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There is an excellent article at CNet UK’s Crave site called The future is now: Sci-fi films in real locations. Besides all the movies you would expect, it mentioned one I somehow missed: The Girl From Monday. It turns out it is part of Netflix streaming collection, so I will be seeing it soon. Another quality read is io9’s Greatest Swashbuckling Heroes From 100+ Years Of SF Books. The collected artwork alone is worth the visit, like the ERB John Carter of Mars covers (including the one that inspired a certain Starwars costume), and the commentary is just as informative and entertaining as the article itself.

If fantastic art has ever drawn your eye, this weekend offers something special; IlluxCon in Altoona, PA has the biggest talents in the field displaying their work. The Guest List is absolutely staggering, including artists like Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell, Michael Whelan, Brom, Todd Lockwood, Greg Hildebrandt, Jordu Schell, and Bob Eggleton, to name just a few. I have never heard of a more impressive gathering of talent in this century, and will do my best to be there; this is my pick for the Event of Choice this weekend.

The Readercon event would have to be TusCon 36, put together by the Baja Arizona Science Fiction Association. Edward Bryant is the Toastmaster, and the Cosplay competition is Steampunk this year.

Speaking of Steampunk, best SteamCon event goes to WindyCon 36 running this Friday through Sunday in Lombard, IL. Author GoH is James P. Blaylock, while Artist GoH goes to the team of Phil and Kaja Foglio, who amongst many other works create the ongoing Girl Genius.

The MediaCon event for this weekend looks to be NEFanX, the New England Fan eXperience. Headlined with GoH Leonard Nimoy, who is backed up by actors Gareth David-Lloyd (Torchwood’s Ianto Jones) and John de Lancie (who played both Trek’s Q and the real scientist Nikola Tesla in Legend), writer Wen Spencer, and Devo Spice, this is an impressive collection of talent.

There are a bunch of Anime Cons this weekend, and one of the best of them is EirtaKon, which identifies itself as Ireland’s first Anime convention, and the largest of it’s kind on the island, from the 13th to the 15th. Nearby, and much smaller, is the Anime League Club London, London’s little Anime convention, at just 5 pounds for entry on its single day.

In Canada, OtaFest Lite takes place on Saturday only, reproducing the event look-and-feel of the early days of the University of Calgary’s major Otaku Festival. Dot Con happens in Toronto, to include Junko’s Shamisen. In the US, Izumicon happens from the 13th to the 15th in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with all the usual events. Yet another one day Con, Kaji Con, happens in Georgia on the 14th. At some point these details get too complex to track.

And then there is EuroQuest, a Gaming Con from the old country. And there are others…

This is a weekend with something for everybody in the theaters. Astro Boy goes into wide release this Friday for the younger crowd (although a few of us older types might just sneak in and say we didn’t). Stan Helsing, the Parody is also out, with a lot of raunchy humor in a creature feature for the teenage crowd. The serious (you can’t really say Adult when the protagonist hasn’t made his 20s yet) movie of the weekend is Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, fresh from the Film Fest circuit.

The London MCM Expo happens the 24th and 25th, and if you like to cosplay in Europe it looks like the party to make. MCM stands for Movies, Comics, Media, and they cover them all. A few of the Media Guests include Terry Farrell, Nicole De Boer, Kandyse McClure, Masahiko Minami, and Ron D Moore. I’m not even going to try to list the Writers and Artists Guests, you’ll have to see the list yourself to believe it.

In the US my personal choice for this weekend is SteamCon in Seattle, with Author GoH Tim Powers, Artist GoH Paul Guinan , and Musical GoH Abney Park. Being a SteamPunk addict myself, I am reading their tweets and wishing I was on that coast this week. So I’m throwing an Abney Park video in at the end of this post, just to show you what you might have missed.

the biggest con this weekend is probably Mile High Con 41 in Denver, CO. It started life as a ReaderCon, and still hosts around 80 authors at various events, but now covers all aspects of fandom. Hot on its heels comes Icon 34 in Iowa City, IA, another ReaderCon that grew. Geek.Kon is a Sci-Fi, Anime, and Gaming convention in Madison, Wisconsin, also this weekend.

In Kansas City Motaku takes place on the 24th and 25th, and if you couldn’t tell by the name it is an Anime con. Necronomicon in St Petersburg, FL, is a media/reader con; if you are there you will get to hear physicist/author/singer Catherine Asaro’s Friday Night Concert!

From tomorrow through Sunday is the Ohio Valley Filk Festival in Dublin, Ohio. This is the event where they hand out the Pegasus Award for Excellence in Filking, and if you want to sing along with such classics as the Superman Sex Life Boogie or The Return of the King, Uh-huh or even A Reconsideration of Anatomical Docking Maneuvers in Zero-Gravity Environment you might want to pick up the Pegasus Award Winners Songbook. If you are wondering what Filk is, you can read the FAQ or listen to some:

And the promised Abney Park video: Enjoy!

The National Air and Space Museum unveiled POP today: the Public Observatory Project. Another celebration of the International Year of Astronomy, the historic 16-inch telescope set up in the observatory will be available for daytime use by the public. Craters on the moon, phases of the planets, and sunspots (with appropriate filtering and/or projection optics to protect Mark 1 Eyeballs from being burned out) are just some of the things the public can see there. If you can’t make it to the Smithsonian, you might want to visit Experience the Planets instead, and see the solar system through the eyes of artists. Or perhaps you would like to read a little about NASA’s Replicator, not quite ready for an order of Earl Grey, hot, but it can make parts for aircraft and spaceships at nearly the molecular level.