It's time once again for FenCon, the 7th annual Literary & Filk festival. 2010 promises to be another exciting year as the Con theme centers around "Mad Science." Toastmaster for the event is Texas author Joe Lansdale, the author who has written many novels, comic books & short stories, including the story became the underground cult hit movie Bubba Ho-Tep. Lansdale has been a guest of FenCon in the past and always is an entertaining person to hear read as well as in panel discussions. According to his FaceBook page his beautiful daughter, Kasey Lansdale, will also be performing. I had the opportunity to meet Kasey at SoonerCon earlier this year as she helped out at her father's booth. She performed with The Starcruisers (featuring some cool authors you would never suspect had so much talent) and did a wonderful job. The Starcruisers are performing at FenCon so I assume Kasey will play with them once again.
Special Guest Jessica Wade is an editor at Penguin Group, editing science fiction and fantasy for Ace and Roc. She will be on hand doing panels as well as the Writer's Workshop.
She shares top billing with Artist Guest of Honor John Picacio, an artist out of San Antonio who has won the World Fantasy Award and multiple Chesley Awards for his outstanding art. His work has appeared on covers for Lansdale, Dan Simmons, Michael Moorcock, Robert Silverberg & Harlan Ellison, just to name a few. He has also done work for the X-Men and the Star Trek franchises.
If you enjoy costuming then you'll enjoy panels and meeting Fen Guests of Honor Kevin Roche & Andrew Trembley. The men are out of the Bay area and are actively involved with Costume-Con and Worldcon masquerades. They were also directors of the BayCon Masquerade in San Francisco. Roche is a co-founder of the International Costumer's Guild and the Costumer's Guild West.
The Music Guests of Honor are the married couple of Jeff & Maya Bohnhoff. She is an author. They specialize, or so it seems, in parodying famous songs (i.e. Carry On Wayward Son is now Carry-Ons and We Are The Champions becomes We Are The Cubs Fans.) and making some great music. Maya has a gorgeous voice so this should be a real treat.
If you consider your self a bit nerdish and really, and I mean really like technology, check out Special Guest Dr. John Randall. He is vice-president of Zyvex Labs and has worked closely with nanotechnology for more than 30 years. He has also collaborated with Christian Seidler in the design of a robotic painting system for the production of pointillist paintings. A lot of times certain hardcore fans ask authors science questions that the authors may not really know except what they researched. This may be the chance to actually get some of your technology hypotheses and questions answered, but only on Friday or Saturday and then he will be gone.
Sunday only brings Special Guest Robert J. Sawyer, author of more than 20 novels. His current novel, Wake, is a Hugo nominee for "Best Novel" and the ABC TV series Flash Forward is based off his novel of the same name.
Normally I would've announced the Guests of Honor first in an article of this type, but I saved the spot for announcing that although the guests were to be authors Spider & Jeanne Robinson. Unfortunately Jeanne passed away in May, losing her battle to cancer. Due in part to this sad event in speculative fiction and to Spider, whom was married to Jeanne for over 35 years, Spider will be attending FenCon virtually. "We'll have two-way video links so Spider can join us for key events, sit in on select panels, and interact with the fen all weekend," according to the FenCon website.
There are more than 100 other participants scheduled to appear including authors from around Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and states beyond our immediate borders. A lot of the Yard Dog Press authors will be in attendance as well as vampire novelists such as P.N. Elrod and Rachel Caine, C.Dean Andersson and Nina Romberg, Steven E. Wedel, Christopher Fulbright & Angeline Hawkes, Rie Sheridan Rose, Caroline Spector, A. Lee Martinez, Candace Havens, Shanna Swensdon, Teresa Patterson, R. Cat Conrad, Carole Nelson Douglas (Saturday only)and Paul Abell.
Other artists will be in attendance, of course including the annual silent auction at the art show which benefits the Carter Bloodcare this year. Authors R. Cat Conrad, Bev Hale and David Lee Anderson will have art in the show. Dallas-based artist Brad Foster, who has worked professionally in the comic book industry, will also be selling art. If you like cool dragons, cats or both, then check out Brad's work. Another couple of favorites of mine are Ashen Gray and Randy Farran. This is only a small amount of names from the artistic palette I am throwing out there.
In addition there should be plenty of Filk performances including the hilarious Bedlam Bards, the trio known as Ghost of A Rose, and October Country.
There will also be a Masquerade. Seeing as how Roche and Trembley are part of the roster this year's competition should have some extremely high quality costumes. Check out the sign-up and info here.
Registration (schedule subject to change) begins at 11:00 AM this Friday, September 17, 2010, Programming (i.e. panels, author readings, autographs, etc.) begins at Noon and the Dealer's Room opens at 2:00 PM. [Shameless Plug: My first reading is at 2:00 PM in the Pecan Room. Come hear the battle between Bubbas, Yumbies (yuppie zombies) and Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan.] FenCon VII continues through Sunday, September 19th. Hope to see you there.