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The New York City Horror Fest starts off tomorrow with the Kick Off Party at BLVD, Five bands / 11 Films / One hour free beer!, and runs through the 22nd. One of the interesting things they are doing is the Killer Shorts Sudden Death Film Competition in cooperation with the Monster Mania Collectibles Con held semi-annually in NYC. The opening band has songs called things like “Video Vixen Vampire”, “Mermaids in Outer Space”, and “Spooks on the Loose”; I would probably have spent more time watching Witches In Bikinis than the actual movies.

I should also mention that the Sundance Film Festival (No, that is NOT this weekend) just announced the Sundance Film Festival U.S.A., where they will be presenting festival films in other cities around the country on the 28th of January.

The Lone Star International Film Festival runs from the 11th to the 15th in Fort Worth, TX. The two films that look most interesting at this event are Ichi, not The Killer but another incarnation of Zatoichi, this one female, and Miracle Fish, a fantasy with a dark side. This is also the first festival where I noticed they were playing Herpes Boy, possibly the first big-screen movie to start life as a series of YouTube videos.

The 32nd Starz Denver Film Festival runs from November 12th to the 22nd in Colorado. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus tops the offerings at this festival, as it has at so many others this fall. The other film that looks to have the makings of a cult classic is Who’s Afraid of the Wolf?, a Czech fantasy/family drama. Two films not getting the same widespread festival play but worth noting are The Revenant and Zombies of Mass Destruction, each with a unique take on the undead.

I had to include the video of Terry Gilliam Introducing The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus at the AFI Film Fest in LA, and I can’t wait to get to see the movie myself (the trailers are wonderful). And then of course there is the Fantastic Mr Fox, also making the festival rounds.

A detail I missed this week was the the release of Ki Gai on DVD. This series is a live action story line of classic manga-anime proportions, involving giant birds, aliens, daemons, dragons, and so much more! There was also the 10th Planet Con Event happening tomorrow at the The Broadway Theatre, in Barking, Essex, with a bunch of Doctor Who/Torchwood actors ready to contribute, including Nick Briggs.

The First Irish Discworld Convention takes place the first full weekend of November, the 6th through the 8th. Yes, Terry Pratchett is the guest of honor (health permitting), and all sorts of fun things are planned; see the con blog for more details. This one looks unlike any other con for the weekend, and would be my first choice if I had just figured out that pesky teleporting thing. Except maybe for the PMX2009 event, listed below.

Chevron 7.3 in Northampton, UK, is a Stargate mediacon, with the guests leaning heavily to the new series Stargate Universe. Also in Europe, J-PopCon is an Anime Con that takes place in Valby, Denmark, close to Center of Copenhagen. It is the biggest Anime event in that country, and has been running since at least 2000. To round out the international listings, Vertigo is a one-day Anime con taking place on Sunday in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

For events in the US, Astronomicon takes place November 6th through the 8th in Rochester, NY. Mike Resnick is the Author GoH, and one of the events is the Grand Great Lakes Steampunk Cotillion, Symposium and Tea Social, along with all the usual fun stuff you expect at a readercon.

Anime Cons around the US include Aki-Con in Everett, Washington, Anime NebrasKon in Omaha, NekoCon 12 in Hampton, Virginia, and Zenkaikon 2009 in King of Prussia, PA. They all have screenings, events, panels, and cosplay, but the Kabuki Mask Painting Workshop caught my attention, especially listed after the Cosplay Swimsuit Competition and Dating Auction.

Some anime is included in the Pacific Media Expo 2009, but the event also includes live-action movies, the hottest bands, the latest fashion, and the newest pop culture trends from Japan and the Pacific Rim, making this a truly unique happening. I would probably have to clone myself this weekend to attend this one and the Irish Diskworld convention.

Gamer Cons this weekend include Carnage 12 in Fairlee, VT, Millennium 12 in Round Rock, Tx, and UberCon XII in Edison, NJ. And no, I don’t know why that last one went with Roman numerals when the Arabic numbers were a good enough Twelve for every one else.

Finally in Charlotte, NC there is the one-day Charlotte Comic-Con on Saturday the 7th.

There are a few Film Fests previously mentioned here that are continuing this week, but the new festival I feel compelled to make sure folks are aware of is the Sheffield Doc/Fest in the UK. And yes, I do know that talking about a documentary film festival seems strange on a Sci-Fi blog, but there is a good reason to include it, and other Fests like it: pieces of it are helping us build and imagine the future, which is what SF is all about. The fact that the slogan of this particular DocFest is The Truth Is Out There just makes it a bit more obvious than most.

One such piece is The Execution of Gary Glitter?, a story set in a parallel time line where the death penalty has been reintroduced in the UK following overwhelming public pressure. This Docudrama uses a pop music figure and a journey across the Einstein-Rosen Bridge to explore some very serious questions.

Another such film is Arena: Eno, in which you get to know aspects of musical genius Brian Eno, and learn about his own part in getting together with influential minds in the fields of science, art, systems analysis, cybernetics, and more, and how he is helping to shape the future through his intelligence and influence.

If you noticed the link between musical skills and the growth of the future, it wasn’t a fluke. Other documentaries that evolve through both of those factors include How The Beatles Rocked The Kremlin and Soundtrack for a Revolution.

Other films are Dealing With Time (Le temps presse), where the 10% increase in our average daily speed per project over the last decade is examined in detail, RiP! A Remix Manifesto which explores the legal battlefield where existing copyright and freedom of speech go head to head, and Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam which looks at the serious clash between cultures that can occur when someone writes a fictional story of What If that the rest of their peer group wishes were true so much that they start living that life.

Some serious food for thought at this event.

A major Con this weekend; the World Fantasy Convention celebrates Edgar Alan Poe’s 200th birthday, and runs from the 29th of October to November 1st. Held on Halloween weekend in San Jose, California, it will as always include the World Fantasy Awards, nominees this year including Kage Baker, Neil Gaiman, Peter S. Beagle, Ellen Datlow, Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, and many more (but the ones mentioned being multiple nomination recipients). As announced in August, the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award winners for 2009 are Jane Yolen and Ellen Asher (see the previous award winners listings here).

Oni-Con takes place in Huston, TX this weekend, and will probably be the single most impressive Anime con this time around. In the same town as the former ADV, the guest list at this one has to be seen to be believed. There appears to be three separate tacks of Cosplay events alone.

Saboten-Con in Phoenix, AZ, also looks to be a great place to spend Halloween weekend. Musical guests include Ketsune Robot and Toybox at this Anime con, and the rest of the guest list is just as intense. Many events, screenings, concerts, panels, and so forth. The competitions include the usual (cosplay, artistic, etc.), and a few not-so-usual, including a +18 AMV contest (yes, that means explicit) separate from the all-ages contest, and a Karaoke contest.

In Vermont, BakuretsuCon runs from October 29th to November 1st. This predominantly Anime con includes an AMV contest and the steampunk-inspired Penny Dreadfuls, as well as everything a good con should have.

In Cincinnati, SugoiCon is an Anime con that covers aspects most cons miss; I would go for the concerts alone, the guest list is amazing from both Japan and the US, and the cosplay fans have multiple events! There is a lot more going on, it should be wild.

To round out the weekend of the Anime-Con is Youmacon in Dearborn, MI. This is the 5th year for this Detroit area event, with all the usual guests and activities.

For movies this week, Gentlemen Broncos comes out Friday, fresh from the Film Festival circuit. It is more a film about a science fiction author than an SF film itself. However, if you are in Washington, DC, you might want to consider the screening of Katsuhiro Otomo’s Mushi-shi on Friday evening, a one-time event brought to you by the DC Anime Club and the Japan Information and Culture Center.