Con Review: MarsCon 2011

marscon2011by Michael D. Pederson


MarsCon 2011
January 14­–16, 2011
Williamsburg, Virginia

I think I saw one of the most amazing sights I’ve ever seen at a science fiction convention this year. MarsCon’s Writer Guest of Honor, Jim Butcher (Dresden Files, Codex Alera) had the hotel bursting at its seams. Yep. MarsCon broke their hotel.

Over the past few years, MarsCon has been slowly transitioning from a relaxacon into a full-fledged convention with traditional programming. After this year, I think that it’s safe to say that they’ve arrived.

MarsCon is still running out their contract at the Holiday Inn Patriot that they’ve been booked in since their days as a much smaller convention (they broke 1000 this year!) and have found some very creative ways to make the most of what little space they had. Some of their ideas included running interactive panels and concerts in the hotel bar and doing mini-concerts and how-to’s in the con suite.

Other Guests of Honor this year included author Shannon Butcher (The Sentinel Wars), artist Ursula Vernon, and toastmaster Michael Jon Khandelwal. Next year’s GoHs will be author S.M. Stirling and artist Theresa Mather (January 13–15, 2012).


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