Arisia 2001 was held January 12th thru the 14th. Arisia is a multimedia that covers television, movies, games, books and games. Arisia has one of the most complete panel discussions of any convention we've ever been to. They have various track panels with one devoted to different topics. There are entire panel tracks covering costuming, filking gaming, and many panels on writing, television shows and movies. The gaming at Arisia has continued to grow with many participants signing up for the live role-playing that takes place for the whole convention.
This year's guests included: Lois McMaster Bujold as the writer guest of honor, Wojtek Suidmak as the artist guest of honor and Wombat a.k.a. Jan Howard Finder. Find her I didn't know we lost her (sorry, must be really old joke for him). Along with the guests of honors there are many other writers, artists and other professionals that attend Arisia to host the many panels. You may be able to find one of your favorite writers or artists at Arisia.
Lois McMaster Bujold sold her first story to Twilight Zone Magazine in 1984 which was shortly followed by the publishing of her three novels: Shards of Horror, The Warrior's Apprentice and Ethan of Athos by Baen books in 1985. Her next book, Free Fall was serialized in Analog Magazine in 1987-88 winning her first Nebula award. Lois McMaster Bujold has gone on to write many books and short stories.
Wojtek Suidmak is an artist from Weilen, Poland who is a master with paint. His work in the art show and his slide show art was fabulous. Arisia was Suidmak's first convention and he said he would be willing to do others. His own description for his style is very apt. He describes his work as "fantastic hyperrealist"; there were pieces that had human body parts merged with mountains and cities. Suidmak's work is very different, unique and beautiful.
Wombat, Jan Howard Finder, is a life long fan who got his nickname from the marsupial from Australia. Wombat has published fanzines, edited science fiction anthologies but is most know for his convention activism. He has won awards for costuming, hosted auctions and organized and ran panels.
The masquerade this year was very successful as well. The 'Best in Class' award went to Stephanie Carrigg and Tom Kieran for their "The Discovery" and 'Best in Show' going to Karen and Katie Ames, Lisa and Tommy Ashton, Charlotte Connor, Nathan Quist, David, Diane, Larry, and Thomas Seiler for their "The Standing Stone". Arisians also enjoy movies and shorts that run 24 hours during the length of the convention. "Sleep? We don't need no stinkin; sleep." Arisia is always a great convention for the beginning conventioneer to give them an introduction to conventions due to it wide supply of options. You should become an Arisian and attend on of the conventions at some point. :-)