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FOGhorn 7.2, December 2016

FOGcon 7 * March 10-12, 2017 * WALNUT CREEK, CA *
Theme: Interstitial Spaces
Honored Guests: Delia Sherman and Ayize Jama-Everett
Honored Ghost: Iain [M.] Banks




$70 from November 13, 2016 to December 31, 2016
$80 from January 1, 2017 to February 28, 2017
$90 at the door

Youth (11-17):
Full weekend membership - $20

Children (10 and under): Free! (Must be attended by an adult)



FOGblog the FOGcon Blog:


Message from the Chair
Hotel and Saturday Lunch Banquet
Are You an Angel?
Programming - Program Idea Suggestions Close Dec. 22
Writers' Workshop
Volunteers: Fogcon 7 Needs You!



It's been eight years now since Vylar Kaftan, the founder and first chair of FOGcon, approached me and asked me if I wanted to help with the convention -- specifically, to run programming.

I said sure, on one condition -- I wasn't interested in doing Just Another Science Fiction Convention; I wanted to experiment, to do different things, to do things that other people didn't do.

And now, looking at the last several FOGcons, I see that we’ve done that; we’re not just another science fiction convention; we do different things, we have different discussions, we are different.

And I’m proud of us.

It's been a fraught few months for everyone, and we know that we are running a bit behind; but we are moving ahead.

Now, perhaps more than ever, we need a place for our kind of discussions, our kind of programs, our kind of community.

From its very beginnings, FOGcon has identified with the social justice community. We encourage programming suggestions that reflect that -- FOGcon is *our* space, to discuss what we as a community are thinking and talking about.

And for those of us who want our convention to be a refuge from the world outside, and from its politics -- I've seen the program suggestions we have, and that refuge will be there. And if you have ideas of what would make it more like that for you?

I think you all know what I'm going to say.

Suggest them. Suggestions are open until mid-December, for what you want to see in FOGcon programming. Dream big, and help us build the kind of space we want.

I look forward to seeing you all at FOGcon, in our place, in our community.

As this issue of FOGhorn went to the digital presses, Jay Hartlove, a member of our community, and his family had their house and yard vandalized in an emboldened political attack. The FOGcon committee stands in solidarity with them and offers what help we can; I know the greater FOGcon community stands with them as well.


Hotel and Saturday Lunch Banquet

As we said in the last FOGhorn, FOGcons 7 and 8 will return to the Walnut Creek Marriott, which has been our home since 2012. Room rates are $109.00 per night, which includes free access to the hotel wireless. Book your reservation for FOG CON 7 at this link.

Parking will once again be free for convention members, whether hotel guests or not. The hotel has agreed to cancel the bar band for both Friday and Saturday nights of the convention, which should make the hotel restaurant and bar much more pleasant for all of us.

We will be reprising last year's successful lunchtime banquet, at the same price as last year: $15 for adults and $8 for children 10 and under. We subsidize the banquet because it helps us meet our commitment to the hotel, and because we love the opportunity to eat together. The menu will include salads, hot entrees, veggies, and desserts, and will have vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options (possibly even all at once). Detailed menus will be in future FOGhorns.

Yes, you can buy your banquet tickets NOW on the FOGcon website. Numbers will be limited, so buy soon if you know your plans.
If you have any questions about the hotel, or any special hotel needs, please email so we can help you out.

Debbie Notkin
Hotel Liaison


Are You an Angel?

While you're doing your holiday gift-giving, why not think about giving someone the gift of FOGcon? You can purchase an Angel membership or contribute towards hotel and travel expenses for someone who otherwise couldn't afford to attend FOGcon.

Plenty of people who would love FOGcon and contribute an interesting perspective cannot afford to come to an SF/F convention. But you can help bring them to the con by donating toward the Angel Fund, which helps pay for memberships, hotel rooms, and travel expenses. You can even buy a membership we'll allocate to someone who needs a little financial help to attend. All givers and recipients are anonymous.

Here's how to donate a FOGcon Angel Program Membership:

  1. Go to and either create an account or log in to your existing account.
  2. Click Register for FOGcon 7.
  3. In the Enter a Name to Search text box, type "Angel Membership".
  4. Under "Which one do you mean?" select Angel Membership, not shown above.
  5. Enter Angel Membership as the name and click Save New Person.
  6. Select the Adult Membership rate, and click Place Order.

If you are interested in helping, but don’t want to buy a full membership, you can also donate money to the FOGcon Angel Fund via the Donate button on Any amount you want to give will be appreciated and will help someone in need.

If you'd like to be considered to receive an Angel Membership, please email



Thinking of bringing your kids to FOGcon? Interested in childcare? For planning purposes, it would help us to know how many parents are interested in childcare at FOGcon, so that we can plan for space, staff, and so on. Please contact us at if you are interested!


Writer's Workshop

Sign-ups for our popular writing workshop are open now. This is a Clarion-style critique group, with a limited number of spots. It's open to any writer - experienced or not - with a full membership of FOGcon. You submit a manuscript up to 7,500 words (short story or novel excerpt) before Jan 31, 2017, and are placed in a group with 2-3 other writers led by an experienced published author. You critique their stories, they critique yours in a friendly and constructive atmosphere. There's a $20 additional workshop charge. Email us at

Each year since the first FOGcon, we've expanded our workshop - but now we've reached our size limit. We'll close when we fill all the spaces, or on January 15, 2017, whichever is first. So if you're interested, plan to sign up early!

Keyan Bowes
Writer's Workshop




FOGcon is a little different from a lot of cons, and one of the ways we're different is in Programming: we solicit ideas for program items from you, and then find out which ones generate the most interest before we begin designing the schedule. We've consistently had truly stellar programming (which I can say, since they're not *my* ideas! πŸ˜€ ) and we really love the community involvement this gives us. (You are all really creative people!)

If you have ideas that fit the theme, that's great! If you have ideas that have nothing to do with the theme at all, that's fine too! If there's something you've always wanted to see at a con and it's just never happened, tell us about it! If there's something you've seen somewhere else and loved, let us know! This is the seventh FOGcon, and your programming team is aware that we have a lot to live up to – we can't do it without you πŸ™‚


How to Sign Up and Submit Ideas On the Programming Database

  1. Go to
  2. If you don't have an account yet, create one!
  3. Log in
  4. Go to
  5. Describe your idea and click on "Submit your idea"
    (If you don't have all the information the form asks for that's fine – if you have it, great, if not, submit it anyway)
  6. Submit more ideas!
  7. Keep submitting ideas!



FOGcon relies on volunteers for every aspect of the con, from hotel negotiations to programming to hospitality to logistics. We're looking for help of all sorts, and at all levels. We're particularly looking for:



We need folks to staff the Registration table and help people get checked in, get their badges and programs, and get started at the con. This is a great way to meet people, especially if starting a conversation isn't your best thing. Shifts are generally about two hours, and we try to synchronize them with the programming slots so that you don't miss too much of the con. Registration generally opens on Thursday evening, and is open Friday and Saturday and part of Sunday, so there are lots of shifts available. E-mail and let us know if you're interested!



Whether you've dashed through the consuite to grab vital caffeine or stopped for a meal or hung out for a rambling conversation, you've probably appreciated the job of our Hospitality folks, who make sure the consuite stays open, staffed, and stocked. (And reasonably clean.) You may not have realized, though, that the consuite can only be open as long as we have volunteers to staff it! Whether you're an extravert or an introvert, a consuite shift can work out well – depending on the time of day, it can be quiet or packed with folks deep in conversation. People stop by for a place to sit down, grab a bite of food or something to drink, see who else is around, or continue a conversation that began in a panel and Just. Won't. Stop. We need folks who can keep track of the food supply, make newcomers welcome and help them get their feet, refill the bathtub with sodas, and so on – and we need night owls and early birds so we can have the consuite open whenever anybody wants to be there. Shifts are generally about two hours, and we try to synchronize them with the programming slots so that you don't miss too much of the con. E-mail and let us know if you're interested!



We have a couple of specific jobs that need filling in Programming, in addition to general gophering and room counting and so on:


Honored Guest Liaisons

We need someone to be the main contact for each of our Honored Guests, help make their experience at the convention a good one, and make sure they don't run into problems or delays getting to programming or whatever else they're interested in doing. (And that they still have time to get food and sleep and take care of other basic bodily functions.) You'll arrange for pickup from the airport if needed, etc., work with our Hotel Liaison to make sure they get checked in successfully, and coordinate any special needs they may have -- hypoallergenic bedding? Slide projector? Extension cord? Gluten-free pizza? πŸ˜‰ Email and/or and let us know if you're interested!


Special (Experimental) Programming

We're looking for someone who can focus on the special programming, from opening ceremonies to special events. The first year we had kids' programming, it fell into this category because we'd never tried it before. Especially this year, with the theme of Interstitial Spaces, we'd love to have a poster session, mixed-media display, music- or art-related event – come with ideas, and we'll work to make them happen! E-mail and/or and let us know if you're interested!


Programming Minion

If programming sounds interesting but you'd like to get your feet wet before diving in to one of the jobs above, come and be a programming minion! There's no telling what you'll end up doing – running down to Logistics for a cable or up to the consuite for tea for someone who's tied up in a panel, doing room counts (so we can keep improving our estimates of the room size we need for the various panels), or helping keep track of materials used for a program and making sure everything gets where it needs to be. Shifts are generally about two hours, and we try to synchronize them with the programming slots so that you don't miss too much of the con. E-mail and/or and let us know if you're interested!


Game Room Minion

If you love games and want to help keep FOGcon's game room active, come be a game room minion! Help open and close the game room, help people get started with games they haven't tried before – or find an old familiar friend – and set up for (and help run!) game-room programming. Last year was a great beginning for game-specific programming, and we're hoping to do even better for FOG 7. E-mail and/or and let us know if you're interested!



Have you ever wondered how the con actually works? Where blue tape comes from? How we got the errata printed? Who posts all those informative and/or entertaining signs? The answer is Logistics, and if you'd like to volunteer to help out we'd love to have you! We particularly need help around set-up and close-out, but there's almost always something that needs doing! E-mail and let us know if you're interested!



Mailing Address
PO Box 3764
Hayward, CA 94540

For more information, email us at
To discuss access issues, email us at
To volunteer, email us at or click the link in your account that says, "Would you like to volunteer?"
To inquire about being a dealer, email us at
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