ArmadilloCon is a science fiction convention held annually in Austin, Texas, USA, since 1979.[1][2] As the second longest running science fiction convention in Texas, it is sponsored by the Fandom Association of Central Texas and is known for its emphasis on literary science fiction.[3] ArmadilloCon was traditionally held in mid-October during the weekend of the Texas-OU football game, but moved to a late-summer/early-fall weekend in 1998. The 34th annual convention was held in the Renaissance Hotel Austin from July 27–29, 2012.[4] ArmadilloCon 35 in 2013 was a "relaxicon" due to the 71st World Science Fiction Convention to be held in San Antonio that year.[5]

GenreScience fiction
VenueRenaissance Hotel Austin (since 2010)
Location(s)Austin, Texas
CountryUnited States
Organized byFandom Association of Central Texas
Filing status501(c)(3)

Traditions of ArmadilloCon

ArmadilloCon generally focuses on literary science-fiction, with guests of honor typically being up-and-coming writers.[6] Unique programming includes a "Fannish Feud" which has been held regularly since ArmadilloCon 4 in 1982, and has been hosted by Pat Cadigan, Walter Jon Williams, and Rhonda Eudaly. The convention typically includes a large number of readings, and often ends with a story reading by Howard Waldrop.[3]

A key element of the convention is the ArmadilloCon Writers' Workshop. The workshop was started in 1998[7], instigated by Chairs A.T. Campbell III and Lori Wolf. The workshop is held during the day on the Friday of the convention, with a Writers' Track of sessions available during the rest of the weekend.

Past conventions

ArmadilloCon 01 Program Book cover
ArmadilloCon 1 program book

Upcoming convention


  1. ^ a b c George, Patrick (August 17, 2008). "ArmadilloCon Still Has Read on Sci-Fi 30 Years In". Austin American Statesman.
  2. ^ Nawotka, Edward (April 24, 2008). "Nebula Awards puts Austin and Texas writers at center of science fiction world". Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on May 2, 2009. Retrieved August 16, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c Whittaker, Richard (August 15, 2008). "Going Home to the Armadillo: After 30 years, the song remains the same at ArmadilloCon, Texas' favorite sci-fi convention". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Sci-fi lovers converge on 34th annual Armadillocon". Austin, TX: Your News Now. July 30, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Whittaker, Richard (August 26, 2011). "Steam Versus Cyber at ArmadilloCon". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
  6. ^ "Official ArmadilloCon Website". Retrieved July 11, 2009.
  7. ^ "Links to Writers' Workshops - SFWA". SFWA. 2009-06-19. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
  8. ^ Warren, Gary L. (October 5, 1981). "ArmadilloCon Brings Science Fiction to Austin". The Daily Texan.
  9. ^ Brandt, Beverly L. (September–October 1983). "Upcoming Cons". WSFA Journal. 7 (4). Washington Science Fiction Association. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  10. ^ "Bookmarks". Austin American-Statesman. October 8, 1989. p. D4. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  11. ^ "Bookmarks". Austin American-Statesman. October 7, 1990. p. E6. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  12. ^ McDaniel, Niki Frances (October 12, 1990). "More than 100 science fiction authors, artists, editors and agents". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  13. ^ Point, Michael (October 11, 1991). "Best bets: Space is the place". Austin American-Statesman. p. A14. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  14. ^ Aiken, Wayne (September 1992). "Upcoming Conventions". Holy Temple of Mass Consumption (10).
  15. ^ Point, Michael (October 9, 1992). "Best bets". Austin American-Statesman. p. A16. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  16. ^ "Places to go, people to see". Austin American-Statesman. October 29, 1993. p. C3. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  17. ^ Kelly, Carolyn (October 7, 1994). "Best bets: Mixed bag". Austin American-Statesman. p. B12. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  18. ^ "The Latest Word". Austin American-Statesman. October 1, 1995. p. G6. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  19. ^ Shea, Mike (July 31, 1998). "The Waiting Is the Hardest Part; How Mr. Denton Spent His Summer Vacation". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  20. ^ Morris, Anne (August 15, 1999). "Sci-fi fans gear up for convention". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved March 30, 2010.
  21. ^ Vane, Sharyn Wizda (July 6, 2003). "If you dig aliens and alternate realities, then ArmadilloCon is your event". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  22. ^ "The fantasy is alive at sci-fi convention". Your News Now. August 10, 2003. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  23. ^ "ArmadilloCon 2009". Retrieved July 9, 2009.
  24. ^ Jones, Kimberley (August 14, 2009). "News/Print". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  25. ^ Gross, Joe (August 21, 2010). "Keeping Lone Star literature weird: What makes Texas science fiction and fantasy different? Think Robert E. Howard's genre-busting work, and start where he left off". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
  26. ^ Whittaker, Richard (August 27, 2010). "Dark Forces Gathering". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
  27. ^ Cupp, Scott A. (August 18, 2010). "More Guests Than You Can Swing an Armadillo At". Missions Unknown. Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
  28. ^ Sterling, Bruce (August 20, 2010). "Dead Media Beat: sci-fi mag prints on clay tablets". Wired. Archived from the original on 28 August 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
  29. ^ DeNardo, John (August 29, 2010). "EVENT REPORT: ArmadilloCon 32". SF Signal. Archived from the original on September 2, 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
  30. ^ "ArmadilloCon becomes official sponsor of the 2011 World Horror Convention". World Horror Convention 2011. July 12, 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
  31. ^ "Writing Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror in Austin". Retrieved 2018-06-06.

External links

Brad W. Foster

Brad W. Foster (born April 26, 1955) is an American illustrator, cartoonist, writer and publisher. He has also been Artist Guest of Honor at multiple conventions such as ArmadilloCon 10, Conestoga 9, Archon 35, NASFiC 2010, and 73rd World Science Fiction Convention.

Dick Smith (software)

Richard H.E. Smith II is a Chicago, Illinois- and Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based software engineer, computer consultant and a science fiction fanzine publisher.

Edward Bryant

Edward Winslow Bryant Jr. (August 27, 1945 – February 10, 2017) was an American science fiction and horror writer sometimes associated with the Dangerous Visions series of anthologies that bolstered The New Wave. At the time of his death, he resided in North Denver.


FenCon is a literary science fiction and fantasy convention with filk held each year on or around the fourth full weekend of September in or around Dallas, Texas. The name is derived from "fen", the fannish plural of "fan", and "con", an abbreviation for "convention".FenCon is a production of the Dallas Future Society, a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that seeks to promote the advancement of science, literature, and music for all mankind. This is the same organization that has run WhoFest, a Doctor Who-focused media-oriented science fiction convention, since 2013.

Ginjer Buchanan

Ginjer Buchanan (born in Pittsburgh, December 12, 1944) was Editor-in-Chief at Ace Books and Roc Books, the two science-fiction and fantasy imprints of Penguin Group (USA).

Howard Waldrop

Howard Waldrop (born September 15, 1946, in Houston, Mississippi) is a science fiction author who works primarily in short fiction.

Waldrop's stories combine elements such as alternate history, American popular culture, the American South, old movies (and character actors), classical mythology, and rock 'n' roll music. His style is sometimes obscure or elliptical: Night of the Cooters is a pastiche of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds told from the perspective of a small town Texas sheriff (a homage to Slim Pickens) who faces a Martian cylinder crashing down near his town; "Heirs of the Perisphere" involves robotic Disney characters waking up in the far future; "Fin de Cyclé" describes the Dreyfus affair from the perspective of bicycle enthusiasts.

Waldrop's work is frequently out-of-print, though still available for sale on-line; several of his books have been reprinted in omnibus editions.

Several of his stories have been nominated for the genre's awards; "The Ugly Chickens" — about the extinction of the dodo — won a Nebula Award for best novelette in 1980, and also a World Fantasy Award for Short Fiction in 1981; this is perhaps his best known work.

Though born in Mississippi, Waldrop has spent most of his life in Texas. He moved to Washington state for several years, but has since returned to Austin. He is an avid fly fisherman. He is a member of the Turkey City Writer's Workshop, has attended the Rio Hondo Writing Workshop, and has taught at the Clarion Workshop. In 2004 he started writing movie reviews with Lawrence Person for Locus Online.

He is a frequent attendee of ArmadilloCon, the local science fiction convention held annually in Austin. He was the Toastmaster at the very first ArmadilloCon (1979) and again at #29 in 2007; he was Guest of Honor at ArmadilloCon 5 (1983).

Waldrop was one of three writer Guests of Honor at the 1995 World Fantasy Convention held in Baltimore and at Readercon 15 held in Burlington, Massachusetts, in 2003.

James K. Morrow

James Morrow (born March 17, 1947) is an American novelist and short-story writer known for filtering large philosophical and theological questions through his satiric sensibility.

Most of Morrow’s oeuvre has been published as science fiction and fantasy, but he is also the author of two unconventional historical novels, The Last Witchfinder and Galápagos Regained. He variously describes himself as a "scientific humanist," a "bewildered pilgrim," and a "child of the Enlightenment."Morrow presently lives in State College, Pennsylvania with his second wife, Kathryn Smith Morrow, his son Christopher, and his two dogs.

Jeanne Gomoll

Jeanne Gomoll is an American artist, writer, editor, and science fiction fan, who was recognized as one of the guests of honor at the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention (Loncon 3, the 2014 WorldCon), having been a guest of honor at numerous previous science fiction conventions. She has been nominated multiple times for awards in artist and fanzine categories, and for service to the genre of science fiction, particularly feminist science fiction.

John Picacio

John Picacio (born September 3, 1969) is an American artist specializing in science fiction, fantasy and horror illustration.

Julie Dillon

Julie Dillon (born in 1982) is an American artist specializing in science fiction and fantasy art. A freelance illustrator, Dillon has created images for games, book and magazine covers, and covers for musical albums. Dillon's work has been nominated for the Chesley Award three times; she won the 2010 Chesley Award for Best Unpublished Color for "Planetary Alignment" (subsequently published as a cover for Clarkesworld Magazine), as well as the 2011 Chesley Award for "The Dala Horse" in Best Interior Illustration. She was nominated for the World Fantasy Award for Best Artist in 2012 and received the Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist in 2014, 2015, and 2017. She also received two Chesley Awards in 2015 for the Best Cover Illustrations for a magazine and a hardback book. Dillon lives and works in California.

List of fan conventions by date of founding

The list of modern fan conventions for various genres of entertainment extends to the first conventions held in the 1930s.

Some fan historians claim that the 1936 Philadelphia Science Fiction Conference, a.k.a. Philcon, was the first science fiction convention ever held. Others, such as Fred Patten and Rob Hansen, make this claim for the January 1937 event in Leeds, England, organized by the Leeds Science Fiction League, which was specifically organised as a conference, with a program and speakers. Out of this came the first incarnation of the British Science Fiction Association.

While a few conventions were created in various parts of the world within the period between 1935-1960, the number of convention establishments increased slightly in the 1960s and then increased dramatically in the 1970s, with many of the largest conventions in the modern era being established during the latter decade. Impeti for further establishment of local fan conventions include:

The return of superhero characters and franchises during the Silver Age of Comic Books (1956-1970)

science fiction adaptations for television serials (e.g., Star Trek) in the 1960s-1970s

the growth of role-playing (in the 1970s and 1980s) as a genre of tabletop, live-action and eventually video/computer gaming, which not only inspired roleplay of favorite characters in full-body costumes but also inspired existing franchises to adapt their themes for said methods of gaming

the growth in home taping (starting with VHS in the late 1970s) of television broadcasts, including popular serials.

the growth of computerized communication, including the Internet and Internet-dependent applications in the 1980s and 1990s.

List of science fiction conventions

This is a list of notable science fiction conventions, as distinct from anime conventions, comic book conventions, furry conventions, gaming conventions, horror conventions, and multigenre conventions.

Martha Wells

Martha Wells (born September 1, 1964) is an American writer of speculative fiction. She has published a number of fantasy novels, young adult novels, media tie-ins, short stories, and nonfiction essays on fantasy and science fiction subjects. Her novels have been translated into eight languages. Wells has won a Nebula Award, a Locus Award, and a Hugo Award.

Michael Bishop (author)

Michael Lawson Bishop (born November 12, 1945) is an American writer. Over four decades and in more than thirty books, he has created what has been called a "body of work that stands among the most admired and influential in modern science fiction and fantasy literature."

Mojo Press

Mojo Press is a now-defunct small press which primarily published science fiction, horror, and western books and graphic novels between 1994 and 1999.

Sharon Shinn

Sharon Shinn (born 1957) is an American novelist who writes combining aspects of fantasy, science fiction and romance. She has published more than a dozen novels for adult and young adult readers. Her works include the Shifting Circles Series, the Samaria Series, the Twelve Houses Series, and a rewriting of Jane Eyre, Jenna Starborn. She works as a journalist in St. Louis, Missouri and is a graduate of Northwestern University.

Shinn is a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Rams fan and is also a big fan of the TV Show Lost. She is a frequent attender of science-fiction/fantasy conventions. Her first Guest of Honor stint at a convention was ArmadilloCon 26. She was also the Guest of Honor at the convention Capricon 29.

In 2009, she donated her archive to the department of Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University.In Laurell K Hamilton's novel Obsidian Butterfly of her Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series, Anita Blake mentions that she reads Sharon Shinn's novels to help her deal with her phobia of flying.

Sigrid Close

Sigrid Close is a professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. Her primary research interest is the space environment with particular focus on meteoroids, meteors, and orbital debris, and their interaction with spacecraft and spacecraft operations.

Professor Close's research involves space weather detection and modeling for improved spacecraft designs, and advanced signal processing and electromagnetic wave interactions with plasma for ground-to-satellite communication systems. These topics fall under the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) umbrella that include environmental remote sensing using satellite systems and ground-based radar. Her current efforts are the MEDUSSA (Meteoroid, Energetics, and Debris Understanding for Space Situational Awareness) program, TALIS (Tomographic Array for Lightning and Ionospheric Studies) using ground-based and space-based RF sensors, and using ground-based radar data to characterize the meteoroid population and its threat to spacecraft. She was a member of two NRC panels, in 2010 examining options for detecting and countering near-Earth objects, and in 2011 assessing NASA's meteoroid and orbital debris programs.In 2010, she won an NSF Career Award and a Hellman Faculty Fellowship award for her meteor research. In 2013 she was selected for a DoE Early Career Award for her work on hypervelocity impact plasmas, and also awarded a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Professor Close was the inaugural Science Guest of Honor at the ArmadilloCon science fiction and fantasy literary convention in 2014. In 2017 she was recognized by the American Geophysical Union with the Space Physics and Aeronomy Richard Carrington (SPARC) Education and Public Outreach Award. for significant and outstanding impact on students’ and the public’s understanding of geophysical science through education and outreach activities.

William Gibson

William Ford Gibson (born March 17, 1948) is an American-Canadian speculative fiction writer and essayist widely credited with pioneering the science fiction subgenre known as cyberpunk. Beginning his writing career in the late 1970s, his early works were noir, near-future stories that explored the effects of technology, cybernetics, and computer networks on humans—a "combination of lowlife and high tech"—and helped to create an iconography for the information age before the ubiquity of the Internet in the 1990s. Gibson notably coined the term "cyberspace" in his short story "Burning Chrome" (1982) and later popularized the concept in his acclaimed debut novel Neuromancer (1984). These early works have been credited with "renovating" science fiction literature.

After expanding on Neuromancer with two more novels to complete the dystopic Sprawl trilogy, Gibson collaborated with Bruce Sterling on the alternate history novel The Difference Engine (1990), which became an important work of the science fiction subgenre steampunk. In the 1990s, Gibson composed the Bridge trilogy of novels, which explored the sociological developments of near-future urban environments, postindustrial society, and late capitalism. Following the turn of the century and the events of 9/11, Gibson emerged with a string of increasingly realist novels—Pattern Recognition (2003), Spook Country (2007), and Zero History (2010)—set in a roughly contemporary world. These works saw his name reach mainstream bestseller lists for the first time. His more recent novel, The Peripheral (2014), returned to a more overt engagement with technology and recognizable science fiction concerns.

In 1999, The Guardian described Gibson as "probably the most important novelist of the past two decades," while the Sydney Morning Herald called him the "noir prophet" of cyberpunk. Throughout his career, Gibson has written more than 20 short stories and 10 critically acclaimed novels (one in collaboration), contributed articles to several major publications, and collaborated extensively with performance artists, filmmakers, and musicians. His work has been cited as an influence across a variety of disciplines spanning academia, design, film, literature, music, cyberculture, and technology.


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