DRAGON CON’S DRAGON AWARDS PUBLISHES ITS 2018 BALLOT

 

Fans-Focused Awards Recognizes Excellence in Fifteen Categories of Fiction,

Comics, Gaming, and Filmed Entertainment

 Third Annual Awards Will Be Announced at Dragon Con over Labor Day Weekend

 

ATLANTA – August 7, 2018 – Dragon Con’s Dragon Awards, a fan-chosen awards program to recognize outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy literature, comics, gaming, and filmed entertainment, has published its 2018 ballot.

The Dragon Awards are decidedly a “fans’ choice” award. All fans – not just Dragon Con members or attendees – are invited to select the Dragon Award winners by voting – for free – on the third annual Dragon Awards ballot.  The full ballot can be viewed here:  (link)

All voting will be done electronically and only via a ballot emailed to each confirmed voter.  To vote, fans must register on the Dragon Awards website: (link) Ballots are then emailed in batches every few days through August.

Fans have until Friday, August 31st at 11:59 p.m., Eastern, to register.  Voting ends 24-hours later on Saturday, September 1st at 11:59 p.m., also Eastern.

Winners will be announced on Sept. 2rd at Dragon Con, which will be held August 30 to September 3, 2018 in Atlanta.

“Fans – the people who not only read, watch, and play, but also love, science fiction and fantasy – are in the best position to recognize this year’s most beloved works,” said Pat Henry, president of Dragon Con, Inc. “When a work is recognized with a Dragon Award, it means it captured the imagination of a substantial number of voters.”

The Dragon Awards were introduced in 2016 as part of the 30th Anniversary of Dragon Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy, sci-fi, and gaming convention. More than 8,000 people voted for their favorite works in the 2017 campaign.

To accommodate as many creative genres as possible, awards will be given in each of 15 categories covering the full range of fiction, comics, television, movies, video gaming, and tabletop gaming.

The ballot was selected in an open nomination process.  Using the dedicated Dragon Awards website, fans were invited to nominate one (and only one) of their favorite properties in any or all the award categories.  Nominations ran from early April until July 20 The best and most popular of the nominated properties were elevated to the ballot.

Further details are available on the awards website awards.dragoncon.org. Please direct all inquiries to dcawards@dragoncon.org or mail them to: Dragon Awards, PO Box 16459, Atlanta, GA  30321-0459 USA

About Dragon Con

Dragon Con is the internationally known pop culture convention held each Labor Day in Atlanta. Organized for fans, Dragon Con features more than about 3,000 hours of comics, film, television programming, costuming, art, music, and gaming over four days. For more information, please visit www.dragoncon.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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DRAGON CON GAMING IS FOR PLAYERS ONLY

Here”s an official press release from Dragon Con.

Over 140,000 Square Feet of Gaming Space Dominates AmericasMart, Featuring ‘Round the Clock Gaming Plus Panels with Top Game Designers, Voice Actors, and Industry Experts

 eSports Tournaments in 15 Different Games, Live Streamed on Twitch

 Overwatch Payload Tour Stops at Dragon Con to Celebrate Cosplayers in the Overwatch Universe

 ATLANTA – July 26, 2018 – Dragon Con, one of the largest gaming conventions in the nation, will roll out a basement full of games, from the latest and most popular video games, rarely seen board games, and the first role-playing computer game played by the man who wrote it almost 40 years ago.

“Dragon Con’s gaming program is for players, whether you’re a hardcore gamer or just have a casual interest,” said convention co-chair David Cody.  “Players can join friends playing the most popular games available or take some time to tryout games you can’t find anywhere except Dragon Con. Our games library features hundreds of games that can be checked out by any Dragon Con member.”

 

Some 85,000 people are expected to attend Dragon Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy, and sci-fi convention, in 2018, filling downtown over the five-day Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30 to Sept. 3, with events and activities across AmericasMart Buildings One and Two and five host hotels – Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, Westin Peachtree, and Sheraton Atlanta.

 

Taking up more than 140,000 square feet in AmericasMart Building One and the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel, gaming at Dragon Con will feature the full array of gaming including PC and console games, board games, miniatures gaming, role-playing games, collectable card games, and even LARP games.  A large selection of modern arcade games from Japan and Asia not usually seen in the United States alongside classic American cabinet-style arcade games will be available for ‘round the clock free play.

The gaming hall opens at 4 p.m. on Thursday, August 30, and stays open through 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 3.

Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch Payload Tour stops at Dragon Con this year to celebrate the fantastic Overwatch-oriented cosplay with a photo experience that puts cosplayers into the game.

They will be joined by several members of Blizzard’s in-house creative team including historian Sean Copeland, senior writer Andrew Robinson, and senior writer Christie Golden.  We will also have a trio of voice actors from the Overwatch franchise, including Anjali Bhiman, who voices Symmetra; Charlet Chung, who voices D.Va.; and Lucie Pohl, who voices Mercy.

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Video game pioneer and American astronaut Richard “Lord British” Garriott, who created the Ultima and Tabla Rasa games, will play his first published game – 1980’s Akalabeth: World of Doom – on an original, fully restored Apple II computer.  Akalabeth is widely considered to be the first role-playing game written for computer.

 

eSports, sometimes called professional gaming, has seen a surge in popularity over the past decade with the growth of spectatorship fostered by the introduction of live streaming platforms.  Amazon-owned Twitch, Dragon Con’s broadcast partner for its tournaments, has approximately 1 million viewers at any given time for its eSports and related programming.

 

Tournaments will include Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite, Injustice 2, Brawlhalla singles and doubles, Streetfighter V: AE, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, Gundam Versus, Tekken 7, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Rivals of Aether singles and doubles, Smash 4, Overwatch, Hearthstone, and League of Legends.

 

Dragon Con attendees can watch professional players and teams compete against each other live, while their gameplay is broadcast to overhead screens.  Gaming fans at home will be able to watch the gameplay via Twitch.

 

In addition to the Overwatch guests, key gaming guests for 2018 include voice actors Kellen Goff, Heather Masters, and Julie Shields from the Five Nights at Freddy’s game franchise, voice actor Mark Meer, best known for his role as Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect trilogy, and former Epic Games president Mike Capps, whose company developed Fortnite, Gears of War, and Unreal Engine.

 

The Kids Gaming Adventure, a series of 45-minute sessions designed to introduce 6 to 12 year olds to board games, collectible card games, roleplaying, miniatures, and LAN-based video games returns for 2018. An accompanying parent is required at all times.

About Dragon Con

Dragon Con is the internationally known pop culture convention held each Labor Day in Atlanta. Organized for fans, Dragon Con features more than about 3,500 hours of comics, film, television, costuming, art, music and gaming over four days. For more information, please visit www.dragoncon.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information on the Overwatch Payload Tour, please visit https://playoverwatch.com/en-us/news/21659397

CONjuration was magical fun: Atlanta, GA Nov 3-5, 2017

CONjuration was magical fun: Atlanta, GA Nov 3-5, 2017

CONjuration was magical fun: Atlanta, GA Nov 3-5, 2017

By Rhetta Akamatsu, photos by Takesi Akamatsu

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CONjuration, an Atlanta convention with a magical theme, was indeed a magical experience. There were events suitable for all age groups, from Quidditch matches to mead-making, much music, games, and a variety of panels for every interest. While Harry Potter was the impetus for the convention when it began 4 years ago, it has never been the sole reason for it. Even non-Potter fans, if such things exist, can enjoy it.

Nearly the entire convention was kid-friendly, even those events aimed at adults and which they would probably find boring. There was one event,though, that is definitely adults-only, and that is the Friday night burlesque show. This year, the theme was Sinenchantment, and enchanting it was. While the show was saucy,it was not much beyond PG-13, with no total nudity and only mildly bawdy humor. The performers had real talent and the costumes were gorgeous. The Petronius, in particular, was breath-taking. It was a fun and exciting show. If you get a chance to experience the burlesque of The Fandom Nerdesque, and you like things just slightly naughty, you will enjoy it. It was one of only two events, to this writer’s knowledge, that had an extra charge: $10 a person and it was so worth it!

The other event that had an extra charge was the Tea Party. We did not attend this year but which by all accounts was excellent.

Each attendee can mold their own convention experience, but my husband and I are very fond of panels and discussions. One of our favorite panelists this year were Dr. Dea Mozingo Gorman. She is a professional archaeologist who showed us slides of the graves of shamans thousands of years old and their contents. She even explained what sorts of herbs one was buried with, and other fascinating glimpses into the mysticism of long ago. Another was Phillip Sacco, who combines mythology and astronomy to tell the stories of the night sky.

But don’t think that everything at the convention was that serious. You could game for 24 hours, listen to music all day long, shop in the dealer’s room and the Conjuration store, dress up, dance at the ball, or do a glorious mix of everything. Mostly, what we did this year and every year was have marvelous magical fun with like-minded people.

Next year CONjurtion is moving to a bigger hotel, the Crown Plaza at Ravinia in Atlanta. It will be in November, so keep your eyes and ears open!

Dragon Con 2017: Bigger and Better

Dragon Con just gets bigger and better every year.   According to a press release I received in my email, Dragon Con has “announced a record attendance of more than 80,000 people for the four-day celebration.” And yet, from my perspective as a long-time attendee, things moved surprisingly smoothly this year, with the crowds more evenly dispersed between the five hotels .

There were guest stars for every taste, including the comic creator Stan Lee, whose Marvel creations dominate TV and movies these days. The press release states that Lee, who ” previously announced his retirement from the convention circuit, made his third and perhaps final Dragon Con appearance..” I and everyone else at Lee’s panel appearance clearly heard what Lee said: “What’ya mean final appearance?”  He indicated that he would come back next year if asked.”I love coming here!” So we will see. Lee served as Grand Marshall of the Dragon Con parade this year.

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Every fandom has its favorites but for me it was the year of Dr. Who.  We had the 11th Doctor himself, Matt Smith ,along with  Karen Gillian, who was also part of the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 panel, Ale Kingston, Billie Piper, who also stars in Penny Dreadful, and the ever charming John Barrowman, who just may be the funniest man on the planet and who channeled Wonder Woman for his big entrance to his panel.

Add to this the amazing cosplay costumes everywhere, and the Con was a feast for eyes and ears.

But Dragon Con has a heart, too.  Every year, the convention chooses a charity to benefit and this year it was the Special Olympics. This year due to the damage Texas suffered from Hurricane Harvey, the convention raised money for that as well. I do not have the final figures yet, but Dragon Con promised to match up to $50,000 for Special Olympics and $25,000 for victims of Harvey.

And that’s not all.  Again referring to the press release,

“LifeSouth, which has organized the convention’s annual Robert A. Heinlein “Pay It Forward” blood drive since 2002, recognized Dragon Con for its 25,000th donor. This year, some 3,000 donors contributed nearly 6,000 units of blood and blood products, with the milestone donor arriving on Thursday night.”

And,

“Since 2014, which marked the start of the organization’s Superheroes program, Dragon Con and its fans have contributed more than 2,600 hours of community service.  During 2017, Dragon Con Superheroes manned a crafts ‘n’ cosplay booth at the Special Olympics Georgia Summer Games, maintained portions of Piedmont Park, participated in the annual Walk to End Lupus Now, and collected toys and games for patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.”

Fun  fandom,  and a flair for giving…who could ask for more than that?

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Dragon Con Sci-Fi Lit has exciting things going on

You have many choicesto make at Dagon Con, but save some time for the Sci-Fi Lit track. They have someexcitingthings planned!

I had a chance to talk with Sue Philips, the long-tome director of the Sci-Fi Literature Track at Dragon Con. I worked with Sue as a volunteer for years and the track has man fond memories for me. It is located in the Hyatt on the bottom floor in tHyatt Embassy.

I asked Sue which guests she is most excited about and she said Larry Nven and Jerry Pournelle. who are appearing on a panel together for the first time in some years.

“They wrote together for so many years and wrote what I consider to be some of the seminal works in the field, like The Moat in God’ Eye,” she said.

I asked if longtime track supporter and friend Van Allen Plexicowill be there and she assured me he will be and will in fact be moderating the Niven-Pournelle panel as well as other things. One of those other things will be the very popular always lively Si-Fi Jeopardy. Van is a well-known author of first=rate pulp fiction,  and he is also an excellent game generator and host speaker and moderator,

Another popular feature of the Sci-Fi Lit Track is the Little Library and Sue says that if anyone has amy books they woud like too drop off feel free, or pick one up That’s what the Litte Library is for.

I also asked which panels Sue was most looking forward to and she told ne, “One I kind of borrowed from Liberty Con. It;s called

“One I kind of borrowed from Liberty Con. It’s called “No Kidding, There I Was” (Libert Con used somewhat stronger language )and ‘it’s writers who have also been un the military telling war stories. That’s going to be a very late night panel at 11:30 pm on Saturday. The panelists are all representative of each branch of the service. We’ve gpt John Ringo, Todd McCaffrey ,Elizabeth  Moon and Mike Massa, a new author working on his first book. It’s going to be interesting!”

“Another new thing I’m doing is a Religion in SF panel,” Sue said. “I did some politics for a while and now we’re delving into the use of religion inScience Fiction.”

Sue askedt hat I remind people to rate the panrels on the Dagon Con app. It helps them decide on panels for next year. Also, three will be a can at the front of the room (as there should be in most track rooms) for the Dragon Con charity, which is the Special Olympics this year so if you have changeor bills if you feel generous stick themin there!
Dragon Con is going to be natching donations up to $100,000 this year.

As all the panels do Sue will have seating set aside for those with disabilities.

 

DRAGON CON ANNOUNCES OFFICIAL 2017 LITERARY AND ARTIST GUESTS OF HONOR

ATLANTA – June 20, 2017 – Dragon Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy, and sci-fi convention, has selected American writer of fantasy, science fiction, and children’s books Jane Yolen and fantasy artist and illustrator Petar Meseldžija as its 2017 Guests of Honor.

yolen

Beginning with its first convention in 1987, Dragon Con has recognized an author and an artist as the Guests of Honor. This year’s Guests of Honor are widely renowned in their respective fields and recognized as endlessly creative individuals. They will be recognized at the Awards Banquet on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017.

“We are delighted that Jane and Petar will be joining us this year as our Guests of Honor,” said Rachel Reeves, convention co-chair. “Their works have delighted all of us, from children to adults, and helped us discover worlds that are beyond our mortal reach.”

Yolen has been called the Hans Christian Anderson of America and the Aesop of the twentieth century. She has written over 300 books for children and young adults, including Owl Moon – a Caldecott Medal winner – The Devil’s Arithmetic, and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? Her work has also been recognized with the Nebula Award (twice), the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and the World Fantasy Award among many others. Please visit Yolen’s website at http://janeyolen.com/.

Meseldžija began his career as a teenager working on comic strips before switching to illustrations and painting in his twenties. His illustrations have been published in books and other formats all over the world, while his gallery art has been shown in group and solo exhibits in his native Serbia, as well as America and several European Countries. His work has been recognized in a number of juried exhibits in Yugoslavia and the U.S. Please visit Meseldžija’s website at https://www.petarmeseldzijaart.com/.