If one were to walk around downtown Roanoke last weekend, they would undoubtedly be surprised to find Storm Troopers, Klingons, and Time Lords roaming the streets. The attendants of Shevacon, however, didn’t think twice about seeing their favourite science-fiction and fantasy characters in real life.
Held this year between February 17 and February 19, Shevacon is Roanoke’s annual science-fiction and fantasy convention, where fans of series like “Star Trek”, “Lord of the Rings” and “Doctor Who” can interact with each other and enjoy panels and discussions about their favorite series. Well-known authors like Betty Cross and Timothy Zahn also made appearances to promote their books and to run panels giving aspiring authors tips on writing and publishing in the real world.Â
With 2012 being Shevacon’s twentieth anniversary, the theme of the convention was Steampunk. This can be best described as a fashion style where one dresses in similar fashion to that of the Victorian era with added elements of fantasy or science-fiction. Steampunk is popular outside of the science-fiction genre and is sometimes seen in music videos, such as “The Ballad of Mona Lisa” by Panic! at the Disco.
Many of the panels at this year’s convention were geared towards aspiring writers. Some of the panels dealt with writing alternate history stories, a popular example being the “Leviathan” series by Scott Westerfeld involving an alternate timeline to World War One, while others instructed writers how to “kill off” their characters, which is easier said than done. Other panels were directed towards artists and involved web comics, how to draw heroes and villains, and instructing artists how to draw characters from the “Star Wars” series.
As with any science-fiction convention, many of the attendees arrive at the convention in cosplay, a term that means that they are dressed up as their favorite character from a series. While there were many people cosplaying as characters from “Star Trek” and “Doctor Who”, there were people cosplaying from Japanese anime and video games such as “Kingdom Hearts” and “Soul Eater”.
With the twentieth Shevacon over, fans of fantasy and science-fiction will be eagerly waiting for Shevacon 2013.
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