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This is the third in a semi-regular series of answers to some of the most common questions we receive about Farpoint convention. If there’s a particular question you’d like answered, please let us know either here on our blog or by sending an email to us at contact at farpointcon dot com.

Question: What happens after the convention is over? When do you start planning for the next year?

Answer: While the convention is over for our members on Sunday evening, Farpoint continues for us another few weeks after. There are final bills to pay and we spend time evaluating the weekend looking for ways to improve our convention. Part of that evaluation includes reviewing feedback we get from our members at the Open Committee Meeting held Sunday to close the convention. The ideas we receive at the meeting and from your emails help us make changes to better serve our convention members. This year’s feedback also includes the insightful information from our Guest Survey. Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to the survey and/or attend the Open Committee Meeting.

One of the final bills we pay is the bill to the hotel, which covers our the sleeping rooms we pay for and their services during the weekend. We also confirm our contract for the next year at the same time. Good news! The rack rate for 2015 will stay at $125.00/night (plus taxes), the 5th year in a row with no price increase.

We take a few weeks off through mid-March and begin planning for the next year in April. Planning starts by evaluating potential celebrity guests for the next year with the goal of having at least one name confirmed in time to be announced at Balticon on Memorial Day weekend, with additional celebrity names set by ShoreLeave in early August. We also start booking author, scientist, podcasters, live performers, filmmakers and other guests during this same time frame. We also plan our “publicity tour” of other conventions in the region to publicize Farpoint convention.

Active planning for convention activities begins mid-summer. We generate ideas “in house” based on our own interests, and we also accept ideas from members. If you have an idea for a panel or program, please send a description of your program idea to us at programs at farpointcon dot com. Your idea will be classified into one of our program tracks (science, new media, children/youth, authors, movies/TV, or live performances) and the manager of the track will be in touch with you to continue making arrangements. Anyone submitting a program idea should be aware that while we make every effort to stage your idea as presented, we reserve the right to make changes such as combining your idea with a similar one into a single event. We do this to maximize our resources (time, room space, equipment) and avoid duplicating panels.

As you can see, a lot goes on behind the scenes from late February through our first “publicity tour” event at Balticon each May! We appreciate your feedback on each convention and invite you to Save The Dates for Farpoint 2015 – February 13-15, 2015.

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Yes, Farpoint does comics and anime!
For the first time, we will be including a series of panels discussing topics of interest to comics and anime fans.  The topics are currently being scheduled, but will be featuring our guests Peter David, Bob and Robbie Greenberger, Daniel Warner and Richard Pini among others.
Daniel and Richard are newly added guests to our Farpoint roster.  Links to their webpages will be available on the Guests page of the Farpoint website, www.Farpointcon.com

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We’ve been working hard to get good Science programming up and running for Farpoint 2008. To that end it is my pleasure to announce a number of confirmed science guests.

Yoji Kondo will be returning again this year. According to his Wikipedia entry “Dr. Yoji Kondo is an astrophysicist who also writes science fiction under the pseudonym Eric Kotani. He edited Requiem: New Collected Works by Robert A. Heinlein and Tributes to the Grand Master (1992), and contributed to New Destinies, Vol. VI/Winter 1988 — Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Issue (1988), after his friend, writer Robert A. Heinlein, died in 1988.

Kondo also edited the non-fiction book Interstellar Travel & Multi-Generational Space Ships, part of the Apogee Books Space Series.

Yoji Kondo is also an accomplished teacher of Aikido and Judo.”

M.T. Reiten holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and his research was in optoelectronics, focusing on terahertz radiation. He credits Larry Niven for tricking him into pursuing physics as a career. He has been a fan since watching Space:1999 at a formative age and has fond Sunday afternoon memories of ice cream sandwiches and Star Trek:TOS reruns on Canadian television. When not confined to a laser lab, he writes science fiction and fantasy and is a member of SFWA. M.T. Reiten’s fiction has appeared in Baen’s Universe, The Writers of the Future XXI, and All the Rage This Year, the Phobos Award anthology. He has stories in International House of Bubbas and Houston, We Got Bubbas, two of the acclaimed Bubbas of the Apocalypse series from Yard Dog Press. M.T. recently moved to Maryland from Oklahoma to pursue a research career. He finds it ironic that a former Army soldier now works within rock throwing distance of the US Naval Academy. He’s also upset they took away all his rocks. http://www.mtreiten.com/

John Ashmead at one time worked as an assistant editor for Isaac Asimov’s SF Magazine and has been involved with Philadelphia SF for
many, many moons, but has an otherwise blameless character. He makes is living as a computer consultant, making sure you get your bills & commercials on time (no thanks necessary: the work is its own reward). He is currently working on getting his doctorate in physics,
extending quantum mechanics to include the time dimension on an equal footing with space. His life’s ambition: create a really practical
time machine (his current model has reliability “issues”).

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. is a dinosaur detective currently teaching at UM, College Park. According to the Bone Zone “Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. was born in Los Angeles, California, but lived outside of Houston, Texas until he was ten. After being convinced by his parents that he could not, under any circumstances, grow up to be a dinosaur, he decided to do the next best thing — study them! His first encounter with real dinosaur skeltons was a trip to Dinosaur National Monument and other Western museums when he was seven (and already convinced that a life dedicated to vertebrate paleontology was his goal).

Holtz attended the Johns Hopkins University. His studies with Steve Stanley made him appreciate that there was more to paleontology than dinosaurs. Nonetheless, he was never convinced that there were more interesting things in paleontology than dinosaurs, and so, after graduation, he entered the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Yale University, right next to the Peabody Museum of Natural History, O.C. Marsh‘s old haunt. At Yale, he studied under Professor John Ostrom, who discovered the “raptor” Deinonychus and who was the the key figure in discovering the dinosaurian origin of birds. Holtz earned his Ph.D. in 1992 by studying the functional adaptations of tyrannosaur feet and revising the evolutionary history of theropods.

After earning his doctorate, Holtz worked in a laboratory of the climate change program of the U.S. Geological Survey at Reston, Virginia. At that time, the Department of Geology at the University of Maryland,College Park, was searching for someone to teach a course on dinosaurs. He joined the department full-time in 1995, and he continues to teach two dinosaur courses, as wellas courses on invertebrate paleontology and historical and environmental geology. He currently lives in Maryland with his wife and two cats.”
http://www.dinosaur.org/bzholtz.htm http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/

Beatrice Kondo is a Farpoint native. A biologist and geneticist currently teaching at Hopkins, she is also a member of Prometheus Radio Theatre, one of our Usual Suspects, and dangerous with her hands. According to her site at UMBC her research interests include the Evolution of Plumage Sexual Dichrmoatism and the Evolution of migration. One recent work was entitled “RECENT DIVERGENCE BETWEEN BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula) AND BLACK-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus abeillei).”   In fact, she’s written a few articles about Oriole birds, leaving no doubt where she’s from. 

If you have any panel suggestions for the science track send them along to eli.civilunrest@gmail.com

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