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Above, James Neathery of Nashville wears a suit of steampunk armor as he sets up his vendor's booth at Chattacon 42. His company, Starboard Sky Industries, will be among vendors at this weekend's Chattacon 43. At left, Bill Harrison talks about some of his custom made toy steampunk weapons at Chattacon 42.

If you go

› What: Chattacon 43

› Where: The Chattanoogan, 1201 Broad St.

› When: 4-11:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19; 9 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21

› Admission: Weekend badges $60 adults, $45 ages 8-12, free for ages 7 and younger accompanied by paying adult. No single-day badges are sold.

› For more information: www.chattacon.org

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Felipe Argueta suits up in armor for a live-action role-playing combat demonstration at last year's Chattacon.

A Dystopian Dance, Star Wars trivia games and debates over Marvel vs. DC comics will help entertain an estimated 1,000 fans expected at this weekend's Chattacon 43.

Chattacon opens Friday, Jan. 19, continuing through Sunday, Jan. 21, at a new location, The Chattanoogan, 1201 Broad St. The Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau expects Chattacon guests to make a financial impact of about $400,000 before leaving town.

For the uninitiated, Chattacon is this city's annual speculative fiction fan convention. Speculative fiction bases a story's settings and characters on imagination, or one's speculation, instead of reality. It's more "what could be" instead of "what is."

Special events

› Friday, 10 p.m. Dystopian Dance in the Thompson Room.

› Saturday, 8 p.m. Chattacon Masquerade costume/cosplay contest hosted by Big Daddy Voodoo with cash prizes awarded in multiple categories as well as Best in Show.

› Saturday, 9 p.m. Doctor Osborn’s Newfangled Medicine Show, a comedy and magic show by Darrell Osborn.

Chattacon programming offers everything from sci-fi fantasy (Harry Potter potions class, chain-mail workshop, cosplay contests) to fact-based sessions such as Social Media for Beginning Writers and Screenwriting 101.

Special guests for this Chattacon are authors Peter David and Todd McCaffrey, artist Sam Flegal and gaming aficionado Michael Bielaczyc.

In addition to gaming tournaments all weekend, there are special events such as Cheeky Nefertiti's Parlour Game Night, Castle Panic board game, a scavenger hunt and Midnight Zombicide.

Don't leave without a souvenir. If your interests steer toward steampunk or you're intrigued by a magic ring or amulet to help you navigate the Tomb of Acererak, 21 vendors will be set up in Walker Room with items for all tastes. Don't forget an official Chattacon 43 T-shirt.

For more information or to register: www.chattacon.org.

 

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Bill Harrison talks about some of his custom made toy steampunk weapons at Chattacon 42 at the Chattanooga Choo Choo on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The annual sci-fi and fantasy convention features vendors, games, live demonstrations, and book signings.

COSTUME/COSPLAY PANELS

» Marvel vs. DC Comics Debate

» Trash Can Cosplay Contest

» Star Wars Trivia Game Show

» "Whose Cosplay Is it Anyway?" An in-character parody of "Whose Line Is it Anyway?"

» Cult Movies with Chattooine Live

» "What the Tuck" proper use of undergarments for cosplay

» "Cosplay on a Budget"

» "Sidekick Cosplay" for non-main characters

» "Doctor Who Costuming: It's Bigger on the Inside"

» "Doctor Who Cosplay: There's Room for Everyone on the Tardis"

» James and Sara Neathery: Couples in cosplay

 

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Liz Duncanson, right, and Grace Taylor battle with "boffer" weapons in role-playing combat demonstration at Chattacon 42.

PANELS AND DISCUSSIONS

» The Delphic Oracle: A group of panelists are formed into the ancient Delphic Oracle through a magical Todd-inspired process. They proceed to answer the audience's questions one person at a time, one word at time.

» Iron Storyteller: Panelists are provided with "person, place, and thing," then the moderator builds a story using those items and drops the next panelist into it.

» Convention Pictionary with all the artists.

» Art of Sam Flegal slide show presentation.

» Norse Mythology.

» Interpreting 1,000-Year-Old Viking Poetry in Art.

» Stranger Tales: Steve Antczak discusses the melding of horror and science fiction in TV shows, movies and fiction. What elements are required to make a story "strange fiction," or what has also been called "new weird fiction?"

» Does Superhero Fiction Really Work Without Art?

» Cowboys and Aliens: Writers discuss blending two or more genres.

» Nostalgia for the Future: A discussion of old-time fantasy series that should be rebooted, why reboots are big business right now and speculation on why some soar while others crash and burn.

» Religion in Science Fiction.

» Negan, Lucille and Other Things That Made Me Stop Watching My Favorite Shows.

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