Volume 1, Issue 20
I’m going to change the listing of my address, since I plan to move out of my
apartment at the end of May, and don’t know exactly where I’ll wind up. The
address given is one I will definitely be able to get mail at, and might wind up
being where I live. I’m bringing back some con reports for this one, since they’re
something I’ve missed. The ones I’m including are by Allegra, who y’all can find
on Facebook as “The Chainmail Chick” –
Chainmail-Chick/264533176445. She’s an NC fan who gets out and about to
plenty of cons (and who hits all sorts – trad SF, gaming, comics, anime…), so
she’s got some basis for comparison. If anyone else wants to send in conreports
(or just make me aware of your blog where you post them), I’ll run them (so long
as there’s nothing outright libelous in them). I hope to get back to reading
current enough fiction to be reviewing soon, as well – maybe I’ll make a go at
reading all of the Hugo nominees when we hear what they are. Right now, I’ve
got something like four books in progress on my bedside table, two of them
classics (Ringworld and Dangerous Visions), two semi-recent (though still a few
years old). This issue’s cover is by Brad Foster, and it’s the piece I mentioned in
last month’s issue. I think he’s right about it working well with my cover layout.
I don’t feel like putting together a Table of Contents for this issue, so here’s the
order of things: first the Calendar, then the Rebel Yells, then the Con Reports.
Editor & SFC President: Warren Buff
8712 Wellsley Way
Raleigh, NC 27613
All contents copyright their creators. This zine is free, either by direct email or
www.efanzines.com. A letter of comment or other contribution will get you on my
mailing list, as long as I remember to put you there. If I forget, bother me a
second time, or however long it takes to add you. I haven’t been printing this one,
which leaves me free to use as many pages as I wish, and do things like color. It
also lets me use all the contributions I can muster, so fire away!
Calendar of Events:
RavenCon (Richmond, Virginia – Holiday Inn Koger Center. Fun, fairly big-
tent convention, with John Ringo and Kurt Miller as its Guests of Honor. Expect
a good deal of filk concerts and more programming than you can shake a stick at.
Memberships are $40 at the door. www.ravencon.com)
JohnCon (Baltimore, Maryland – on the campus of Johns Hopkins University.
There will be gaming, B movies, and anime. It will last all weekend. It will
probably cost money to get in. Beyond that, the website doesn’t give much in the
way of specifics. http://www.jhu.edu/johncon/index.html)
STEAM Fest (Atlanta, GA – Unfortunately, I can’t figure out just where in
Atlanta this is. The website says to contact Lainey Welsch at
firstname.lastname@example.org for information. www.atlsteamfest.com)
FreeCon 7 (Tallahassee, Florida – second floor of the Student Services building
at FSU. Looks like a fan-oriented anime convention. The convention is
completely free. www.tallahasseeanime.com/freecon)
KampingKon (Cochran, Georgia – Hillside Bluegrass RV Park. Outdoor
science fiction fun. Their website includes a picture of two guys battling with
plastic Bat’leths. Membership is $30 at the “door”. Camping fees extra.
JordanCon (Atlanta, Georgia – Crowne Plaza Ravinia. A Wheel of Time
oriented convention featuring Brandon Sanderson as Guest of Honor. They also
bring in Atlanta area authors for their program, which means they have a broader
focus than just one series – it’s just their favorite. $65 at the door.
T-mode (Rockville, Maryland – Hilton Washington DC/Rockville. Fusion of
anime, gaming, and “all things otaku”. Pre-reg memberships $40, $50 at the
Creation Twilight (Arlington, Virginia – Sheraton National Hotel. I don’t
really know the actors from this one, so you’ll just have to check it out yourself if
you want to know. There seem to be several of them, doing one-day appearances.
The ticket structure is complicated, and seems to involve paying a lot to get in
and then paying more to do things like get autographs or go to events. I leave it
to the dedicated to figure it out.)
CyPhaCon (Lake Charles, Louisiana – Lake Charles Civic Center. They describe
themselves as anime, gaming, and sci-fi. The only guests they have listed are the
Bedlam Bards, who I think I saw perform once and liked. Tickets are $15.
MTAC Odyssey (Nashville, Tennessee – Sheraton Music City, overflow at
Embassy Suites Airport. Guests include Robert Axelrod, Yuri Lowenthal, Vic
Mignogna, Tara Platt, and Eric Stuart. They’ll also have a performance by The
Protomen (and several other bands). Memberships $40. www.mtac.net)
Conglomeration (Louisville, Kentucky – Louisville Crowne Plaza Hotel and
Conference Center. A science fiction convention whose website is both hard to
navigate and hard to read. Their Gaming Guest of Honor is Andy Chambers.
Membership is $40 at the door. www.conglomeration.info)
LouisiAnime (Baton Rouge, Louisiana – Crowne Plaza Baton Rouge. Anime
convention featuring Todd Haberkorn, Alexis Tipton, and Airship Isabella.
Registration is $42 at the door. www.louisianime.com)
April 28-May 1:
ReCon (Cocoa Beach, Florida – International Palms Resort. Gaming
convention, theme of Air Through The Ages. Special Guest Stanly F. Kubiak.
Presented by the HMGS-South. $25 pre-reg, $35 at the door -- $10 less for
HMGS members. http://www.hmgs-
World Horror Convention (Austin, Texas – Doubletree Hotel. Guests of
Honor: Steve Niles, Vincent Chong, Brett Savory, Sandra Kasturi, Sarah Langan,
Joe Hill, Joe R. Lansdale, Del Howison and Brian Keene. Unfortunately, the
website is as hard to navigate here as most comic conventions. Lots of noise and
flashy stuff. Memberships are $150. http://whc2011.org/)
April 29-May 1:
Columbia Anime Con (Columbia, South Carolina – Jamil Shrine Center.
Anime, manga, and comics convention featuring Richard Horvitz, Rosearik Rikki
Simons, Addy Miller, and Drew Geraci. Low contrast on their website.
Admission is $5 per day. www.columbiaanimecon.com)
BayouCon (Lake Charles, Louisiana – Lake Charles Civic Center. Self-described
as a comic book and pop culture convention. Guests of Honor: Vaughan
Armstrong, Dino Andrade, Max Grodenchik. Ticket prices are $25.
Gaylaxicon (Atlanta, Georgia – Holiday Inn Perimeter. Outlantacon is hosting
this year’s edition of Gaylaxicon, the premier SF con for the queer audience.
Expect to find their take on Family Feud, Project Cosplay, a chocolate
symposium, Gaylactic Jeopardy!, and the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards. Guest of
Honor: Amber Bensen, Melissa Carter, Steve Scott, Don Schermerhorn & Wayne
Hergenroder. Memberships are $50 through April 30th (the website says 31st, but
I’ll cut them some slack here). www.outlantacon.org)
Full Moon Tattoo and Horror Fest (Chattanooga, Tennessee – Chattanooga
Downtown Marriott Hotel. Around 30 tattoo booths, plus horror celebrities like
Michael Berryman, Richard Brooker, Andrew Bryniarski, Brad Loree, Tiffany
Shepis, and Stacey Dixon. $35 for the weekend, ten bucks less for each day you
don’t care to go. www.fullmooninc.net/fr_nashvillefest.cfm)
Tiger Con (Memphis, Tennessee – University of Memphis campus. Student-run
anime convention. Featuring Johnny Yong Bosch, ?Confusion?, and
Per(sonic)fied. Free, but they request that you RSVP.)
Starfleet Region 1 Summit (Pigeon Forge, TN – Mainstay Suites. Annual
meeting of the Starfleet organization for Region 1. They’ll be having a duck race
in the lazy river for charity. Adult registrations are $30. Banquet tickets are still
Pulp Ark (Batesville, AR – Main Street. This is one of those events where the
town is basically taken over for the weekend by pulp fans. Hard to explain much
more than that. www.proseproductions.com/Press/pulpark.html)
NOLA Comic-Con (New Orleans, Louisiana –- Westin New Orleans Canal
Place. Comic book convention. www.nolacomic.com)
WonderFest (Louisville, Kentucky – Crowne Plaza Hotel. Toy and model
collecting convention with a focus on SF and a good selection of artists. Tickets
are $30. www.wonderfest.com)
Nebula Awards Weekend (Washington, D.C. – Washington Hilton. Annual
presentation of SFWA’s top awards, with workshops, panels, and great
networking opportunities for SF professionals. The weekend alone is $50, the
banquet dinner alone is $125, or the whole shebang for $150.
Dice Head Siege (Chattanooga, Tennessee -- Chattanooga Choo Choo. Gaming
with lots of tournaments and prizes. $25 membership, some tournaments extra.
The extra, in such cases, is usually to cover the costs of material and/or prizes.
Mobicon XIV (Mobile, Alabama – Ashbury Hotel & Suites. Science fiction
convention with all the trimmings. Guests of Honor include Ethan Phillips and
Weatherly B. Hardy. Pre-reg through May 1st is $35, thereafter $40.
Texicon (Fort Worth, Texas – Sheraton Hotel. Gaming convention that seems
to have somehow snagged a name that’s so obvious it astounds me no one was
using it yet. Registration is $40, with discounts available to gamemasters.
Comicpalooza (Houston, Texas – Hilton Americas Houston. Great big guest
list of film actors, artists, game designers, voice actors, etc. Looks like a pretty
good assortment, too. Tickets are $35. www.comicpalooza.com)
Balticon 45 (Baltimore, Maryland – Marriott Hunt Valley. One of the South’s
oldest conventions (I count Baltimore). Guests of Honor: Dr. Benjamin Bova,
Vincent Di Fate, Bill & Brenda Sutton, Philippa Ballantine, Steve Geppi, Paolo
Bacigalupi. Pre-reg $55 through April 30th, $62 at the door. www.balticon.org)
Animazement 14 (Raleigh, North Carolina – Raleigh Convention Center.
Long-running anime convention in downtown Raleigh. Guests of Honor: Hiroaki
Hirata, Todd Haberkorn, Cherami Leigh. Pre-reg $50 through May 8th, $55 at
the door. www.animazement.org)
Rocket City FurMeet 9 (Huntsville, Alabama – Embassy Suites Huntsville.
Three days of furry fun in beautiful Huntsville. Guests of Honor: Kyoht, Scape
the Goat, and a mystery GOH drawn from the paying members at opening
ceremonies. $35 pre-registration, $40 at the door. www.rcfm.net)
Oasis 24 (Orlando, Florida – Sheraton Downtown Orlando. Guests of Honor:
David Drake, Tommy Castillo, and Carla Ulbrich. Membership $35 until 5/26,
$40 at the door. http://oasfis.org/oasis/index.php)
TimeGate (Atlanta, Georgia – Holiday Inn Select Atlanta Perimeter. Stargate
and Doctor Who convention. Featuring Mike Dopud and Sophie Aldred.
Membership $40 through May 6th, then $50 at the door. www.timegatecon.org)
NashCon (Franklin, Tennessee – Cool Springs Marriott. Historical miniatures
wargamming. Their website bears a design I find strikingly familiar, though I
think they haven’t made any modifications to the layout. Membership in the
convention is $25. http://hmgs-midsouth.org/nashcon/)
Florida Anime Experience (Kissimmee, Florida – Ramada Orlando
Celebration. New anime convention in Florida. Also, it appears that Orlando is
following the SF Bay Area’s three-cons-this-weekend trend. Guest of Honor:
Steve Blum, who voiced Spike in Cowboy Bebop. Tickets are $26 until April 30th.
ConCarolinas (Charlotte, North Carolina – Charlotte Hilton University Place.
One of the fastest growing cons in the region, and hosts of last year’s DSC.
Guests of Honor include: Harry Turtledove, John Billingsley, Bonita Frierdericy,
Keela & Katkith, Jamie Chambers, Carla Ulbrich, and Justin Chung. Pre-
registration is $35 through May 16th, then $40 at the door.
HeroesCon (Charlotte, North Carolina – Charlotte Convention Center. Fan-
friendly comics convention. I went once, early in my con-going days, though I
haven’t been back since they’ve moved onto ConCarolinas’s traditional weekend.
It also tells me I’ve been out of reading comics for a long time that I hardly
recognize the names on their guest list anymore. The biggest names I recognize
are Mike Mignola and Bernie Wrightson, but the art for the others they’re
highlighting looks fantastic, too. Yes, I need to hand in some geek street cred for
that remark. $30 for the weekend, $15 for one day.
Seishun-Con (Atlanta, Georgia – Doubletree Hotel Atlanta NW/Marietta. This
appears to be a fan-based anime convention. I don’t see any guests listed, though
I do see a call for panelists. Pre-registration is $25, while registration will be $30
at the door, or $20 for a day pass. http://seishun-con.com)
HamaCon 2 (Huntsville, Alabama – Holiday Inn Downtown. These guys list a
handful of guests, such as Brina Palencia and Chris Cason. They’re another
anime convention, and look to have been founded about the same time as
Seishun-Con. Hopefully, they’ll find a way to stagger their weekends, since
they’re only two hours away from each other. Pre-registration is $25, with extra
food events available. www.hama-con.com)
OMGcon (Paducah, Kentucky – Julian Carroll Convention Center and Expo
Center. Anime convention with guests including Robert & Emily DeJesus, Greg
Ayres, Christopher Ayres, Tavisha, and Eric Stuart. Pre-registration $35 through
May 20th, less for groups. www.omgcon.com)
Sci Fi Summer Con (Atlanta, Georgia – Crowne Plaza Atlanta NW Perimeter.
This looks like it’s either on the relaxacon end of things or really behind schedule.
They’ve got some guests listed on their flier, but I don’t recognize any names, and
without bios, it’s hard to tell who’d actually get your attention. The website is a
disaster. Memberships $20 through May 20th, $35 at the door.
Rapier (Jacksonville, Florida – Jacksonville Clarion Hotel. Gaming convention
that aims to provide a friendly atmosphere. Unfortunately, their website appears
giant-sized, but I gather that they’ve got a dual theme of Napoleonics and
Fantasy. Pre-registration is $20 through May 11th, $25 at the door.
A-Kon 22 (Dallas, Texas – Sheraton Dallas. Established anime convention.
Plenty of voice actors, artists, comics folks, musicians, and writers on the guest
list. Actually, the writers list would make for a pretty good SF con all by itself –
Elizabeth Moon, Esther Friesner, Phil and Kaja Foglio, Lee Martindale, and then
some. Pre-registration is $50 until May 1st. http://a-kon.com)
PariahCon (Lakeland, Florida – Imperial Swan Hotel & Suites. Small anime
con, with some decent attention to computer gaming. Weekend passes $25.
Robert E. Howard Days (Cross Plains, Texas – several locations. There’s only
one motel in town, the 36 West, and it’s likely to fill up. See the website, which
lists the location for each event on the schedule, and gives recommendations for
nearby motels. Most are at the library or the museum. Saturday includes a large
outdoor Barbarian Festival. Guests of Honor: Dennis McHaney and Damon
Sasser. Pre-registration $15. http://www.rehupa.com/?p=2398)
Anime Mid-Atlantic 11 (Chesapeake, Virginia – Norfolk Marriott Chesapeake.
Established anime convention serving the Tidewater. Guests include Todd
Haberkorn, Chris Cason, Charles Dunbar, DJ Asu Rock, and Amy Howard
Wilson. Pre-registration is $40 through May 28th. www.animemidatlantic.com)
MetroCon 9 (Tampa, Florida – Tampa Convention Center. Florida’s largest
anime con will this year be themed around monsters vs. hunters. Guests include
author Max Brooks, voice actors Crispin Freeman and Katie Gray, and a decent
slate of artists, cosplayers, and musicians. Weekend passes are $50 through
April 30th, then $55 thereafter. www.metroconventions.com)
Comic & Anime Con (Knoxville, Tennessee – Holiday Inn Cedar Bluff. Guests
include Rosearik Rikki Simons, Mellissa Cowen, Jason Craig, and Dan Jolley. $5
per day. www.knoxvillecomicanimecon.com)
Hypericon (Nashville, Tennessee – Holiday Inn Express Airport. Not much
other detail on the website. www.hypericononline.com)
ConFederation Celebration (Atlanta, Georgia – See last ish for details.)
Apollocon (Houston, Texas – DoubleTree Hotel Houston International Airport.
Houston’s own SF convention takes advantage of the obvious space connection in
its name. Guests of Honor: Martha Wells, Ann VanderMeer, B.E. Johnson,
Jeanne Gomoll. Memberships are $30 until May 1st, then $35 for pre-reg
thereafter, and $40 at the door. www.apollocon.org)
Contamination (St. Louis, Missouri – Holiday Inn Viking. Horror, sci-fi,
music, and pop culture. Eric Roberts, Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, and
David Dela Rocco will headline. Weekend passes $30. www.con-
Texas Comicon (San Antonio, Texas – San Antonio Event Center. I like that
they make a distinction between creators and celebrities in their guest list. The
creators include the likes of Allen Bellman (Guest of Honor – he worked on the
original Captain America run in the 40s), Steve Engelhart, Dave Hooper, and
Chris Roberson. In addition to folks like Brent Spiner, their celebrities list
includes Herbie the Love Bug and the General Lee. Weekend tickets $30.
Fal-con (El Paso, Texas – 2501 Mesa Ave (Google Maps thinks that’s Mesa St,
and shows it as an address at UTEP). No details about guests, so this may be fan
programming. Anime and gaming (Fal stands for “fellow anime lovers”). Pre-
registration is $30 (they put “tickets” in quotes – I think they find the concept of
tickets to a con alien). www.fal-convention.com)
Florida Supercon (Miami, Florida – www.floridasupercon.com)
Delta H Con (Houston, Texas – http://detlahcon.com)
Shore Leave 33 (Baltimore, Maryland – www.shore-leave.com)
Anime Blues (Memphis, Tennessee – www.animeblues.com)
Omnicon (McAllen, Texas – www.omnicononline.com)
Ancient City Con 5 (Jacksonville, Florida – www.ancientcitycon.com)
LeakyCon (Orlando, Florida – www.leakycon.com)
Slapsticon (Arlington, Virginia – www.slapsticon.org)
24 Hours of Potter (St. Louis, Missouri – www.24hoursofpotter.com)
LibertyCon 24 (Chattanooga, Tennessee – www.libertycon.org)
PersaCon (Huntsville, Alabama – www.persacon.com)
Shared Worlds (Spartanburg, South Carolina –
FandomFest (Louisville, Kentucky – www.fandomfest.com)
Otakon (Baltimore, Maryland – www.otakon.com)
Megaplex (Kissimmee, Florida – www.megaplexcon.org)
July 29-August 1:
Play On Con (Birmingham, Alabama – www.playoncon.com)
Anime Festival Orlando 12 (Orlando, Florida –
San Japan (San Antonio, Texas – www.san-japan.org)
Whedon Fest (Scottsville, Kentucky – www.whedonitesunited.com)
Guns of August (Williamsburg, Virginia – www.odms-club.com/convention)
Sukoshicon (Birmingham, Alabama – www.sukoshicon.com)
Renovation, the 69th Worldcon (Reno, Nevada – Reno-Sparks Convention
Center, Atlantis Hotel, Peppermill Hotel, Courtyard by Marriott. Hotel booking
will open 8 AM PST, January 17th. Guests of Honor: Ellen Asher, Charles N.
Brown (in memoriam), Tim Powers, Boris Vallejo. If you’ve never been to a
Worldcon, you should try one. This one has the added bonus of not conflicting
with the major Labor Day events so many of us go to, reducing your excuses.
This is five days of science fiction, but more importantly, it’s a chance to meet
fans from all over the world. It’s not uncommon for a group of friends at one of
these to span three continents (or more – I’ve met fans from five at Worldcons –
South America and Antarctica, I’m looking at you). It’s also where fandom
presents its annual Hugo Awards – members can nominate and vote, though
you’d better hurry if you want to nominate. This will be my third Worldcon, and
I’m already getting a bit excited about it. I hope to see all y’all there.
Membership is $195 through July 17th, though there is a discounted rate of $100
available for fans 17-21. www.renovationsf.org)
Game Fest South (Chattanooga, Tennessee – www.gamefestsouth.com)
Mizu Con (Miami, Florida – www.mizucon.com)
Motaku (Kansas City, Missouri – www.motaku.org)
Onyx Con III (Atlanta, Georgia – www.onyxcon.com)
Armadillo Con (Austin, Texas – www.fact.org/dillo)
MechaCon (New Orleans, Louisiana – www.mechacon.com)
Dragon*Con (Atlanta, Georgia – several hotels in downtown, though most have
already sold out. The guest list is huge, and I’ll have to wait until later to figure
out who they’ve named Guests of Honor. The attendance at this will be in the
tens of thousands. You will be surrounded everywhere you look by folks who
share some interest in fandom. It’s a great four-day weekend, and always
vibrant. Membership is $90 through May 13th. www.dragoncon.com)
FenCon VIII/DeepSouthCon 49 (Addison, Texas – Crowne Plaza North
Dallas. Guests of Honor: Gail Carriger, Joe Bethancourt, Steven H Silver,
Vincent Di Fate, Les Johnson, Bradley Denton, and Lou Anders. DeepSouthCon
finally comes to Texas! I’m thrilled to be returning to FenCon, as well, which I
found to have the friendly atmosphere appropriate to a good Southern con. I also
found that the panels tended to have actively interested audiences, the game
room stayed busy, folks attended the filk concerts and circles, the art show had a
great mix of stuff (including some Tolkien-inspired quilts!), the video room was
actually attended, the consuite well-stocked, and the dealers room balanced. The
hotel bar also carried a few local Texas beers, which I appreciated. For DSC, I’ll
be in charge of the fanzine lounge, which seems like an entirely appropriate place
for the SFC to set up shop. FenCon will be taking advantage of Gail Carriger’s
attendance to have some fun with steampunk as well. All in all, I’m looking
forward to this year’s DSC, and I hope to see many of you there. Membership is
$30 through June 1st, with a special $45 rate which gets you a t-shirt or tote bag
and first crack at the autograph line with the GoHs. A $15 rate is also available
for fans 21 and under. www.fencon.org)
June 15-17, 2012:
DeepSouthCon 50 – Lunar Party (Huntsville, Alabama – venue TBA. This
will be the first independent DSC in about a decade, and the Moon Princesses
have put together quite a crew to run it. Guests of Honor will include Lois
McMaster Bujold, Howard Tayler, Travis “Doc” Taylor, Larry Montgomer, David
Hulan, and Dr. Demento. Larry and David ran the very first two DSCs back in the
60s, and this will be a rare opportunity to get to meet them. I’ll have more
information on this con in coming issues. Attending Memberships are currently
$40, or $15 for pre-supporters. Supporting Memberships are $20.
News and note from all over
This was a short month, since I pubbed my ish substantially late last month.
Consequently, fewer letters came in. The first of those was from Henry
Thanks for the continued updates. It is a shame that I am not in a position to
attend many of the fine events you list. I grew up in fandom at Scicon, but have
not been back to a southern convention in something like 20 years. There are
many people I miss.
Thanks for reading, Knarley. It’d be good to see you at a Southern con one of
these days – your last one having come and gone well before my time.
Jeff Thompson checked in via Facebook:
Thank you, Warren, for UPDATE #19!
Thanks for another excellent, informative issue. I'm glad to see Hypericon
(Nashville) listed among the conventions. Don't forget the annual Nashville
Comic-Con where I am a guest every year. Last year, I sold and signed my two
Dan Curtis books and moderated a panel with Kathryn Leigh Scott (DARK
SHADOWS, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, DYNASTY, THE
INCREDIBLE HULK, 21 JUMP STREET, JAKE AND THE FAT MAN, et al.). Go
com for information about Marc Ballard's annual Nashville Comic-Con--because
Fandom Is A Way Of Life! Have a good weekend, my friend!
We then received a long loc from Rich Dengrove:
I was about to complain that you didn’t publish my letter of comment on SFCU-
18. However, I found I never wrote it. Egg on face.
EDITORIAL. I’ve noticed that Southern Fans have no idea about what goes on in
Westercon. And when they go there, they are strangers. Come to think of it,
neither do Eastern fans in general. The problem is I met a lot of Western fans for
the first time at ReConStruction. And I really liked them. And, yes, we should
know them. So I would favor sending someone there. If nothing else, so one of
ours will know several of theirs.
ct. Jeff Thompson. I would like to thank Jeff for his compliments on my movie
review of Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y,P.D.
ct. Joy V. Smith. Joy opines that Sgt. Kabukiman is over the top. Is she ever
right!! And ain’t it great?? ...Well, not for everyone.
ct. Lloyd Penney. Lloyd Penney was worried that you would burn out like Joel
Nydahl, in the ‘50s. Having accomplished one humongous thing, you would
vanish without a trace. However, you follow one of the adages of Bakunin, the
anarchist: to know what is possible, you have to reach for the impossible. Of
course, you have to stop far short of the impossible or you will burn out. I think
you managed to do that.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
April 15-17 Creation Twilight. I went to a Creation Con in DC 30 years ago. It was
a rip-off then and I bet it’s a ripoff now. I hope I’m wrong, though. The emphasis
was on making money as opposed to keeping the fans happy. And, yes, in the
minds of the organizers, the two were opposed.
May 13-15. A town taken over by pulp fans. I guess it shows that everyone, or at
least every older person, in his heart of hearts, loves pulps.
ct. Mike Kennedy. Warren, you’re not the only one who has learned from hard
experience that links can disappear in PDF. We found that out at work.
ct. Tim Bolgeo. Leave the print version behind, Warren? Not by a long shot. I
convert SFCU to a print version for easier reading. I have to admit that having a
color laser that prints on both sides helps.
ct. Tim Miller. A DeepSouthCon with traditions!! Thanks Tim, even though I have
never gotten around to playing Hearts.
ct. Lloyd Penney. So, Warren, your local Animé group decided that everyone else
can get out of their convention. Glad to see that it’s not only us old farts who are
CONFEDERATION 25th ANNIVERSARY
What kind of celestial prune juice are they drinking? A great line Mike.
Good to hear from you, Rich, and also glad you caught that you hadn’t sent that
loc before complaining! That would have likely left us both a little annoyed and
confused. I find it interesting that you mention Bakunin – I actually learned
about him through gaming. Steve Jackson put out a game called “Burn In Hell”,
in which all of the cards are historical figures and have short bios on the back. I
was most amused by Bakunin and Antonin Carême – Bakunin’s because it noted
that he was infamous for bombing things, including anarchist meetings on the
principle that anarchists shouldn’t have meetings, and Carême as the bio found
a humorous and indirect way to accuse him of turning baking into a sub-field of
architecture. I do find it unfortunate that the provincial attitude extends into so
many corners of fandom, and hope that there are ways to make the things we
do more inclusive as a means of countering that trend.
And of course, we heard from Lloyd Penney, who gets high marks not just for
his frequency of loccing, but also for doing so in a consistently thorough
1706-24 Eva Rd.
CANADA M9C 2B2
March 30, 2011
Bad faned! Bad! (Don’t make me come down there with a newspaper.) Don’t beat
yourself up about it, that’s what we’re here for! We don’t have a club as such in
the Toronto area, but we do put out a regular twice-a-month reminder to about a
hundred-odd (some, very odd) fans in the area to tell them about local events and
conventions, so we know what you’re going through. Comments on Vol. 1, No. 19
of the SFC Update to follow.
A great convention list. Ad Astra 2011 is coming up the weekend of April 8-10,
and it’s the 30th Ad Astra. That should be an excellent party. It will also mark for
Yvonne and myself 30 years of working conventions in Toronto and area, and we
do plan to retire from conrunning. The World Horror Convention is in
Austin…GoHs Brett Savory and Sandra Kasturi are from Toronto. Their Chizine
Press is rapidly becoming one of the best imprints for modern horror fiction, and
SF as well.
Chris Garcia says he’s got lots of work to do, and I wouldn’t want that workload
myself. Yet, he’s producing some of the most interesting fanzines these days.
Guess I’d take his workload if I could get paid for it. I’d like to come back to a
Texas con, too. The only one I’ve been to? The ISDC in North Dallas some years
back. My own loc…as I wrote, we didn’t go to Wizard World. Local fans who did
go had a good time, and that’s all that really counts. No stories of amazing events,
Yvonne and I were in Atlanta for ConFederation way back in 1986, and we had a
fine time. I can imagine that Atlanta fandom would like to have a chance to run a
Worldcon again. If only Dragoncon hadn’t dropped itself on the usual Worldcon
weekend, and then moved to another weekend when the promised…we need an
article on that, and the facts behind their move. There’s no chance we can be
there, but we wish the ConFederation survivors a great time in June.
Getting close it is to our steampunk convention at the end of April, so we are
getting equipment and non-perishables ready for the green room there, and we
should be having a fine time. There will be lots to do, but with some luck, we can
find more volunteers to help us out, and make sure the green room is always
All done, take it easy, see you the next time!
Yours, Lloyd Penney.
Thirty years is a long time to work on cons! I hope you get to enjoy retiring
from it by attending a few and just using them to get to meet and talk to people.
Hey, DeepSouthCon this year would be a great opportunity to both see Chris
Garcia and return to a Texas con! The FenCon guys know what they’re doing,
and I look forward to it tremendously. I really don’t know about the desire of
Atlanta fandom to run a Worldcon these days – they made a few bids after
ConFederation, but haven’t in over a decade. My understanding of the situation
with DragonCon is that they’re on Labor Day weekend for the same reason as
Worldcons so often are – it’s the easiest time to get multiple facilities, and they
definitely need multiple facilities. I hope the steampunk convention is a blast!
I’ve yet to make it to one, myself, but someday…
And, finally, we got a promotional note from author Marc R. Nadeau:
Dear Mr. Rogers,
I have recently e-published my first novel, The Fire Erzu of Qi’ Lam. The book is
a work of adventure, science fiction. The story is not a space odyssey but is a very
down-to-earth tale of a young traveler who uses his skills and intelligence to
manage and rise above an impossible set of circumstances. The book holds
appeal for many readers and includes travel, invention, sport, romance, fighting
for freedom, the love of family and friends, and a whole lot of flying.
I am writing to the Southern Fandom Confederation because readers like you are
my inspiration for writing. My incentive is to create my stories for your
enjoyment. Science fiction is a unique genre in that it has an active global
following. Those of us who are involved love nothing more than to share our
passions with others of like mind.
I am an American living as an ex-patriot in Dubai, U.A.E. I am a naval architect
who works as the engineering manager for an Arab company that manufactures
interiors for superyachts and luxury hotels. I am also a private pilot of gliders
and powered aircraft. The ideas for this book were spawned while soaring on
thermals back in the States above the pastures of Central Florida. I began the
manuscript while living in Saint Petersburg, Florida and completed the work here
in Arabia. In all phases of the project, I turned to the skies for inspiration;
however, in the Emirates, I have traded a glider over flat farmland for a
microlight between the Hajar Mountains and the Gulf.
My novel has been distributed to on-line retailers, including Apple, Barnes and
Noble, Sony, and Diesel. It will soon be available at Kobo and Amazon. It is
immediately available for download at
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/44005. It will only be released as a
digital edition for PC or Mac and for tablet readers and mobile devices, such as
iPad, Kindle, Kobo, Sony Reader, iPhone, and Android. It is priced at less than a
gallon of fuel in most parts of the world.
I shall greatly appreciate your help in spreading the news of my book to your
members, who I hope will share my novel with others via Facebook, Twitter, and
blog sites. E-publishing is a grass-roots effort that focuses directly on the reader.
It is a positive development of technology and the Web. Please help me to keep it
If you or your members are interested in learning more about my life in Arabia, I
post a blog at http://windvoyager.blogspot.com/ This is free and largely non-
fiction. Many savor traveling vicariously through the experiences of others.
Thanks for your consideration. I encourage your goodself to download and enjoy
the adventure. Spread the word and keep me writing.
Marc R. Nadeau
Virginia Freedman wrote in to let us know about a writers’ conference:
Please tell your speculative fiction writers about speculative fiction writing
courses offered at the Spring Conference. Hopefully, a lot of people sign up so we
can keep offering speculative fiction courses. And please let me know if you have
any questions. The link to the website is:
More information is below: http://www.ncwriters.org/programs-and-
The upcoming NC Writers' Network Spring Conference offers great opportunities
for seasoned speculative writers and for those who would like to try their hand at
Edmund Schubert's class, “Writing and Selling Science Fiction and Fantasy,” gets
to the bare bones of speculative fiction: what certain elements define the genre
and how to work your Big Concept into a readable story. A veteran editor and
author, Schubert serves as the editor of Orson Scott Card's online magazine,
Intergalactic Medicine Show, and has recently edited How to Write Magical
Words: A Writer's Companion, a collection of essays about the craft and business
of writing, written by members of the writing blog, MagicalWords.net. For more
information on Intergalactic Medicine Show, go here.
Author David Halperin will lead an all-day fiction workshop, “Writing What
You've Lived," on how to mold powerful, personal experiences into
transformative fiction using any genre. A former religion professor at UNC-CH,
David Halperin's new book, Journal of a UFO Investigator, has received rave
reviews for weaving history, science fiction, mystery into an original coming-of-
WAHF: Tom Feller and Mike Rogers (who noted that the SFC website has been
Allegra (The Chainmail Chick)
Sometime last year, my convention mentor Space
Jesus popped the question to me:
“Would you be a guest at StellarCon 35?”
Of course I said yes, and then I promptly put it out of
my mind until about a week ago when my vendor
friends started getting ready for Stellar. Then
suddenly I remembered I needed business cards! I
needed prints! I needed to prepare for my panels!
Well, I got two out of the three done and hoped that whoever showed up to my
panels really liked improvisation.
I had a few main goals at this con:
1) Do a decent job of being a guest
2) Properly deflower the convention virgins (we brought some friends who
were new to the con scene)
3) Make sure my vendor friends sleep less than I do
4) Sell at least…ONE PRINT. (hey, you set the bar low…)
Our group consists of myself, Tanner, my younger sister and her roommate and
one of their friends, our resident Pretty Asian Boy, and our friend MadScientist,
who left us for grad school in Atlanta, where he is no doubt learning how to
violate natural laws in pursuit of things no man was meant to create. (He was
drinking whiskey out of test tubes all weekend, if that tells you anything…)
I camp out at Space Jesus’ table. He’s not making use of it because he’s busy
organizing things (and doing a terrific job of it) so I annex half for my prints.
We’re set up across the way from Kass and Trouble, who have a bunch of neat
jewelry and shinies (some of which jingle most delightfully and Kass employs
them to attract the fangirls)
10pm Friday - Nearly Naked Costuming. I was filling out my guest form at 3am
and thought it would be funny to propose a silly panel…which Space Jesus then
made into a real panel. I did my part by showing up in the bare minimum of
chainmail bikini (and chainmail stockings, which Space Jesus had banned me
from wearing until after hours), but it actually ended up being somewhat
educational, part costuming and makeup/bodyart tips and part costuming
Having survived my first panel…booze time!
Now, I have drinking abilities on par with say, a baby bird, so my idea of boozin’
it up is really more like nursing one drink for a very long time. But that did not
stop me from staying up till 4am, no sirreee. Because my first panel wasn’t until
12pm, so I could sleep in, suckahs! I’m pretty sure Matt of Ribbons and Rivets got
about 3 hours of sleep….Goal 3 accomplished.
11am Saturday [not 12pm, I had the wrong time on my form and found out at
10:31 that I was supposed to be at the panel at 11….ever seen someone speed
walking in a chainmail bikini? It is not dignified] - How to Win a Costume
Contest. Hey, pro tip – if you’ve got your heart set on winning a costume contest,
and two out of the four judges are doing a panel called HOW TO WIN A
COSTUME CONTEST, you might want to show up, instead of complaining
after you don’t place that the contest wasn’t fair. Hey, the waaaaaaahmbulance
just pulled up outside …
4pm Saturday Artist Round Table – published and award winning artist Alan
Welch, world famous fantasy painter LARRY FREAKIN ELMORE, and…myself…
sat down and discussed our artwork, our inspiration… ahhh mostly we sat around
and listened to Larry talk because he’s super entertaining.
On the difference between digital art and traditional painting :
(after he had spent a long time laboring over an extremely difficult and detailed
composition for a major game company)
Larry: So I sent the painting in and thank god, they loved it.
Me: See, that’s the nice thing about photoshop – they don’t like the color of
magical city, click click click, totally different color!
Larry: I think if they’d asked me to change something, I would’ve shot myself.
One thing that was a bit weird was selling my own prints – I’m used to booth girl-
ing for artists and costumers, but it’s completely different to have a table full of
my own face staring back up at me. I really want to start doing prints of other
people, I think that will cut down on the weirdness. I’ll admit, my inner artist was
pleased when prints that I had spent quite a few hours laboring over proved to be
popular. ^_^ I’ve already got three new ones underway.
7pm Costume Contest – some really cool entries this year! I was judging, along
with Larry Elmore, Todd McCaffrey, and Space Jesus. I’m not sure if I like
judging or entering more…the feeling of power was intoxicating. And, I got to
hang out with Larry and Todd, two of the Guests of Honor, and pretend like I was
also an important person. They are both very easy going and down to earth, and
by far way more fun than most celebrity media guests I have met. We ended up
having a long and rambling conversation about everything from motorcyles to
child beauty pageants.
9pm The Delphic Oracle – Best. Panel. EVER. The way the Oracle works is that
there’s five people on the panel. The audience poses questions to the oracle, and
the panelists answer, each person contributing one word at a time in order. The
results are convoluted…but awesome. Kind of like how the real Delphic Oracle
gave answers that weren’t actually helpful because they could be interpreted
either way. I pull the MadScientist onto the panel, because he’s also a theater
nerd and excels at this kind of thing.
Question: Why did Davey try to end our panel earlier by telling us the wrong
Answer: Because Pikachu makes Davey horny.
Question: Do real vampires sparkle?
Question: My liege king wishes to make war on Darius of Persia. How can he
Answer: Victory will surely be his because he has Pikachu’s love, unless he fails to
bring the stolen Encyclopedia Brown wrapped in glistening silken echidna balls.
Then we composed a “Dear John” letter… that began: “Salutations Juan Alberto
And because the panel was moderated by Todd McCaffrey – someone had to go
there and ask a question about Pern:
Question: Are the humans on Pern part of a large scale social experiment that is
being observed by outsider forces?
Answer: Surely you don’t think there are humans on Pern?
Yeah make sense of that! THE DELPHIC ORACLE HAS SPOKEN!
10 pm Wild Con Stories – really more like “Tales of Drunk! Space Jesus.” Val the
Epic Bartender and I sandwiched Space Jesus and shared some delicious
pineapple rum fruit juice COFFEE. Anyway, to know Space Jesus is inevitably to
have a ridiculous story about his antics (ask me how I met him sometime), so we
keep the panel going strong for the full time.
PANELS ARE OVER, BACK TO PARTIES. (Goal 1 accomplished!)
In honor of our panel together, Val invents a drink called “Wild Con Story.” Val is
the kind of bartender that if she hands you something, you drink it, no questions
asked. Although, I’m not clear on whether it was “Wild Con Story” or “Wild
Consort”, because the drink tastes like delicious soda but it is SUPER
ALCOHOLIC. I had one and suddenly everyone was my good friend that I wanted
to give hugs to.
RECIPE FOR TROUBLE:
Equal parts: Tuaca, Chocolate Raspberry Liquor, Chambord.
Add a splash of Amaretto.
...Finish with Club Soda
[Feed to Allegra]
Sunday morning, everyone claws their way out of bed (Goal 2 accomplished! If
you have any energy left at the end of the con, then you didn’t have as much fun
as you could have, hahaha!), I sell a bunch of prints (Goal 4 super
accomplished!), and somehow resist sleeping on my own table.
I never mean for these blog posts to get so long, dangit! So to wrap up –
StellarCon 35, in review, was awesome. Definitely would recommend! It was
extremely well run, the guests (besides that one scantily clad chainmail ho) were
fun, the attendees were great... I was sad to see that attendance had dropped
since last year, but wasn’t too surprised, since Shevacon is now apparently on the
same weekend. (What the crap, Shevacon, not kosher)
Here’s to StellarCon 36! *toasts with Wild Con Story*
Allegra (The Chainmail Chick)
Megacon was the convention I returned to my “con roots” and started working for
artists again. In this case, it was my good friend James Christopher Hill, who is
an unfairly talented artist. He does oil paintings, he does digital paintings, he
does computer animation and rendering… so basically he does everything I have
ever dabbled in but WAY BETTER. In this case, James did a rather gorgeous
painting of me based off this picture, and Megacon was our big show debut.
So it's me, him, his wife Kathy (who is, hands down, one of the best sales people
I've met, and super nice to boot) and our friends Don and Doireann. Doireann
(pronounced Door-in) had just sprained her ankle in Krav Maga class (we told
her to tell people she was fighting MANY NINJAS) so she had to limp around all
weekend, poor thing!
We load up the van and drive on down to Orlando – it’s about six hours from
Charleston, SC, where I met up with James and Kathy. I nap on and off and
organize my music and hey! We’re in Orlando.
Unloading the car takes a surprisingly short amount of time, and we get the booth
mostly set up by the time the con closes down for the night. And man oh man, is
there a huge difference between “setting up an artist’s prints at a booth in a con”
and “setting up a costumer anywhere”. It’s so eeeeeasy!
Don, who is a giant scary man, decides to give me an impromptu Krav Maga
lesson that night. Doireann helps him demonstrate, proving that she doesn't need
two working feet to kick someone's ass. I manage to achieve a very basic level of
competency at escaping a grip, though I must confess I was privately hoping to
learn how to jump and kick someone's head off.
The con opens at noon. It’s pretty slow – at least, it’s pretty slow compared to the
absolute MADHOUSE that we know Saturday will be. Organic Armor set me up
with a really gorgeous steampunk ensemble for the show, so I was trying that
out…with a full length belly dancer skirt for a base! Gasp! Shock! Actual clothing!
I have to admit, I felt awwwfullly pretty and swishy in that skirt. Belly dancers
always have the coolest stuff.
On the flip side of that, every third person I ran into that I knew that day was all,
“Hey CHAINMAIL CHICK, where’s your CHAINMAIL?”
All right bitches, I get the hint. You best believe I’m bringing my shiny metallic
costuming A-game on Saturday. But Friday I get to be swishy like a pretty
princess dammit! >:-O
Also, I was freaking out a bit when I found out J. Scott Campbell was going to be
at Megacon – guess who inadvertently ended up chatting with him? Oh yeah, this
chick. Then guess who was a total wuss and did not hand him a business card on
the spot because she was too intimidated. Then, guess who spent the rest of the
weekend trying to get back over to his booth and make up for that grievous lapse
in spinal column but his booth was super packed all the time and she missed her
I AM KICKING MYSELF AS I WRITE THIS. Not that Mr. Campbell lacks for
models, but dangit, I wanted to throw my hat in the ring.
So after that stupidity, I threw my card at any artist who so much as made eye
It was great seeing con friends again. Fanservice Anakin showed up rockin his
new Mandalorian suit (which, sadly, was not shirtless), I saw Conan Dave and his
girl (Dave was actually not doing
Conan because “he wasn’t in shape enough”, keep in mind he looks like he could
rip most people in half with his pinky. pinky toe, not the finger pinky.), my drow
homies (whom I can barely recognize out of body paint), a couple photographer
buddies, webcomic artist Jennie Breeden and her awesome SO Oby, Steve Scott,
artist Echo Chernik and her mother… no doubt I’m forgetting some people.
After the J. Scott Campbell failure, I decided I wasn’t going to let opportunity slip
away from me again – our booth was actually an aisle over from Yaya Han, the
renowned cosplay model, and I plucked up my courage and make a pilgrimage to
her booth to seek convention wisdom. She’s about my height, which made her
mildly less intimidating to approach, but she’s still dauntingly gorgeous and I
stammered probably more than was dignified. But she was very sweet despite my
apparent retardation and talked to me for a bit, and made some excellent points
about working the con scene as a career.
1) “Do it with integrity. Don’t step on people trying to claw your way to the
top. The convention scene is close knit and people talk, and you never
want to have a negative reputation.”
2) “Find what you’re passionate about, find your niche, what sets you apart
from everyone else. There’s a ton of cosplay models nowadays, but you
have to find your own angle.”
I’m on it, Yaya! Thanks for the advice :D
Yes indeed, Saturday was an absolute madhouse. James and Kathy went over in
the morning and I slept in a bit, then wrangled myself into my chainmail and set
out walking down to the convention center (we were staying a little ways down
the street). Now, in true pride-goes-before-the-fall fashion, I had a pair of heels
that I’ve owned for… longer than I care to admit, and I was debating wearing
them because a) they have a history of breaking at cons b) they’re held together
by glue and willpower and c) oh yeah, they’re actually broken AGAIN.
Nevertheless! I wanted to feel slinky and sexy and the easiest way to do that is to
saunter around in chainmail fishnets and some strappy heels.
So, I hiked all the way down to the convention center – stubbornly turned down a
very nice man who kept trying to offer me a ride, possibly because I looked like a
barbarian hooker – and sure enough, by the time I got to the con, my feet were
blistered and raw. Herrrp a derp. Went barefoot the rest of the day and tried to
slink regardless, but goddamn, did my feet hate me.
Kathy and I also worked out a tip system – take a picture, leave some monies –
because as much as I do not mind posing for random shots, when I’m trying to
sell my own pictures at a booth, it’s a little frustrating to have people snapping
camera phone pics and then walking off without so much as glancing at my work.
People ended up being really nice about it, though! I think it’s just a matter of
doing it right and not being demanding or petulant or entitled.
The infamous Wolf Pack Elite throws their big party, which had some kind of
demented circus theme. It was a pretty cool event, but jesus, we had to wait in
line for like, an hour. My legs were tired before I even hit the dance floor.
Also, I finally got my “clubbing chainmail” together – hehehe.
Side note, if we go out to a club, be advised that my style of dancing is best
described as “spastic”. I prefer “electrified octopus”, but the point is there is a lot
of flailing involved. It’s better for everyone’s health and safety that you do not get
too close. I have included a helpful PSA:
Pics I Posed For: 695879834652
Pics I Probably Ruined by Blinking: 57989986221
Pics Taken of Me While I Was Eating a Sandwich: more than zero, what is wrong
with you people
People Who Started a Conversation by Asking if I Was Single: 3
How Often I Petted Fanservice Anakin’s Abs While We Were Taking Pictures: 45
Hours Slept: 20-25?
Number of People with Free Hugs Signs That I Hugged: 0
Time I Was Mistaken for a Slave Leia Costume: 28738634 – WTF PEOPLE,
HAVE YOU SEEN STAR WARS BEFORE. I AM APPALLED
Times I Got to Use My New Found Krav Maga Skills: 0
Times I considered It: Only a couple! Hehehehe.