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.


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]

Posted in 2018, art show, guests of honor

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

Paizo Creative Director James L. SutterConGlomeration is thrilled to announce that 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 is 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-wining 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.


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]

Posted in 2018, gaming, guests of honor

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!

Posted in 2018

Artist Guest of Honor Kristin Kest Returns to ConGlomeration in 2017


Want to spend a weekend with Kristin Kest? Register for ConGlomeration 2017!


Book Werm by Kristin kestConGlomeration is elated to announce that once again our 2011 Artist Guest of Honor, Kristin Kest, is returning as an Attending Artist in 2017.

Kristin has been an illustrator for over 25 years and has created the interior and cover artwork for books, textbooks, magazines, calendars, and cards for scores of publishing companies such as McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin, Random House, Peaceful Kingdom, Yankee Publishing, Picture Window Books, Bearport Publishing, Charlesbridge Publishing, Marshall Cavendish, Web of Life Press, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Aqueduct Press, the venerable and now-defunct Western Publishing Co., and many, many more.

For nearly nine years, Kest has taught illustration, drawing, and professional development courses at York College of Pennsylvania. She earned her MFA at Maryland Institute, College of Art, exhibits her work in galleries, and lectures at conferences on aspects of illustration and storytelling.

Kristin Kest's Lost in DreamsRecently, Kristin completed Lost in Dreams: Book 1, the first volume of a graphic novel series with New Worlds Comics, now available through ComiXology.

Kristin works in both traditional ~brushes and oil paint~ and digital media. Some of Kristin’s work has been nominated for the Chesley and the Hugo Awards for Best SF Illustration, and her work has been in the fantasy and science fiction publications Spectrum, Infected By Art, and the Directory of Illustration #32.

You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and see Kristin’s work at www.kestillustration.com.

(She also likes pirates. ARRRR!)


Want to spend a weekend with Kristin Kest? Register for ConGlomeration 2016!


Art Show Questions?
Contact Kyle Thomas, Art Show Chair [artshow@conglomeration.info]

Posted in Uncategorized

ConGlomeration 2017’s Fandom & Pop Culture Program Track

ConGlomeration’s 2017 Fandom & Pop Culture program lineup includes panels and activities designed to curate, illuminate and celebrate the “geek culture” that defines modern fandom — and modern pop culture at large.

You can view our complete program lineup here.


Want to attend these awesome panels? Register for ConGlomeration 2017!


FRIDAY, APRIL 7

5pm: “Welcome to Fandom”
“What is this place? What are all you people doing?” Join us for a very brief overview of what awaits the adventurous heart. Everyone welcome especially newbies. Our programming staff and coordinators will be available to discuss the upcoming events.

6pm: “Partying Safely”
Lexi Taylor hosts a discussion with members from BarFleet, The Royal Manticoran Navy, and others focused on how to both enjoy and throw room parties responsibly and safely for all involved.

6pm: “Stardate: Wibbly-Wobbly”
Calling all Trekkies and Whovians for a panel discussion of IDW’s comic crossover mini-series, ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation.’ Whether you stand with the Federation, or your other ride is the TARDIS, you’re in for an hour of sci-fi worlds colliding, featuring self-proclaimed experts from both fandoms. Live long, prosper, and Geronimo!

7pm: Dinner Break

8pm: ConGlomeration 2017 Opening Ceremonies
And so it begins: Welcome all our Guests of Honor to ConGlomeration 2017, meet a few of the staff responsible (for better or for worse) for this year’s convention, and maybe even get the skinny on a few “unofficial” parties and events.

9pm: “Update on Star Trek: Axanar with Guest of Honor J.G. Hertzler”
Join 2017 Multi-Media Guest of Honor John G Hertzler for a first hand update on where the highly anticipated AXANAR project is now that the legal issues seem to be resolved. We will start with a viewing of ‘Prelude to Axanar’ to get you in the mood.

9pm-?: Open Filking
Filking?” No, it is not illegal (mostly). Yes, it is a lot of fun. No, you don’t have to play an instrument or even carry a tune (Oh c’mon, I’ve heard Mark ‘sing?’) Pull up a chair, or some floor, and relax.

SATURDAY, APRIL 8

11am: “Anime 101: 1962-Today”
Hosted by the Louisville Anime Community – Join us for a look at how anime (Japanese animation) started, and how it has changed over each decade to where we are today.

12pm: Lunch Break
Eat; it’s good for you. Also, eat something good for you.

1pm: “Trekking Across the Universe”
Join 2017 Multi-Media Guest of Honor John G Hertzler for a guided tour of his many journeys thru the Star Trek Universe. JGH has been in every franchise except the original series, so imagine the things he has seen and the stories…you get the idea.

2pm: “Raising Gamers”
There are several games out there that are tailor-made to engage our kids. Teaching them critical thinking, cultivating their imagination, and encouraging teamwork. This panel discusses the kid-friendly games out there and the publishers who make them, as well as gaming in libraries and schools.

5pm: “Update on Star Trek: Axanar with Guest of Honor J.G. Hertzler”
Join 2017 Multi-Media Guest of Honor John G Hertzler for a first hand update on where the highly anticipated AXANAR project is now that the legal issues seem to be resolved. We will start with a viewing of ‘Prelude to Axanar’ to get you in the mood.

6pm: Dinner Break
Leave the building; consume healthy foodstuffs. It’s go-time.

7pm: Art Auction
Art Show items that have received three or more written bids go up for voice auction.  Bid early and bid often!  That art needs to come home with *you* and your bidding foes must be defeated!  ConGlomeration Art Show Awards, themselves pieces of art, are given out at the midpoint of the auction.

8pm: Cosplay Masquerade
This year’s Masquerade will be epic. After all, the Klingon High Chancellor is one of the judges and Il Troubadour is performing the half-time show. Being less than stellar might be painful this year. Bring on your best act and cosplay to win the day…er, night!!

9pm-?: Open Filking
Filking?” No, it is not illegal (mostly). Yes, it is a lot of fun. No, you don’t have to play an instrument or even carry a tune (Oh c’mon, I’ve heard Mark ‘sing?’) Pull up a chair, or some floor, and relax.

10pm-?: “ConGlomeration Karaoke Sing-Off”
Karaoke is back for round two! We have a simple selection of fandom songs from Supernatural, Marvel movies, Disney, and Weird Al as well as lots of K-pop and J-pop! Find a song you know and rock out!

SUNDAY, APRIL 9

9am: ConGlomeration All-Faith Chapel
Brother Dave Mattingly leads us in a celebration of diversity and unity in faith. Everyone — yes, even you — welcome.

11am: “No ‘One True Way’ to Game”
Old School Gaming, Narrative Play, Diceless Gaming, GM-less Gaming, Story Gaming – there is no “One True Scotsman” way to game, outside of being a decent person to your GM and fellow players. Discuss the different styles of gaming, their pros and cons, and how to figure out which one works best for your group during any given campaign.

12pm: ConGlomeration 2017 Closing Ceremonies
Come bid adieu to all our Guests of Honor and send ConGlomeration 2017 out with a hearty fare-thee-well.


Want to attend these awesome panels? Register for ConGlomeration 2017!


Programming questions?
Contact Keith Bratcher, Programming Chair [programming@conglomeration.info]

Posted in Uncategorized