April 28, 2017

Don't miss the APRIL 30 DEADLINE! (that's this Sunday)!

ConQuesT 48 is coming sooner than you think--your chance to register online before the convention ends April 30, 2017!

What's so great about ConQuesT? Well, we must be doing something right, to have put on 47 of them previously . . . but let's look at the offerings. We have four headliner guests (more about them below), lots of other professional artists, writers, and others, plus multiple programming track and special events run by experienced fans who know how to keep it fun and smooth for everyone.

Our Guests of Honor
Robert J. Sawyer and Hominids-inspired friend
Robert J. Sawyer - Author GoH
Toronto-based Robert J. Sawyer has won the best-novel Hugo Award (for Hominids), and has twelve other Hugo nominations to his credit. He’s also won the best-novel Nebula Award (for The Terminal Experiment), the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (for Mindscan), plus numerous other awards around the world.

In 2016 he was named to the Order of Canada, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the Canadian government. His 23 novels include  the #1 Locus bestsellers Calculating God, Triggers, and the May KC SF&F Literati selection, Quantum Night. The ABC TV series FlashForward was based on his novel of the same name, and he was one of the scriptwriters for that series.

Jonathan Maberry in his natural habitat
Jonathan Maberry - Toastmaster
Jonathan Maberry is a New York Times best-selling novelist, five-time Bram Stoker Award winner, and comic book writer. He writes the Joe Ledger thrillers, the Rot & Ruin series, the Nightsiders series, the Dead of Night series, as well as standalone novels in multiple genres. He's also edited many anthologies, including The X-Files, Scary Out There, Out Of Tune, and V-Wars.

He is the founder of the Writers Coffeehouse, and the co-founder of The Liars Club. He was a featured expert on the History Channel documentary,  Zombies:  A Living History, and a regular expert on the TV series True Monsters. He is one third of the very popular and mildly weird Three Guys With Beards pop-culture podcast. Jonathan lives in Del Mar, California, with his wife, Sara Jo.

Rachael Mayo - Artist GoH
Rachael Mayo is a fantasy and SF artist who prefers traditional art media. She specializes in mixed media (this can include watercolor, colored pencil, paint pens, ink, acrylic, and shiny objects). She likes to create creatures with eye-searingly bright color schemes.

Rachael mostly takes private commissions or works on personal projects. She occasionally creates book covers or interior illustrations, primarily with small press publishers. She also has published Dragon Adventurea coloring book of her art, and sells her work to the public at science-fiction/fantasy convention art shows around the country. She earned a bachelor’s degree in illustration from University of Central Missouri in 1999, but by day she works as a systems administrator who enjoys tormenting unsuspecting mainframes. She spends most hours outside of her day job producing art. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

A recent Rachael Mayo, the "Skittles Explosion" version of Turquoise Conjunction Digicolor 2

Zac Zacarola - Fan GoH
Zac Zacarola and a wall of Ziggy's West swords.
A familiar face in the convention dealer’s room at the Ziggy’s West table, Zac first took interest in science fiction when he discovered “all those B movies” as a kid. His favorite is still the original The Day the Earth Stood Still. “Then, Star Trek came along,” he said. While studying chemistry at West Virginia University, he associated with Monongamoot, WVU’s SciFi club, met Jo, who was involved with MonCon III, and “thanks to her, I’ve attended a number of SciFi conventions which I may not have otherwise attended, including four WorldCons.” 

For more than 35 years, Zac was an analytical chemist in the nuclear power industry. “Talk about SciFi comin' to life!” he says. Since 2008, he’s worked on the environmental side of things, including the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and groundwater protection. Zac specialized in corrosion control and metallurgy, which he now applies to the fine merchandise of Ziggy’s West, a business which has existed since 1987.

Other Highlights
ConQuesT Art Show 
One of the largest and best-quality science fiction convention art shows in the region, the ConQuesT Art Show maintains its high quality through its system of jurying artists in, then doing everything possible to make sure those artists sell as well as possible. Show attendees enjoy 2D and 3D artwork by top fantasy and science fiction artists from all over North America.

This is just one corner of a recent ConQuesT Art Show display.

ConQuesT Dealers' Room
Our Dealers' Room offers a wide variety of wares, from Ziggy's swords and other metallic wonders, through fiber arts and costumes, jewelry, 2D and 3D artwork, an array of books, videos, comics, games, gaming supplies, and related sundries. And don't forget the buttons, bumper stickers, and T-shirts

A view of the ConQuesT 46 Dealers' Room
The Story-in-A-Bag Contest is fun for all ages.
Story-In-A-Bag, Writers' Workshop, and Writing Programming Track
There's plenty of programming for, and involving, writers at all points in their career. Seasoned pros and famous writers conduct panels on many aspects of speculative literature, the writing craft, and the business of being a writer. A writers' workshop offers one-on-one critique services to writers seeking to improve their skills, and the ever-popular Story-In-A-Bag Contest offers a fun creative challenge for story-spinners of all ages and skill levels.

IMAGES: The ConQuesT 48 banner image was created by Jan S. Gephardt for convention-promotional purposes; it features a logo design by Keri O'Brien and a photo of the lobby of our convention hotel, the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center, which provided the photo. 

The photo of Robert J. Sawyer with the Neanderthal skull is by Carolyn Clink, and was provided by Sawyer's website. The photo of Jonathan Maberry in his office is from Jessica Lawlor's interview with him. The photo of Rachael Mayo is from the ConQuesT 48 website, and her Turquoise Conjunction Digicolor 2 is from her DeviantART Gallery. The photo of Zac Zacarola, by Chris Moose Mendolia, is also from the ConQuesT 48 website

The photo of part of the ConQuesT Art Show from the KaCSFFS Blog post “What Makes the ConQuesT Art Show So Great?” by David Sooby. The Dealers' Room photo is from the indispensable Midamerican Fan Photo Archive of Keith Stokes. The photo of the bags from a recent past Story-in-A-Bag Contest is from the ConQuesT 48 website.

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