San Diego Fan Info Site Revamped

Once you’ve scanned James Hay’s San Diego Fandom Index you’ll believe his hometown must be the center of the science fiction universe.

Since Hay took over editorship of the site he has expanded its coverage, and started posting info about cons, meetings and events occurring farther in the future than before.

And Hay has also revived his California Convention list, plus a separate list Ren Faires and Reenactment Events.

Update 01/25/2015: Corrected California Convention URL per comment.

Comic-Con, Inside and Out

Comic-Con runs July 12-15 and even though File 770 doesn’t cover it systematically the con is such a big event something always catches my eye.

Bradbury’s traditional Comic-Con appearance will be memorialized by panel discussion about the late writer on Saturday, July 14

6:00-7:30 A Tribute to the Legendary Ray Bradbury—Some called him the greatest writer of fantasy of all time. He was a writer of legendary science fiction, an inspiration to generations, and a good friend of Comic-Con. We lost him on June 12, and now many of his friends and colleagues gather to celebrate this extraordinary figure. The guest list is still being finalized as this guide goes to press, but it should include authors William F. Nolan, George Clayton Johnson, Marc Scott Zicree, Joe Hill, and Margaret Atwood, along with figures from the worlds of motion pictures and television. Your hosts are Bradbury biographer Sam Weller (Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury) and Comic-Con special guest Mark Evanier. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Bradbury character. Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront 

Then, James Hay has posted his extensive research about Comic-Con happenings that don’t require tickets to the con itself. Here are selected excerpts – his full list on Facebook has at least twice as many entries:

Unmasked! Comic Art in San Diego Revealed (July 7 – 31, Tue – Sat 12 -7, Sun 12 – 5)
Exhibit of art by San Diego area comic artists
Cost: Free
Where: Artlab Studios, 3536 Adams Ave.

Darkness and Light: Art Inspired by Heroes & Villains, Hope & Heroism, (July 9 – 15, 9 am – ?)
A collection of original artwork inspired by the universe of DC Comics and its characters, raising Awareness of DC’s “We Can Be Heroes” campaign fighting hunger in the Horn of Africa.
Cost: Free
Where: Michael J. Wolf Fine Arts 363 Fifth Avenue Suite 102

Gam3rcon (July 11-15, 2012, noon – midnight)
Gaming Convention: Games, Panel Discussions, Art Exhibition, Rooftop parties
G33k Theatre (at Gam3rcon)
– Gam3rs: The Play (Jul 10, 8 pm; Jul 11, 3 pm; Jul 12, 7 pm; Jul 14, 7 pm) – Free with any Gam3rcon membership
– Spider Baby: The Musical (Jul 8, 8 pm; Jul 9, 8 pm; Jul 10, 10 pm; Jul 11, 7 pm; Jul 12: 10 pm; Jul 14, 10 pm; Jul 15; 7 pm) – $20 or $10 with any Gam3rcon membership
– I Wish My Life Was An RPG (Jul 13, 7:30 pm)
All events have limited seating. Seats may be reserved for “Spider Baby” at 619-900-4492.
Where: 10th Avenue Theater, 930 10th Avenue

TRICKSTER (Jul 11, 3 pm – 1 am; Jul 12 – 14, 11 am – 1 am)
Comic book art event: Symposia, animation and live-action short film screenings, signings, drawing events, rooftop terrace with full restaurant menu, DJs, and live music.
Cost: Free, but there is a $40 fee for individual symposia
Buy Symposia Tickets –
(1) Plot Construction
(2) Character Development
(3) World Building
Where: WINE STEALS/PROPER, 795 J. Street

Cartoon Network’s 20th Anniversary Exhibition, (July 11, 11 am – 5 pm; Jul 12 – 14, 11 am – 6 pm)
75 Artists take a close look at cartoons from Hanna-Barbera to the Cartoon Network
Super secret good time party and artist reception: July 14, 6 pm – 11 pm)
Cost: Free
Where: JETT Gallery, 989 W. Kalmia St.

Adventure Time: Keyper Seeker Experiencel (Jul 11 – 15, hours vary)
The New Children’s Museum is re-conceptualized to a fully immersive Adventure Time experience, featuring a recreation of the Land of Ooo, riddles, puzzles, and, of course, adventure.
Cost: $10 (?)
Where: The New Children’s Museum, 200 West Island Ave.

Nerd Machine HQ (Jul 12 – 15)
Celebrity panels, videos, Video gaming, Vizio tech demos, DJs, Dancing
Cost: General Admission: Free, $20 for each “Conversations for a Cause” panel (money to benefit Operation Smile
Where: Block No. 16 Union and Spirits, 344 7th Avenue (7th and J)

History Channel Cross-Country Cookout (July 12 – 14)
Sample free BBQ and enjoy History Channel entertainment and giveaways.
Local eats from SD favorites Hodad’s and Phil’s BBQ from 5:30 – 8:30pm on July 12th and 13th.
Cost: Free
Where: 80-foot Ultimate Smoker and Grill Truck, Parking lot at 100 Island Ave

Haunted Hotel (July 13 – 14, 7 pm – 11 pm)
The haunted attraction opens once again for Comic-Con
Cost: $16.99 (Cash only)
Where: 424 Market Street (4th and Market)

Space Art Show (Jul 14 – 28, hours vary)
Where: Space Travelers Emporium, 1947 30th St.
Cost: Free
All ages are welcome.


Final Leg of the Course of the Force, 5 day run (Jul 11th, 7am – 12:30 pm)
Join a Olympic Torch-like run (carrying a light saber) event to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish foundation
Where: Runs from Crystal Pier, Pacific Beach to Balboa Theater , 868 Fourth Avenue
Cost: $500 for ¼ mile segment (it’s for charity folks), Free to watch
(Register as runner at
Runners will receive a Star Wars Ultimate FX lightsaberTM along with other gifts celebrating the Force.


Readers Day at the Wired Café, (Jul 12, 11 am – 5 pm)
Wired fans are invited to an event featuring gadgets and gaming, specialty cocktails, WIRED WiFi and charging stations, new arts and entertainment releases.
Cost: Free RSVP for tickets to [email protected]
Where: 6th floor of Omni Hotel, 675 L Street

W00tstock 4.0, (Jul 12, 7pm)
A night of Geeks and Music with Will Wheaton, Adam Savage, Paul and Storm, Bonnie Burton, Marion Call, The Doubleclicks, Rob Reid and more
Cost: $44.65 including Ticketmaster fee
(Buy Tickets at W00tstock 4.0
Where: Balboa Theater , 868 Fourth Avenue
Ages 6 year and older

San Diego Symphony Summer Pops – The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddess (July 12, 8:00 pm)
Cost: $20 – $76 (Buy Tickets at
Where: Embarcadaro Marina Park South, Foot of Marina Park Way behind convention center.
Munky King Carnival, (July 12, 8 – 11 pm)
Party featuring games, shooting gallery and artists
Preceded by the Designer Toy Award Nomination announcements from 7:30 to 8 PM
Cost: Free
Where: Bar Basic, 410 Tenth Ave.


March for Undead Rights, (July 13th, 5:30 pm)
San Diego Zombie Walk stages a walk through the Gaslamp in protest of discrimination against the undead.
300 marchers will receive tickets to the Con of the Dead Party (Below)
Cost: Free (Come in zombie costume/makeup, bring protest sign)
Where: Walk starts at 4th and Broadway (do not arrive before 4:30 pm)

The Nerdist Podcast Live!  (Jul 13, 7pm)
Chris Hardwick’s popular podcast on all things Nerdy does presented live with Jonah Ray & Matt Mira
Cost: $31.50 Reserved Seating advanced sale including Ticketmaster fee (Buy Tickets at
Where: Balboa Theater , 868 Fourth Avenue

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian and James Hay for the links.]

Steampunk: Back to the Garden

Nancy and James Hay in San Diego Citybeat

San Diego Citybeat writer Kinsee Morlan interviewed an array of local San Diego fans for “Steampunks by the sea”, published May 4.  

Leading off the article are Nancy and James Hay from the concom of Gaslight Gathering, a steampunk-themed convention running May 6-8 at that old faithful, the Town & Country Hotel in Mission Valley.

“Steampunk has been around since ’87,” says James, wearing a mad-scientist, Victorian-era costume complete with brass goggles and a futuristic-looking time-travel watch. “But it was just kind of a low-lying thing—not really a big part of science fiction. Then, I eventually heard about the first steampunk convention, and I went, ‘Oh, OK, when did it become a movement, and why the heck didn’t anyone tell me?’”

Next, Ingred Chamberlin and Kim Hutsell talk about the steampunk movement in terms that echo the longings of people in the Sixties who ended up joining communal farms or participating in the Society for Creative Anachronism. Chamberlin is the farmer:

“I have six chickens as of last week,” Ingred explains. “For us, [steampunk] gets back into that whole, What did we leave behind, and is it worth reconsidering? thing. It brings up permaculture and the question, Am I really all that thrilled about buying carrots in a plastic bag from the grocery store when I could be growing my own?”

And Hutsell is stocking the arsenal:

Kim Hutsell’s hands are covered in black grease as he sits in front of his toolbox and puts the finishing touches on a shiny brass hand grenade, just one of his steampunk creations.

[Via James Hay.]

Ouellette Coming to ConDor

Jennifer Ouellette

Jennifer Ouellette

ConDor XVII takes place in San Diego over the February 26-28 weekend. CJ Cherryh is the Guest of Honor.

This year’s theme is “Tripping the Past Fantastic” and James Hay, who always puts together an ingenious program, has been researching steampunk and other such things for many months.

He’s also been busy lining up guests who appeal to fans’ continuing interest in science and the future. A recent addition is Jennifer Ouellette of the Science and Entertainment Exchange, a program of the National Academy of Sciences.

She is the author of two popular science books, The Physics of the Buffyverse (2007) and Black Bodies and Quantum Cats: Tales from the Annals of Physics (2006).

The mission of the Exchange is to provide entertainment industry professionals with access to top scientists and engineers to help bring the reality of cutting-edge science to creative and engaging storylines. I wonder how easy it is for conventions to tap the Exchange for speakers, and how often they make use of this source? The Board of Advisors contains many familiar names, with Gregory Benford, Lawrence Kasdan, and Marvin Minsky having the most history in the genre.

[Via James Hay.]

Device Gallery

Electrolux Deathray by Greg Brotherton

Via ConDor’s programming czar James Hay I learned about the incredible Device Gallery in La Jolla, CA which “specializes in 3D art, most of which is pretty much SF, particularly Steampunkish or Retro Future, in appearance.”

The gallery was co-founded by the creator of the “Electrolux Deathray” (above), artist Greg Brotherton:

His interest in the mechanical surfaced at age five, when he began disassembling anything with screws in it. By the age of twelve he had taught himself to mine his backyard with homemade explosives (no injuries!). Then, after being successfully ejected from a series of public and private learning institutions, Greg, equivalency test in hand, entered the Colorado Academy of Art, beginning his undergraduate studies at sixteen.

A fannish fellow if there ever was one! 

The Device Gallery has hosted a whole flock of artists, and many impressive examples of their work can be viewed online.

Below: Paul Loughridge’s “Roboskater.”


A Red S and a Black Eye

As James Hay was developing “Heroes and Villains” themed programming for the next ConDor, he discovered two radio stories involving Superman in the archives of “This American Life.”

Act Three. People Like You If You Put a Lot of Time Into Your Appearance.
To prove this simple point—a familiar one to readers of any women’s magazines—we have this true story of moral instruction, told by Luke Burbank in Seattle, about a guy he met on a plane who was dressed in a hand-sewn Superman costume. (13 minutes)

Act Four. Just Be Yourself.
Former TAL producer Jonathan Goldstein with a story about what it’s like to date Lois Lane when she’s on the rebound from Superman. Jonathan Goldstein is currently the host of CBC’s Wiretap, and the author of the novel Lenny Bruce Is Dead. (13 minutes)