Mysticon started as a small convention four years ago. Last year con tickets sold out on the second day of the convention. So many attended that Holiday Inn Tanglewood could not accommodate them all and some attendees had to stay in a second hotel. This year, Mysticon 2014, which took place February 21 though 23, not only sold out before the convention began, but convention goers (including me) spilled over into a third hotel. Next year’s convention will probably sell out early as well, so I’d advise anyone interested in attending to register and reserve a hotel room early.
This year’s guests of honor included Media Guest of Honor John de Lancie; Author Guest of Honor Todd McCaffrey; Special Author Guest A. J. Hartley; Artist Guest of Honor John Jennings; Musical Guest of Honor Bella Morte; Fan Guest of Honor John Jones; Gaming Guest of Honor Kenneth Hite; and Master of Ceremonies Rich Sigfrit.
Scheduled activities, which commenced at 3 PM on Friday and finished up at 4 PM on Sunday, included panels on writing and many other topics, musical and magic performances, workshops, open gaming, video gaming, LARP gaming, Koffee Klatch author readings/performances, author signings, Indie films, the costume masquerade, the art show, the dealers’ room, and much more. Drinks and light snacks were available throughout the day in the hospitality suite; more substantial fare could be purchased at 10 Forward Food Concessions or in the hotel’s Elephant Walk Lounge.
Every convention has its own flavor, and each year some special event makes that year’s convention unique. This year, however, three occurrences at Mysticon 2014 made the event especially memorable. On Saturday, the fire alarm went off — a false alarm. This happened two years ago as well, but at least this time it was in the late afternoon instead of the middle of the night. The convention also had an impressive dragon cake in the Hospitality Suite. The cake had a two-fold purpose: first, to honor the guest appearance of Todd McCaffrey, who has continued the legacy of his mother Anne; and second, to honor the third memorable event, the wedding of Charles and Emily at the close of the Opening Ceremonies. It was wonderful being a guest at their wedding, and we at Author Chronicles wish them a healthy and joyous life together.
Here are some of the panels and activities presented at the convention:
For those interested in art: Does Art Work Sell the Game?; Spinning a Web Comic; Painting Is Such Sweet Sorrow; Beyond the Paintbrush:Non-Traditional Mediums of Artistic Expression; Introduction to Acrylic Painting; Beauty of Science; Drawing Portraits and Figures; The Basics of Drawing
For children and families: Flabbergast the Wizard: Comedy Magic for the Whole Family;Magic Lessons; Starship Farragut Animated; Steampunk Kids Sing-Along
For those interested in costuming: 2 Hour Costume Workshop; The Mindful Paparazzi; Mask Casting Workshop; You Wear It Well: Owning the Costume; Costume Fusion; Cosplay hints and Tips; Costuming: Form, Function, and Fantasy; Henna Workshop
For those interested in fandom topics: Nerdiquette; Random Fandom Fun; Are You Ready to Rumble? Wrestling Guests; Raising the Next Generation of Geeks
For those interested in gaming: Costumed Roleplaying, LARPing 101; Indie RPG & Kickstarter Q&A; From Start to Finish, Publishing Your Gaming Idea; Role-playing Games 101; Women and Gaming; Rolling the D20: How to Role-Play; 2013 in Video Gaming; Table Top Gaming
For those interested in media: Parental Guidance Required; Color Me Casted; AMC Breaks Bad; Is Doctor Who an Angel?; Lights, Action, Youtube!
For those interested in music: Valentine Wolfe Concert; Write a Song with Bella Morte; We Got the Beat! Mysticon’s Drum Circle; Belly Dancing with Samra
For those interested in the paranormal: All Creatures Fantastic and Weird; Spooky Tales: Writing Ghost Stories; Dancing Neck to Neck: Romancing the Vampire; Bump in the Night; The Real Dr. Venkman
For those interested in podcasting: Mr. Adventure Live Podcast; Geek Radio Daily Ding; Baen Podcast Interview with Tom Kratman
For those interested in publishing: If You Spell “Cheif” Like That One More Time!!; Kickstarting Your Project; What’s After the Fun Stuff: Starting Up in Self-Publishing and Small Press
For those interested in science: Losing Humanity to Artificial Intelligence; Robotics Workshop and Demonstration; The Science of Star Trek; Lucky Stars in Our Eyes: Wonders of the Night Sky; The Great Atomic Power: Propulsion Systems of the Future; Hello Glass … A Closer Look Inside Google Glass
For those interested in writing: Worldbuilding 101: Crafting Your Alternate Universe or Timeline; The Biggest Mistakes Made by Beginning Authors; The Influx of Alternate Futures; Terrifying Killers in Literature; Whodunnit?; Military Science Fiction: Getting It Right; Everything Old Is New Again: Mythos in SF/F
And some were interesting activities that are hard to categorize: A Tribute to Anne (remembering beloved author Anne McCaffrey); Star City Mystery Theater presentation of “Murder: The Next Generation”; A Trek to the Star (a trip up to Roanoke’s famous, lighted mountaintop star); and the Practical Self-Defense Workshop.
Another great convention come and gone too quickly. I can’t wait until next year. Hope to see you there!
For more photos, check out my blog post: Mysticon 2014 Photo Gallery.