Ad Astra, located in Richmond Hill, ON, is always one of my favourite conventions. It’s a quaint con drawing on the Goldilocks tradition of being just the right size. Multiple programming tracks on anything related from fandom, readings, writing, publishing, TV shows, games and general geeky entertainment make for a full and rich program.
Friday started on a high note with Podcast After Dark 2, hosted by Adam Shaftoe from the Page of Reviews. Many laughs were shared as general silliness ensued, capped off by a reading of the conclusion of Season 2 of Battlestar Galactica, with bad southern belle and Shatner-esque accents. The podcast will be up at some point soon on Page of Reviews – make sure to check it out!
I finished Friday by participating in a reading led by author Michael Matheson of The Skinhead Hamlet. It’s a rather, um, memorable retake of this Shakespearian favourite, with lots of swear words, exclamations and grunting. I personally got to play Hamlet – I feel as though my budding theatre career has already peaked.
Saturday started off to a strong start with a visit to the bustling exhibit room. Bundoran Press sported many titles for the science-fiction lover, including the newly released Contagion: Eyre by Alison Sinclair and Children of Arkadia from M. Darusha Wehm. They launched the titles later that day with a classy party featuring bubbly champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries. Can’t really go wrong with that combination.
In the exhibit room, Professor Morbius’ steampunk windup toys were wonderful to see. He showed off fully articulated beasts ranging from an elephant to a two-headed dragon. Definitely worth checking out.
For the jewelry lover, Neverwares had a line of snazzy earrings made from old watch parts, but my favourite pieces were rings made from typewriter keys. They were displayed in a book, showcasing them as the perfect gift for any writer!
The afternoon signing session was well attended, with steady line-ups for fan favourites Anne Bishop, Kelley Armstrong and Julie Czerneda. The signing session gives fans a fairly relaxed atmosphere to get their books signed without having to carry them all over the hotel for the length of the con, hoping to get them signed. No backs need be broken at Ad Astra. Well, at least not while eternally carting books to get signed.
A perfect day was capped off with a perfect reading by Matt Moore from two of his stories: “You’re a Winner!!!” from Night Terrors III and “The Pack” in AE Sci-Fi, reprinted in Imaginarium 2013. Matt is always a lively (and scary) reader and I try to attend all of his readings.
And then there were parties. ChiZine as always was a ball, with lots of beer and good conversations. The only reason to leave such a good party is to hand in an article and get some sleep – tomorrow promises to be another full day!
Signing off for now.