Beaming into the 2017 Second Life Sci-Fi Convention

2017 SL Science Fiction Convention – “Life

The 2017 Second Life Science Fiction Convention touched-down safely on the main grid on Friday, March 24th, ready to embark Second Life residents on flights of intergalactic adventure and fancy which will continue through until April 2nd, 2017.

Active across six elemental themed regions, the convention this year celebrates its 10th anniversary. Once again, it presents the best in Second Life science-fiction related role-play, with some of the top sci-fi role-play groups, content creators and designers represented  within the regions, all bound together in the aim of raising funds for Relay for Life of Second Life and the American Cancer Society.

2017 SL Science Fiction Convention – “Fire

As well as the role-play group, designers, visiting folk, and intriguing region layouts, the event features a range of entertainment and presentations. So much is going on through the week in fact, that the best way of staying up-to-date on things is to check the convention’s event calendar. This can also be found at strategic points scattered throughout all of the convention’s regions on browsable display boards, so keeping up-to-speed on where to go and what to see is pretty easy.

A full list of exhibitors for the event is also available, tidily broken down by region, with each of the main landing points for the six regions also listed. For ease of reference in general hopping around, these are:

2017 SL Science Fiction Convention -“Water

Note that all of the regions are rated Moderate. For intra-region getting around, there is a monorail systems and a network of stargates – although these didn’t appear to be working on my visit (possibly one of the Energy Lifeforms of M4C-862 was getting up to mischief…). Also, when visiting the landing points, keep an eye out for the free Sci-Fi Con 2017 outfits by Design’s Designs, which can be obtained for the exceptionally most fee of L$2, and which comes in both Fitmesh and standard mesh sizes.

I confess, I didn’t fully get the elemental theme with the convention; I’d have expected “Air” to be – well, in the air, rather than on a hill, and “Water” to perhaps be more aquatic. But this is a minor quibble in the scheme of things, as there is a lot to see, and I did particularly enjoy poking around the cityscape of “Water”. To escape the worst of the inevitable lag, you might want to disable shadows if you usually run with them enabled and drop your draw distance down if you normally have it set to a couple of hundred metres or more, other than for when taking photos.

So, as I’m prone to say when previewing this event: whatever your interest in science fiction, be sure to set your phaser on fun and head back to the future with a visit to the SL Sci-Fi convention. So say we all!

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Engage! The Second Life Sci Fi convention warps in

Second Life Science-Fiction Convention - Nimoy mega-hub
Second Life Science Fiction Convention – Nimoy mega-hub

On Friday, March 18th, the 2016 Second Life Science Fiction Convention, organised by the SL Sic-Fi Alliance, opened its doors to sci-fi enthusiasts from across virtual worlds.

Running through until March 27th, 2016, the convention is spread across six regions packed with all things science-fiction, with good representation from OpenSim as well. As usual, the event has been organised in support of Relay for Life of Second Life, and forms one of the RFL of SL mega events for 2016.

Second Life Science-Fiction Convention
Second Life Science Fiction Convention

As this is a sci-fi event, the major areas for activities are located high up in the sky over the six regions, forming a bustling metropolis of stores, activity centres, walkways, and more, with vehicles of various descriptions passing by overhead. There are also some facilities – teleport hubs, entertainment facilities, etc., located at ground level as well.

The Five  exhibitor regions are (see here for a full list of exhibitors):

In addition, Stardust Dreams provides entertainment facilities both in the air and on the ground.

Second Life Science-Fiction Convention - a time-travelling Allosaurus pops by for a look
Second Life Science Fiction Convention – a time-travelling Allosaurus pops by for a look

When exploring the regions, you’ll find the usual interesting mix of merchants and role-play groups, all with something to offer. The best starting point for explorations is perhaps the mega-hub located in Nimoy.

Details on entertainment, etc., seem a little thin on the ground where the website events page is concerned (or was at the time of writing), so finding out what is going on where and when might be best done via the in-world convention calendar at the Nimoy mega-hub, where you can also pick-up a SLSFC9 uniform (all proceeds to RFL of SL), if you haven’t anything suitably sci-fi to wear (or even if you have).

Second Life Science-Fiction Convention
Second Life Science Fiction Convention

Whatever your interest in science fiction, be sure to set your phaser on fun and head back to the future with a visit to the SL Sci-Fi convention. So say we all!

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Hailing frequencies open: the 2015 SL Sci-Fi Convention enters orbit

Watching the sunrise over the 2015 Sci-Fi convention regions
Watching the sunrise over the 2015 Sci-Fi convention regions (click any image for full size)

With an official opening ceremony slated for midday SLT on Friday, February 20th, 2015, the six regions of the 2015 Second Life Science-Fiction Convention, organised by the SL Sic-Fi Alliance, are now open and will remain docked in Second Life through until March 1st, 2015 inclusive.

The theme for this year’s events is that of Sci-Fi resorts, and the names of the six regions, selected by popular vote on the part of residents, reflects  this:

  • Pern Sound (Red Sector) – Named for the planet Pern, central to Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders mythology, and the third planet orbiting Rukbat.
  • Magrathea (Gold Sector) – Named for the homeworld of the legendary planet builders in Douglas Adams’ Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, and perhaps best remembered for mice, missiles, whales and petunias. Oh, and a designer called Slartibartfast as well, of course…
  • Risa (Orange Sector) – Named for the “interstellar vacation planet” in Star Trek, and also referred to as Epsilon Ceti B II.
  • Fhloston Paradise (Purple Sector) – Named for the luxury cruise where The Fifth Element’s Corbin Dallas, together with the Fifth Element, Leeloo, must retrieve the first four elements.
  • New Vegas (Blue Sector) – From Babylon 5, the Earth Alliance resort city on Mars which draws its name from Earth’s Las Vegas.
  • Sihnon (Green Sector) – The third planet orbiting the White Sun, and one of the two major planets of the universe created by Joss Whedon for his television series Firefly. It is also the home of the person from whom I took my name: Inara Sierra 🙂 .
Space really is the final frontier for this year's SL Sci-Fi convention
Space really is the final frontier for this year’s SL Sci-Fi convention

Each sector has its own teleport hub (provided in the links above), allowing for quick and easy hopping between regions – although most people will likely want to explore on foot once they’ve arrived. However, do remember that, in a change from previous years, the 2015 convention doesn’t only take place on the ground – there are booths to be found overhead as well, out “in space”, adding to the sci-fi feel of activities . So keep your eye out for teleports and other means to go skyward to destinations (and don’t forget the Zocalo from Babylon 5 is under the waves of Pern Sound).

One way of getting around is via the convention taxis, tours, and shuttles. The taxis are self-fly, can carry up to three people and can be rezzed at any of the taxi stations like the one I used in Pern Sound. I found a starting point for the dragon tours in Magrathea; I didn’t notice any others in my travels, but might have missed them. The shuttles offer a kind of convention auto-pilot “bus service”, ferrying people around (and over) the convention regions.

Who said Sci-fi has to be all star ships and deep space? This year's event carries with it various hints of reto in both displays and in some of the imaginative booth designs
Who said Sci-fi has to be all star ships and deep space? This year’s event carries with it various hints of retro in both displays and in some of the imaginative booth designs

When exploring the regions, one will find an interesting mix of merchants and role-play groups (see the exhibitor list for details) and, for those engaged in the scavenger hunt, quite possibly the stars you are looking for (so to speak). A programme of entertainment has been put together for the convention, starting with the aforementioned opening ceremony, which will take place at Merciless Ming’s. There will also be live entertainments, DJ, film screenings and more, with full details of all goings-on to be found via the convention’s Events Calendar. In addition, information givers located next to the major telehubs also provide a run-down of the current day’s events for those arriving in any of the regions, if they wish to find out what’s going on and when.

Whatever your interest in science-fiction, be sure to set your phaser on fun and head back to the future with a visit to the SL Sci-Fi convention, and as this is a Relay for Life event, keep an eye-out for RFL-related vendors and kiosks as you explore.

Related Links

Set phasers on fun: the 2015 SL Sci-Fi Convention is coming!

posterThe 2015 SL Sci-Fi will be lifting-off on Friday, February 20th and will remain in orbit with hailing (and transporter) frequencies open through until Sunday, March 1st 2015, inclusive.

Now in it eighth year, this annual event in support of Relay for Life of Second Life, will be offering “six sims of imagination” for visitors to explore and enjoy, whether or not they are science-fiction fans.

The theme for this year’s event is “sci-fi resorts”, which will see the ground level of the six regions landscaped to provide a range of resort-style environments from a coastal lagoon to high mountains.

And for the first time, there will even be facilities in space, as vendors are given the opportunity to use booth areas placed at between 1000 metres and 1200 metres as well, or can have orbital skyboxes at 2000 metres. “A convention supplied  Transport shuttle will fly around the participating exhibits, & convention amenities and décor will make it rival the ground for fun!” The organisers note.

2015 Convention Map with some of the builder’s influences and ideas for our exhibitor
2015 Convention Map with some of the builder’s influences and ideas for our exhibitors (via the SL Sci-Fi convention website)

In the spirit of the theme, the organisers have drawn-up a short-list of potential names for each of the six regions for the convention, drawing on locations from a range of science-fiction films, series, comics and books (such as Pern Sound, from Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders books, Sihnon from Firefly, Wrigley’s Pleasure Planet, from the original Star Trek TV series, Fhloston Paradise from the %th element, and more – see the complete list for all of the names, and those interested are being asked to vote for the name they’d like to see used on each of the six regions.

Vendor / merchant registrations are also open, and there are a variety of booths and package options available. If you’re interested in being a vendor, please visit the Booth Information Page.

As well as vendors and merchants, the convention well feature a range of activities and entertainments across the 10 days it is open, including a scavenger hunt, an amusement park, live music, theatrical presentations and more.

To keep up-to-date with planning for the conventions and key announcements, keep an eye on the SL Sci-Fi Convention website.

Make it so, Number One: the SL SF Convention

Note this is a multi-page article, please use the page options at the very end of the piece to page bath and forth.

The fifth annual Second Life Science Fiction convention is well underway, having started on the 27th June and running through until Sunday July 1st. I’m a little late getting to it due to a number of reasons – including not receiving any PR material this year. However, given science-fiction does poke the geek in me, I hopped over to the regions ahead of the start of a busy weekend of events.

This year’s event covers six regions, and is again in aid of the American Cancer Society / RFL in SL, presenting a host of exhibits to tour showcasing SF in SL as well as running a series of live events.

The promotional poster for the event

Chief among the live events are special appearance by Jonathan Frakes (William T. and Thomas Riker from Star Trek: the Next Generation and later ST incarnations) and Garrett Wang (Harry Kim from Star Trek Voyager), both of whom will be appearing over the weekend.

Also putting in an appearance was Richard Hatch, the original Apollo from Battlestar Galactica and who also featured in the reimagined series as the manipulative revolutionary / terrorist Tom Zarek. Mr. Hatch was on stage on June 27th, just after the event opened, so I’m afraid I missed him in terms of getting the word out.

Each of the six regions has its own arrival point, each of which has a wealth of information on the events – including links to  convention guide (presented in PDF format & sadly lacking in URLs). The format of the guide will be instantly recognisable to anyone who has ever attended a Sci Fi convention in real life, which is a nice touch. However, if you are specifically interested in attending the presentations by Mr. Frakes and / or Mr. Wang, I would suggest you head for the North region’s teleport point. Details on the appearances by Mr. Frakes and Mr. Wang can be found just to the east of this, complete with a ticket booth, which links you to the SL Marketplace where you can purchase a ticket to attend either or both events, at a cost of L$100 per attending avatar.

The venue for the guest speakers is the spherical Council Chamber which sites next to the ticket booth and promotional posters of the guests. Other main stage events will take place in the ground immediately outside the sphere, on the east side of the teleport arrivals area.

The Council Chamber

The regions themselves are well-defined in terms of the ratio of open space to exhibits, helping to reduce overall lag. For those who visited SL9b, there are some familiar friends here – such as Novelli Nior’s TARDIS ride. If you didn’t get to enjoy this unlagged at SL9B, it’s immediately worth a visit here.

Journey through the Galaxy aboard a TARDIS

There is quite a mix of exhibits across the sims, with some promoting content, others role-play groups and some – like the TARDIS ride – offering a lot of fun. Some are imaginative ways of promoting adult-oriented material in a distinctly inoffensive way which should raise a smile even if you’re not into the adult theme itself…

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