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Archon - Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention
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Archon 33 will be held October 2-4, 2009 at the Collinsville Gateway Center in Collinsville, IL. (just east of St. Louis). Archon is a great little Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention. Exciting Costuming, a great ConSuite, gaming, and inexpensive hotels.

Guest of Honor: Eric Flint Artist Guest of Honor: Tom Kidd Other Guests: David Lee Anderson, Henry Melton, Cynthianna (Cindy A.), Victor Milan, Donna Bakke, Selina Rosen, Linda Donah, Marella Sands, Elizabeth Donald, M.R. Sellars, Angie Fox, Glen Sixbury, Haley Elizabeth Garwood, Jack Snyder, Bennie Grezlik, Lynn Stranathan, Hank Luttrell, Allison Stein, Julia S. Mandala, Mark W. Tiedemann, Joseph Martino, Amy Verseman.

Costuming 7
Con Suite 10
Programming 8
Gaming 8
Media Stars / Celebrities 6
Huckster/Dealer Room 7
Value For Dollar
Overal Rating

Costuming: There is a big costuming community in St Louis and it shows in the attendance and programming at Archon. I was not able to attend the Masquerade. They did organize a Hall Costume contest for people like me who do not build their own costumes. And their were some impressive entries in that contest.

Parties: I know they have room parties. But I never made it out of the con suite. The party there was that good. Three kegs of beer going at once, a concoction/punch that was reported to be tasty and have a kick and at one point someone brought in a 4th keg of a local microbrew. The hospitality/con suite was in a conference room that had spill over into a courtyard and was across the hall from the dance/ballroom. This made it easy to move around and mingle. It didn’t hurt that there was an elevator thirty steps from the consuite on the first floor and my room was another thirty steps from the elevator upstairs. 

I drank lots of beer, played several games of pirate dice with a table of Rogues and Wenches, danced with a devil and an angel, drank lots of beer, tried to avoid an old girlfriend, met a new girlfriend and introduced the McBrewer chugging glasses to conventions and maintained my standing as unbeaten chugging champion vs all comers. Including the best that the Zombie Squad had to offer who heroically did their best. They did well but could not beat the Beer Slayer. The good news is that winning at beer chugging is not a zombie survival skill. It was a great party. And that was only Friday night!  

Con Suite: A solid 10! The room layout was great (see above) but it was in the hotel a parking lot away from most of the programming. This year it will be in the convention center itself. This makes it easier to pop in for a sit down and a bit of caffeine between panels during the day. But they will lose the advantage of being a quick hop up to the room during the parties.

Keep posted by going here Notes from the Con Chair

Programming: Plenty of programming, lots of good stuff on costuming. 

Gamming: They have a gaming schedule that I was not able to take advantage of. There was a heavy MIB (Men In Black) presence from Steve Jackson Games but I don’t know if that was just in support of the Artist Guest of Honer…

Media Stars / Celebrities: The Artist Guest of Honor was John Kovalic creator of Dork Tower and primary illustrator of Munchkin (which would explain the heavy MIB presence) The Guest Of Honor was Laurell K. Hamilton. They auctioned (for charity) off seats for “Tea with Laurell” and had plenty of autograph time scheduled for both guests. Here is a complete list of past Guests .

Huckster/Dealer Room: A wide variety of merchants. A special thanks to the guy who let me borrow a rapier so that I could model for my portrait done by an artist at the show.

Value For Dollar: Consider this: 1) A range of hotels/motels within stumbling distance of the convention center, literally just across the parking lot, 2) Inexpensive con badge 3) Lots of programming 4) Full breakfast with hotel room. 5) Free Parking 6) Great free (with badge) parties This is another convention that gives you a whole lot of entertainment for your dollar. .

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