Monday, February 13, 2012

Totally Texas -- Sci fi, oh my, at ConDFW XI

Crowne Plaza Suites, Dallas-Park Central
7800 Alpha Road


So you exercised your will power (see "Perserverance, iron will & Wodehouse," January 11) and cleaned out your bookshelves. And now books are stacked knee-deep all over your living room, but you’re looking at the vacant shelves and thinking -- I need more books!

If you’re also a science fiction fan, get to the book swap at this weekend’s ConDFW. Swap or buy -- proceeds benefit the charities DonorsChoose ( and Half Price Books: Half Pint Library.

The con’s at the Crowne Plaza Suits on Alpha Road in Dallas this Friday through Sunday, February 17-19. In honor of the glitch in the Mayan calendar some believe predicts the end of the world in 2012, there will be parties! See for details.

While waiting for the apocalypse, you can meet writing guest of honor Cherie Priest, whose steampunk novel Boneshaker won the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel; artist guest of honor William Stout, whose work inspired Jurassic Park; and several Texas authors including A. Lee Martinez, who clowned for the picture with this post at a previous convention. (Martinez’s books include horror, science fiction and fantasy with an underlying theme of humor.)

It’s a literary con, so there will also be readings, panel discussions and workshops on a variety of subjects (making leather masks, anyone?), gaming, and book and art sales. Stay late Saturday night for the costume parade. The first time I went to the Con, the costume highlight was the belly-dancing Redheads of the Apocalypse. The last time I saw the Redheads, they had turned from dancing to writing, but I still expect this year’s parade may move this family-friendly event into the PG-13 category.

Walk-in memberships for walk-ins are available at the door, single day or all three, adults and children. If you’re an adult student, bring your ID or a copy for a discount.


Abandoned Towers promised to run my story “The Gates of Shaizar” -- one of these days. In the meantime, the print/online magazine is offering a writing contest to celebrate its relaunch. The concept of “abandoned towers” must appear in the short story, poem or flash fiction writers submit. See

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