Posted by: J. Thomas Ross | March 9, 2012

Stellarcon 36 – 2012

A Klingon in the ConSuite

R2-KT wearing her convention badge

Danny Birt, moderator of Artists vs Authors Pictionary

The first weekend in March, I headed for my second science fiction convention in a week. Produced by the Science Fiction Fantasy Federation and sponsored by the Student Government Association of University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Stellarcon 36 convened at the Best Western High Point in High Point, NC, from March 2 to March4, 2012.

Patrick Rothfuss

Mark Poole and John Kovalic

Michael A. Stackpole








This year’s special guests included literary guest of honor Patrick Rothfuss, special guest of honor John Kovalic, artist guest of honor Mark Poole, gaming guests of honor Brad Sappington and Chris Weed, fan guests of honor James and Tera Fulbright, special writing guests Michael A. Stackpole and Michael Z. Williamson.






I must also mention special fan guests Albin Johnson and R2-KT, a droid built in 2005 in honor of a little girl named Katie Johnson who had brain cancer. Katie wished to have a pink robot like R2-D2, and Jerry Greene — with the help of the R2 Builders Group — worked very hard to create the one-of-a-kind droid. R2-KT’s mission is to entertain children, raise awareness of pediatric cancer, and raise money for such charities as Make-A-Wish and Children’s Cancer Fund. R2-KT was a favorite of adults and children at the convention.

Panel: The Hobbit with Davey Beauchamp, Jennifer McCollom, Michael D'Ambrosio & Karen McCullough

Opening Ceremonies with Michael Williamson, Albin Johnson, James Fulbright, Tera Fulbright, Brad Sappington, Chris Weed, Mark Poole, Patrick Rothfuss, Mike Stackpole & John Kovalic

Panel: Research for the Writer with Theresa Bane, Paula Jordan, Karen McCullough, Speaker to Lab Animals & Amy H. Sturgis











The programing started at 4 pm Friday and finished at 4 pm on Sunday. Special programs and activities included the Cabaret at the End of the Universe, the dance, Klingon Karaoke, the Filk Circle, the Blibbering Humdingers, the Costume Contest, The Charity Auction, the Art Auction, the Dealers’ Room, the Baen Traveling Roadshow, gaming, the inaugural Film Festival (short, original films), Artists vs Authors Pictionary, Allen Wold’s Writing Workshop, and SONAR 2012 — the inaugural Symposium On Nerdy Academic Research, which featured half-hour presentations by professionals, academic faculty, and students. Refreshments could be found in the ConSuite.

SONAR: Rocket Propelled Grenades, worldwide technical overview & rules of thumb for writers and gamers, presented by Duncan Langoise

Here’s a sampling of the panels in the various programing tracks:

  • Writing: Writing Action Scenes, Research for the Writer, Character Building Workshop, The Art of Revision, The Heroine’s Journey, Writing as Therapy, First Chapters, Writing Comics
  • Art: Miniatures Painting, Illustrating Card Games, Prop Building
  • Costuming: Zombie Costuming
  • Publishing: Short Stories and Publication, The Role of the Publisher in Today’s Market
  • Gaming: Gaming 101, D&D 5th Edition, Game Design 101, Storytelling in Video Games, Humans vs Zombies
  • Literature: Origins of Modern Fantasy, The Dark Side of Fairy Tales, Horror Through the Ages, Hard Science Fiction, Religion in SFF, Magic Systems, Westerns in Spcae
  • YA: Pushing the Limits in YA Fiction
  • Reading: Libraries of the Future
  • Steampunk: Steampunk Artwork and Costuming
  • Paranormal: Paranormal Romance, Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse, The Messiest Way to Kill a Zombie, Paranormal Investigation
  • Film/Media: The Hobbit, Indie Filmmaking 101, Script to Screen, Best/Worst Movie Monsters, Star Wars vs Star Trek, The Hunger Games
  • Pirates: The Pirate Panel, Gallifrey Pirate Radio
  • Demonstrations: Light-Based Swordfighting
  • Dating: Dating Advice, How Not to Scare Girls
  • Conventions: Con Health, Convention Retrospectives, Running a Convention

I found the Libraries of the Future panel especially interesting. The panelists agreed that libraries will continue to be a necessity, especially for the less-advantaged, but that libraries will change to once again become the community centers they once were. Panelists envisioned future libraries as places where noise would be acceptable, where there will be rooms for video gaming, movies, and community events as well as quiet reading rooms. Librarians will also continue to be needed to answer questions, help people with problems, aid people with disabilities, help people fill out online forms, and tend the technology.

Panel: Character Building Workshop with Samuel Montgomery-Blynn, Steve Long, Patrick Rothfuss & Gray Rinehart

Panel: The Heroine's Journey with Misty Massey, Diana Bastine & Teresa Frohock

Superheroes watching the filming of an episode of Gallifrey Pirate Radio








Once again, I found the convention a thoroughly enjoyable experience and look forward to Stellarcon 37!

For more photos and information about Stellarcon, check out my blog:


  1. Very nice con review, Judy. Thank you! I saw the pics on Teresa Frohock’s blog as well. I copied a few for my files, and would like to put one or two on my web site if you don’t mind. Do you allow your photos to be posted on other blogs? With credit, of course.

    It was good to see you there!


    • Thanks, Paula. I have no problem with your using some of my photos on your website and blog. I enjoyed seeing you as well and wish you’d had more time for your presentation so that you could’ve gone into things in more detail. Maybe next year!


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