Is your sci-fi sense tingling? It’s not just Free Comic Book Day on Saturday — the entire weekend is a nexus of genre activity with Arizona’s science fiction and fantasy convention LepreCon 37 taking place Friday through Sunday at the Tempe Mission Palms.
Artist guest of honor John Picacio is up for a Hugo Award this year, as is music guest Seanan McGuire, whose novel Feed under the pen name Mira Grant earned a nomination. Best related work Hugo nominee Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It includes stories contributed by McGuire and author guest of honor (with Sarah Monette) Elizabeth Bear.
Also attending: prolific sci-fi/fantasy artist Darrell K. Sweet, known for illustrating the covers of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. And Arizona’s own romance fantasy novelist and onetime Uncle Scrooge comics scribe Diana Gabaldon will be around, as will Valley convention guru and occasional Nerdvana contributor Lee Whiteside.
This year a whole “mini-con” portion of the convention is dedicated to Shadow Unit, “the best TV series never made.” The ongoing web series, now in its third season, continues with the serialized release of the latest episode, “Wireless Girl,” and it’s described as a blend of elements from The X-Files and Criminal Minds.
Of course, there will be the con staples, such as an art show, charity auction, book donation drive and a dealer’s room, as well as panels with many of the star guests on such topics as book jacket artwork, a kids craft-a-thon, the explosion of young artists for Random House and Del Rey in the “golden age” of the 1970s, jewelry demonstrations, and costuming for your body type — “Literally, what NOT to wear.”
Admission to LepreCon 37 is $45, or $30 for students with I.D. Children 7-12 get in for $15 and 6 and under are free — but that’s with a paid adult membership.
If you’re only interested in gaming — and there’s a setup to rival other gaming-specific conventions in town — you can get in for a special gaming-only rate of $25. Selected highlights of the full gaming schedule of nearly 80 events include:
- Shadowfist, a trading card game based on the tabletop RPG Feng Shui
- Various incarnations of Fluxx
- Apples To Apples
- Magic: The Gathering
- “A long-dead secret D&D 1st Edition adventure” as well as an adventure from the game’s current 4th Edition
- Call of Cthulhu RPG
- Munchkin card game
- Car Wars
- Forbidden Island
- Much more, including a “lite RPG design contest.”