Archon 21 was held over the weekend of October 3-5, 1997 in Collinsville, Illinois, a suburb of St. Louis. Archon is a fairly large con, but it seems to be having some more problems. This year I didn't even find anything interesting in the programming and instead spent most of my time helping in the dealers' room, when I wasn't helping with the art show. In fact, the dealers' room and the art show were really the best parts of the con. The art auction, held early Saturday evening, featured some fairly lively bidding on several pieces of space art and lasted nearly two hours in total.
There were one or two parties each evening, but none of them were particularly lively events. The con suite was something of a disappointment for a con this large, but it seems that it's not a custom at this con to serve food, just drinks. They do serve beer as well as sodas, but a number of non-drinking fans wish that they'd get rid of the free beer and serve food instead.
There were also some really stupid mis-steps on the part of the committee. The most glaring was the decision to close the dealers' room at about 2PM Saturday afternoon to get everyone to go outside to see the "It Came from Collinsville!" monster movie recreation. Enough of the dealers protested that this was nixed, but not without a fair amount of ill-will on both sides. The announcement of the event was also handled poorly, IMO, since it sounded like an emergency announcement. I was supervising the model painting contest at the time, and I thought that there must have been some kind of accident in the dealers' hall that necessitated the evacuation of the building, until I was assured otherwise.
By Saturday evening I was annoyed enough that I wasn't entirely sure that I wanted to go back next year. But by Sunday morning I decided that I'd give Archon one more chance next year, and see if things had improved enough to make attendance worth the cost of a membership.
Copyright 2012 by Leigh Kimmel
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Last updated October 21, 2012.