Contact 17 was held over the weekend of September 24-26, 1999 at the Airport Holiday inn in Evansville, Indiana. It was billed as a relaxacon, but it was more of a gaming convention than anything. Not only was there no programming, there were almost no parties, just a tiny art show, a tiny dealers' room and the gaming tables that were constantly busy with RPG's and miniatures wargaming.
The weekend started on a dark note Friday morning when I was getting ready to leave and received a note via an e-mail list that Marion Zimmer Bradley had suffered a massive heart attack and was in the ICU of a Berkeley CA hospital. She has long been one of my favorite authors, and thus her situation was in my thoughts throughout the con.
We arrived at the hotel fairly early and started hauling stuff into the dealers' room. We were just finished hauling in the merchandise and I was going to use the handcart to haul my own stuff into our sleeping room when I tripped over it. I bruised up an ankle pretty bad and spent the rest of the weekend lame.
Business was excruciatingly slow all Friday afternoon and evening. After thedealers' room closed, we had supper, then went for a quick soak in the hot tub,which did ease some of the pain and swelling in my bruised foot. Then we went to the two parties before turning in for the night.
Saturday we spent entirely in the dealers' room, trying to drum up business and not having much luck. It was so slow that I had quite a bit of time to work on a storyI'd been writing for the last several months. That evening we had supper, then another much-needed soak (although my foot wasn't hurting quite so badly), and a visit to the lone party of the evening before we turned in for the night.
Sunday morning we packed our stuff and cleared out of our sleeping room,then headed over to the dealers' room to try to get a few more sales before packing up and carting everything back out. By noon it was clear that we weren't going to get much activity, so we started packing. We had everything packed and cleared out by four, which gave us some time to go to the con suite and just relax before heading back to mundania, where I immediately started up the computer and got the sad news via e-mail of MZB's death over the weekend.
Copyright 2012 by Leigh Kimmel
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Last updated October 21, 2012.