Archive for the ‘Conventions’ Category

Scout Con

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

It’s not unusual for a convention to cross multiple genres — most SF conventions book a few Fantasy guests and there’s certainly no rule which says gamerooms are the sole provence of gaming cons. But every so often I still run across an event which manages to combine things I hadn’t previously considered.

A few weeks I was contacted by the organizers of Scout Con. It’s a one-day Science Fiction event in Tampa being run by the local Boy Scout council.

Science Fiction and the Boy Scouts? Well why not? A good number of SF heroes seem to live by the motto “Be Prepared.” That aside, I think it’s kind of neat that a mainstream civic group such as the Scouts would think outside the box and hold a con. When I was in scouts, anyone who watched Star Trek or read anything by Isaac Asimov or Douglas Adams was regarded as somewhat unusual; so this sounds like a promising sign for the future.

Now if only I could get the Jaycees interested in doing something like that.

New Dates for FenCon

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Due to unexpected circumstances, FenCon has undergone a change of date for this year’s event. The event will now be taking place October 3-5.

Per the convention’s web site, all of the previously announced guests will still be present and any registered attendees who are unable to attend on the new dates are requested to contact the convention committee.

Farpoint’s Change of Address

Saturday, January 5th, 2008

The Farpoint Convention has a new web address — They’ve actually had that one for a few years, but because it worked through a redirector, a lot of people didn’t know about it. And just to confuse things, Google is still redirecting people to the old hosting provider, which has out-of-date information.

So if you’re planning to attend Farpoint, make sure you check out (Fanboy’s convention list has been using the new address since the 2003 event.)

Venue Change for Vulkon in Columbus, Ohio

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

I just got word this evening that the Vulkon in Columbus, OH on July 13-15 has had a last minute change of venue. The new location is the University Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, located at 3110 Olentangy River Road.

The new hotel has fewer rooms available, so Vulkon has also arranged a room block at the nearby Hilton Garden Inn and will be providing free shuttle service between the two locations.

Check the Vulkon web site for more information about the Columbus convention.

The World’s First War Zone Game Convention

Saturday, May 5th, 2007

A group of gamers who’ve been deployed to Iraq have decided to organize their own in-country gaming convention. Ziggurat Con is being organized by GIs at Camp Adder, Tallil Airbase in Iraq. The Ziggurat of Ur – which gives the Con its name — is within the base perimeter.

“There is a deeper sense of camaraderie in a war zone than you see back home,” said SPC David Amberson, the con’s organizer who is also a supply soldier with Alpha Company, 86th Signal Battalion. “You eat with these people, work with them on a daily basis, and can even share a tent with the same people. When work is over for the day, we can sit back, relax, drink our favorite sodas, eat our favorite snacks, and play a bit of D&D. This helps us relax in a very stressful environment. We found a place where we can go somewhere far away from the IED’s, mortar attacks, and gunfire, without ever leaving the safety of our camp. The next step was only logical.”

With no local gaming stores or publishers however, the convention is in need of support in the form of donations of gaming products. Many game publishers have agreed to supply game products to help the Con along, including aethereal FORGE, Sovereign Press, Final Redoubt Press, Goodman Games, Paizo Publishing and Steve Jackson Games, but more is needed.

According to SPC Amberson, “This convention is currently in drastic need of prizes and giveaways for the troops”. “Everything donated will go directly to the troops, or to MWR to use as loaner books for the soldiers.”

For more information, including how to send donations, visit the Ziggurat Con web site.

Toronto Trek Reaches for the Stars, Changes Name to Polaris

Monday, April 9th, 2007

Now in its 21st year, the organizers of the convention formerly known as Toronto Trek have rebranded the event as Polaris. The organizers assure their attendees

Just because “Trek” isn’t in our name, it doesn’t mean that it’s no longer in our hearts!

Our commitment to “Star Trek” programming will remain so long as you tell us that this is what you want to see. The name change is to help make it clear that we welcome ALL fans of science fiction, no matter which show or movie they enjoy the most.

Polaris takes place on July 6 – 8 in Toronto, Canada. Announced guests include Torri Higginson, Erick Avari, Katee Sackhoff, Marina Sirtis, Teryl Rothery, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Tanya Huff, Derwin Mak, Kenneth Tam, Terri Osborne, Julie E. Czerneda and Douglas Smith.

More information on the name change is available on the Polaris web site.

Cult TV Weekender Moves to New Venue

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

The Cult TV Weekender event originally slated for Warwickshire, England has undergone a change of venue due to construction problems at the previous site.  The new hotel is the Heythrop Park Hotel in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.  As a result of the venue change, a reduced single-occupancy room rate is now in effect.   Visit the Cult TV Weekender web site for full details.

Cult TV Weekender takes place October 19 to 22 in Oxfordshire England.  Announced celebrity guests include Antonio Fargas, Ike Eisenmann, Stephanie Waring, and Ben Miller.


Sunday, March 4th, 2007

On one of the email lists I’m subscribed to, people were recently chatting about an upcoming science fiction convention. A couple people started wondering aloud whether they needed to buy convention memberships since after all, they were only planning to attend a club meeting and maybe one or two other things that weren’t in the main ballroom. In short, did they need to pay even if they weren’t planning to see the guests?

That’s a tough one to answer.

On the one hand, convention memberships are what pay for everything. Not just the celebrity guests, but also the bills for the convention space. Generally speaking, the space rental for the weekend is one of a convention’s two largest expenses, and that’s all the space, not just the ballroom. (The convention has to pay for that “free” meeting space.) And obviously, if too many people routinely take advantage of the convention’s “free” resources without paying for memberships, eventually you won’t have a convention.

On the other hand, any convention that checks badges for every panel and every club meeting is likely to wind up hearing a lot of unpleasant feedback involving comparisons to the Third Reich, Soviet Russia and the like. And the sheer amount of manpower required to do all that checking is a bit overwhelming too.

Sure a convention membership is going to cost you some money, but you get a lot in return. You don’t only get to attend whatever club meeting, you also get admission to “all-you-can-eat” of that days’ programming with panels, Q&A sessions, and frequently a costume show and Saturday evening dance. Plus you get the warm-fuzzies and/or good karma that come with the knowledge that you’re supporting local fandom.

2007 Browncoat Ball open for bids

Saturday, December 30th, 2006

The Browncoat Ball is now accepting bids for groups wishing to host the 2007 event. The Chicagoland Browncoats held the first Browncoat Ball in Chicago in 2004. In 2006 the San Francisco Browncoats carried on the tradition by hosting the second one.

The ball is held in a different city each year with local browncoat submitting a pitch outlining the event they want to hold. The city with the shiniest event plan becomes the Host City for that year. Bids are now being accepted for cities wishing to host the 2007 Ball. Guidelines for interested local Browncoat groups and postmortem write-ups from the 2004 and 2006 events are available on the Browncoat Ball web site.

Bidding for 2007 will close on January 15, 2007. No date has been announced for when the 2007 location will be declared, but at that time bidding will open for the 2008 event, allowing approximately 18 months to plan for the 2008 event.

For more information, visit the Browncoat Ball web site. Questions may be directed to

Farpoint adds Fan Creativity track

Friday, December 29th, 2006

Farpoint is adding a new Fan Creativity track focusing on film and podcast production with panels and workshops on the nuts and bolts of creating a production (everything from script to lighting, acting, editing and distributing). Several local film and audio productions will also be presented, and fans will have a chance to share ideas and methods with their peers working in these areas. Special event include the world premiere of Starship Farragut’s first-ever webisode in the main ballroom on Saturday afternoon. The filmmakers will be on hand to discuss the journey they have taken to bring their dreams to reality.

Farpoint is also hosting their annual Model Contest, as well as a new art competition. The Young Artists Competition will be held in conjunction with the Art Show and Auction. Artists under the age of 12 are invited to submit pieces to display (no hanging fee for Young Artists). Local artists will judge the works and prizes will be awarded. More info on the Young Artists program can be found on the Art Show page at the Farpoint website.