Announcing the ConGlomeration 2018 Author Guest of Honor Keith R. A. DeCandido

Keith R A DeCandido by Luigi NoviConGlomeration is excited to announce that prolific sci-fi and fantasy novelist Keith R. A. DeCandido will be our 2018 Author Guest of Honor.

“Novelist” is an inadequate word to describe Keith; he is literally a Grandmaster of the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. He earned that title by writing over 50 books, a dozen comics, and scores of short stories in his career — while also podcasting, designing tabletop and video games, and co-producing a television show. Keith describes himself as an “author, editor, blogger, podcaster, karateka, musician, and all-around hoopy frood.”

As indicated by his Grandmaster status, Keith is best known for writing media tie-in novels for all your favorite sci-fi and fantasy franchises, particularly Star Trek. Fifteen Trek novels bear Keith’s byline, among them some of the most definitive Klingon stories in all of Trek canon: the I.K.S. Gorkon trilogy, the novel Klingon Empire – A Burning House, and The Klingon Art of War.


Want to talk Trek with Keith DeCandido? Register for ConGlomeration 2018!


Supernatural Nevermore by Keith R A DeCandidoKeith’s (overly) full professional bibliography also includes — but is in no way limited to — tie-in works for Aliens, Andromeda, BattleTech, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, Farscape, Firefly, Forgotten Realms, Hercules, Magic: The Gathering, Marvel Comics, Orphan Black, Resident Evil, Sleepy Hollow, Starcraft, Stargate SG-1, Star Wars, Supernatural, Warcraft, Xena, The X-Files, and Zorro.

Keith also produces original work, most notably his Precinct novel series about ground-level police officers working in a high-fantasy world. It’s Law & Order meets Game of Thrones.

Keith is also living the dreaming of getting paid to watch the entirety of Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Stargate SG-1, and Batman ’66 and then blog about them for Tor.com.


Want to spend a weekend with Keith DeCandido? Register for ConGlomeration 2018!


Buffy the Vampire Slayer Blackout by Keith R A DeCandidoSo far as his own secret origin is concerned, Keith was born and raised in the Bronx and earned his degree from Fordham University. From there he worked for a series of publishing houses as an editor, and then quickly transitioned to writing. A few decades later and he’s nerd-famous and has not one but two podcast shows: Chronic Rift and Dead Kitchen Radio. Today, Keith continues to churn out books and games and podcasts when he’s not too busy explaining how to pronounce his last name (it’s de-CAN-di-do).

You can learn more about Keith at his Wikipedia entry, Facebook Page, Twitter feed, ISFDB entry, LiveJournal blog, ComicBookDB entryInstagram feed, or his website, decandido.net.


Want to hang out with Keith DeCandido? Register for ConGlomeration 2018!


20 Questions with Keith R. A. DeCandido

Klingon Art of War by Keith R A DeCandidoKeith R. A. DeCandido possesses a staggering knowledge of sci-fi and fantasy franchises gleaned from many a movie and TV rewatch (and many more glimpses at series bibles and licensing guides). What unspoken rules or unrevealed histories of your favorite geek books and movies have you always wanted to know? Ask, and he shall answer — if you are worthy.

We’ll collect the 20 best, most interesting and intriguing questions for Keith posted in the comments below, or sent to programming@conglomeration.info. Then, we’ll compel Keith to answer. If you would know the unspoken truths and hidden insights of the Klingon Empire, the Winchester Brothers, or the Time Lords of Gallifrey, begin your questioning now.


Guests of Honor questions?
Contact John Hickman & Lexi Taylor, Programming Chairs [programming@conglomeration.info]

Join ConGlomeration at LFPL’s RANDOM FANDOM Sept. 23!

LFPL RANDOM FANDOM 2017ConGlomeration is joining our friends at the Louisville Free Public Library to help stage the 2017 edition of Random Fandom, a six-hour mini-con that’s like a micro-dose of our own annual convention! We’ll be on hand to run panels, demo games, stage workshops, and emcee the Cosplay Costume Contest. We’ll also raffle off a few FREE MEMBERSHIPS to ConGlomeration 2018!

If you just can’t wait until ConGlomeration 2018 — or you want to test-drive a fan-run convention for half a day — head on out to the LFPL Southwest Branch between 9am and 3pm tomorrow. (And don’t worry about a lunch, a fleet of food trucks will be on hand to feed you well. It’s not quite the same as our Con Suite, but it’s close.)

Schedule of Events (ConGlomeration-hosted events are in italics):

  • All Day
    • ACTIVITY – Craft Room
    • GAME – Game Demos/Open Gaming
  • 9:15-10:00
    • PANEL – “Foam Helmet Making” (Featuring ConGlomeration’s Louis Nicoulin)
    • PANEL – “Choosing the Right Game for You” (Featuring ConGlomeration’s Game Staff)
    • GAME – “Meddling Kids” Role Playing Game (Featuring ConGlomeration’s Kae Thompson)
  • 9:15-11:00
    • GAME – Star Wars Virtual Reality
    • MEDIA – Random Animation Screenings
  • 9:15-2:00
    • ACTIVITY – Photo Booth
  • 10:15-11:00
    • PANEL – “Podcasting 101” (Featuring ConGlomeration’s Carol Darnell, from “All Games Considered“)
    • PANEL – “Drawing Workshop: Creating Characters with Character” (Featuring ConGlomeration’s Adam Hicks)
    • GAME – “Meddling Kids” Role Playing Game  (Featuring ConGlomeration’s Kae Thompson)
  • 11:15-12:00
    • PANEL – “How to Be a Good Roleplayer” (Featuring ConGlomeration’s Keith Bratcher, Jay Garmon & Sean Reck)
    • PANEL – “All About Anime” (Featuring ConGlomeration’s Sarah Ritchie)
    • GAME – “Meddling Kids” Role Playing Game  (Featuring ConGlomeration’s Kae Thompson)
  • 11:15-1:00
    • PANEL – Meet Batman/TMNT author Matthew Manning
    • GAME – Audioshield
  • 12:15-1:00
    • PANEL – “How to Be a Good Gamesmaster” (Featuring ConGlomeration’s Keith Bratcher, Jay Garmon & Sean Reck)
    • GAME – “Meddling Kids” Role Playing Game  (Featuring ConGlomeration’s Kae Thompson)
  • 12:15-3:00
    • MEDIA – Random Animation Screenings
  • 1:15-2:00
    • PANEL – “Publishing/Editing 101” (Featuring ConGlomeration’s Jess Bratcher)
    • ACTIVITY – “Making Foam Weapons” (Featuring ConGlomeration’s Quinn & Seth Thomas)
    • GAME – “Meddling Kids” Role Playing Game  (Featuring ConGlomeration’s Kae Thompson)
  • 1:15-3:00
    • GAME – Star Wars Virtual Reality
  • 2:15-3:00
    • ACTIVITY – Cosplay Contest  (Featuring ConGlomeration’s Masquerade Staff)

It’s gonna be awesome. We’ll see you at the library tomorrow!

Announcing the ConGlomeration 2018 Artist Guest of Honor Stephen Hickman

Stephen HickmanConGlomeration is excited to announce that legendary illustrator Stephen Hickman will be our 2018 Artist Guest of Honor.

Stephen has been illustrating science fiction and fantasy for over four decades. You’ll recognize his art, even if you don’t recognize his name. His illustrations have been used as cover work for many contemporary writers, including: Stephen Brust, David Drake, Harlan Ellison, Robert Heinlein, Anne McCaffrey, Larry Niven, Andre Norton, Jerry Pournelle, and Steve Stirling, among others.

Perhaps Stephen’s best-known cover art adorned Larry Niven’s Man-Kzin Wars novels. He also designed the dragons for Steven Brust’s Dragaera series, as well as the 1993 commemorative science fiction stamps for the United States Postal Service —  the first official recognition by the US government of the sci-fi genre.


Want to hang out with a Hugo-winning illustrator? Register for ConGlomeration 2018!


Man-Kzin Wars 6 by Stephen HickmanStephen’s work has earned him critical acclaim, including a World Science Fiction Convention’s Hugo Award, six Chesley Awards from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists, and two Spectrum Gold Awards.

Since 1976, Stephen has illustrated over 425 covers for Ace, Baen, Ballantine, Bantam, Berkeley, Dell, Del Rey, Doubleday, Phage Press, Tor, Warren Publications, and others. His work is inspired by the masters of fantasy and science fiction writing — J.R.R. Tolkien, H.P. Lovecraft, A. Merritt, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Clark Ashton Smith.

In 1988, Stephen wrote The Lemurian Stone (Ace Books), which formed the basis for his Pharazar Mythos illustrations. The Lion Pavillion is one example and is also reproduced, along with The Archers, in the 1994 edition of Spectrum.

1993 USPS Science Fantasy Stamps by Stephen Hickman

Cthulhu Statue by Stephen HickmanIn 1994, he was presented a Hugo Award from the World Science Fiction Convention for the USPS’s Space Fantasy Commemorative Booklet of stamps.

In 1996, Stephen created the Cthulhu statuette inspired by an earlier cover illustration done for H.P. Lovecraft’s story The Call of Cthulhu (Baen Books). The statuette was produced and distributed by Bowen Designs. A second edition is now available, as well as a bust of H.P. Lovecraft himself.

A collection of Stephen’s works — Empyrean, The Art of Stephen Hickman — is available from Titan Books.

You can learn more about Stephen via his Wikipedia entry, his Facebook page, or at his website, www.stephenhickman.com.


20 Questions with Stephen Hickman

Stephen has over 40 years of experience as a professional illustrator, designer, and sculptor of sci-fi and fantasy art. (He’s so good, the US government paid him to draw rocket ships and jetpacks.) Stephen knows things. He’s seen things. He has the knowledge.

What would you want to ask a man like that? What war stories and/or professional advice would want him to share? Now’s your chance to ask.

We’ll collect the 20 best, most interesting and intriguing questions for Stephen sent to artshow@conglomeration.info. Then, we’ll collect and share Stephen’s responses. If you want to know what’s scarier, sculpting Cthulhu or making government art, he’s the man to ask.


Want to spend a weekend with the official sculptor of Cthulhu? Register for ConGlomeration 2018!


Guests of Honor questions?
Contact John Hickman & Lexi Taylor, Programming Chairs [programming@conglomeration.info]

Announcing the ConGlomeration 2018 Gaming Guest of Honor James L. Sutter

Paizo Creative Director James L. SutterConGlomeration is thrilled to announce that former Paizo Executive Editor James L. Sutter will be our 2018 Gaming Guest of Honor.

If you don’t know James, you absolutely know his work. James was a co-creator of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Creative Director of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game for Paizo Publishing, as well as the head of the Pathfinder Tales novel line.

He is the author of the novels Death’s Heretic—ranked #3 on Barnes & Noble’s Best Fantasy Releases of 2011 and a finalist for the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel—and The Redemption Engine, which won the 2015 Scribe Award for Best Original Speculative Novel.


Want to play a game or two with the co-creator of Pathfinder? Register for ConGlomeration 2018!


Starfinder RPGIn addition to a wealth of award-winning tabletop gaming material, he’s also written comics, video games, and short stories for such publications as Escape Pod, Apex Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and the #1 Amazon best-seller Machine of Death. His anthology Before They Were Giants pairs the first published short stories of science fiction and fantasy luminaries with new interviews and writing advice from the authors themselves.

To give you an idea of the sort of panels James will run when he’s here, take a gander at this excerpt from his guest post at Tor.com. “The most important thing we learn from pen-and-paper roleplaying games is that anyone can be a storyteller. … A writer can gain much more from gaming than simple confidence. By running games—and being lucky enough to work on Dungeon magazine and help create Pathfinder—I got an invaluable education in crafting worlds, plots, and characters.”

When not writing or editing, James has performed extensively with various bands and other musical projects ranging from punk and progressive metalcore to folk and musical theater. He lives in Seattle in a shared house named Mooncastle. You can learn more about James on his Twitter feed, Facebook page, or at his website, www.jameslsutter.com.


20 Questions with James Sutter

James is a man of secrets, a keeper of the shrouded lore that underpins the elsewhen of Pathfinder, Starfinder, and their many fantastic worlds. What would you know of these secrets? What would you have James reveal? Ask, and he shall answer — if you are worthy.

We’ll collect the 20 best, most interesting and intriguing questions for James posted in the comments below, or sent to gaming@conglomeration.info. Then, we’ll compel James to answer. If you would know the unspoken truths and hidden insights of the Paizo clans, begin your questioning now.


Want to spend a weekend with James Sutter? Register for ConGlomeration 2018!


Guests of Honor questions?
Contact John Hickman & Lexi Taylor, Programming Chairs [programming@conglomeration.info]

ConGlomeration returns Easter weekend 2018!

Cylon Easter BunnyLouisville’s geek family reunion will resume Easter weekendMarch 30 to April 1, 2018. And that’s not all that’s new for your favorite Derby City fan convention.

After hearing from our members, vendors, and guests that our previous venue was no longer adequate or satisfactory, ConGlomeration 2018 will instead be held at the Crowne Plaza Louisville Hotel & Conference Center. (Old-timers may remember this as the Executive West Hotel, home to many a past RiverCon.) With a new official hotel comes a few new surprises, too, including:

So, why Easter Weekend? We know that may present a few challenges for some members, but we’ve successfully hosted ConGlomeration on Easter before (most recently in 2011, at the Crowne Plaza), and the advantages of the new hotel made moving to Easter weekend worth it. In fact, the deal was so good we’ll be at the Crowne Plaza for the next three Easter weekends — March 30 to April 1, 2018; April 19-21, 2019; and April 10-12, 2020. Mark your calendars now.

To be frank, the only way ConGlomeration could afford a venue this nice was to agree to a holiday date, and Easter weekend proved to be the least objectionable holiday amongst our members when surveyed. It keeps ConGlomeration in Spring — the single most important concern among surveyed members — and overlapping with some portion of the local school systems’ Spring Break. To avoid Easter meant staying at our previous host hotel, and the deteriorating state of that facility made that no option at all.

Nonetheless, ConGlomeration is making a host of adjustments to accommodate the Easter holiday, including tweaks to our Dealers Room and Art Show hours to help attendees wrap up early on Easter Sunday, as well as the welcome return of a non-denominational on-site Easter Service on Sunday morning for all nerdy worshippers.

We hope you’ll take advantage of all that our new official hotel has to offer and spend your Easter with ConGlomeration.

Memberships are now available online (and we’re still offering bonuses for referring new members).

We’ll see you this Spring!

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