Posted by: J. Thomas Ross | May 5, 2015

RavenCon 2015

Opening Ceremonies with Lawrence M. Schoen, Con Chair Michael D. Pederson, Frank Wu, Allen Steele, and Brianna Wu, 4-24

Opening Ceremonies with Lawrence M. Schoen, Con Chair Michael D. Pederson, Frank Wu, Allen Steele, and Brianna Wu, 4-24

RavenCon 2015 took place from Friday, April 24th through Sunday, April 26th at the Double Tree by Hilton Richmond – Midlothian in Richmond, Virginia. I’ve heard favorable comments about RavenCon for years, but this was my first time attending and I enjoyed the convention just as much as I anticipated. The convention was well-organized and everything ran smoothly. The convention rooms were conveniently located, and the wait for the elevators was minimal. Food in the hotel restaurant was reasonably priced and tasty, and for those in a rush, the restaurant provided a buffet at most meals. In addition, free snacks and drinks were available in the Con Suite throughout the convention.

Panel: The Science Behind Science Fiction with Warren Lapine, Allen Steele, Fabian Rush, Dr. Ben Davis, and Robert Blaskiewicz, 4-24

Panel: The Science Behind Science Fiction with Warren Lapine, Allen Steele, Fabian Rush, Dr. Ben Davis, and Robert Blaskiewicz, 4-24

Panel: Writing Dialogue with Lou Antonelli, Lawrence M. Schoen, Karen McCullough, Noah McBrayer Jones, and Kate Paulk, 4-25

Panel: Writing Dialogue with Lou Antonelli, Lawrence M. Schoen, Karen McCullough, Noah McBrayer Jones, and Kate Paulk, 4-25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The special guests for this tenth year of the convention were Writer Guest of Honor Allen Steele, Artist Guest of Honor Frank Wu, Gaming Guest of Honor Brianna Wu, Returning Guest of Honor Jack McDevitt, and Special Guest of Honor Lawrence M. Schoen. These guests of honor and many other authors, artists, costumers, podcasters, scientists, editors, publishers, and musicians participated in a wide variety of panels, readings, concerts, workshops, and signings.

The Dealers' Room, 4-25

The Dealers’ Room, 4-25

The Dealers' Room, 4-25

The Dealers’ Room, 4-25

Other activities included the masquerade, a robotics demonstration, the charity auction, the art show and auction, the dealers’ room, showings of the movies Alien Face Bashers and Press Start, laser tag, the traditional performance of “The Eye of Argon,” and authors vs. writers pictionary — won by the artists this year.

Panel: Researching Your Costume - Historical, SF, Fantasy, or Steampunk with Heidi Hooper, Kirsten Vaughan, and Caitlin Hammer, 4-25

Panel: Researching Your Costume – Historical, SF, Fantasy, or Steampunk with Heidi Hooper, Kirsten Vaughan, and Caitlin Hammer, 4-25

Panel: Weird Westerns with R. S. Belcher, Nicole Givens Kurtz, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jean Marie Ward, and Doc Coleman, 4-25

Panel: Weird Westerns with R. S. Belcher, Nicole Givens Kurtz, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jean Marie Ward, and Doc Coleman, 4-25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For music lovers, White Plectrum, the Blibbering Humdingers, Danny Birt, Paradox Machine, and Devo Spice presented concerts, plus there was a singalong with Tom Lehrer dedicated to the memory if C. J. Henderson, and a late night party with DJ Drae.

Panel: Plotting and Pacing a Short Story with Lou Antonelli, Warren Lapine, and Kristin Mehigan, 4-25

Panel: Plotting and Pacing a Short Story with Lou Antonelli, Warren Lapine, and Kristin Mehigan, 4-25

Panel: No Right Way to Write - Techniques for New Writers with Lawrence M. Schoen, Mary Miley, Allen Steele, and Robert Sommers, 4-26

Panel: No Right Way to Write – Techniques for New Writers with Lawrence M. Schoen, Mary Miley, Allen Steele, and Robert Sommers, 4-26

Convention panels celebrated the 85th anniversary of the first issue of the science fiction publication Astounding Stories/Analog Science Fiction and the 80th anniversary of DC Comics.

Authors vs. Artists Pictionary with Moderator Danny Birt, 4-25

Authors vs. Artists Pictionary with Moderator Danny Birt, 4-25

Publishers Baen Books, Perseid Press, and Wildside Press gave previews of their upcoming releases. Books launched at the convention included Tales of Fortannis: A Bard’s Day Knight, edited by Michael A. Ventrella and published by Double Dragon; War of Shadows by Gail Z. Martin; Eternity Concepts by Xexilia Zajac; Tales of Time and Space by Allen Steele, Distant Seas by Bud Sparhawk, and Romance on Four Worlds by Tom Purdom from Fantastic Books; and Blood Savages by D. Alexander Ward from Necro Publications.

Panel: Making Magic Work with Stuart Jaffe, John C. Wright, Karen McCullough, and Chris A. Jackson, 4-26

Panel: Making Magic Work with Stuart Jaffe, John C. Wright, Karen McCullough, and Chris A. Jackson, 4-26

Panel: Tips for Aspiring Writers with Lou Antonelli, Ellie Collins, and Paula S. Jordan, 4-25

Panel: Tips for Aspiring Writers with Lou Antonelli, Ellie Collins, and Paula S. Jordan, 4-25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some of the panels and workshops offered at the convention:

The Con Cake, photographed by Ken Jordan

The Con Cake, photographed by Ken Jordan

  • Alternate History: Alternate History in Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Art: Digital Tools for Making Art; Frank R. Paul — A Retrospective; The Business of Art – How Do You Make a Living as an Artist?; The Artist’s Role as Storyteller; From Sketch to Screen
  • Children’s Programs: Welcome to SHIELD; SHIELD Undercover Training; Children’s Writing Workshop
  • Comics: How to Remember Anything; How to Get Your Mom to Read Comics; If I Ran DC Comics; Webcomics/Manga – How to Write a Story; Webcomics/Manga – How to Find an Artist
  • Costuming: Flesh, Bone, and Blood – Breathing Life into Original Characters; Cosplay, Consent, and Con Culture; Researching Your Costume — Historical, SF, Fantasy, or Steampunk; 12th and 13th Century Historical Costuming; Armor 101; Costuming with Disabilities
  • Costumes at the masquerade, photographed by Ken Jordan

    Costumes at the masquerade, photographed by Ken Jordan

  • Costuming Makeup:Special FX Makeup 101; Zombie Makeup Workshop
  • Crafts: Viking Wire Weaving; Fan Knit-In
  • Fantasy: Urban Fantasy – Using Real-World Settings and People in Your Fiction; Making Magic Work; Things Fantasy Writers and Movie Directors Get Wrong About Horses; Stupid Superhero Powers
  • Gaming: Gamergate 101; The Slow Death of Dungeons and Dragons; 10 Best Video Games of All Time; A Day in the Life of a LARPer
  • Health: How to Move; The State of Nutrition
  • Horror: What Makes Monsters Terrifying?; Want to See Something Really Scary?
  • Marketing: The Cinematic Book Trailer; Visibility 101; Indie Publishing – Marketing Your Work
  • Media: The Network Without Fear [Netflix]; Dr. Who Trivia; Becoming a Voice Actor; Shooting a Movie on a Shoestring; Buffy — Looking Back; Making Videos for YouTube; The Marvel Cinematic Universe; The Future of Star Wars; The History of Sci-Fi Movies — Avatar to Zardoz
  • Panel: It's Only a Flesh Wound! Realistic Injuries in SF and Fantasy with Darin Kennedy, Mike McPhail, Stuart Jaffe, Chris A. Jackson, and Kate Paulk, 4-25

    Panel: It’s Only a Flesh Wound! Realistic Injuries in SF and Fantasy with Darin Kennedy, Mike McPhail, Stuart Jaffe, Chris A. Jackson, and Kate Paulk, 4-25

  • Miscellaneous: Dr. Who Sightseeing Abroad; Living the Dream – Planning a Sustainable Creative Career; The Society for Creative Anachronism; Troll Hunting 101; How to Ruin a Successful Kickstarter Campaign
  • Mystery: Elementary, My Dear Watson; Adding Mystery/Suspense to Your Writing (With a Quick Homage to Poe); 10 Real Poe Mysteries
  • Paranormal: Virginia is for Haunters
  • Podcasting: Geek Radio Daily [live taping]; Getting Started in Podcasting
  • Publishing: Finding the Right Publisher; Indie Publishing – Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing; Indie Publishing – The Economics of Self-Publishing; Successful Indie Publishing – Tricks and Traps
  • Science: The Portrayal of Nuclear Power and Engineering in Science Fiction; The Science Behind Science Fiction; The Science of Cryptozoology; Nuclear Power vs. Fossil Fuels; Ask a Scientist; Let’s Build a Space Habitat
  • Panel: Ten Books that Best Represent Science Fiction of the 20th Century with Paula S. Jordan, Stephan L. Antczak, Jim Beall, and Gray Rinehart, 4-26

    Panel: Ten Books that Best Represent Science Fiction of the 20th Century with Paula S. Jordan, Stephen L. Antczak, Jim Beall, and Gray Rinehart, 4-26

  • Science Fiction: Alien Worlds and Races; You Did (Not) Attend This Panel in an Alternate Universe; A Lifetime of Armageddon Scenarios
  • Writing — General: Critiquing the Right Way; Just Like the Last Time, Only Different [Sequels]; Collaborative Writing; Writing Dialogue; Tips for Aspiring Writers; Plotting and Pacing a Short Story; No Right Way to Write – Techniques for New Writers; The Best Critique Group for You; Pantsing vs. Plotting
  • Writing — Genre: Playing God – Building Your Own World; Genre Blending – The New World; It’s Only a Flesh Wound! Realistic Injuries in SF and Fantasy
  • A Writing Career: How to Make Sure Your Submission Gets Rejected; Why Editing Matters; How Not to Ruin Your Writing Career; The Business End; Schmoozing 101
  • Women: Dr. Who Through Female Eyes; Women and Geek Culture; Representation of Women in Graphic Literature; Beyond Xena and Leia
  • Workshops: After the First Draft – The Next Step for the Aspiring Writer; Figure Drawing Workshop; Allen Wold’s Writing Workshop
  • Panel: The Villain's Journey with D. Alexander Ward, Emily Lavin Leverett, Jean Marie Ward, and Kate Paulk, 4-25

    Panel: The Villain’s Journey with D. Alexander Ward, Emily Lavin Leverett, Jean Marie Ward, and Kate Paulk, 4-25

    Panel: Let's Build a Space Habitat with Ian Randall Strock, Paula S. Jordan, Michael Z. Williamson, Allen Stelle, and Jim Beall, 4-26

    Panel: Let’s Build a Space Habitat with Ian Randall Strock, Paula S. Jordan, Michael Z. Williamson, Allen Steele, and Jim Beall, 4-26

    Congratulations to the staff and guests of RavenCon for an all-around stellar convention. This is one I’m definitely going to attend again.

    Panel: Why Science Fiction Matters with David Walton, Jack McDevitt, Jennifer R. Povey, Emily Lavin Leverett, and Stephen L. Antczak, 4-25

    Panel: Why Science Fiction Matters with David Walton, Jack McDevitt, Jennifer R. Povey, Emily Lavin Leverett, and Stephen L. Antczak, 4-25

     

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