ConCarolinas: A Small Con With a Big Heart

Cosplayers in the halls at ConCarolinas

ConCarolinas came to Concord, NC, May 29-31, 2015 in a new, more spacious location at the Embassy Suites. The con describes itself as a “general multi-genre multi-media convention.” In practice, this means that ConCarolinas has a little bit of something for everyone. This year’s offerings included gaming, demonstrations, science panels, cosplay, authors, workshops, theater, and lots of exhibitors. I was able to attend for the day on Saturday and only wish I’d been able to stay the entire weekend.

Piedmont Laureate, James Maxey

The Author Guest of Honor this year was John Scalzi. Scalzi is always awesome, but it was extra exciting that ConCarolinas was one of his first appearances after the announcement of his giant new multi-book deal with Tor. More local authors were there, too, several of them participating in panels about speculative fiction themes and offering writing advice.

L-R: Authors Niko Brooks, Darin Kennedy, Debra Killeen, and Michael G. Williams.

Besides Media Guest of Honor Joel Hodgson and special guests Michael Hogan, Doug Jones, and Judith O’Dea there were a variety of performances including classic monster movies, musicians, improv group, bellydancers, and much more.

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Among my favorite offerings were demonstrations by the Society for Creative Anachronism; Armor-Building and other cosplay how-to workshops; scientific discussion panels on Climate Change, Extraterrestrial Life, and Raising Scientifically Minded Children; podcasting advice; and many, many fan groups.

Heather Halton of the Society for Creative Anachronism

ConCarolinas is a great opportunity to spend the weekend exploring the wealth of geekery in the Carolinas. It’s a well-organized event, and I hope to see more southern GeekDads there next year!

All photos by Samantha Bryant.

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  • I attended Saturday, and can say it was easily one of my better con experiences. The guests were really set up to get close, mingle, and chat. I got to speak with Hodgson several times, and Michael Hogan is an excellent storyteller when you get him rolling. I didn't get to experience it, but apparently Doug Jones needs to touch your face while he talks to you. Scalzi wasn't greatly available in a general "at the table signing things" sense, but his panels were excellent and he apparently wandered the con itself a bit. All in all, it was an experience I'd be glad to have again.

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