Con†Stellation XXXV: Horologium (The Clock)
13–15 October 2017——Huntsville, Alabama
|GoH: Mary Robinette Kowal||Artist GoH: David O. Miller||MC: Toni Weisskopf|
This article is about the 2016 Con†Stellation. For information about the current convention please see the Main Page. For information on other past Con†Stellations see the Con†Stellation History page.
Con†Stellation XXXIV: Mensa (The Table) was held 14–16 October 2016 at the Four Points by Sheraton Huntsville Airport located onsite at the Huntsville International Airport (HSV) :
Adult Membership(←What's That?) rate:
Child and Young Adult Rates:
Rates for children (though age 12) were fixed regardless of when they were purchased.
Children not accompanied by an Adult Member will be charged the Young Adult Membership rate.
Young Adult Memberships (students age 13-21, as of October 14, 2016) were
$5 off the corresponding Adult Membership in effect at the time of purchase. Rate Expired
Each year, Con†Stellation chooses an astronomical constellation as a subtitle to be used for just that year. This year, we've chosen Mensa. Technically, the constellation is named in honor of Table Mountain (in fact, an early name for the constellation was Mons Mensae). It is, however, sometimes referred to as just "the table" and that's the sense we're intending. If you've ever been to a Con†Stellation and seen the number of people playing Killer Cutthroat Spades, you probably won't wonder just what kind of table we had in mind.
Con†Stellation's guests in 2016 were:
2016 was our second consecutive year at the Four Points by Sheraton Huntsville Airport—a Starwood hotel. The hotel is located in the Huntsville International Airport, with hotel reception and most of the function space on first and second floors and the sleeping rooms stacked above the airport arrival/departure areas. It is conveniently located immediately off of I-565 in the western part of the Huntsville Metro Area—click here for a Google Map.
Standard rooms (king or double-double) were $92 (+taxes). A few upgraded rooms (Jacuzzi and Corner King) were available for an upcharge.
Parking in the hotel parking lot was free for all convention members—by bringing your parking ticket and convention badge to the hotel desk to get the ticket validated. Members were requested to please be careful not to park in airport parking (short term or long term). The entrances for the various parking lots are close together so one must watch the signs carefully.
Convention T-shirts were for sale at the convention. Pre-orders could be picked up there, shirts ordered at the convention were delivered by mail.
Con†Stellation's annual Art Show and Auction brings together art from both professional and amateur artists. Art can be anything from a painting, to a pen and ink drawing, to a cartoon, or much more. Crafts are also included and could include a knitted Kobold, crocheted Cthulhu, pottery and glassware, jewelry, even origami! All the artwork you find each year will have some connection to science fiction, fantasy, or fandom(←What's That?) itself.
The final pre-con cut at the Con†Stellation 2016 Programming Schedule was updated Saturday evening, 9 October 2016. For folks curious about what kind of programming we may have at future Con†Stellations, this PDF file may be a useful guide. The version handed out at the convention did have some last-minute changes.
There are a couple of specific programs that we'd like to bring to your attention:
A special event was held Sunday for National Novel Writing Month.
Perhaps you've been to a KaffeeKlatsch at a convention before? If not, the short definition is a gathering with a convention guest and a small group of fans, drinking coffee (or tea, or...) and chatting. Starting in 2012 we put out our own spin on that; providing candy instead of coffee. Success! (Yes, there is strategy involved—you might be ill advised to put a piece of toffee in your mouth just before you want to ask a question.)
Sadly, we have found that there is just not enough support for a traditional Masquerade a medium-to-small conventions like Con†Stellation. That doesn't mean you should leave your costumes at home, though you might want to put emphasis on those that are comfortable to wear while doing other stuff at the con.
In addition to the tournaments:
There was room for pickup in the Game Room—you could bring your own game(s) or check out one of the many games that will be available for your use.
In 2015 we premiered Live-Action Furious Fowl, and we plan to bring it back at Con†Stellation XXXIV. You can probably get the idea where we got the inspiration by checking out the accompanying photos. All participants had a blast in 2015!
The game was scheduled for after the Art Auction on Saturday evening.
Do you play spades and play to win? If so, does Con†Stellation have a deal for you! Killer Cutthroat Spades is a variant on no-partner spades with severe penalties for sandbagging, thus putting extra emphasis on both accurate bidding and sharp gameplay. What did you get if you won? Mostly bragging rights—no small thing in this neck of the woods! Never played Killer Cutthroat Spades before? No problem, we'll help. (Seriously, we actually will help. We love introducing the game to new folks. Some experience playing spades, bridge, or some other bid-and-trick based game is helpful, but not necessary. We can pretty much always round up enough players to teach you at a non-tournament game before you go swimming with the sharks.)
Each year Con†Stellation chooses a charity and engages in fundraising activities at the convention, in particular selling donated art and other items in the Art Show & Auction. In 2016 selected the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library. Many residents of the Huntsville metro area are familiar with the downtown "Fort Book" location, but may not be fully aware that there are a dozen locations all over Madison County (including in the cities/towns of Gurley, Hazel Green, Madison, New Hope, and Triana in addition to the eponymous Huntsville locations).
Our Convention Hospitality Suite (Con Suite(←What's That?) in convention lingo) is one of the highlights of Con†Stellation. You'll certainly find the usual Con Suite munchies and soft drinks every year, but you'll also find more hearty fare at numerous times all through the con. Just ask anyone who's been to one of our conventions and you'll likely hear high praise for our mistress of victuals both in 2016 and years past.
Please see the Main Page for ways to get in touch with the current Con†Stellation.