Farewell to Anachrocon: A Grand sendoff

From Friday to Sunday, February 14-16, the final Anachrocon took place. While the loss was somewhat soothed by the news that our dear friends Bill Harrison is moving his Atlanta Steampunk Exposition to February 13 -15  next year, we are going to miss our AnacheoCon, which we have attended for the past 11 years as press.

It has never failed to be delightful, first under Cindy Macleod and then for the last seven years under Amber Anglin. Over the years we have enjoyed car shows, many musical performances, marvelous costumes. tea parties, and many panels on science, literature, and history. We have peeked into costuming and fabrication and dabbled a bit in gaming. We have made many friends we will miss and hope to see somewhere at some other convention. We would not have missed it for anything.

We will miss you, Anachrocon In 2017, I wrote in Blogcritics that “AnachroCon is “a thrill for the brain as well as a rest for the soul.” And it was that from beginning to end. Huzzah!

Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage, people standing and indoorThe T-Tones photo by Takesi Akamatsu

CON juration Atlanta GA Nov 15-17 2019

Stepping into CONjuration is like stepping from this world into a similar one that is filled with magic. Not just the obvious kind indicated by the presence of dragons and witches and wizards, but the more subtle kind of instant friendship and mutual understanding, of playing and learning and communing with one another with no angry words

This year, everywhere you looked there was something to see. Vendors selling jewelry, books, and other wonderful things mixed with dragons, unicorns, and a life-sized dinosaur, as well as flying creatures of prehistoric origin in the lobby. There were panels where popular TV and movie characters were sorted into schools as in Harry Potter, and discussions about fantasy and science fiction books and movies.

But there were panels about unexpected things as well. My favorite guest, as always, was a forensic anthropologist who has spent a lot of time digging into prehistoric graves(respectfully.) She told us about “witches”) (she prefers “shaman”) who lived 4,000 years ago and what can be learned about them from their burials. She also told us about the medicinal plants they used as well as those used in rituals and probably for recreational use.

Then there were the birds! The people from Earthquest brought owls and raptors and we actually got to see them fly. There were snakes and other animals too, from the Georgia Reptile Society.

All the time, the air was full of music. There was a lot of the type of Celtic-influenced music you hear at the Renaissance Festival, sometimes mixed with rock as with The Lost Boys and there was classic rock like the Heart tribute group Heartisa.

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On top of all that, there was the Shinobi School, movement artists who entertained with amazing acrobatics, dance and parkour and even the 18+ burlesque (no full nudity involved.)

It is more magical to go to CONjuration than just about anything else you can do. We have been to all six so far and can’t wait to go again next year!

WHOlanta 2019: What a Goodbye! (and a fond look back)

After 15 conventions,  WHOlanta (formerly TimeGate) has ended. The last one wrapped on May 5,  and it went out with a bang and not a whimper!

My husband and I have had the privilege of covering the convention for the past 10 years and every year I have thought “This is the best group of guests imaginable,” and it always was. This year we got to meet the charming and feisty Janet Fielding, who played Tegan. Tegan was the companion to the 4th and 5th Doctors from 1981-1984.

  1. janetfieldingjanet                                   Janet Fielding

Ms. Fielding is not the first of the Doctor’s Companions we have met at WHOlanta. We also met Sophie Aldred, who played Ace to Sylvester  McCoy’s Doctor, Louise Jamison, who played Leela to Tom Baker’s Doctor, Nicola Bryant, who played Peri to Colin Baker. In addition, we met the Mistress, Michelle Gomez, and Camille Coderi, who played Jackie Tyler, Rose Tyler’s mother. We were also delighted to meet Colin Baker, the sixth Doctor, twice! Z(n addition, we heard wonderful stories from writers. men who portrayed monsters including Cybermen and Daleks, producers, script editors, and so many more. All of them were wonderful and their stories were among my favorites. This year, those included  Brand Manager Edward Russell, monster actor Jon Davey, Robert Allsop, and Jason Haigh-Ellery of Big Finish.

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Colin Baker

louisehamesonLouise JamesonKODAK Digital Still Camera

Camille Coduri

Then there were the regulars, such as Lt. Moxie Magness,  Chief Cosmetologist on the Starship Enterprise, who wandered her magnificent way into a Doctor Who convention and stayed. Moxie is a marvel and we are going to miss her so much! There’s also Louis Robinson, Ken Spivey and so many more!

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We feel so honored that Alan and Susan gave us the chance to be part of this all these years. How we will miss the convention but the WHOlanta Facebook family will go on!

221B Con Atlanta GA April 5-7 2019

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221B Con is a Sherlock Holmes convention that takes place in Atlanta every year. It was held on April 5-7 of this year at the Atlanta Airport Marriott.

The convention covers everything about Holmes Over the past few years,221B Conhas grown in size each year, with a very loyal following who return each time and new people who go home and spread the word. Many of the panelists are authors either of books. or of “fan-fic,” which is stories written by fans which are very popular online. Others are podcasters, such as the Baker Street Babes and the men who present “Geek Vs.”

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This is truly a convention for people who love Sherlock and enjoy using their brains. That is not to say it is not fun, because it is. But there is not an emphasis on cosplay, although it is welcome. Gaming is minimal, although if you ever see a quiz show being presented by Geek Vs. anywhere, including 221B Con, hurry to get involved (the whole audience participates.) It is overall a quieter convention, but deeply satisfying.

Another thing that convention attendees like is acquiring new stuff, and this convention always has a great vendor’s room. It is also a good source of free stuff, or “swag.” This year, for instance, the Tea Room, which is a place to rest during the convention, had many free books, two of my favorite words in the English language!

If you like Sherlock in any form: books, movies, television series, or anything else, you will love 221B Con! See you in Atlanta next year!

 

AnachroCon 2019 Feb. 15-17

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Dr. Mozingo-Gorman

From February 15-17 at the Atlanta Airport Hilton the past and the present visually collided, with ladies in bustles and men in suit pant and vests rubbing elbows with others in jeans and sweaters, It was time for AnachroCon, the convention for fans of time travel, history, science, literature, and science fiction.  There were subject areas (‘tracks”) for all of these, and kids’ programming as well. Families and individuals could also play in the game room at any time, day or night. Vendors sold jewelry, books, leather goods, and clothing. It was a marvelous time!

The guests sharing their knowledge in presentations this year included author Stephanie Osborn and her husband who created balloon hats and animals for all the children and some adults  Lee Martindale was there, an author and beloved staple of Atlanta conventions. Others who fans look forward to each year are astronomer and mead maker Philip Sacco and Dr. Dea Mozingo-Gorman, a forensic anthropologist who shared glimpses into the far distant past.

For those whose interest lies in cosplay, there were tracks for costuming and fabrication. Dr. Who fans had their own track. There were dances and music from special guest Tuatha Dea. There was even a car show!

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There was so much more to see in do during these three magical days. AnachroCon happens every year around this time. If you’ve ever wanted to travel in time, plan to attend next year!

 

DRAGON CON ANNOUNCES DRAGON AWARD WINNERS

Over 11,000 Voters Cast Ballots in the Third Annual Dragon Awards Recognizing

The Best in Books, Comics, Games and Filmed Entertainment

 ATLANTA – September 2, 2018 – Dragon Con, the internationally known pop culture, sci fi, fantasy, and gaming convention, announced the winners of its 3rd annual Dragon Awards, a fan’s choice awards program to recognize the best in books, comics, games, and filmed entertainment.

More than 11,000 fans cast ballots for Dragon Award winners among 94 properties in 15 categories covering the full range of fiction, comics, television, movies, video gaming, and tabletop gaming.  Winners were announced on Sept. 2 at the 32nd annual Dragon Con in downtown Atlanta.

All fans – not just Dragon Con members or attendees – are invited to select the Dragon Award winners by voting on the annual Dragon Awards ballot.

Final voting was held via the dedicated Dragon Awards website, and the voting period ran from August 7 to August 31. The ballot was selected in an open nomination process in which fans nominated their favorite properties. The nomination period ran from early April until July 31. The best and most popular of the nominated properties were elevated to the ballot.

The Dragon Awards were introduced in 2016 as part of the 30th anniversary of Dragon to meet the need for a fan’s choice award.

And the winners are …

Best Science Fiction Novel

Artemis by Andy Weir

Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

A Call to Vengeance by David Weber, Timothy Zahn, and Thomas Pope

Best Alternate History Novel

Uncharted by Kevin J. Anderson and Sarah A. Hoyt

Best Media Tie-In Novel

Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray

Best Horror Novel

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King

Best Comic Book

Mighty Thor by Jason Aaron and James Harren, Marvel Comics

Best Graphic Novel

Brandon Sanderson’s White Sand Volume 1 by Brandon Sanderson, Rik Hoskin, and Julius M. Gopez, Dynamite Entertainment

Bst Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series

Game of Thrones, HBO

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie

Black Panther directed by Ryan Coogler

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game

Middle-earth: Shadow of War by Monolith Productions

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery by Jam City

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game

Red Dragon Inn 6: Villains by Slugfest Games

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game

Magic: The Gathering Unstable by Wizards of the Coast