October 12-14, 2007
$35 until 10/1/07
$45 at the door
Matthew Davis, also known as 2, The Ranting Gryphon, is a professional comedian who performs mainly at sci-fi and furry conventions. Born in August 1972, 2 has been a performer for most of his life. He began as a rock guitarist in the 1980's. He then ventured into the sci-fi and fantasy fields, doing comedy events at conventions during the 1990's. A member of the furry fandom, he is generally well-liked for his humor, his somewhat liberal view on the world and his quest to spread the "truth". His alter-ego/avatar is a gryphon, his name allegedly coming to him in a dream about the creature. He regularly attends furry conventions and occasionally performs stand up there.
Visit 2's website at: http://www.ranting-gryphon.com/
Freon has been in Michigan fandom for years. He is one of those fans who will work himself mercilessly. Not only does he work hard, Freon does his best to get others to enjoy fandom. He's very very good at that. Freon is one of the people who makes you proud to be a fan... and a friend.
Several years ago, back when ConFusion was in Warren, Freon and friends orchestrated Radio Free ConFusion. That became RadioFreeFandom. RFF could therefore be set up at other cons - and it was. Imagine a radio show during the convention. That's only a small part of RFF. It takes a lot of time and equipment to run a radio show, especially in an environment like a con.
He's been a dueling DJ with Bill Putt. Even when he's not officially Ops, somehow Freon's always working in Ops anyway. Fixing a technical issue here, finding something for someone else over there, building marshmallow catapults... I affectionately call Freon a mad scientist. He writes prose and radio plays, does newsletters, fixes computers and cars and houses...
Like most authors, he loathes the telephone, but he loves his Nextel walkie-talkie.
Freon ran a very successful 2005 WritersWorkshop. Formerly it was known as the PenguiCon Writer's Workshops. It has been renamed since its inception. Like RadioFreeFandom, this too can be shared to other conventions. Now "the Writer's Workshop that we at the Sanctuary Press opened at Penguicon 3.0" is the Sanctuary Press Writer's Workshop.
Freon was also instrumental in keeping the final ConTraption alive and kicking. He's the one who pulled people together in 2000-2001. It was worth it
M. Keaton can be found at http://www.archangelpress.net/ where his cat updates the website. He will be on many writing panels and somehow fit in time with the ConClave writing workshop as well. His bio is at http://www.scifan.com/writers/kk/KeatonM.asp.
We could claim that Wild Mercy started with a collection of music CDs found in a crashed flying saucer -- mementos from Earth, a little planet known throughout the Western Spiral Arm of the Milky Way as a hotbed of musical influences -- but that would be getting ahead of ourselves.
We could call our music something like "neo-Celtic-powered post-industrial electro-acoustic folk-rock with jazz influences and freeform choral structure" -- and wonder what we meant by that -- but it's always more fun to make music than to label it.
We could disavow all knowledge except for our favorite mystic/maverick influences -- people like Hildegard of Bingen, David Darling, Glen Velez, Bruce Cockburn, and Loreena McKennitt -- but once we take up our instruments, the responsibility for what comes out is all ours.
Suffice to say that anyone on Earth can trace his or her lineage back to a tribal culture somewhere -- often several. And all have left caches of rich psychic nutrients deep in our individual and collective experience. Gifts. Treasures. Supplies for the long hike across the fragile land-bridge of the current era, into the largely unknown lands of a shared human future. For most of us human beings, the indispensable staple is music, in all its tumbling diversity. And people of the twenty-first century have more access to a richer harvest of musical traditions than anyone who has ever lived.
We of Wild Mercy partake carefully but joyfully of this privilege. To us, the multiple musics of Earth are a delight, whether traditional, popular, classical, or improvised. We can't help but sample them eagerly, cook them up in our own stew, and make an offering. We harbor no illusions about being a live jukebox, rock-star wannabes, or close replicas of our ancestors (or anyone else's). All we know is that we honor the originators of this exuberant Earthly music -- and hope they don't mind our borrowing some ingredients to add the savor of endless human possibility to our music
In February 1985, Tom Smith picked up a guitar, and to this day the world hasn't quite recovered. One of the most manic people in the history of SF Fandom, Tom can warm or chill your heart at whim and seemingly pull new songs out of the air. He blends comedy, tragedy, dark romance, popular culture, politics, religion, gaming, movie trivia, current events, and dreadful puns with virtually every genre of music you can imagine. But most startling is the speed with which he does it. He can make up a ditty about virtually any subject on the spot; give him half an hour, and it'll be a keeper. He has improvised entire concerts, and can't seem to let ten minutes on stage go by without making up something no one's ever heard before, including him.
He must be doing something right, too -- he's won an unprecedented twelve Pegasus Awards for Excellence in Filking, and three OVFF songwriting contests, and even had a songwriting contest based on him ("The Best Song Tom Smith Never Wrote" -- which, somehow, Tom kinda won). He has been Guest of Honor at numerous conventions across the country and -- gasp -- around the world; his music has been played everywhere from Germany to Australia, as well as on The Dr. Demento Show (where he's made the weekly list of most-requested songs, The Funny Five, several times). And his shows are high-energy, must-see gonzo theater, combining music, comedy, some social conscience, a hint of wickedness, and a hell of a lot of fun.
William Jones is a writer and editor who has worked and published in many genres. He has edited several fiction anthologies and magazines. His writing also reaches into the role-playing industry, where he has published articles and gaming supplements for a variety of publishers. Presently, William is the editor of Dark Wisdom magazine(www.darkwisdom.com). When not writing and editing, he teaches English at a university in Michigan. Website:www.williamjoneswriter.com Blog: www.williamsramblings.blogspot.com
SpaceTime Theater, Chicago's favorite non-resident science-fiction comedy improv theater group, is delighted to return to ConClave again this year.
They'll be bringing a lot of improvisational fun and games, along with a leavening of scripted sketches, all designed to keep you laughing.
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