Archive for the ‘Guests’ Category

Hello fellow FARP Fanatics! Here’s an update on what’s going to happen at Farpoint Convention, February 14-16, 2014.

1. Don’t forget to pre-register! Your early registration gets you a lower number in the autograph line for Melissa McBride and saves you money since at the door prices will be higher. Register online through our website, www.farpointcon.com or you can print the flier from our website and mail in your registration. Pre-registration deadline is January 31, 2014.

2. Book your hotel room! You should call the hotel directly at 410-252-7373 for reservations. Our beloved Crowne Plaza is in the middle of negotiations to align with another hotel group, which means that going through the IHG website or other online booking tools may not work properly. Calling the hotel directly is your best bet. Hotel deadline is January 15, 2014.

3. Make your plans for Friday! Activities will be starting at 1:00 PM and go all the way through to late night. There will be panels in our Media (Movies/TV), Authors and Science tracks, gaming at Hal’s Place, and our evening Pajama Party as part of our Children/Youth track. Friday’s main attraction is our Opening Ceremonies, which start at 7:00 pm with a Cocktail Party and continue with the presentation of the Volker/McChesney award for service to fandom, the first of our Live Charity Auctions and a live performance by Prometheus Radio Theatre with special guest stars Melissa McBride and Phil LaMarr. There will be a cash bar in the ballroom; the hotel’s famous pasta bar service will also be available for an additional $25. You can add on the Cocktail Party food now, or decide at the door (numbers at the door may be limited). Late night Friday will feature the Farpoint Book Fair where you can meet your favorite authors and Vic’s Place karaoke featuring the Pack Ratz.

4. Be there on Saturday for all the fun! Saturday programming will start at 10:00 am and go all the way through to the wee hours of Sunday morning. We’re very excited about this year’s slate of panels and events in our Authors, Media (Movies/TV), Science, New Media (Filmmaking, Podcasting, Webcomics, etc.), Children/Youth, Costuming and Live Performances tracks.  Don’t forget the Masquerade Saturday night, with our second Live Charity Auction taking place at halftime! There will workshops and demonstrations in the atrium, club meetings, game shows, talks, gaming, Art Show, panels and more. The final schedule will be published around February 1, 2014 to give you time to make your plans for the convention.

5. Don’t forget Sunday! Sunday programming will start at 10:00 am and wrap up with the 5:00 pm Open Committee Meeting. This is where you get to sit down will the Farpoint committee and talk with us about the things you like at the convention and things you’d like to see for the future. Some of our best ideas come from this meeting, and we’d love to see you there. Panels and events in all of our program tracks will be going on all day until the start of the Open Committee Meeting. The Art Auction will take place on Sunday morning. A new activity this year will be a Swing Dance Workshop in the atrium conducted by author guest Iver Cooper. It was a big hit at Balticon this year, so if you missed it there you can catch it at Farpoint.

6. Volunteer for a panel! We have a preliminary list of panels and we are now looking for panelists. If you would like to receive a copy of the list, email us at Programs@farpointcon.com.

7. Get your costume ready! Our Masquerade will be held on Saturday evening with celebrity guests Melissa McBride, Phil LaMarr and Alan Dean Foster among the judges. We will be staging Costuming/Masquerade panels this weekend to help you focus your Masquerade presentation and learn new costuming skills.

8. Get your autographs! Melissa McBride from The Walking Dead will be signing at a formal session on Saturday and Sunday. The line for these sessions will be organized by your badge number. Each convention member will receive one signature on an item they present for signing at no additional charge – this is part of your registration! Weekend members will get one signature on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday and Sunday members will be one signature on the day they attend. Melissa will also be available at other times throughout the weekend to sign/sell additional items and take at the table photos. Cost for additional signatures and items will be announced closer to the convention. Phil LaMarr from Futurama/Samurai Jack/TMNT will be signing throughout the weekend. He will be charging for his signature and will accept either items you bring or an item you purchase at his table for signing. Phil will also be available for at the table photos. The price list for Phil’s signatures will be announced closer to the convention.

9. Budget for the Charity Auction! We are going to have some amazing goodies available at our Charity Auction to benefit The Julien Fleming Memorial Fund (our official charity) and the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter. I’m going to let our Charity Auction department give the details soon, but here’s a hint: we have something special from NASA and not one- not two- but THREE private celebrity experiences to auction off! There will be two Live Charity Auctions, one Friday night during the Opening Ceremonies and one Saturday night during Masquerade, plus a silent auction staged in Chesapeake 3-5 along with our Art Show. Your generosity is always appreciated.

10. Donate An Hour! Would you like to be a part of the convention happenings? Do you have an hour to spare? Well your one hour can be a big help to keep things running smoothly at the convention. Volunteers get a FARP t-shirt and raffle tickets for a daily prize drawing limited just to our volunteer corps. Email us at Volunteers@farpointcon.com for information, and thank you!

11. Show Off Your Miniatures and Clear Out Your Closet! Hal’s Place Gaming Oasis is hosting a Miniatures Contest this year! Hand painted miniatures and models of all types, from members of all skill levels, will be accepted for display in the Game Room throughout the weekend. Final judging will be held Sunday, February 16, 2014 at noon. There will be 3 skill level categories – beginner, intermediate and advanced – with an award for each category. AND the Gamer’s Flea Market will again be held in the Game Room during the convention weekend. Used games and supplies will be accepted for sale/swap throughout the weekend at $1.00 per item. Sales proceeds go to the individual seller. The selling fees will be donated to our charities, The Julien Fleming Memorial Fund and the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter.

12. Follow Us For The Latest News! We’re on Facebook (Farpoint Convention), Twitter (@FarpointCon), and on our web blog (https://farpoint.wordpress.com). Our convention website is http://www.FarpointCon.com.

13. Have Fun At The Convention! We are grateful for each one of you who joins us for the convention weekend. There will be 200+ hours of events from Friday to Sunday and we want you to be satisfied that we have put on the best show possible. Thank you as always for your continued support of Farpoint Convention and we’ll see you soon!


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We are pleased to announce the addition of Alan Dean Foster, IAMTW Grand Master, as a guest at Farpoint 2014! Alan will be at Farpoint Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and will be signing at no extra charge.

Foster’s work to date includes excursions into hard science-fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He has also written numerous non-fiction articles on film, science, and scuba diving, as well as having produced the novel versions of many films, including such well-known productions as Star Wars, the first three Alien films, Alien Nation, The Chronicles of Riddick, Star Trek, Terminator:Salvation, and both Transformers films. Other works include scripts for talking records, radio, computer games, and the story for the first Star Trek movie. His novel Shadowkeep was the first ever book adapation of an original computer game. In addition to publication in English his work has been translated into more than fifty languages and has won awards in Spain and Russia. His novel Cyber Way won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction in 1990, the first work of science-fiction ever to do so. He is the recipient of the Faust, the IAMTW Lifetime achievement award.

Alan’s next project, The Moaning Words, is scheduled for release very soon – before Halloween! The Moaning Words is a game at the crossroads of books and video games. It is set in the infamous Cthulhu Mythos, The Moaning Words is a tribute to a writer he is deeply in love with: H.P Lovecraft. It will be a free to play game, available on smartphones, tablets (Android and iOS first), and web browsers.

You can keep up with him on his website, http://www.alandeanfoster.com.

Alan Dean Foster

Alan Dean Foster, photo courtesy Michael Melford

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Balticon 2013 this past Memorial Day weekend was a great event. Farpoint always has a publicity table there, and it’s always great to see old friends and make new ones. This year, we used our Balticon presence to announce our first celebrity guest for 2014, actor Phil LaMarr (“Baxter” – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / “Hermes” – Futurama). We will be announcing additional celebrity guests along with our first programming track guests (authors, science, media, youth/children, and live performances) at ShoreLeave.

Balticon had a wonderful selection of programs to choose from this year. Programs of particular interest to Farpoint fans would be the readings and discussions that included our good friends Steve Wilson, Bob Greenberger, Keith DeCandido, Phil Giunta, Ethan Wilson, Helen Madden and Nobilis. Several current and former Farpoint committee members also work at Balticon and did a fantastic job this weekend – congrats to Brian Sarcinelli, Sarah Yaworsky, Cindy Shockey, Chris Shockey, Steve Lesnik, Eta Hack, and Marty Gear for a job well done!

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Guest Update!

Kristin Bauer, “Pam” from the hit series True Blood, will be joining us at Farpoint this February. She has appeared as a guest on Justified and The Secret Life of The American Teenager, and recently filmed a guest role on the upcoming ABC show Once Upon A Time. Kristin will be coming to us directly from True Blood’s location in Louisiana, which means we should get some great scoop on the new season.

Memberships for 2012 are available now through our website, http://www.Farpointcon.com.

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Our first celebrity guests got 2012: Michael Hogan and Kate Vernon, Colonel and Ellen Tigh from Battlestar Galactica!

Make your plans for February 17-19, 2012 today. Registration is now open!

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It was September, 1993.  The first Farpoint hadn’t even happened yet, and we got the news every convention committee hates: a guest had canceled.  George Takei had gotten a part in a film in Europe, and had to invoke his 30-day out clause.  It was my first convention as chairman, a job I’d held for maybe a week at that point.  What were we to do?  Sure, we had John DeLancie and had quickly signed June Lockhart, but Classic Trek was then our bread and butter.  How were we to replace, on such short notice, such a fan-friendly guest? 

Bill Campbell was already a longtime friend of our committee, having been a guest at five Clippercons in the 1980s.  I hated to impose on such short notice.  Although I’d met him before, and even interviewed him by phone for Starlog, I wasn’t sure he remembered me.  But when I called to offer him the contract, he enthusiastically shouted, “Steve, my friend! How’s that beautiful wife?”  Of course he’d come to our rescue, and his beautiful wife Tereza negotiated a price I knew they’d never give anyone else. 

As to not remembering me, he asked how he could forget a couple who looked so much like Jeffrey Hunter and Barbara Rush.   (Oh pshaw!  I wouldn’t have stood a chance if my wife weren’t both beautiful and gracious as all get-out!)  And had I not, earlier that year, brought his character, Trelane back into the Trek fold in the DC Comics Star Trek title?  Turned out Bill had called DC, demanded free copies, and was handing them out right and left. 

From then on, Bill was a friend and ally to Farpoint, joining us on the phone every year in the ballroom, rounding up charity auction donations galore (Bill was tireless in his efforts to promote the Motion Picture and Television Fund, which provides health care and a retirment home for Hollywood professionals who are in need.), and putting us in contact with any number of actors and actresses from his little black book.  I talked to him regularly during the years I was in charge of Farpoint, and until a stroke limited his ability to take calls.  He ended every conversation with, “Hey, I love ya!”  instead of “good-bye.”  And I knew he meant it. 

Bill was a man who worked with John Wayne, with Elvis, with Jack Klugman. with William Shatner, just to name a few.  His career spanned the days of the studio system in Hollywood, on into the pioneering days of television where he was a frequent guest on legendary shows like Perry Mason, and even into the 1990s on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.  He lived and breathed Hollywood, and yet he was as accessible and encouraging as could be to fans from all over the world.  He knew that he’d stumbled on a good thing when he’d become an actor, he was grateful as hell to have so many fans, and he had no patience with actors who didn’t share his passion for Fandom. 

I chose the image above because fans remember him best as Trelane, the Squire of Gothos, even though he was also one of the earliest Klingons, Koloth.  And I picked the cover to Star Trek #45, which I wrote, because Bill’s likeness on that cover is the result of a story so typical of him.  After Rob Davis turned in the pencils, with a beautiful likeness of Bill in nearly every panel, I’ve no doubt, Paramount licensing informed editor Alan Gold that DC Comics did not have likeness rights for the classic Trek guest stars.  Every panel featuring Trelane would have to be redrawn to look generic, and nothing like the actor who made the role unforgettable. 

The task of re-drawing was handed to inker Arne Starr.  Arne probably shouted words I won’t repeat herein, called Bill on the phone, and asked him if he would please fax a letter to DC Editorial post haste, so that Trelane could look like, well, Trelane.  Many actors would have demanded money or simply refused, but Bill knew that his fans would be outraged to see a generic figure with Trelane’s name and costume, and simply asked, “Where do I sign, and when do I get my copies of the story?”  It never occured to me when I sat down to write a piece of licensed fiction that one of the actors would actually be excited that I’d done it, especially not an actor with such credits.  Most actors are too busy to care what’s being published about a series they worked on decades earlier.  Bill Campbell was not most actors.  Bill Campbell was one of a kind, and he saved my first piece of professionally published science fiction from being artisitically neutered.  (He and Arne, of course, but this is about Bill.) 

I really don’t wish to inundate you with personal recollections.  Bill did a lot greater things in his life than treat me and my convention nicely.  My point is to say that Bill Campbell was a friend I was lucky to have, and that anyone would have been lucky to have.  The world, and Farpoint, are sadder places without this man who, as much as any of us, helped to give this convention its start eighteen years ago. 

Please, please, if you admired this wonderful man, consider making a donation in his name to the Motion Picture and Television Fund.  It was a huge part of Bill’s life’s work, and it was in the Fund’s Country Home and Hospital that he spend his last days. 

Good bye, my friend; and, hey… I love you too.

— Steve

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The preliminary Farpoint 2011 Schedule is now available to view on our website. Please note that events are subject to change (but we’ll do our best to keep them the same).  Please click on the 2011 Schedule link near top of the page or click on the Programming Department link on the side menu bar.

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