Nurturing creativity with art, animals, and science fiction

Tag: SF/F Conventions

Fondly remembering FenCon XV

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost two weeks since Ty and I left for FenCon XV at the Westin DFW in Irving, TX. It was our first FenCon, but we certainly don’t want it to be our last! Those Texans really know how to put on a great science fiction convention!

The Royal Manticoran Navy made a strong showing at FenCon XV, both with its information booth and at parties and other events. I deeply regret that I had a brain glitch and didn’t remember to get the names of these folks!
Writers in the Field has an interesting concept: they provide opportunities for writers to learn what it really feels like to . . . experience a whole bunch of things they’re likely to need to know if they write sf, fantasy, westerns, historicals, or other stories. How does it feel to saddle up and ride across country? Wear armor? Shoot with a bow and arrow? and much more. Instructor Jana Stout and co-founder William “Bud” Humble were holding down the table when I took this photo.
Like any well-run convention, FenCon XV had an Art Show Reception with excellent goodies to nibble, on Friday night.
Here’s how my Art Show display looked before the show opened on Friday. I sold several pieces, including the one-of-a-kind original mixed media paper sculpture Aka-Bekko Dragon.
created a postcard to publicize my Friday reading of material from What’s Bred in the Bone, my sf novel due to be published this winter. I was gratified to have a nice group of people show up for the reading. Better yet, all weekend people responded favorably to my cover by the accomplished illustrator Jody A. Lee, even though it’s still in the color comp stage. I should have finished artwork soon!
FenConXV parties rocked! I haven’t enjoyed circulating at fan parties this much in ages. People were actually friendly to strangers (hard to over-emphasize how important that is!!). I could mostly hear what people were saying to me, and the conversations were substantive and interesting.

Clockwise from upper left: Ken Ruffin of the local National Space Society chapter and me; Ed and Brandy portray Frankenstein and his Bride-to-be; the Space Party (sponsored Saturday night by the National Space Society); and new friend Marah, rocking a T-shirt she scored on a trip with friends to Arkansas. Gotta add a special shout-out to the Blue Coconut Bar Party, too. They were very welcoming (and knowledgeable mixologists), both nights.

Unfortunately, it was really rainy Friday night around DFW Airport. They had flash floods all over the place, and a great many locals crashed with friends at the hotel because they couldn’t get home. Ty and I were on the 14th floor, literally “above it all,” but that doesn’t mean we didn’t think it sucked when friends such as Brad Foster had floods in their studios!
I attended quite a few readings at FenCon XV, but the three I enjoyed most were by (L-R) Ethan Nahté, whose upcoming Wings of Mercury is an homage to the 1950s, sf-style; Gloria Oliver, whose latest book is set in the Victorian Era and is a work of exquisite horror, firmly grounded in historical accuracy; and Martha Wells, who read the delicious first chapter of her new Murderbot novel-to-come. I was an instant convert.
It was good to be back on panels other than a reading (much though I love doing readings). Here I’m participating on the “The Sexes . . . in Space!” panel with Marianne Dyson at left (also William Ledbetter and John DeLaughternot shown) on Friday of the convention. (Photo by Tyrell Gephardt)
It was a smaller Dealers’ Room than I’d expected for a convention of nearly 1,000 people, but what do aI know?
At the “Space Habitats and Mega-Structures” panel we had an interesting and informative session. Panelists, L-R are: Ken RuffinLarry NivenWilliam LedbetterC. Stuart Hardwick, and Martin L. Shoemaker.

IMAGES: All photos were taken my me, Jan S. Gephardt, with one (noted) exception that was taken by Tyrell Gephardt. If you’d like to use one on a blog or other place, please include an attribution to the photographer and a link back to this page. Thanks!

Tales of ConQuesT (48)–The Art Part

My home science fiction group, the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society, put on their annual convention this weekend. I always enjoy ConQuesT, held each ear in Kansas City on Memorial Day Weekend–but I must say that this year’s ConQuesT 48 was even more fun than usual.

There are many reasons why it all came together so well for me, but here are a few highlights from the “Art Part.” Always first and last, for me, there is the ConQuesT Art Show.

Literally first, because I was once again the “shipping address” for the show. A few years ago I was the Art Show Director, and although I’ve now gratefully handed that job over to a talented and responsible young man named Mikah McCullough, his apartment is a tad on the “small side” for a large pile of incoming boxes of art. Thus, on the first day of the convention I haul not only my own artwork, but also all the mailed-in work from all of the wonderful artists who participate from afar.

My “White Clematis” variations available so far.

I’m showing a collection of new multiple-original artworks at sf conventions this year, the “Guardians” series (four separate designs) and the “Clematis Collection,” which so far consists of three Artist’s Proofs of White Clematis Panel with Golden Dragons, (honored with a rosette as Art Director’s Choice at DemiCon 28 earlier this month), and an edition limited to six smaller pieces titled White Clematis with Dragons. A one-of-a-kind original from this collection, featuring purple clematis flowers and titled Gold and Purple, should be ready to debut at SoonerCon 26 in late June.

I also had a new, one-of-a-kind original to debut at ConQuesT 48, Nose for a Rose. Here’s a glimpse, along with a look at my display at the convention. This is all you’ll see of it, however–it was purchased by a collector on its “maiden voyage.”

It’s always fun to show and sell my artwork, and to help put the Art Show up and take it down. But another joy for me is participating in panel discussions at science fiction conventions–and I was part of several at ConQuesT 48. They’ll be the subject of my next post, coming soon!

IMAGES: Most of the photos on this post are mine. Since I’m the Communications Officer of KaCSFFS, I’m the one who put together the ConQuesT 48 banner. It features a logo design by Keri O’Brien and a photo of the lobby of our convention hotel, the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center, which provided the photo. All the other photos were taken by me, of my artwork (and other personal effects). The cat is my daughter’s. Her name is Sora and she is Queen of the Universe (just ask her). All of the photos are available for re-posting, as long as you attribute them and provide a link back to this post or to ConQuesT, as appropriate.

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