Friday, October 4, 2013

Totally Texas -- Science, stories, games and Sharknado

FenCon X

Crowne Plaza Dallas Near Galleria-Addison

14315 Midway Road, Addison


A rocket scientist, Neil Gaiman’s illustrator, science fiction and fantasy writers galore, music and gaming -- this weekend’s FenCon X in Addison has it all, from noon today, October 4, through Sunday. (Did I mention special gaming guest Sandy “Age of Empires” Petersen? Or author Cory Doctorow? How about illustrator Charles Vess, co-creator with Neil Gaiman of Stardust? Or writer/NASA scientist Dr. Geoffrey A. Landis?)

As always, this year’s edition of the annual science fiction/fantasy convention offers programming for the whole family, with plenty of activities for kids as well as adults.

I’ll be among the lucky toilers in the writing workshop taught by Tor editors Teresa and Patrick Nielsen Hayden. But I’m hoping to sneak into Dr. Landis’ “Exploring Mars” program for youngsters. Maybe I can borrow a child -- youngsters up to age five get free admission under the kid-in-tow provision requiring accompaniment by a paid adult member.

For everybody over age 21 (and yes, there will be late-night entertainment for grownups), a weekend membership costs $45. Young adults, ages 13-21, pay $25 for the weekend; children ages 6-12, $20. Or buy a day or two separately, remembering that minors must be accompanied by a paid adult member.

There will be authors (including many local writers) to read, sign and opine on panels about everything from creating bad guys to Sharknado to writing. Games creator Petersen will preview his newest, Cthulhu Wars, before it becomes available to the public. Actress/writer/director Amber Benson will be at FenCon also, although a little later than the schedule you’ll get at registration states. Check FenCon’s online newspaper, FenCon ION, for programming updates.

Before you say you don’t have a thing to wear, check out the costume workshops (again, kid and adult versions). However, except for the costume parades, feel free to wear street clothes throughout the weekend.

For more information, a link to the ION, and by the day registration rates, see

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