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ArmadilloCon 2021 Featured

Gary Villarreal’s ArmadilloCon Schedule

We are so delighted to be featuring the talented Gary Villarreal as our Artist Guest! Look for his work in the Art Show and be sure to visit his table in the Dealers’ Room.

Here are the places and times he is scheduled to present, starting with a Live Drawing Q&A on Friday!

Live Drawing and Q/A
Fri 5:00 PM-6:00 PM Ballroom D
G. Villarreal
Our Artist Guest shares his creation process.

Opening Ceremonies
Fri 7:00 PM-7:30 PM Ballroom D
N. Drayden, D. Liss, M. R. Maresca, G. Villarreal, J. Miles*
The formal start of the con. Get introduced to the con’s major guests, and attend the Meet the Pros party afterward.

Autographing
Sat 11:00 AM-Noon Dealers’ Room
K. Baldwin, K. Redford, G. Villarreal

Movies You Should Have Seen
Sat 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Ballroom F
A. T. Campbell*, R. Klaw, A. Royer, G. Villarreal
While we may not have made it to the theatre much in 2021, there were a lot of movies released. Our crack panel of cinephiles talk about which genre films are worth your time.

Fannish Feud
Sat 5:00 PM-6:00 PM Ballroom D
A. Downum, D. Liss, M. R. Maresca, G. Villarreal, S. Felix, J. Juday, T. Wilson
Fans vs Pros trivia game.

Artist Guest Slide Show
Sat 8:00 PM-9:00 PM Ballroom D
G. Villarreal
A presentation of work from his career as a professional artist, including work in the film and game industry

Challenges and Rewards of Self-Publishing
Sun Noon-1:00 PM Southpark A
A. Latner, J. M. Perez, R. S. Rose, G. Villarreal, D. L. Young*
How to choose a publishing path that works for you.

Pictionary
Sun 2:00 PM-3:00 PM Ballroom E
A. T. Campbell, P. Charlifu, A. L. Martinez, G. Villarreal, D. Webb*
Like Charades, but with pictures.

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ArmadilloCon 2021 Featured

David Liss’s ArmadilloCon Schedule

Meet Special Guest David Liss at ArmadilloCon! He will be talking about both comics and historical fantasy, autographing books, and even indulging in a round of Fannish Feud, ArmadilloCon’s annual fans vs. pros game!

Opening Ceremonies
Fri 7:00 PM-7:30 PM Ballroom D
N. Drayden, D. Liss, M. R. Maresca, G. Villarreal, J. Miles*
The formal start of the con. Get introduced to the con’s major guests, and attend the Meet the Pros party afterward.

Historical Fantasy
Fri 9:00 PM-10:00 PM Ballroom F
D. A. Durham*, D. Liss, J. M. McDermott, P. Sarath
Ranging back to the ancient world all to way up to living memory, history is filled with opportunities to tweak with magic or monsters to make into fresh fantasy settings. What’s the appeal of setting a novel outside the present? What perils crop up when your readers may personally remember that time period? How much research are you going to have to do? (A lot.)

David Liss Interview
Sat 1:00 PM-2:00 PM Ballroom D
D. A. Durham*, D. Liss
An interview with our Special Guest.

Autographing
Sat 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Dealers’ Room
R. Eudaly, D. Liss

Fannish Feud
Sat 5:00 PM-6:00 PM Ballroom D
A. Downum, D. Liss, M. R. Maresca, G. Villarreal, S. Felix, J. Juday, T. Wilson
Fans vs Pros trivia game.

Creators Talk Comics
Sun 1:00 PM-2:00 PM Ballroom D
P. Benjamin, B. Foster, D. Liss, A. Porter*
Our panel of professional comics writers and artists discuss the creative process and noteworthy comics and creators.

David Liss is the author of fourteen novels, as well as numerous novellas and short stories. His previous books include A Conspiracy of Paper which was named a New York Times Notable Book and won the 2001 Barry, MacAvity and Edgar awards for Best First novel. The Coffee Trader was also named a New York Times Notable Book and was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the year’s 25 Books to Remember. Many of his novels are currently being developed for television or film.  Liss has worked on numerous comics projects, including Black Panther and Mystery Men for Marvel, The Spider and Green Hornet for Dynamite, and Angelica Tomorrow.

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ArmadilloCon 2021 Featured

Marshall Ryan Maresca’s ArmadilloCon Schedule

ArmadilloCon Special Guest Marshall Ryan Maresca is doing all kinds of fun things at ArmadilloCon!

Opening Ceremonies
Fri 7:00 PM-7:30 PM Ballroom D
N. Drayden, D. Liss, M. R. Maresca, G. Villarreal, J. Miles*
The formal start of the con. Get introduced to the con’s major guests, and attend the Meet the Pros party afterward.

Writing Large Series
Fri 9:00 PM-10:00 PM Ballroom D
K. Baldwin, D. Cohen, M. R. Maresca, K. Redford, M. Wells*
Trilogies, pentologies, dodecologies, heptatriacontologies in three phases… how can anyone hope to keep anything straight in these gigantic epics? Especially the people trying to write them! Our panel talks about the perils, pitfalls and pleasures of writing stories of immense scope and scale.

Autographing
Sat Noon-1:00 PM Dealers’ Room
C. Brown, M. R. Maresca, C. Panatier, M. Wells

Worldbuilding for Beginners and Masochists
Sat 1:00 PM-2:00 PM Ballroom E
J. Black, E. Cobbe, B. Jensen*, B. Liar, M. R. Maresca
How do you get started with worldbuilding? And how do you know when to stop? Do you ever stop? Do you need to stop? Or do you just keep going until it hurts? Our panelists explore the limits of world building, and how to get the most out of it by challenging presumptions of how fantasy worlds are “supposed” to be.

Marshall Ryan Maresca Interview
Sat 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Ballroom D
M. R. Maresca, T. Wagner*
An interview with our Special Guest.

Fannish Feud
Sat 5:00 PM-6:00 PM Ballroom D
A. Downum, D. Liss, M. R. Maresca, G. Villarreal, S. Felix, J. Juday, T. Wilson
Fans vs Pros trivia game.

Hopepunk
Sun Noon-1:00 PM Ballroom D
S. Kern*, M. R. Maresca, S. Leicht, T. Wagner
“Hopepunk is the opposite of grimdark.” Alexandra Rowland coined the term with that sentence, but what is ‘hopepunk’? Is it a subgenre, a style, a mood? Is it just fantasy where good people strive to do good in hopeful worlds? Or is there something deeper which needs exploring, especially in contrast to grimdark fantasy? And what does writing hopepunk fiction mean?

Shiny Seductive Sirens and Tying Yourself to the Mast
Sun 2:00 PM-3:00 PM Ballroom D
A. Fisher, M. R. Maresca*, K. Redford, J. Reisman, P. Sarath
It happens every time. You’re about a third of the way through a story, and you’re definitely out of the “honeymoon” stage of the project, when it hits: A Shiny New Idea. It’s so fun and exciting, definitely not work like the current one is. But you also know you NEED TO FINISH that current one. So how do you tie yourself to the proverbial mast so you can ignore those shiny sirens and sail through the rocky waters of the murky middle and finish your story?

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ArmadilloCon 2021 Featured

Nicky Drayden’s ArmadilloCon Schedule

ArmadilloCon 2021 Guest of Honor Nicky Drayden will be doing something a little different as Guest of Honor.  She is not be able to physically be at the hotel, but she’s participating anyway! Expect to see her on panels, a reading, and, yes, even possibly chatting with people as she goes down the hall (so cyberpunk!).  If you were hoping to get books signed by her, don’t worry. We’re doing a virtual signing with real books.  This is going to be different, but FUN — we promise! 

Friday 1900 Ballroom D Opening Ceremonies
Fri 7:00 PM-7:30 PM Ballroom D
N. Drayden, D. Liss, M. R. Maresca, G. Villarreal, J. Miles*
The formal start of the con. Get introduced to the con’s major guests, and attend the Meet the Pros party afterward.

Saturday 1200 Ballroom D LIVE PODCAST: Bad Roll Models
Sat Noon-1:00 PM Ballroom D
M. Bey*, N. Drayden, S. G. Wilson
We’re an RPG improv comedy podcast playing the not-QUITE-forgotten role playing games of the 1980s. We’re having fun around the kitchen table just like we used to do it, except now we have mics and can legally buy beer.

Saturday 1600 Ballroom D Nicky Drayden Interview
Sat 4:00 PM-5:00 PM Ballroom D
M. Bey*, N. Drayden
An interview with our Guest of Honor.

Saturday 1700 Dealers’ Room Virtual Meet Nicky Drayden & Autographing
Sat 5:00 PM-6:00 PM Dealers’ Room
D. Cherry, N. Drayden, J. Fotinos, P. Griffin, B. Gibbs
Talk to our Guest of Honor online. Also get in-person autographs from other guests.

Saturday 2000 Ballroom F The Joy of Podcasting
Sat 8:00 PM-9:00 PM Ballroom F
M. Bey, N. Drayden, M. Finn, B. Gibbs*
What makes people gather to record and broadcast their discussions about shared interests? How do they build and attract an audience of devoted listeners? What makes this medium special?

Sunday 1500 Ballroom D Reading
Sun 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Ballroom D
Nicky Drayden
Our Guest of Honor reads.

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ArmadilloCon 2021 Guests

Professor Griffin Presents THAT’S EXPLOITATION!

Do the film titles Torso, Eyeball, Night of the Bloody Apes, and Bloodsucking Freaks bring back fond memories? Are you a Psychotronic, Something Weird, Video Search of Miami, grindhouse lover who gets excited to watch Dr. Butcher M.D., Deranged, or Dr. Black and Mr. Hyde?

Then join Fangoria TV’s Professor Griffin and his assistant, Dan-Dan, Saturday at 10 PM, you sick Mutants!

We’ll be celebrating the questionable “art” of sleazoid, late night, drive-in, grindhouse films. Come early to be a contestant and win prizes!

WARNING: If you’re squeamish or easily offended…please stay away. This is an 18 and older show only!

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ArmadilloCon 2021 Featured

Nicky Drayden Will Be Virtual

ArmadilloCon 2021 Guest of Honor Nicky Drayden will be doing something a little different as Guest of Honor.  She is not be able to physically be at the hotel, but she’s participating anyway!

Expect to see her on panels, a reading, and, yes, even possibly chatting with people as she goes down the hall (so cyberpunk!).  If you were hoping to get books signed by her, don’t worry. We’re doing a virtual signing with real books.  Details will follow.  This is going to be different, but FUN — we promise! 

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ArmadilloCon 2021 Featured

Artist Guest Gary Villarreal

We are very excited to be featuring Gary Villarreal as our 2021 Artist Guest!

Gary Villarreal graduated from the Department of Visualization at Texas A&M University, and has worked for more than 5 years in the film and game industry.

Unique Worlds and Characters

Images That Immerse Us

He’s currently a Senior Concept Artist and Visual Development Artist at Super Bit Machine, designing environments, VFX, vehicles, weapons, and characters.

Images That Create Stories

His personal illustrations have been published in multiple magazines, books, and over the years has grown an audience based on his render style.

In addition, his pieces combined are often accompanied with imaginative stories, adding depths to his characters and further immersing his viewers into the fantasy worlds that his characters exist in.

More About Gary Villareal

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ArmadilloCon 2021 Featured

Guest of Honor Nicky Drayden

ArmadilloCon 2021 welcomes Compton Crook Award winner Nicky Drayden as our 2021 Guest of Honor! Nicky Drayden is a systems analyst, and when she’s not debugging code, she writes weird and wonderful stories that keep us turning the pages while our brains explode!

New Book: Symbiosis

Her new novel, Symbiosis, is the second in a series that started with Escaping Exodus. Kirkus described the first book as “an Afrofuturist love story, set inside a giant space-creature, about two women of different castes” and praised it for “top-notch worldbuilding and sharp characterization.” Lightspeed said, “Escaping Exodus is another fine entry from a clearly talented writer. Read if you ever wondered what it would be like if the Millennium Falcon decided to live inside that asteroid worm.”

Minecraft Book Coming in July!

Speaking of new things, Drayden has a new book coming out in July — Minecraft: The Dragon! We are betting that her new Minecraft story will be as much fun as her previous game-related book, The Hero of Numbani! Kirkus described The Hero of Numbani as an “engrossing read with smooth pacing and action-packed scenes.” While Hero is set in the world of Overwatch, you don’t need to be familiar with the game to enjoy the book.

Don’t Miss Her Earlier Books!

The New York Times featured her debut novel, The Prey of Gods in their 2017 list Best of New Science Fiction and Fantasy. The Wall Street Journal featured it in Summer Reading: One Expert, One Book. Her second novel, Temper, is an exciting blend of Afrofuturism and New Weird, praised by Kirkus for its “wildly imaginative worldbuilding.”

Drayden frequently dabbles in short fiction, with over 50 publications in Fiyah, Shimmer, Daily Science Fiction, Space and Time Magazine and more. We are proud to note that one of her early stories, “The Atmosphere Man,” appeared in our anthology Rayguns Over Texas!

You can find out more about her at nickydrayden.com.

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ArmadilloCon 2021 Featured

Special Guest David Liss

David Liss is the author of fourteen novels, as well as numerous novellas and short stories. His previous books include A Conspiracy of Paper which was named a New York Times Notable Book and won the 2001 Barry, MacAvity and Edgar awards for Best First novel. The Coffee Trader was also named a New York Times Notable Book and was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the year’s 25 Books to Remember. Many of his novels are currently being developed for television or film.  Liss has worked on numerous comics projects, including Black Panther and Mystery Men for Marvel, The Spider and Green Hornet for Dynamite, and Angelica Tomorrow.

David Liss

The Peculiarities on sale September 7, 2021

Follow the updates on Twitter and Facebook

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ArmadilloCon 2021 Featured

Special Guest Marshall Ryan Maresca

We are delighted to feature Marshall Ryan Maresca as a Special Guest at ArmadilloCon 2021! All of us could use more fun in our lives, and Maresca delivers that, book after book after book! He is one of the hardest-working writers out there, and as far as we can tell, he is always working on at least two books and two series, all of them fun.

New! The Velocity of Revolution

Maresca delighted us this year with the release of The Velocity of Revolution! It’s  a new magic-and-motorcycles story set in a city on the verge of a revolution. It got a starred review from PW that raved about the “clever plot, well-defined characters, and high-stakes atmosphere,” and concluded that “The Velocity of Revolution… will keep readers spellbound from page one.” As with many of Maersca’s novels, you’ll start it and find it hard to put down!

How Many Ways Can We Say Fun?

Maresca is the author of four interconnected series (yes, four series), all set in the world of Maradaine. His first novel, The Thorn of Dentonhill, is a charming read. It was nominated for the Compton Crook Award for best debut novel. Publishers’ Weekly described The Thorn of Dentonhill as “vigilante justice meets magical mayhem.” One of our favorite reviews described it as combining “the caped avenger of Batman, the teenage-superhero angst of Spiderman, the street-gang bravado of West Side Story, and … the magic of Harry Potter.” It stars Veranix Calbert, a full-time magic student at the University of Maradaine and part-time costumed vigilante battling an evil crime boss. This book is a super fun ride, and you should go find it if you have not already read it! After you pick it up, you can follow Veranix through more adventures in The Imposters of Aventil and The Alchemy of Chaos.

Murder Mysteries & Magic

We were equally delighted by A Murder of Mages, which kicked off a new series focusing on two brilliant but unusual members of Maradaine’s crime-fighting Constabulary. Satrine Rainey is a former street rat and ex-spy. Inspector Minox Welling is a brilliant detective and untrained mage, unfortunately known as “the jinx” because misfortunes seem to befall anyone around him. Nobody in the Constabulary wants to work with them, so they end working together. Their crime-fighting adventures continue in An Import of Intrigue and A Parliament of Bodies.

Ocean’s 11 with Magic!

Who doesn’t love a well-done caper story? Maresca kicked off the Streets of Maradaine series with The Holver Alley Crew. The B&N SciFi & Fantasy Blog called it “an irresistible low-fantasy caper” and “a glorious riot of high adventure and low cunning, fast, furious, and most of all, fun.” Their one complaint was that “it’s nearly impossible to find a good place to stop reading it.” This series stars the Rynax brothers, a group of accomplished thieves who were planning to give up crime and then go back for one last job. Maresca is great at the witty, fast-paced banter that make a good caper story so much fun. The crew is back at it in The Fenmere Job and finally Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe.

Ready for Political Intrigue?

Maresca’s Maradaine Elite series delivers fast-paced high fantasy with plenty of turmoil and political intrigue. In The Way of the Shield, young hero Dayne Heldin, a member of a glorious but perhaps fading order of noble warriors, is forced to choose between his ideals and his political future. The story of Dayne and fellow warrior Jerinne Fendall continues in The Shield of the People and People of the City.

New! Preorder Time!

Maresca has a new book coming this fall — A Constabulary of One! This one will start a new series. It will feature Corrie Welling, a young law enforcement officer we met in the Constabulary series. It’s great to see she’ll be getting to star in her own story. After being abducted and shipped out of Maradaine, she escapes but has to find her way in a new city on the other side of the world. She doesn’t speak the language, doesn’t know the culture, and is forbidden from leaving the city until she pays off a colossal debt. It may take her years to settle her accounts and get home.

Short Fiction

We are also proud to note that Marshall Ryan Maresca’s first pro-level genre sale , the story “Jump the Black,” appeared in Rayguns Over Texas, an anthology sponsored by the same organization that brings you ArmadilloCon! While Maresca really shines as a fantasy writer and a novelist, this story is a fun one. See his comments from back in 2013 about how the story was written.

Hugo-Finalist Podcast!

Marshall Ryan Maresca is one of the people behind the excellent podcast World Building for Masochists! WFM was a finalist for the 2021 Best Fancast Hugo Award. Tune in and find out why! It’s described as “a podcast by three fantasy authors who love to overcomplicate their writing lives and want to help you do the same.” Truthfully, you do not need to be either a writer or a masochist to enjoy the podcast a great deal. It’s a warm, entertaining ongoing conversation that gets a spectacular array of guests. Don’t miss it.

Learn more about Marshall Ryan Maresca and his writings and doings at his website.