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My Weekend At Dragon Con 2018

It is always a positive in my life when I am able to be amongst my people, especially when we are able to nerd out over the minute details of a midseason episode of a series–like Firefly or The Dresden Files–that has been off the air for years. But I digress… I was able to pack so much into two out of the five days that Dragon Con runs.

I first tipped my hat in the Metro Diner Café on Saturday night, with a packed crowd of karaoke singing cosplayers. We brought the house down! Ok, they brought the house down, because I didn’t sing. A female Thor sang Bonnie Tyler’s “I Need A Hero,” while two zombies crooned Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life.” Then a plethora of Pennywise cosplayers showed their scary mugs and were vehemently shooed away.

The next day, I spent my time admiring cosplayers and taking in a few comic and movie panels. I was also able to see panels featuring: the cast of Black Lightning, Felicia Day, Mark Meer, Tara Strong, and Gina Torres. The biggest part of this five-day excursion was the $85,000 that was raised for the official charity Literacy Action, Inc., which helps build better futures for undereducated adults in the Atlanta area by teaching literacy, life skills, and work skills that empower them to reach their highest potential. More than 80,000 people joined the fun in downtown Atlanta to make this happen.

The convention has already selected The American Heart Association as its 2019 official charity, in honor of Thom Trainor, who was the long-time director of the convention’s Comics and Pop Artist division and passed away this summer.

The convention’s newest track, Diversity in Speculative Fiction, attracted standing room only crowds to many of its panel discussions. One of the books in this genre is Artemis, the latest book from Andy Weir, whose book, The Martian, was turned into a major motion picture. This year Artemis collected a Dragon Award as the best Science Fiction Novel in 2017.

The Dragon Awards are the only fan’s choice award in fandom, with more than 11,000 people casting a ballot this year. Here are the winners for 2018:

Best Science Fiction Novel

Artemis by Andy Weir

Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

Best Young Adult / Middle Grade Novel

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

A Call to Vengeance by David Weber, Timothy Zahn, and Thomas Pope

Best Alternate History Novel

Uncharted by Kevin J. Anderson and Sarah A. Hoyt

Best Media Tie-In Novel

Leia: Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray

Best Horror Novel

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King

Best Comic Book

Mighty Thor by Jason Aaron and James Harren, Marvel Comics

Best Graphic Novel

Brandon Sanderson’s White Sand Volume 1 by Brandon Sanderson, Rik Hoskin, and Julius M. Gopez, Dynamite Entertainment

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series

Game of Thrones, HBO

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie

Black Panther directed by Ryan Coogler

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game

Middle-earth: Shadow of War by Monolith Productions

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery by Jam City

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game

Red Dragon Inn 6: Villains by Slugfest Games

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game

Magic: The Gathering Unstable by Wizards of the Coast

I thoroughly enjoyed this year’s festivities and can’t wait for next year. Hope to see you there.

Dragon Con is the internationally known pop culture convention held each Labor Day in Atlanta. Organized for fans, Dragon Con features more than about 3,500 hours of comics, film, television, costuming, art, music, and gaming over four days. For more information, please visit www.dragoncon.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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