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CoKoCon 2018: First of a Kind

We are so excited for this week’s post! We are finally about a month and a half out from our newest event and it is one we have been heavily involved in. This last year, we joined the group WesternSFA, which is a group focused on Science Fiction and Fantasy here in Arizona. After joining, we were pleased to be invited to help with aspects of organizing a new event, CoKoCon 2018. In it’s first year, it is a traditional science fiction/fantasy con in Phoenix, AZ which will be held over the Labor Day weekend in 2018. The name reflects that it’s the CopperCon and ConKopelli Convention, sponsored by both CASFS and WesternSFA. Both groups have been involved in fandom in the Valley of the Sun for years and came together to support Westercon 70 (which was sponsored by LepreCon, Inc. in Tempe in 2017). Now, they are coming together to put on a new convention to celebrate science fiction and fantasy in Phoenix as well as support literacy. Not only are we supporting literacy but CoKoCon will be holding a Charity Auction to benefit the Y-Achievers, a YMCA workforce program for disadvantaged young adults. 100% of proceeds will be donated to the Y-Achievers.

Duncan is the on-site dealer’s room liason while I will be helping with fan tables. It has been a blast working with such a hard working group. The co-chairs of the event are our long time author friend, Hal C. F. Astell and long time participant in fandom, Mark Boniece. Vice-chair and in charge of programming is Dee Astell. Everyone is a volunteer and along with our people in charge, there are many others donating their time and effort to make this a success.

We already have a wonderful roundup of guests. Our Author Guest of Honor is Harry Turtledove. He’s the multiple-award winning author of over a hundred books and many short stories, including two Sidewise Awards, one Hugo, one Homer and one John Esten Cooke Award for Southern Fiction. Publisher’s Weekly has called him ‘The Master of Alternate History’.

The Artist Guest of Honor is Steve Rude, participating in his only convention this year. Steve is a multi-award winning comic book artist with a Kirby, an Eisner, a Harvey and an Inkpot Award to his name.

He’s drawn hundreds of comics’ greatest iconic heroes, working for Marvel, DC and a variety of indies, though he’s best known for his work on Nexus, which he co-created. He also co-created The Moth.

Local Guest of Honor is Beth Cato, a lovely lady and wonderful author. She’s the Nebula-nominated author of the Clockwork Dagger duology and the new Blood of Earth trilogy from Harper Voyager. Her newest novel is Call of Fire. Roar of Sky will be released in October.

There will be music just like every traditional convention I’ve been to and our Filk Guest of Honors are Cheshire Moon. Cheshire Moon is the two-time Pegasus award winning filk duo of Lizzie Crowe and Eric Coleman. Fanciful and riddled with mischief, old stories are made new, and old myths are given new faces in guitar and violin and voice. I’m looking forward to their concert!

Last but not least is our Gaming Guest of Honor, Eric Wile. Starting out as one of the top 25 Atari players in the nation at the age of 8, he became a videogame designer, doing level design, storyboarding, concept design and game engine design.

He’s best known for his work at Sony Online Entertainment, where he had a major hand in the development of titles like EverQuest, EverQuest II, EverQuest Online Adventures, PlanetSide, Star Wars: Galaxies and Vanguard Saga of Heroes. He’s currently in production with his own indie tabletop game.

That is a fantastic lineup! Harry Turtledove alone for the win but they are all great people! On top of those fabulous guests, we have an amazing lineup of participants, coming together to bring you the best panels and a fantastic convention.
While there will be a lot of stuff for everyone, I do want to shout out to some of our authors who we will see out as participants. We will, of course, see Hal C. F. Astell.
Our friend Jenn Czep will be out with the Dread Pirate Fleet!
From Brick Cave Media, we have Dr. Bruce Davis.
We have indie authors, Ashley Carlson, H. Paul Honsinger, and Jamie Wyman.
We have the well known David Lee Summers.

We have our best client and friend, T. L. Smith and from Phoenix Comic Fest, Arabella Thorne.
We have old friends, like Tom Leveen.

We have our friends from Westercon 70, Thomas Watson, Cynthia Ward and Stephanie L. Weippert.

Finally, we have authors we haven’t seen in a while (super stoked to see them out!), Marsheila Rockwell and Jeff Mariotte.

We are looking forward to working with each of every one of them, either for the convention or at our bookstore. As we get closer to the event, we will announce which authors we will be hosting at our bookstore so keep an eye out for more news!

There are artists, like Mark Greenawalt, Gilead, and Ross Caligiuri. And so many more to be announced, I am sure! There is someone for everyone.

Membership is being capped at 500. If you want to check out our authors and our guests, you need to jump on getting your memberships. The cost is $50 and goes up at the door! Time is running out with the convention just around the corner for Labor Day Weekend. To get your memberships now, go to CoKoCon 2018

We will see you at the convention and out among the stacks!

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