Con†Stellation History

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Con†Stellation XXXV: Horologium (The Clock)

13–15 October 2017——Huntsville, Alabama

GoH: Mary Robinette Kowal      Artist GoH: David O. Miller      MC: Toni Weisskopf

The final Con†Stellation is over 🙁
We will be transforming this into a history site
Please bear with us as that transition will take some time

Pre-Con†Stellation History

The science fiction/fantasy club NASFA (North Alabama Science Fiction Association) was founded in Huntsville AL circa 1980, partly as a result of local fans meeting at a one-time convention named MidSouthCon, held in Huntsville that year. (That convention is not directly related to the annual convention of the same name in Memphis TN.) NASFA members quickly came up with the idea of starting their own general-interest science fiction & fantasy convention(←What's That?). The first effort toward this was a small, one-day con named ZerCon (planned and executed mostly on the relaxicon(←What's That?) model), in November 1981. During the run-up to ZerCon, the club came up with the name "Con†Stellation" (or "Con*Stellation") for a planned ongoing series of longer (three-day) conventions. Both before and after ZerCon, various NASFAns also worked on other convention around the south to gain experience in how cons were run.

With a bunch of computer geeks in NASFA, the name ZerCon was a deliberate (if somewhat obscure) pun on "Zero Con" since it would be the "zeroth" convention sponsored by NASFA–so the first Con†Stellation could be numbered "one." ZerCon may hold the record for the coldest video room ever at a convention. The hotel allowed us to use a large-screen TV (then a rare thing) in an unused bar attached to the hotel. However, the one person who knew how to turn on the heat in the bar was out of the hotel that weekend so the temperature as folks huddled around the TV was little higher than that the below-freezing temps outside. At least we had fresh popcorn as the hotel also allowed us to use their commercial popper.

List of Con†Stellations

The first Con†Stellation was held 16–18 July 1982, under the full name Con†Stellation I: The Pleiades. The time of year varied a lot over the first few conventions before settling down to roughly the fall season. Each Con†Stellation has been subtitled with an astronomical constellation—usually one of the 88 official modern constellations. The con usually uses the constellation as a theme in its advertising and sometimes as a theme for events at the convention.

Tabular History of Con†Stellation
Number Roman Constellation Dates Venue Con Chair(s)(1) Guests of Honor Notes(2)
1 I The Pleiades 16-18 July 1982 Sheraton (University Drive) Mike Kennedy, Mark Paulk Phyllis Eisenstein (GoH), Ken Moore (Fan GoH), Lou Moore (Fan GoH), Andrew J. Offutt (MC) The Pleiades is an asterism in Taurus; to date this is the only "constellation" chosen that is not one of the 88 modern constellations.
2 II Gemini 25-27 March 1983 Sheraton (University Drive) Sunn Hayward, Mike Kennedy Jack C. Haldeman II (GoH), Joe Haldeman (GoH), Kevin Ward (Artist GoH), Charlie Williams (Fan GoH), Frank Kelly Freas (MC) The Haldeman brothers were chosen as the closest thing we could get to twins (Gemini). Freas was unable to attend—Rusty Hevelin kindly took over many of the MC duties.
2.5 II.V Ursa Minor 10-11 December 1983 Sheraton (University Drive) Mike Kennedy, Nelda Kennedy None 2-day "relaxicon" to break up the long span between Con†Stellations II and III as the convention shifted from spring (1983) to fall (1984). As the convention was already locked into using Roman numerals to number the cons, the nonsense numbering II.V (mixing Roman and Arabic (place) notation in a tongue-in-cheek fashion) was used.
3 III Ursa Major 19-21 October 1984 Sheraton (University Drive) Nelda Kennedy, Mark Paulk Gordon R. Dickson (GoH), Mark Maxwell (Artist GoH), "Uncle Timmy" Bolgeo (Fan GoH), Maurine Dorris (Fan GoH), Frank Kelly Freas (MC) Bolgeo and Dorris were billed as "Beauty and the Beast" after they mutually suggested the he was "Beauty" and she was "Beast."
4 IV Aquarius 11-13 October 1985 Sheraton (University Drive) Howard Camp, G. Patrick Molloy Wilson "Bob" Tucker (Special Guest) Con†Stellation IV was run as a 3-day semi-relaxicon following the sponsorship by NASFA of DeepSouthCon 23 earlier in 1985.
5 V Andromeda 24-26 October 1986 Hilton (Downtown) Rich Garber, Glenn Valentine Orson Scott Card (GoH), Ron Lindahn (Artist GoH), Val Lakey Lindahn (Artist GoH), Rusty Hevelin (Fan GoH), Marta Randall (MC) Notes TBD
6 VI Lyra 9-11 October 1987 Holiday Inn (Madison Square Mall) Sunn Hayward, Mike Stone Julius Schwartz (GoH) Con†Stellation VI was run as a 3-day semi-relaxicon following the sponsorship by NASFA of DeepSouthCon 25 earlier in 1987.
7 VII Centaurus 21-23 October 1988 Hilton (Downtown) Mike Kennedy, G. Patrick Molloy John Varley (GoH), Todd Cameron Hamilton (Artist GoH), Ricia Mainhardt (Fan GoH). Algis Budrys (MC) Notes TBD
8 VIII Cetus 13-15 October 1989 Sheraton (University Drive) Nelda Kennedy, Karl Sackett Gary K. Wolf (GoH), Debbie Hughes (Artist GoH). Mark Paulk (Fan GoH), George Alec Effinger (MC) Notes TBD
9 IX Sagittarius 19-21 October 1990 University Inn (formerly Sheraton (University Drive)) Elaine Hinman, Mike Kennedy Lois McMaster Bujold (GoH), Tom Kidd (Artist GoH), Susan Honeck (Fan GoH), C.J. Cherryh (MC) Notes TBD
10 X Draco 8-10 November 1991 Hilton (Downtown) Nelda Kennedy, Sam Smith Algis Budrys (GoH), Bob Giadrosich (Artist GoH), Buck Coulson (Fan GoH), Juanita Coulson (Fan GoH), Toni Weisskopf (MC) Notes TBD
11 XI Scorpio 6-8 November 1992 Hilton (Downtown) Jay Johns, Mike Kennedy Kristine Kathryn Rusch (GoH), Dean Wesley Smith (GoH), Stephen Hickman (Artist GoH), Mike Glicksohn (Fan GoH), Michael Flynn (MC) Notes TBD
12 XII Orion 12-14 November 1993 Hilton (Downtown) Robin Ray, Sam Smith Jim Baen (GoH), Julius Schwartz ("Super" GoH), David O. Miller (Artist GoH), Marcia McCoy (Fan GoH), James P. Hogan (MC) Notes TBD
13 XIII Musca 4-6 November 1994 Tom Bevill Center Rhett Mitchell, Robin Ray Spider Robinson (GoH), Alan M. Clark (Artist GoH), Sue Thorn (Fan GoH), Timothy Zahn (MC) Notes TBD
14 XIV Monoceros 3-5 November 1995 Tom Bevill Center Randy Cleary, Sam Smith Rick Shelley (GoH), Ruth Thompson (Artist GoH), Adrian Washburn (Fan GoH), Roland Castle (MC) Notes TBD
15 XV Aquila 8-10 November 1996 Tom Bevill Center Mike Kennedy Stanley Schmidt (GoH), Chloie Airoldi (Fan GoH), Rick Cook (MC) Notes TBD
16 XVI Eridanus 17-19 October 1997 Sheraton (Airport) Marcia Illingworth, Sam Smith Jack L. Chalker (GoH), Randy Cleary (Artist GoH), Sue Toker (Fan GoH), Les Johnson (MC) Notes TBD
17 XVII Hydra 9-11 October 1998 Sheraton (Airport) Pat Brooks, Marie McCormack Mike Resnick (GoH), Bob Eggleton (Artist GoH), David O. Miller (Fan GoH), Tim Powers (MC) Notes TBD
18 XVIII Lupus 29-31 October 1999 Sheraton (Airport) Pat Brooks, Marie McCormack Allen Steele (GoH), Charles Keegan (Artist GoH), Anita Feller (Fan GoH), Tom Feller (Fan GoH), David Weber (MC) Notes TBD
19 XIX Virgo 13-15 October 2000 Sheraton (Airport) Mike Cothran, Anita Eisenberg Debra Doyle (GoH), James D. Macdonald (GoH), Kenneth Waters (Artist GoH), Julie Wall (Fan GoH), Eric Flint (MC) Notes TBD
20 XX Camelopardalis 19-21 October 2001 Sheraton (Airport) Marie McCormack John Ringo (GoH), David Mattingly (Artist GoH), Steve Francis (Fan GoH), Sue Francis (Fan GoH), Jack McDevitt (MC) Notes TBD
21 XXI Pavo 18-20 October 2002 Holiday Inn Express (University Drive) Marie McCormack Eric Flint (GoH), Darrell K. Sweet (Artist GoH), Sandy McDade (Fan GoH). K.D. Wentworth (MC) Notes TBD
22 XXII Pegasus 10-12 October 2003 Holiday Inn Express (University Drive) Mike Kennedy Mercedes Lackey (GoH), Don Maitz (Artist GoH). Guy H. Lillian III (Fan GoH), Rosy Lillian (Fan GoH), Larry Dixon (MC) Pegasus Thumb.jpg Art by Randy B. Cleary
23 XXIII Delphinus 15-17 October 2004 Holiday Inn Express (University Drive) Mike Kennedy Lawrence Watt-Evans (GoH), Kinuko Y. Craft (Artist GoH), Grant Kruger (Fan GoH) AviseLaFin Thumb.jpg Art by Randy B. Cleary
24 XIV Lepus 7-9 October 2005 Holiday Inn Express (University Drive) Anita Eisenberg, Marie McCormack James P. Hogan (GoH), Guy Gordon (Fan GoH), Eric Flint (MC) Also Attending: John Ackerman, Lou Anders, Julie Cochrane, Robert Freese, Dr. Travis S. Taylor, and T.K.F. Weisskopf.
25 XXV Cygnus 20-22 October 2006 Holiday Inn Express (University Drive) Doug Lampert, Mary Lampert (née Ortwerth) David Drake (GoH), Theresa Mather (Artist GoH), Stephen Hickman (MC), Glen Cook (Special Guest) Also Attending: Julie Cochrane, Eric Flint, Sarah A. Hoyt, Jack McDevitt, Dr. Travis Taylor, and T.K.F. Weisskopf.
26 XXVI Ophiuchus 12-14 October 2007 Holiday Inn Express (University Drive) Marie McCormack Mike Shepherd Moscoe (GoH), Pat McAdams (Fan GoH), Dr. Travis S. Taylor (MC) Also Attending: Lou Anders, Julie Cochrane, Les Johnson, and William Drinkard.
27 XXVII Cassiopeia 17-19 October 2008 Holiday Inn Express (University Drive) Doug Lampert, Mary Lampert (née Ortwerth) Diane Duane (GoH), Bill Holbrook (Artist GoH), Mike Resnick (MC), Peter Morwood (Special Guest), Laura Resnick (Special Guest) Also Attending: Lou Anders, Julie Cochrane, William Drinkard, Allan Gilbreath, Les Johnson, Stephanie Osborn, Bill Snodgrass, and Dr. Travis S. Taylor, and Jeff Ugly Shoes & the Cemetery Surfers.
28 XXVIII Vulpecula 18-20 September 2009 Holiday Inn Express (University Drive) Mike Kennedy, Sam Smith David Weber (GoH), John Picacio (Artist GoH), Gary Shelton (Fan GoH), Jack McDevitt (MC) Also Attending: Lou Anders, David Drake, William Drinkard, Sarah Hoyt, Les Johnson, Stephanie Osborn, Dr. Travis S. Taylor, and Toni Weisskopf.
29 XXIX Leo 17-19 September 2010 Holiday Inn Express (University Drive) Doug Lampert, Mary Lampert (née Ortwerth) Wen Spencer (GoH), Vincent DiFate (Artist GoH), Warren Buff (Fan GoH), Steve Jackson (MC) Also Attending: Lou Anders, Chris Berman, Mark Fitzgerald, Allan Gilbreath, Les Johnson, Darrel Osborn, Stephanie Osborn, Kimberly Richardson, Steve White, and Jeff Ugly Shoes & the Cemetery Surfers.
30 XXX Corona Borealis 16-18 September 2011 Holiday Inn Express (University Drive) Anita Eisenberg Gene Wolfe (GoH), Lubov (Artist GoH), Gay Haldeman (Fan GoH), Stephanie Osborn (MC), Joe Haldeman (Special Guest) Also Attending: Chris Berman, David Drake, Allan Gilbreath, Les Johnson, Darrell Osborn, Kimberly Richardson, Toni Weisskopf, and Karen Zimmerman.
31 XXXI Perseus 12-14 October 2012 Holiday Inn Express (University Drive) Mike Kennedy David B. Coe (GoH), Melissa Gay (Artist GoH), The Moon Princesses—Julie Wall, Toni Weisskopf, & Linda Zielke (Fan GoHs), Stephanie Osborn (MC), D.B. Jackson (Special Guest) Also Attending: L.R. Barrett-Durham, Gerald W. Driggers, Cat Faber, Eric Flint, E.G. Glover, Marc Gunn, Les Johnson, and Darrell Osborn.
32 XXXII Columba 11-13 October 2013 Holiday Inn Express (University Drive) Doug Lampert, Mary Lampert (née Ortwerth) Larry Correia (GoH), Kurt Miller (Artist GoH), Darrell Osborn (Fan GoH), Stephanie Osborn (MC) Also Attending: L.R. Barrett-Durham, Melissa Gay, E.G. Glover, Les Johnson, and Toni Weisskopf.
N/A N/A Not-A-Con 18 October 2014 Holiday Inn Express (Madison AL) None None Due to issues finding a suitable hotel, we had to skip having Con†Stellation in 2014. A number of local fans got together on the night of the monthly NASFA meeting for an extended evening of games and good fellowship.
33 XXXIII Coma Berenices 16–18 October 2015 Four Points by Sheraton (Huntsville Airport) Shelly Breitbach, Jenny Leach Orson Scott Card (GoH), Sam Flegal (Artist GoH), Jeff "Ugly Shoes" Harris (MC) Also Attending: Julie Cochrane, Louise Herring-Jones, Les Johnson, Bryan Jones, D. Alan Lewis, Jamie Marchant, Dan Thompson, Toni Weisskopf, and Wes Yahola.
Special Musical Appearance: Bacon Pi.
34 XXXIV Mensa (The Table) 14–16 October 2016 Four Points by Sheraton (Huntsville Airport) Doug Lampert, Mary Lampert (née Ortwerth) Jody Lynn Nye (GoH), Howard Tayler (Artist GoH), Bill Fawcett (MC), Stephanie Osborn (Science Guest) Also Attending: Julie Cochrane, David Drake, Taylor S. Hoch, Les Johnson, Darrell Osborn, Travis S. Taylor, and Toni Weisskopf.
(1) Where multiple co-chairs are listed, they are of equal rank and are listed alphabetically.

(2) Guests listed as "Also Attending" were scheduled to appear as of the start of the convention. A few were no shows but records of that are spotty so all are listed.

Other Conventions Sponsored by NASFA

NASFA has sponsored three DeepSouthCons — DSCs 23, 25, and 40.

DeepSouthCon 50, also held in Huntsville, was a pan-Southern effort and was not sponsored by NASFA. Some cub members did have committee and staff roles.

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