Convivial 3

Minn-StF Fallcon | October 17 - 19, 2008


Convivial is a Minn-StF Fallcon with a nifty consuite, a single track of fun fannish programming, space for music parties, space to play games, and good conversation. Or at least that’s the plan. The Minnesota Science Fiction Society has been putting together small fannish relaxacons for many years; Convivial is the latest in a long line of Minn-StF Fallcons.

Convivial 3 (this year’s Minn-StF Fallcon) will be held October 17th - 19th, 2008 at the Holiday Inn Select in Bloomington, Minnesota.

We want you!

We’d love to see you at this year’s Fallcon. We want to round up the usual Minn-StF regulars, but we’d also love to see some folks who don’t make it to meetings much any more, but who have been a part of Minn-StF at some point during the last (gulp) 40+ years. If you haven’t been to a Fallcon in a while, we’re working on bringing back the Fallcons of yore. Or of, um, several years ago.

If you haven’t been to a convention before or are new to Minn-StF or thinking about attending your first Minicon, this is a good small convention to start with as it gives you plenty of opportunities to get to know folks in slower-paced casual setting.

It’s all about the consuite

Convivial is a relaxacon so our focus is on putting together a fabulous space for people to hang out and relax. We believe the fannish form of relaxation requires comfy chairs, excellent snacks and drinks, good reading material, shiny objects, a little music, some games, and interesting people. Believe it or not, our consuite also has a nice view. Pamela Dean Dyer-Bennet said (of the Convivial consuite):

“The view from all convention space was really gorgeous. The National Wildlife Refuge near the airport was spread out to the south, on either side of an amber-colored building that reflected the con suite’s autumn-leaf decorations, its strings of orange lights, and at certain times of day, anybody standing at the window. Across the hall, the view to the north encompassed downtown Minneapolis, doing the best one can do with an elevation of only about 800 feet above sea level to look like a shining city on a hill; and downtown St. Paul, sunk lower on the horizon and often shrouded in gloom, but doing its best as well.”

“There was comfortable seating and cider and beer and glorious munchies; I particularly liked the dried fruit, especially the chili-flavored mango slices, and the pepitas. I’d consulted with Laurel and brought along goat cheese, several vegan pates, hummos, baba ganouj, pita bread, and sheep cheese. And Carol Kennedy had gone to Lund’s and consulted Patrick the Cheese Guy and gotten some really lovely milder goat cheese as well, not to mention some smoked salmon. Laurel and Kevin provided bagels and orange juice and fruit for breakfast, cupcakes and blog (the latter made by Peter Hentges) for Minn-Stf’s 40th birthday, Jim Beam for a memorial smooth for Bob Tucker, a lot of invisible hard work, and endless good nature.”

We tried our darndest and we’re happy to hear that Pamela and others enjoyed themselves.

This year the consuite will be open starting on Friday afternoon and running all the way ’til Monday morning. If any out-of-towners will be staying at the hotel on Thursday night or Sunday night, you won’t be alone (or at least your humble con chair will be around) and the consuite will even be open for a little while on Thursday night.

Programming at a Relaxacon? That’s crazy talk!

Nah, not really. We have a small suite set aside for a single track of programming. We aim for interactive stuff that works better at a smaller con than any of the larger ones we frequent: crafty stuff, small group discussions, that sort of thing. We plan to have another nature walk this year, we may also show some videos. Got an idea? Tell us about it.

Let there be songs to fill the air!

If it’s a fannish event in Minneapolis, there’s gotta be music. We’d love to see a music circle on Friday and Saturday evenings or, frankly, whenever. Also if any of you fine musicians out there want to play a set of tunes during the convention, we’re totally open to that– please do get in touch.

Our overflow consuite is a great space for a music party or an acoustic performance, we’ll also have secure storage for instruments available.

Gotta have games

Kevin Austin, who ran gaming at Minicon 43, will be running gaming for us.  This means that he will bring a selection of games and make sure the tables and chairs in the gaming suite are set up in a reasonable way.   If you’ve got a game you’re keen to play, by all means bring it. We’ll have a small suite set aside for gaming near the consuite; we’re also fine with the occasional game transpiring in the overflow consuite.

Home away from home

The Holiday Inn Select will once again be home to Convivial. If you missed Convivials 1 & 2, you may also be familiar with this hotel as in recent years it’s been home to Marscon, Diversicon, CONsume, AppleCon, and Fourth Street Fantasy Convention.

The convention is on the 13th floor in two large suites (Presidential and Concierge) which are across the hall from each other. One’s home to the food and drink and lots of comfy furniture, the other has comfy and not-so-comfy furniture and still more space for conversation and (we hope) music.

We also have smaller rooms for programming and gaming on the same floor. If you stay at the hotel, your room will be on the same floor as the convention (unless you want a smoking room, then you’ll be just one floor down).

Nice things about the hotel: free wireless internet access throughout the building, free shuttles to/from the airport and Mall of America, close to the Light Rail line, affordable breakfast buffet, free parking, and they give us all the ice we need (without charge). They also seem to like fans, hooray! Check out the Amenities page for the full skinny.

For more info see the Hotel page.

A fan’s gotta eat

We’ll have take-out menus on the bar in the overflow consuite for all to peruse, we’ll also post the hours for the hotel restaurant and nearby places. We’ve already started a list of area restaurants.

We’re plotting group orders of food on Friday and Saturday nights; if you’re interested in co-ordinating this on one or both nights, please let us know. We’re also open to suggestions on who we should order from. Seems likely that once again there’ll be a group excursion to Khan’s Mongolian Barbecue on Sunday (tentatively scheduled for 6pm, there’ll be a sign-up sheet in the consuite so we can make a reservation). Interested in any of these things? Got ideas to share? Tell us.

We get by with a little help from our friends

As we said above, we’d love to hear your ideas for things you’d like to do at the convention. We also need volunteers to round out our committee and of course people to help out during the convention.