January 24, 2013

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Chattanooga’s vibrant Con season kicks off this weekend with Chattacon returning to its home at the Choo Choo, where it routinely draws more than 1,000 new and old sci-fi, steampunk, comic and fantasy fans roam the lobby, campus and convention space of the complex.

Marketing director KC Charland said the 38th annual event is chock full of all the usual fan favorites—the art show, dealer area, the ConSuite, gaming and official events featuring guests of honors (see sidebar)—and adds that the con has included a blood drive, dubbed the  Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Blood Drive, from 1 to 6 p.m. on Saturday to benefit Chattanooga Blood Assurance (vampires, saltvores, zombies and demigods need not apply).

Charland said also that steampunk has risen to all but dominated the con for the past few years, and this year is no exception. Other notable events are the film festival and Saturday night dance—always a costumed feast for the eyes— at Town Hall with  DJ Synaptic Flow spining songs from across decades and genres into the wee hours of the morning.

If the con starts to stress you out, free massages will provided by Healthsource Chiropractic and Progressive Rehab in the Con Suite, aka Track 29, where you can relax and chill with a cold beer (badges are $25) and de-steampunk. And don’t miss the room parties, often the very essence of the Chattacon experience.

Live long and prosper, Chattacon.

Guests of Honor

Tim Powers: Award-winning science fiction and fantasy author (“The Anubis Gates,” “Last Call,” “Declare”) whose 1988 novel, “On Stranger Tides,” was optioned for adaptation into the fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film.

Cherie Priest: Seattle-based Priest is the author of a dozen novels, including the steampunk pulp adventures “Ganymede,” “Dreadnought,” “Clementine” and “Boneshaker.”

William Stout: Hugely influential artist, designer, art director and film production designer whose recent murals adorn the San Diego Natural History Museum and San Diego Zoo.

Wendy Webb: Toastmistress

Chattacon 38: Friday, Jan. 25 through Sunday, Jan. 27

Chattanooga Choo Choo, 1400 Market St., chattacon.org

January 24, 2013

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