September 21, 2017

October 2013-Life in the Astro-Blogosphere: The 2013 NecronomiCon!

The armillary sphere logo for Necronomicon 2013! (Credit: Stone Hill.org)

October for us means cooler climes, Halloween, pumpkin beer, and the “busy ‘Con season,” by way of the Tampa Bay NecronomiCon. Now in its 32nd year, this was our 3rd “Necro” event as fans from all over Florida and beyond gathered to celebrate all things sci-fi, fantasy and horror. Thankfully, the feared government shutdown-induced zombie apocalypse never came to pass, making it that much easier to spot the cosplay zombies, or at least tell them from any would-be real ones.

This year’s guest of honor was author Christopher Paolini of Eragon fame, and the ‘Con thus followed suit and had a dragon-esque theme this year. Held at the Embassy Suites on the University of South Florida campus, 2013 also heralded a “return to Tampa” for the ‘Con from the St. Pete side of Tampa Bay, where it had been held for the past two years.

This was a great ‘Con this year, a chance to mingle and recharge our collective batteries and once again get excited about the art of writing. We did two each panels on What’s Up in Astronomy and Exoplanet science that went off pretty well, although the hotel wifi didn’t support our attempts at streaming the event live on Google+ (sorry ‘bout that!)

We also conducted star parties on both nights in front of the hotel, along with Star-Splitter Adventure’s Tanja Dietrich. We were fortunate to have a Full Hunter’s Moon that just happened to be in the midst of a penumbral lunar eclipse on Friday night, and managed to grab the star party faves of Albireo and Gamma Delphinus on night two, along with the rising waning gibbous Moon. We’ve never been rained out/clouded out during a ‘Con star party yet!

It seems just like yesterday that science fiction author Madge Miller was advising us to check out the 2011 event in our area, noting that it’s a “nice little ‘Con.” Necronomicon typically draws in 500-700 participants a year, and is one of Florida’s premiere ‘Cons of the genre. Put on each year by Tampa’s foremost science fiction club, the Stone Hill Science Fiction Association has worked to keep the yearly event a reflection of the tightly knit Sci-Fi community.

In fact, Stone Hill has an interesting “origin back-story” that can be traced all the way back to the very first space shuttle launch of Columbia on April 12th, 1981. ‘Tis a fascinating read, and fitting for a Florida Sci-Fi club… and the very next year saw the launch of NecronomiCon #1!

We had a blast at our very own “Necro 3” this past weekend; it’s yet to be seen if our 0,0,0 point in time and space will see us attending next year. Thanks to Ann and all who made this year’s 2013 NecronomiCon all best of what’s weird and wonderful in speculative fiction!

Also: be sure to check out our adventures from years past, including the 2011 (with special guest author Ben Bova!) and the 2012 NecronomiCon.

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