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Aug 25

Zombies and reading lists: A weekend at Armadillocon

Posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

I’ll be at the 33rd annual ArmadilloCon this weekend, participating in panels pontificating on everything from what sf books should be on college reading lists to why people still love those cuddly flesh-eating zombies.

Guests at the venerable Austin convention include Guest of Honor Paolo Bacigalupi, author of The Windup Girl, which has won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus and just about every other award you can think of; Artist Guest Vincent Villafranca, known for his vibrantly imaginative bronzes; Editor Guest Lou Anders, award-winning editorial director for Pyr Books; Fan Guest Fred Duarte Jr.; Toastmaster Mark Finn; and Special Guests Emma Bull and Will Shetterly.

I counted nearly 100 participants, including horror giant Joe R. Lansdale, off-the-wall short story writer Howard Waldrop and fellow Alamo City residents David Liss and Scott A. Cupp. (Cupp, I believe, has attended every Armadillocon since the con was established.)

The convention is being held Friday, Aug. 26, through Sunday, Aug. 28, at the Renaissance Hotel Austin, 9721 Arboretum Blvd. Three-day memberships are $50. Individual daily passes are available for $20 (Friday and Sunday) and $35 (Saturday).

I have enjoyed every Armadillocon I have attended, and I appreciate the organizers’ continued focus on sf, fantasy and horror literature. Yes, folks, good old-fashioned books. That’s not to say no one dresses up in costume, bitches that Firefly was cancelled or huddles in a corner playing GURPS while nibbling on Cheetos, just that media and gaming are not the sole reasons for the con’s existence. If you’re a reader, a writer or aspire to be either, it’s a con not to miss.

Here’s a list of my panels, if you’re inclined to catch some:

Friday, 6 p.m. in the Sabine Room: Texas is a Scary Place
Myself, Matt Cardin, Joe Lansdale, J.M. McDermott, Nate Southard and Frank Summers
Friday, 10 p.m. in the Trinity Room: Fantastical Feast: Food in SF/Fantasy
Myself, Cat Rambo, Linda Donahue, Kimberly Frost, Julia Mandala and Marshall Ryan Maresca
Saturday, 1 p.m. in the San Antonio Room: SF101: A Reading List for a College Course
Myself, Bill Crider, Scott Cupp, Jess Nevins, James Reasoner and Josh Rountree
Saturday, 9 p.m. in the San Antonio Room: The Rising Popularity of Zombies
Myself, Linda Donahue, Scott A. Johnson, Josh Rountree and Nate Southard
Saturday, 11 p.m. in the Trinity Room: Ghost Stories
Myself, Don Webb, William Browning Spencer, Nat Southard and Scott A. Johnson

For a full rundown, including a list of all the panels and participants, check out the Armadillocon website.



Aug 23

Armadillocon, here I come

Posted on Monday, August 23, 2010 in Uncategorized

This weekend, I will be participating — along with scads of other Texas speculative fiction writers — in the 32nd annual ArmadilloCon. If it’s like the others I’ve attended, it should be quite the party.

This are more than 100 participants at this year’s Armadillocon, including guests Rachel Caine, Cat Conrad, Anne Sowards, Elspeth Bloodgood, Nancy Kress, Ilona Andrews and Michael Bishop. San Antonio will be well represented with myself, Scott Cupp and Joe McKinney in attendance.

Of course, the difference between Armadillocon and so many other cons is that the focus is on books rather than movies, TV shows and toys. In other words, there are a ton of creative panels covering all kinds of speculative fiction and (generally) no people walking around in wookie costumes.

I will be participating in the panels New Weird: Has the Old Normal Taken Over (5 p.m. on Friday), Trials and Tribulations of the Short Story (noon on Saturday) and Is Lovecraft Hurting Horror (11 a.m. on Sunday). I’ll also be doing a reading at 8:30 p.m. on Friday and 4 p.m. on Saturday and a 1 p.m. autograph session Saturday.

The con runs Aug. 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).

Drop on by. If you haven’t been before, it’s quite a show. Even if no one is walking around in a wookie costume.



Aug 20

Still recovering from Armadillocon

Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2009 in Uncategorized

Hardest working man in showbusiness: Mr. Joe R. Lansdale. (Photo swiped from John Picacio.)

Hardest working man in showbusiness: Mr. Joe R. Lansdale. (Photo swiped from John Picacio.)

I’m back and still digging myself out from under work I put off to attend Armadillocon 31 in Austin, the state’s longest-running literary sf/fantasy convention.

It was great to see old pals like John Picacio (fellow Missions Unknown blogger), Scott Cupp (the con’s toastmaster), Chris Roberson (the editor guest of honor) and Joe McKinney (S.A.’s zombie-writing homicide detective) – and to rub shoulders with literary giants like Joe R. Lansdale, who signed books like a madman, and Michael Moorcock, who made a surprise appearance opening night.

I also got to meet swell new folks like Mario Acevedo, Nancy Hightower, Matt Cardin and Vincent and Michelle Villafranca. (By the way, any of you folks ever check out Vincent Villafranca’s art? You really owe it to yourself.)

Can’t wait to do it again next year.