Bubonicon 51

Event has passed!

Enjoy the eagerly-awaited science-fiction con returns for another year.

2019 CON THEME The Future Is Now (2019 Is History)
Rondeau – Perry 2018 ColorizedHas science fiction become alternate present-day history? James Lascko comments, “Given time ‘Science Fiction’ will become ‘Science Fact’… ‘What the mind can conceive, the hands will achieve.’”

Recommendations of the Theme:

BOOKS Set in 2019: Camouflage by Joe Haldeman, In the Ocean of Night by Gregory Benford, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, …

MOVIES Set In 2019: Akira, Blade Runner, Daybreakers, Geostorm, Heatseeker, The Island, Mock Up on Mu, The New Barbarians, The Road, The Running Man, Steel Frontier, 2019: After the Fall of New York… (As a side note, Barb Wire is set in 2017, Back to the Future Part II is set in 2015, Cherry 2000 is set in 2017, Escape from L.A. is set in 2013, Iron Sky is set in 2018, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome is set in 2012, The Postman was set in 2013, Mad Max: Fury Road is set in 2015-2018, Terminator Salvation is set in 2018, the original Rollerball was set in 2018, and let’s not forget Death Race 2000.)

TELEVISION Set in 2019: Dark Angel, “Epitaph One” on Dollhouse, some episodes of Doctor Who (and then there’s Space: 1999 – that happened 20 years ago)!


The fact that yesterday’s science fiction is today’s science fact – in literature, movies and early TV shows – is commemorated as “The Future Is Now (2019 Is History)” at New Mexico’s annual Bubonicon, celebrating its 51st year with more than 55 people participating in programming, from authors and artists to local filmmakers. It all takes place August 23-25, 2019, at the ABQ Marriott Uptown, 2101 Louisiana Blvd NE (north of I-40).

Bubonicon, which began the same year as Apollo 11’s Moon landing and Woodstock, focuses primarily on the literature of science fiction, fantasy and horror.


Allen Steele (born January 1958) spent several years working as a journalist before establishing himself as a science fiction author. Steele began publishing short stories in 1988. His early novels formed a future history beginning with Orbital Decay and continuing through Labyrinth of Night.


Ursula Vernon (born May 1977) is a freelance writer, artist and illustrator. She is best known for her Hugo Award-winning graphic novel Digger (2003–2011) and for the children’s books series Hamster Princess and Dragonbreath. Under the name T. Kingfisher, she is also the author of several books for older audiences.


Greg Spalenka has been producing fine and commercial art for more than 30 years. As well as numerous gallery shows, he has produced art for clients including Warner Bros, New Line, Time, Rolling Stone, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and numerous book publishers. He also has worked as a concept designer on feature CG animated and live-action films such as The Ant Bully, The Golden Compass, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and Escape from Planet Earth.


Darynda Jones is the author of the Charley Davidson series of 13 paranormal romantic thrillers, and a young adult series, The Darklight Trilogy. In April 2020, A Bad Day for Sunshine, the first book in the new Sheriff Sunshine Vicram series, will be released.


Harrison Hagan ‘Jack’ Schmitt (born July 1935 in Santa Rita, NM) is a geologist, retired NASA astronaut, university professor, former U.S. senator from New Mexico, and, as a crew member of Apollo 17, the most recent living person to have walked on the Moon. In December 1972, as one of the crew on board Apollo 17, Schmitt became the first member of NASA’s first scientist-astronaut group to fly in space.

The convention received its name in 1971 from Robert E. Vardeman, a University of New Mexico alumnus and former Sandia National Laboratories scientist, when he was inspired by the state’s annual numbers of bubonic plague reports and an alert issued by Egypt on travelers from New Mexico.


Bubonicon 51 starts with registration opening at 3:00 pm Friday the 23rd and goes almost nonstop through 5:00 pm Sunday, August 25, with closing ceremonies. (Registration closes 8:30 pm Friday.)

Friday highlights include a discussion on ‘Spy-Fi: Science Fiction Thrillers” at 5:00 pm, opening ceremonies at 6:00 pm, a talk on Dr. Harrison Schmitt’s visit to the valley of Taurus-Littrow on the Moon at 6:30 pm, a discussion on “The Situation is Hopeless, But Not Serious’ at 8:00 pm, a discussion on ‘The Future You Imagine is the Future You Get’ at 9:00 pm, and a charity screening of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog from the Albuquerque Browncoats also at 9:00 pm.

Saturday’s programming includes a panel on ’50 Years to the Moon and Back” at 12:00 pm, a talk on “History of the Original NASA Mission Control Center” by Christopher Marsh at 2:30 pm, a discussion on “Tomorrow is Here Today: 2019 is History” at 3:00 pm, Spalenka’s artist guest slide show at 4:00 pm, the mass autograph session at 5:25 pm (most authors are 3 signatures at a time), and the Costume Contest at 8:00 pm.

Activities Sunday include Steele and Vernon’s co-guest of honor presentation 11:00 am, the traditional auction of various goods at 1:00 pm, a discussion on “Man in the Moon: How the Moon Landing Changed Science Fiction” at 1:30 pm, and the final panel discussion at 3:30 pm, ‘In for the Long Haul: Ups and Downs of Writing a Long Series.’


A PASS for all three days of programming is $45. Daily passes are available at $15 Friday, $25 Saturday and $15 Sunday. A special rate of $23 for youths between 14 and 17 years old is available as well. Checks, cash and credit cards. Children under 14 years old are free when accompanied by an adult (supervision is mandatory).

For more information, www.bubonicon.com



Albuquerque Marriott, Albuquerque, NM

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