One of the key events at any Science-Fiction/Fantasy Convention is always the Costume Competition – aka – The Masquerade. Renovation’s hosted by the Folgio’s (Girl Genius for those of you who don’t recognize the names).
Contestants compete at Novices (really new at this and haven’t won any significant awards), Journeyman (done it before and done ok), and Master (the really scary people). Occasionally there will be an entry in the “Exhibition Only” category – meaning not in competition either because someone doesn’t want to be judged or they have entered the costume somewhere else (oh, yes, you can’t enter the same costume over and over again at different Cons. And trust me, someone will know). Judging is both on presentation (including how the costume appears from the audience) and workmanship (exactly what you would expect – details and finishing do count – the days of 2 hour glue-gun costumes are no more).
Then there are the costumes (I have included only some)-
After the stage presentations there is a break while the workmanship judges do their thing. Which means something to keep the audience entertained – in this case a Con version of the British venerable radio program “Just a Minute.” A contestant is required to speak extemporaneously on a topic without repetition, pause, hesitation or wandering off-topic for one minute. The other contestants may challenge infractions. Successful challenges win points which can also be gained from being the speaker at the end of the 60 seconds or being incorrectly challenged. Let me just leave it with – you haven’t heard anything till you hear Seanan McGuire head into a discussion on deadly viruses, the worst thing about steampunk or call her mother up on stage to resolve a challenge when someone could not believe she wasn’t off topic.
Maus and I only made it through the first two rounds as we were exhausted. This also means we don’t know who won…..