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     This report will be, as a number of con reports are, about the writer's (me, in this case) own experience at the con, most of which was at the Harmuni 4 con, which was the filk portion of Constitution (and the one I primarily came for).  The other  "cons within a con" at Constitution were Unicon (literary), BRSCON (role-playing and gaming) and the Ars Magica Grand Council (fantasy rp).  I did make a few of the Unicon panels, so I'll have something to say about them as well.
    Constitution was held last weekend (July 31st-Aug 2nd), in Cambridge, UK.   A very brief opening ceremony was held in the main function room, known as the Long Room -- because it's, uh, *long*. (Don't sit in the back if you want to hear.)  The guests were introduced:  Steph Swainston, the Unicon/literary guest of honor; Sean Punch, the gaming goh; Henry Gee, the science goh; and Sib Machat, the filk goh.  The concom introduced themselves.  The introductions took all of ten minutes, after which those assembled were ordered to go out and enjoy themselves.
     I went to an opening panel on War in SF and Fantasy.  The main theme in the panel seemed to be the portrayal of characters in military settings, whether battle or military life.  Panelist Simon Bradshaw, who reported spending 17 years in the RAF, expressed disappointment at how few SF works get military life right, a major exception being Lois Bujold in her Vorkosigan books.   Steph Swainston stressed the need to focus on character development, and along with other panelists, the treatment of soldiers as people rather than stereotypes.  I will jump ahead and note here that I picked up Ms. Swainston's first book at this convention, *The Year of Our War*, and have been impressed with both her portrayal of battle and character.
    The filk program opened with Playing Rapunzel, with Mich Sampson on piano and Marilisa Valtazanou on a variety of instruments, and both in fine voice.  They performed songs by Talis Kimberly, Kathy Mar and others, arranged and played beautifully.  They were followed by Julianne Honisch, who performed several of her songs (and reminded me of why I have two of her songbooks and one of her cd's).  The open filk afterwards was devoted to the themes of fantasy and gaming, until sometime after midnight (I sung several songs, then left a bit after midnight, when the circle moved into open filking) 

 Saturday, next... 



Professor Rosenfeld off to Hogwarts

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