Strange, weird and fun is what the annual RadCon convention is all about.
This year's event for science fiction and fantasy fans is Feb. 14-16 at the Red Lion Hotel in Pasco. The convention runs nonstop, opening at 2 p.m. Feb. 14 and closing at 3 p.m. Feb. 16. A weekend pass is $40. There are no day passes.
New to this year's convention is on-site podcasting of episodes from NW Nerdcast, which is all about role playing, with a focus on the Northwest.
Featured guests include writer Mike Resnick, artist Howard Taylor, musician Luke Ski, media man Wake Chitwood, gamer Jonathan Tweet, as well as costume designer Dragon Dronet and novelist John Dalmas.
"One of the great things about RadCon is that we have a little bit of something for everyone," said Elizabeth Vann, the head of programming for RadCon.
"Families with children enjoy our KidCon that offers craft activities and storytelling all weekend long."
And there will be plenty of vendors pedaling their outrageous wares throughout the Red Lion ballrooms, along with workshops and informational panel discussions for budding writers, artists, gamers and filmmakers.
Other entertainment includes concerts, comedy, fire dancers, movies and fighting demonstrations.
"After a successful trial run last year, we're featuring all guest DJ music during the dance on Friday and Saturday nights," Vann said. "Many of the DJs are local with guest appearances from some Seattle favorites."
The masquerade ball is Feb. 15 and includes a costume contest. All ages can take part, but those 17 and younger must have a parental signature to participate in the contest. Entries must be submitted by 3 p.m. Feb. 15. Consent forms are available on the RadCon website at www.radcon.org.
"The interests of the science fiction/fantasy fan community is surprisingly varied," Vann said. "It's not just about the games, although we have those too. Every year we add and shift our programming to provide (variety) for the community's changing interests."
The special guests are chosen by popular demand, she said.
"We ask who the favorite (sci-fi) writers and artists are and who people would like to meet in person," Vann said.
Because this year's event is happening on Valentine's Day weekend, it makes it all the more special to science fiction and fantasy fans.
"Sci-fi/fantasy fans love Valentine's Day," Vann said. "Our fans come with spouses, families and significant others to spend the weekend indulging in creative geekiness, which is a favorite Valentine's Day activity."
-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @dorioneal