(Don - 101st)(Thomas - 101st)

1996: March 1-3

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

GOH: Marion Zimmer Bradley, Margaret Weis

This was the first JohnCon ever, and the first con Don knew of to be organized by the newest generation of fandom. The con committee were all students at Hopkins, and they put on a damn fine con for a first effort.

JohnCon was small, and most of the con-goers were college-age. As befits a college con, there was a big emphasis on gaming, comics, and such -- but there were also two tracks of intelligent panels with writers, artists, and editors as guests. The panels were, by-and-large, well-attended and thought-provoking. Thomas and Don joked that there were more serious panels, and better-attended, in this one JohnCon than in all the Disclaves they'd attended combined.

The boys made a new friend at JohnCon: Gary Bowen, who writes vampire books and writes and edits gay erotica. Gary also happens to be a female-to-male transsexual; he was deilighted that he had been managing to "pass" all weekend. Gary was thoroughly delightful to talk to; Thomas and Don spent a few hours with him in the lounge area of the con, and enjoyed every moment.

Thomas and Don commuted to JohnCon -- not that bad, since Hopkins is about twenty minutes from home. They travelled separately, since Thomas had to fit his panels around his pizza-delivery job. Thomas went up Friday night, then came back on Saturday for a two o'clock panel and stayed until late Saturday; Don went up on Saturday morning and left around ten-thirty, then returned on Sunday morning and departed after his two o'clock panel. The boys decided that if they attended future JohnCons, they would get a room in the off-campus hotel. (Unfortunately, future JohnCons were exclusively focused on gaming, so Thomas and Don did not attend.)

On both Saturday and Sunday, Don took advantage of time between panels by locking himself into an unused classroom with his PowerBook and getting some writing done. On that score, it was perhaps the most productive con he'd had in ages.