dianora: (Default)
I seem to have started going to Ad Astra again, at least for the second time in two years, after a hiatus of some years. This year did not seem quite as dynamic as last years, but it was also a new hotel. I loved the hotel, lots of exhibit space, free wifi (yay) and free parking. What I did not like was it was in Markham a good distance from downtown, and my own sister. That's the
price to be paid for free parking and wifi in the GTA. A downtown location would have meant it would be an easy walk from Union station, but very likely would have had to set up my own Internet or pay through the nose for hotel services.

I was happy to see a younger crowd gradually taking over from us old fogies, Toronto is doing something right. I noted the retired (Gord) masquerade MC being hassled in the masquerade crowd by the new MC's. I also spent a few moments talking to Lloyd Penny, sans Hawaiian T shirt, about his retirement from Ad Astra, how SciFi groups in Toronto were doing and generally catching up with him. I also saw few others from the Ottawa area, we are an elderly and staid bunch aren't we! I did talk to Molly Moo (Cindy Ufholz) of early Apaplexy fame over lunch. Unfortunately, I had spied
'fingers' in the restaurant but he had left before I managed to introduce the two.

Steam punk is still a recurring theme, many hall costumes utilising goggles, pith helmets, Victorian dress, and, rather complicated looking 'weapons'. The dealers room was somewhat complicated. As this was a new hotel, there was a miscommunication between the CONCOM and the hotel, (isn't there always though?) and the room sizes quoted weren't what they really had. Some dealers ended up scattered through the hallways. I loved the small number of panels I did manage to make. I have been wanting to learn a bit of book binding and ended up making a very simple book at one panel/workshop. I found the masquerade this year had less meat to it than last years, the audience seemed small to me as well compared to last years. I also found the room parties were not as numerous, at least on Saturday night. It's quite possible high gas prices impacted this years Con. That might make it a good idea to reconsider a downtown venue again.
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