is a speculative fiction
held annually on the first weekend in July in Minnesota
, United States
. Sponsored by the local fan organization MISFITS
, the convention began in 1999 at the Bloomington Radisson
South Hotel and continues to be held every year at the same location, now known as the Sheraton
Bloomington. This location has been used by local fandom for a variety of conventions, including Minicon
. 2008 will be the tenth CONvergence, and the convention theme will be centering around that fact, including adding another day of events (Thursday, July 3
) to the schedule.
CONvergence runs many parallel programming tracks, filling several convention rooms simultaneously with panels, speeches, demonstrations, recognitions, and screenings. It is one of the most-attended fan-run conventions in North America, with paid attendance exceeding 2,500.
The convention is also known for several attractions including Cinema Rex, a couch and recliner-filled movie room; Theater Nippon, featuring anime; Connie's Space Lounge, a music and entertainment venue; COF2E2, a coffee bar; CONsuite, hospitality and food; Harmonic CONvergence, which features musical acts; and the Dorian Gray Memorial Literary Lounge, a reading/writing setting.
There is also gaming (board, card, and roleplaying), an art show, a dealer's room (where one can buy everything from swords to comics to action figures), all-night bardic music circles, and dozens of room parties of various themes. The walls of the convention are usually plastered with advertisements for different parties.
The con's mascot is the gynoid
"Connie". She was created by the MISFITS mascot "Professor Misfittle". They are occasionally opposed by Connie's scheming younger sister, "Connie Mk. II". An inflatable tyrannosaur
named Rex serves as Cinema Rex's mascot and is often involved in skits during Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
Annual themes and guests of honor
The number in parentheses after each guest's name is how many times they have been a CONvergence guest of honor as of the year in question.
1999 - "After All, it's Just a Party"
2000 - "No one can tell you what CONvergence is... you have to experience it for yourself." (The Matrix and similar fiction)
(this is the only CONvergence not to be held at the Bloomington Radisson/Sheraton. This CONvergence was held at the Radisson in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota)
2001 - "Curioser and Curioser" (Alice in Wonderland and similar fiction)
2002 - "If Adventure Has A Name..." (Adventure themes in speculative fiction)
2003 - "Time Flies" (Time travel)
2004 - "Out of the Shadows" (The dark side of speculative fiction)
2005 - "Snikt! Bamf! Thwip!" (Super-heroes and comic books)
2006 - "Boldly Go." (space exploration)
(Originally, Gary Russell had been scheduled to attend but had to decline due to conflicting obligations)
2007 - "Creature Feature" (horror and monsters)
2008 - "Ten Years 1999-2008" (10th CONvergence)
- Crist Ballas (3) - make-up artist, Previous Guest of Honor
- Trace Beaulieu (1) - Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Doctor Clayton Forrester and Crow T. Robot) and Cinematic Titanic
- Robert Meyer Burnett (2) - Co-creator of Free Enterprise and director, Previous Guest of Honor
- Christian Colquhoun (2) - Physical effects artist, Previous Guest of Honor
- Larry Dixon (2) - Co-author of Mage Wars and Dariens Tale series, author of many short stories and game material and fantasy artist, Previous Guest of Honor
- Daren Dochterman (2) - Designer and illustrator for over 35 feature films
- Mark Evanier (1) - writer of comics and television shows
- Eric Flint (3) - author
- Ken Hite (2) - role-playing game author and designer
- Dr. Jim Kakalios (2) - University of Minnesota physics professor, author of The Science of Superheros, Previous Guest of Honor
- Harry Knowles (4) - aintitcoolnews.com, Previous Guest of Honor
- Jay Knowles (4) - aintitcoolnews.com, Previous Guest of Honor
- John Kovalic (3) - Dork Tower, Previous Guest of Honor
- Mercedes Lackey (2) - Author of many popular novels, including the Valdemar and Bardic Voices series and folk music lyricist, Previous Guest of Honor
- Bridget Landry (2) - astronomer and engineer on the Cassini probe mission), Previous Guest of Honor
- Peter Mayhew (2) - Chewbacca in Star Wars, Previous Guest of Honor
- Andrew Probert (2) - Production designer for Star Trek
- Vincent Truitner (1) - animator
- David Weber (2) - author
- Len Wein (2) - Writer for comics and animation, creator of Swamp Thing, Nightcrawler, and Wolverine, Previous Guest of Honor
- Greg Weisman (2) - producer and writer, Previous Guest of Honor
- Wally Wingert (2) - voice actor, Previous Guest of Honor
- Marv Wolfman (2) - Writer for comics and animation, creator of Blade, Bullseye, and The New Teen Titans, Previous Guest of Honor
(Originally, Bernie Wrightson had been scheduled to attend as one of the many returning guests of honor for year ten, but was unable to do so at the last minute.)
2009 - "This Con Goes to 11" (Humor in Science-Fiction and Fantasy, also the 11th CONvergence)