Pittsburgh’s Convention Scene Shuts Down

Jun 5, 2020 by

Like dominoes, Pittsburgh’s pop culture conventions have shut down for the summer.

First, it was the Three Rivers Comicon, scheduled to take place May 30 – 31 at the spectacular David L. Lawrence Convention Center overlooking the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh.

Founded by a couple of Pittsburgh nerds who were hoping to make comic con all about comics again, Three Rivers was postponed until May 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Next came Confluence, the region’s longest-running literary conference. Slated for the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, the conference was postponed until July 23 – 25, 2021.

Organized by Parsec — a non-profit organization that has been promoting science fiction, fantasy, and horror in literature, media, and music for over 25 years — Confluence features award-winning authors, editors, artists and songwriters. With panel discussions, concerts, and talks that broaden and deepen appreciation of the genres, Confluence gives attendees a unique opportunity to meet and chat with the writers and artists who create the science fiction, fantasy, and horror of today, helping to shape those genres for the future.

The PulpFest organizing committee canceled this summer’s conference on Memorial Day. Postponed until July or August 2021, you can read about the cancelation of PulpFest 2020 in our post, “There Is Nothing Wrong with Your Television Set . . .

The last domino to fall was Monster BashLike PulpFest, the “International Classic Monster Movie Conference and Film Festival” was to be held at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry in Mars, Pennsylvania. Realizing that their attendees wouldn’t be able to enjoy the usual Bash experience, Ron and Ursula Adams decided to cancel their June show shortly after PulpFest 2020 had met a similar fate.

Monster Bash celebrates the classic horror and science fiction films of the silent era through the 1970s. It’s a film festival; a place to meet the people in the movies, behind the movies, and fellow fans of the movies; and a monster memorabilia shopping spree.

Produced by Ron Adams of Creepy Classics Collectibles and SCARY MONSTERS MAGAZINE, Monster Bash is a state of mind — a place, like Skull Island, where our imaginations ignite and burn through our everyday lives. The Bash is an appreciation of the fun movies we all love. Whether it’s THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN or THE KILLER SHREWS, if you have fun watching it . . . that’s what Monster Bash is all about.

The “Monster Boomers” and their Monster Kids flock to Monster Bash from all over the world. Now, instead of one or two friends in the neighborhood who love monster movies, there are thousands! At Monster Bash you’ll meet others who, like you, loved Forry Ackerman’s FAMOUS MONSTER OF FILMLAND, the local TV horror host, the Aurora monster models, and much more.

Sadly, you’ll now have to wait until October 16 – 18 when the fall Monster Bash is scheduled for the Pittsburgh Marriot North in Mars. A Bela Lugosi Film Fest is also planned for August 14 – 15 at the Palace Theater in Canton, Ohio. We’ll have more details about these and other pop culture conventions, right here at pulpfest.com.

Which is one of the many reasons why PulpFest is a Pittsburgh Smash!

Confluence convention logo

(The 2020 Monster Bash was to be a MUNSTER Bash! Green was Herman Munster’s skin tone (although his co-workers at Gateman, Goodbury and Graves never seemed to notice). Both Pat Priest — who played the “abnormal” Marilyn Munster — and Butch Patrick — Eddie — on THE MUNSTERS — were scheduled to be the convention’s special guests. Joining them were many other notables. Special events such as Mexican Monster Night — featuring free tacos and burritos — and a drive-in style showing on Saturday night were also planned.)

 

Confluence: Pittsburgh’s SF Convention

Jun 24, 2019 by

Confluence convention logo

 

Confluence is Pittsburgh’s longest-running literary conference. It is organized by Parsec, a non-profit organization that has been promoting science fiction, fantasy and horror in literature, media and music for over 25 years. Joe Coluccio, who has attended PulpFest for several years, serves as the president of Parsec.

Every summer, award-winning authors, editors, artists and song-writers gather in Pittsburgh for three full days, holding panel discussions, concerts and talks that broaden and deepen appreciation of the genres. Welcoming and personal, Confluence gives attendees a unique opportunity to meet and chat with the writers and artists who create the science fiction, fantasy, and horror of today, helping to shape those genres for the future.

This year’s Confluence will offer many activities including an exciting dealers’ room, science programming, art show, poetry readings, workshops, art demos, a cosplay/costume contest, musical filk concerts, and Saturday night entertainment.

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Tobias S. Buckell will be the Confluence 2019 Guest of Honor. Buckell grew up in Grenada and spent time in the British and U. S. Virgin Islands, which influence much of his work. His novels and over seventy stories have been translated into nineteen different languages. His work has been nominated for awards like the Hugo, Nebula, Prometheus, and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author.

Nebula, World Fantasy, and Endeavour award nominee Cat Rambo will conduct two Writers’ Workshops at Confluence. A select number of authors will have the chance to have their work critiqued. There is no additional fee for the writing workshops, however, paid membership to the Confluence conference is required for all workshop participants. Participation is limited to one workshop per person.

Award-winning filk writer and performer Michael “Moonwulf” Longcor will also be appearing at the 2019 Confluence.

This year’s Confluence will begin on Friday, July 26, at 3 PM. The convention continues on Saturday, July 27, from 9 AM until 10 PM, and Sunday, July 28, from 9 AM until 3 PM. Confluence will take place at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel, 1160 Thorn Run Road in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. Parking is free if you are staying at the hotel, or attending the convention.

An advance, full-weekend adult membership is $50 through June 30, 2019. Children from 6 – 12 years old are $25 through June 30. After that date, at-the-door prices apply. For additonal information about registration, please visit the Confluence website.

In her 2018 convention report, Brenda Clough writes, “You can meet everybody in attendance here and talk to nearly everybody, and converse with all the pros . . . . Confluence is a con worthy of attention!“

(While you’re awaiting PulpFest 2019 — beginning on Thursday, August 15, and running through Sunday, August 18 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry — Confluence may just be your ticket to happiness. Tell them PulpFest sent you!)

Ten Dollar Discounts!

May 4, 2018 by

 

Hey PulpFest members? Are you interested in genre fiction? Then you’ll be happy to know that PulpFest has worked out a discount exchange with Confluence, Pittsburgh’s longest-running literary conference, with a strong focus on science fiction, fantasy and horror.

All PulpFest members will receive $10 off the price of a daily membership to Confluence. The conference runs from 3 PM on Friday, July 27, through 3 PM on Sunday, July 29. It takes place at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel, located at 1160 Thorn Run Road in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. To receive your discount, simply show your PulpFest badge when you register at the door.

Confluence members are also welcome to attend PulpFest 2018. They will receive the same $10 discount off the price of a daily PulpFest admission with proof of membership. Click one of the Register buttons on our home page for our daily rates.

About Confluence 2018

Confluence is a cooperative effort between the University of Pittsburgh science fiction club and Parsec, a non-profit organization that has been promoting science fiction, fantasy and horror in literature, media and music for over 25 years. Joe Coluccio, who has attended PulpFest for the last few years, serves as the president of Parsec.

Award-winning authors, editors, artists and song-writers gather in Pittsburgh for three full days, holding panel discussions, concerts and talks that broaden and deepen appreciation of the genres. Welcoming and personal, Confluence gives attendees a unique opportunity to meet and chat with the writers and artists who create the science fiction, fantasy, and horror of today, helping to shape those genres for the future.

This year’s Confluence will offer many activities including musical filk concerts, an exciting dealers’ room, science programming, an art show, poetry readings, workshops, art demos, a cosplay/costume contest, and Saturday night entertainment. Additionally, Hugo-winning science fiction writer David D. Levine will conduct a Writers’ Workshop. A select number of authors will have the chance to have a professional writer and several of their peers critique their work. These will be done in a round-robin, Clarion West style, allowing all the participants to read and critique everyone’s work.

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente will be the Confluence 2018 Guest of HonorA writer of fantasy and science fiction novels, short stories, and poetry, Catherynne has  won or been nominated for every major award in her fields, including the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards. She has taken home the James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award, the Mythopoeic Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and other honors. Singer-songwriter S. J. Tucker and filk performer and interpreter Judi Miller will also be appearing at the 2018 Confluence.

About PulpFest 2018

PulpFest 2018 begins on Thursday, July 26, with early-bird shopping in our dealers’ room from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM. We’ll also have a full slate of programming, beginning at 8:40 PM. Our dealers’ room is open on Friday and Saturday from 10 AM until 4:45 PM and on Sunday from 9 AM until 2 PM while dealers are packing up for their trip home. We’ll also have programming events on Friday and Saturday afternoons, plus evening programming on both nights from 7 PM until 10 PM. There will be no programming on Sunday.

The convention will salute the centennial of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José FarmerJoin PulpFest 2018 and FarmerCon 100 for panels and presentations on the celebrated author of TARZAN ALIVE: A DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF LORD GREYSTOKEDOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE, the Riverworld and World of Tiers series, and many other works. We’ll also honor the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. The convention will focus on the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century and the depiction of war in popular culture. Click the Programming button under our home page banner to learn more.

Award-winning author Joe Lansdale will be the PulpFest 2018 Guest of Honor. The author of over forty novels and many short stories, Lansdale has also written for comics, television, film, Internet sites, and more. His novella “Bubba Ho-Tep” was adapted to film by Don Coscarelli, starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis. The film adaptation of his novel COLD IN JULY was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and the Sundance Channel has adapted his Hap & Leonard novels for television.

In addition to our great programming, our dealers’ room features tens of thousands of pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, digests, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, original art, first edition hardcovers, genre fiction, series books, reference books, dime novels and story papers, Big Little Books, B-Movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age comic books, as well as newspaper adventure strips. It’s perfect for the reader and/or the collector!

PulpFest 2018 will also hold two live auctions featuring material from two estates. The convention will be offering pulps, books, and digests from such diverse genres as science fiction, adventure, sports, and the western field. Some highlights include a number of rare premiums offered to pulp readers, over twenty Gnome Press, Shasta, and Avalon first edition hardcovers, rare science fiction paperbacks including a selection of Ace Doubles, British science fiction magazines, long runs of Analog, Galaxy, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and other digests, and much more. The auctions will begin on both Friday and Saturday nights at 10 PM.

PulpFest will take place at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Nineteen miles north of Pittsburgh, the DoubleTree is conveniently located at the intersection of Interstate 79, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and State Route 19. Our host hotel is at 910 Sheraton Drive, Mars, Pennsylvania. For driving directions, please visit http://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/pennsylvania/doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-pittsburgh-cranberry-PITMADT/maps-directions/index.html.

(Philip José Farmer was a leading contributor to the science fiction digests of the fifties and sixties. THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION — which published “Open to Me, My Sister” in its May 1960 issue, featuring front cover art by Mel Hunter — was one of many magazines to which he sold.)