Byron Connell is a long-time costuming and science fiction/fantasy fan who likes to help at masquerades and similar costume events rather than entering them – entering once a decade is about right! Usually, he’s found running their green rooms. However, since being part of the best-in-show entry at Torcon III (the 2003 World Science Fiction Convention, in Toronto), when he does enter, he does so in the Master division.
Byron’s been participating in Costume-Cons since Costume-Con 3 (Columbia, MD, 1985). He’s participated in Costume-Cons 5 and 7 (New Brunswick, NJ, 1987, and Albany, NY, 1989, respectively) and every Costume-Con since, with the exception of CC 20, which was in Melbourne, Australia. He co-directed the Costume-Con 10 science fiction and fantasy masquerade (Lincoln, NE, 1992). He directed the historical masquerades at Costume-Cons 24, 25, 29, and 32, and will run the one at Costume-Con 37 (Boston, MA-area) in 2019. He ran masquerades at Arisia (Boston) and Philcon (Philadelphia-area) but he was shocked when he was asked to run the first of two world science fiction convention masquerades, at Anticipation (Montreal, 2009). The second was at Chicon 7 (Chicago, 2012). He’s also served as a stage judge for masquerades at AnimeUSA, Lunacon, Archon, Denvention 3 (Denver, CO, 2008), and other local, regional, and world science fiction convention masquerades.
Byron was Archon 25’s Costuming Guest of Honor (St. Louis-area, 2001), Albacon 2005’s co-Fan Guest of Honor (Albany, NY), and Lunacon 2006 Fan Guest of Honor (New York City area). He chaired Albacon 2015. He is a member of three chapters of the International Costumers’ Guild: the Sick Pups of Greater Monmouth County (New Jersey-New York Costumers’ Guild), where he’s currently the president, the SLUTs (St. Louis Ubiquitous Tailoring Society), and the Armed Costumers’ Guild); that makes him an Armed SLUT Puppy! Byron was President of the International Costumers’ Guild from 1999 to 2002. The ICG honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996. His citation reads, “A true gentleman of costume fandom, Byron Connell nonetheless has very strong opinions on the proper way to run things, and most importantly the will to get them done. He was ICG President at a major time in its history, and his parliamentary skills made all the difference. Byron has been a part of multiple Best in Show costume groups at the international level, but most people will remember seeing him running a great green room, judging, or otherwise helping others be able to do their best.”
A historian by training, Byron enjoys reading “hard” science fiction, alternate history, alternate worlds, and fantasy fiction (not necessarily in that order).