Willis' 1996 sci-fi novel Remake concerns a young dancer who wants to dance in Fred Astaire-style movie musicals. She befriends a young film editor who, working in the politically conservative future, digitally removes all traces of alcohol and cigarettes from old films. When he starts to find her dancing in various 100-year-old films, the line between reality and the movies disappears -- if it was ever there to begin with. Willis is a sci-fi writer in the mold of Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick and Theodore Sturgeon -- subtly and skillfully, she tells a story that makes you ask big questions about being human. Consequently, she's won more Hugo and Nebula awards than anyone else.
Thompson draws comely damsels, dragons, warriors and fairies with butterfly wings. The heavy eyebrows and strong cheekbones of her humanoid characters may bring to mind the prints by Andrew Nagel so popular on beauty-salon walls 20 years ago.
The range of activities at the Con is really staggering, including a costume contest and masquerade, pool and alcohol-fueled hotel-room parties; 24-hour gaming and video rooms (featuring a filmmakers' showcase); an art show and miniature and models contests; a vendors' hall; charity auction; robot wars; panel discussions on such subjects as comics, digital art and sleeper TV shows; and live-action role-playing games, for which youth dressed as vampires roam the halls in search of the answer to a puzzle or fresh blood, whichever comes first.