A: FenCon is a literary science fiction and fantasy convention with quite a lot of filk programming, some science programming, an outstanding collection of guests, an art show, a charity auction, a short story contest, a writers workshop, gaming, a demo track, a costume contest and members like you. FenCon is a production of the Dallas Future Society.
Q: What exactly is a "Fen"?
A: Fen has several meanings including "a low-lying wetland with grassy vegetation" and "one one-hundredth of a yuan" but we mean it in the fannish context where "fen" is the plural of "fan" in the same way that "men" is the plural of "man."
Q: So what about "Con"?
A: Con is short for convention.
Q: Why "FenCon VIII"?
A: The first FenCon was held in 2004 with Larry Niven as our guest of honor. 2011 will be the sixth FenCon and we just love those Roman numerals so we're FenCon VIII.
Q: So who's coming to FenCon VIII?
A: FenCon is once again planning to welcome a diverse group of Hugo, Pegasus, Nebula, and Chesley winners and top names in their fields to Dallas. We've got folks like Gail Carriger, Joe Bethancourt, Lou Anders, Bradley Denton, Les Johnson, and many more coming in September 2011. If previous years are any guide, we'll wind up with about 85 to 90 guests and program participants in total. Check out the guests page for the complete and updated list.
Q: What is a Friend of the Fen?
A: These are the folks who support us early and buy their memberships anywhere from two to twelve months before FenCon VIII. These "Friend" memberships allow us to put together our amazing guest lineup and other things that make us who we are.
We reward our Friends with a free FenCon t-shirt or totebag plus other free stuff and a few special privileges.
A: Filk is folksinging, often with a science fiction and/or fantasy theme. The songs can be original, parodies, or based on other songs. The term 'filk' is alleged to derive from a typo in a convention program book. Filk was typed instead of folk, and the singers took the term as their own. (Experts dispute this history but the precise origins are murky.)
Our costume contest can involve more than dressing up as your favorite Timelord and/or Browncoat. You can do a skit or perform or so much more than a simple catwalk strut-spin-gone costume contest. Along with the costumes we schedule some fascinating acts plus a special musical project we call the All-Star Git-Down Filk Sing Hootenanny™, now in its fourth exciting year. Prizes are awarded.
Q: Will there be an art show?
A: Yes, after FenCon I in 2004 the biggest demand from the fen was for an art show and we're all about that "of the fen, by the fen, for the fen" motto.
We had a great time with amazing artists at FenCon II and our first art show and auction so now every year we put together another array of outstanding art and artists. We've shuffled the function space so look for an even larger art show for FenCon VIII.
Q: Why should I stay at the con hotel?
A: The long answer is on the hotel page. The short answer is that it's safer, more convenient, and helps the con keep function space costs down.
Q: Are you the same group that does ConDFW?
A: No. We love those folks but the TSFA is a whole different group. A bunch of us attend their convention and a bunch of them attend ours but there's no connection beyond the fact that we're all fans in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Q: Are you the same group that does All-Con? Or Sci-Fi Expo? Or Anime Fest? Or A-Kon?
A: No, to all of those and any others you might wonder about. We stay busy enough running one convention a year and FenCon is that one convention. You'll see us throwing room parties or running information tables at some of these events and you'll see us enjoying all that north Texas fandom has to offer but other organizations work very hard to put on those events.
Q: Will you throw a room party at (name of convention)?
A: In 2010 we threw room parties at conventions all over the region including cons in Texas, Oklahoma, and other places to promote FenCon VII. To find out when and where we'll be in 2011 for FenCon VIII, keep an eye on our home page.
Q: Can my group throw a room party at FenCon?
A: Heck yes! We welcomed quite a number of other conventions, and fan groups in 2010 and all systems are "go" for 2011. We do have a few simple rules/requests and you get all that info by e-mailing FenCon's hotel liaison.
Q: Why haven't you answered my question?
A: Only because you haven't asked us yet. As people ask us stuff, we will keep adding to this page. So ask us questions and we'll answer them.