wine glass with balloons from annual 200
  • elektra

The Return of On The Mark

Just heard that musical group On The Mark, who were a fixture at DarkoverCon (and many other Northeastern conventions) will be at this year's convention, and will do a concert.

I'm excited to once again hear their combination of medieval classics, tradition folk, and filk favorites like Unified Field Theory and Gnome on the Range.

Please welcome back Monica, Robert and Kathy!
  • mneme

New this year: Bardic Circle Friday and Saturday night!

So, one thing I've noticed is that we have a lot of musical people at Darkover. Some of these people have concerts. Many of them (as is the way of things) don't. But you still hear them; singing along at the Clam Chowder concerts, starting Buffy sinalongs in the hall, helping out with the clam chowder concert, sometimes even forming tiny song sharing sessions in the hall.

But...I don't hear enough of any of you, is awesome. Our music--whether it's medieval, ballads, parodies, filk, buffy, rock we heard on the radio, opera, rap--anything. And our stories, poems, insturmentals, and interpretive dance.

So, we've been given the Main Programming space to sing, play, tell stories -- anything we like, after the Insturmental Jam on Friday and after the Halelulah Chorus on Saturday. I hope you'll join me; we can bring the house down.
  • Current Mood
    hopeful hopeful
red elektra graphic
  • elektra

A great lady has gone between

As has been reported variously across the internet, Anne McCaffrey, passed away on Monday, 21 November. Anne was one of the greats: the first woman to win both a Hugo and a Nebula, and a profound influence on readers and writers alike.

She was also Guest of Honor at Darkovercon in 1986. There will be a memorial service for Anne at Noon on Saturday, 26 November at Darkovercon, facilitated by Katherine Kurtz, for all who'd like to remember Anne.
jaelle of armida
  • elektra

Message from the Chair Alton - Darkovercon 34 Update #6

Greetings and welcome to the July update!

Midsummer has come and gone, but the summer warmth remains. Some days are so warm that there is NO snow here at Armida. We are taking advantage of warm temperatures and eating all the lovely summer fruit such as fresh, vine ripened strawberries.And more strawberries. And even more. . .

I want to thank everyone who is paying via Paypal, and remind you to please remember to include your mailing address, phone number, and email address when you pay. We really need this information, and it is a lot easier if we get the information all at once.

What do people want to see at Darkovercon? Please write to me and let me know. Alton's are strong mind readers, but not from Armida to the USA or Canada. You can always reach me at jaelle at <name of the con (see above) dot org. We have updated our dealers and our author guest lists, so come check them out. And we are hoping to start getting programming up by the end of next month. No one has solved the GoH for 2012 mystery yet, so here is another clue. She shares something in common besides the obvious, such as being female, being a writer, etc. with Ellen Kushner, and Lois McMasters Bujold. Enjoy the summer and lots of strawberries! See you next month, Jaelle
jaelle of armida

Message from the Chair Alton - Darkovercon 34 Update #5

Greetings and welcome to the June update!

A happy midsummer to everyone. Enjoy the long days full of sun and warmth! Here at Armida everyone is enjoying the sun, the flowers, and the fresh fruit! It will be berry season soon, and we are already planning what to do with nature's bounty so we can enjoy it during the long dark winter nights.

1. The first Darkovercon hardcopy mailing has gone out. Check your labels. On your labels is the last year we have you listed as paid for. If your label does not say 2011 (unless you paid in May or June) our records do not show you having a membership for 2011. If you think you have paid and your label does not reflect this, or you didn't get a mailing at all, contact me ASAP so we can straighten this out. I can be reached at

2. No one managed to guess our 2012 GoH, though there were some good guesses, so I guess I need to give you another clue. Since I got some good guesses I will give you two. First, to add on from last month's - she went from a very warm place to a place that is frequently very cold. Second, she appears in one of the books (print or audio) I mentioned in an earlier column.

3. We are going to try and get as much programming up as possible on the website several months before the con. Currently I am working on topics for the workshops. Is there any art or craft you would like us to offer? I can't guarantee that we will if you ask - but if you don't let me know you want something I can't at least consider it. At this point the only one that is definite is the spinning - which is also a heads up to our spinners. Wheel or drop, we have people who love to talk, and help, spinning. So, if you have a specific request, drop me a line.

See you next month,

jaelle of armida

Message from the Chair Alton - Darkovercon 34 Update #4

Greetings and welcome to the May update!

The flowers are blooming the grass is growing and in May everyone's hearts turns to . . . new books. Yes new books! Wonderful books are coming out including ones by Darkovercon guests.

Our 2011 co-Guest of Honor, Ellen Kushner has just had a book come out. WELCOME TO BORDERTOWN a new anthology of interconnected stories and poems by some of today's finest fantasists edited by Holly Black & Ellen Kushner with Introduction by the original series creator, Terri Windling (Random House, May 24, 2011). The anthology includes works by this year's co-Guest of Honor Delia Sherman and 2009 co-Guests of Honor Emma Bull and Will Shetterly.

Our ever popular Tamora Pierce had a book come out in February. TORTALL AND OTHER LANDS: A COLLECTION OF TALES, a short story collection, featuring both previously published short stories ("Elder Brother", "Huntress", "Time of Proving") and original stories. Additionally October 25, 2011: MASTIFF, book three of the Beka Cooper trilogy, will be coming out. Based on the short section that appears in TORTALL AND OTHER LANDS it looks to be incredible! I am counting the days until it comes out! Random House hardcover in the U.S. and Canada.

On the convention side of things our music page has been updated with information about some of our musicians as well as a link to an article from the Washington Post, 2006, about Darkovercon, Clam Chowder and our fundraising for Children's Hospital. You can also find the link to the article on our links of interest page along with some other useful links.

Finally in our planning ahead stage we already have a GoH lined up for 2012. I am not going to say who yet – I have to keep some surprises for future months but I will say I was overjoyed that after several years of trying to get her to come she finally said yes.

Next month is June and in honor of midsummer if five people write to me with reasonable guesses as to whom our 2012 GoH will be I will let you know who it is. Otherwise you may have to wait a bit longer. But I will give you a clue. Think warm. Very warm and sunny.

See you next month!

jaelle of armida

Message from the Chair Alton - Darkovercon 34 Update #3

Greetings and welcome to the April update!

Spring has finally started to come here at Armida. While the snow is not completely gone from the ground, there are large patches of ground snow free, and these areas get larger every day.

Our most exciting piece of news is that effective now you can pay for your Darkovercon memberships, in advance only, via paypal. Note: we will only take cash and checks for at the door memberships. The paypal link is found on this page

This year is Darkovercon 34. Many have asked what Darkovercon was like in the early days. Well, we now have some pictures from Darkovercon 1 and 2 up on the website at

Want to know which dealers are coming this year, and what they sell? See our list at Note: we do have a few tables left for sale. If you are interested in selling at Darkovercon contact me at Jaelle at Darkovercon dot org.

Finally, a special deal has been offered us. Full Cast Audio is offering us a deal where you can get 40% off their regular prices.

Full Cast Audio produces audio books of a number of fantasy and science fiction YA and children's books. Unlike most audio books they are not just someone reading the book, but instead they have a narrator and a different voice for each person in the book. They have audio books of more than a dozen books in Tamora Pierce's Tortall and Circle universes. As an added bonus, Ms. Pierce is the narrator for most of her books.

I have listened to a number of their audio books, not just Ms. Pierce's books (for instance they have produced some of Heinlein's juveniles as audio books and are working on more), and I have greatly enjoyed them all. Go, take a look at what Full Cast Audio has to offer. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

To get the discount call their office at 1-800-871-6809. Office hours are 9 am to 5 pm Eastern Standard time. Ask for the Darkover® Discount and get 40% off.
jaelle of armida

Message from the Chair Alton - Darkovercon 34 Update #2

Greetings and Welcome to the March Update!

I hope that you are all starting to see some signs of Spring. Here in Armida everything is still covered with snow, but the days are getting longer and slightly warmer and we have hopes of seeing ground that is not covered with snow by next month's post.

The first piece of Big News on the Darkovercon front is that you can now pay for your memberships - advance ones only - via paypal. Effective now through October 31, 2011 you can pay for your memberships via paypal. Information about this can be found on the website under membership:

From November 1, 2011 through November 15, 2011 you will still be able to preregister, but only by mailing a check or money order to the PO Box. At the door we can only take checks, money orders, or cash.

The art show will be taking paypal for art show purchases at the convention - so now you can pay for your artwork with your credit cards!

The second piece of Big News is that we are definitely doing a t-shirt! It will be available to those who pay in advance to pick up at Darkovercon. Depending on how many pre-orders we get, there might be a few available for sale at Darkovercon. The t-shirt will feature artwork by the multi-talented Nancy Janda. More information including a picture of the t-shirt and prices should be available next month.

Our final piece of Big News is that Esther Friesner will be joining us again this year!

Now, a question for all of you. What can we do to enhance your Darkovercon experience? What would you like to see added, changed, improved, etc.? Please write me and let me know. I can't promise that we can do as you wish - money, space, manpower, etc., may prevent it. But I will promise that all requests will be taken seriously.
jaelle of armida
  • elektra

Message from the Chair Alton - Darkovercon 34 Update #1

Greetings and welcome to the first of what will hopefully be monthly updates on what is happening with this year's Darkovercon.

So, with no further ado, here are this month's highlights.

1 The website has been updated to reflect 2011 info. More information will be added throughout the year so check the website regularly.

2 We have our Guests of Honor for 2011 – Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman.

3 Our room rates for 2011 are only $97 a night, plus tax. This is only a one dollar increase from 2009 and 2010.

4 Melissa Scott after a long absence is able to return this year.

5 Diana Paxson will be here this year as well.

6 We are working on setting up a paypal link so people can pay for memberships in advance via paypal. We expect this up and running no later than the end of February.

7 At Darkovercon 2011 you will be able to pay for artwork via paypal.

8 We are thinking about a Darkovercon t-shirt. More information about this next month.

We need feedback from you! Darkovercon is your convention. What would you like to see added, what would you like to see changed, and what would upset you if it was altered in any way? While we can't guarantee that we can do everything you want, if you don't let me know what you want, I can't fix it. So, please write me at jaelle at darkovercon dot org and let me know what you would like to see.

That's all for this month – looking forward to hearing from you,