Next week is the 32nd annual version of ArmadilloCon and it looks to be wild and fun. I just took a look at the guest lineup and the schedule. There are more than 100 participants including these fun folks as the major guests: Rachel Caine (Guest of Honor, author of the Weather Warden series and the Morganville Vampires and longtime friend), Cat Conrad (Artist GOH and interesting guy), Anne Sowards (Editor GOH from Penguin Group USA), Elspeth Bloodgood (Fan GOH and longtime friend and possessor of the coolest name around), Nancy Kress (Toastmaster, coincidentally the gig I had last year, multiple award winning writer and all around cool person), Ilona Andrews (Urban Fantasy Special Guest), and Michael Bishop (Steampunk Special Guest, award winning writer and super-cool dude).
The convention is being held August 27 – 29 at the Renaissance Hotel Austin, 9721 Arboretum Blvd. A three day membership is $50. Individual daily passes are available for $25 (Friday and Sunday) and $35 (Saturday).
ArmadilloCon is not your normal SF convention. I mean, it has most of the accoutrements – there are some gamers and masqueraders; there may be some filking around. What there is, though, is readers. These folks read a lot and they love to meet the writers and other creators. The dealer’s room has books in it. You remember books. Those three dimensional things with ink on paper that did not come from a download. There will be lots of books! And other stuff, too. There will be an art show with interesting stuff in there. And panels. Topics at ArmadilloCon sometimes find themselves slightly transformed into WorldCon program topics. Where else would you find something like “Japanese Existentialism as Exemplified in Destroy All Monsters”, or any of the many Ape panels that have been held? Or the Violet Crown Players radio re-enactment of King Kong? Or Bill Crider and I sharing a fireside chat with Joe Lansdale and Joe Haldeman?
This year’s topics include such goodies as This is a Test of the Zombie Early Detection System (Fri 6); No Matter What I Do, Cleveland Still Loses (Fri 10), Why Do Shapeshifters Always Get the Girl (Sat Noon); Saving Your Bacon: Why You Need Editors and Agents (Sat 4); In This Book, We Obey The Laws of Thermodynamics (Sat 4); A Concert from Kasey Lansdale (Sat 8 – she is really, really good!); British Tardis and Us Enterprise (Sun 10), and the Fannish Feud (Fans against the Pros, Sun Noon).
A list of the program participants is at the convention website www.armadillocon.org and it is impressive. You have award winning writers like Howard Waldrop, Joe R. Lansdale, and Neal Barrett, Jr. (this year’s Science Fiction Writers Association Author Emeritus!). Other wonderful guests included Scott Lynch (last year’s GOH and fun guy). Steven Brust, Jack Skillingstead, NY Times Bestseller Aaron Alston, and Urban Fantasy goddess Julie Kenner. Missions Unknown will be represented well there with Sanford Allen and I as well as frequent commenter Joe McKinney participating. Long time friends Bill Crider, Lillian Stewart Carl, Mark Finn, Doug Potter, Don Webb and Martha Wells are going to be there. There’s more. Just pay shipping and handling and you also get William Browning Spencer, Cary Osborne, A. Lee Martinez, Brad Foster, Matt Sturges, Carol Berg, Elizabeth Burton and Rhonda Eudaly. Go to the website. Check the Programming link and see the listing.
I have been going to ArmadilloCon since the beginning. Willie Siros and I have been to all of them. We do not believe anyone else can say the same. We plan to keep going and going.