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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here are some of the panels and workshops offered at the convention:
Congratulations to the staff and guests of RavenCon for an all-around stellar convention. This is one I’m definitely going to attend again.