akward self. Instead it was the panels.

Here were people like myself who were interested in these topics, whether they were Star Wars or Star Trek or Willow or Lord of the Rings or well anything really, and could talk about in smart ways. It was an eye-opening experience, to see these topics that i rarely had any deep conversation about, been treated so respectfully, though with a bit of comedy thrown in.

While now people can find people of a similar mindset available on the internet, i don’t think there is anything better than a panel for getting into a topic.

If you are wondering why you should go to a convention. It is not about who the guests are, though they are usually awesome, it is about the discussions you will get to watch and be a part of, that is what makes conventions great.

Of course these days I am so busy at conventions, I rarely make panels, and then usually only because I am on them. However that’s a different story for another day!

My First Convention

 

 

If i am going to talk about Irish Fandom, I should be honest about where i started. I first attended an Octocon in 1998. The previous year Octoocon had been the Eurocon for that year. However the issues that surrounded the convention had pretty much burnt the committee, and a lot of the traditional Irish Convention runners had a need of a break.

So in order to keep things going, there was a one day event rather than having nothing

Octocon_1998_Con_Book_Cover

 

The Guest of Honour was James White, and there was a lot of very interesting programming.

This is where the path of my life changed. I had no idea what to expect, but I watched some incredible panels.

The few i can remember, after looking at the timetable, were

  • “Star Wars – The greatest disaster ever to hit SF literature ” – What I recall I was on the opposite side of this position, as I was only really into Science Fiction because of it.
  • “No Such This as Irish Fandom” – This panel is where i got the idea for setting up a Science Fiction Society in college, for which i still blame the panelists for everything.

I sadly can’t remember much more about the panels, it is after all nearly 15 years ago. I do recall having a great time, which is not hard to believe as i was at Octocon many times over the years that followed.

An invite to Octocon 1994

One of the things i want to do is take some of the old documents that i have gotten as Octocon Chair and scan it in and publish it. It will all end up on the Octocon Archive, but it will be a while before i get all of it scanned.

In the mean time some of the smaller things can be posted here, as they are usually only a single page.

So the first thing i am putting up here is an invite that was sent out to members of the 1993 Octocon to let them know about the Octocon 1994 event.

Octocon_1994_invite

 

I look forward to sharing more of this in the future.