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I-CON returns to Suffolk Community College with sci-fi, high-tech

Friends play a board game called Risk Legacy

Friends play a board game called Risk Legacy at I-CON. Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Everybody loves a comeback and I-CON is banking on one. After a five-year hiatus, the sci-fi/technology convention that began in 1982 returns this weekend at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.

“We are trying to keep true to the way it’s always been,” says event chairwoman Katrina Lovett. “Our goal is to offer a good range of programing featuring science, technology, authors, gaming, animé and media.”

Here are some of the people and events that will be on hand at I-CON32:


Keith R.A. DeCandido first attended I-CON back in 1988 as a fan. Now he’s appearing as a special guest fiction author with 53 novels, 68 short stories and 98 novellas utilizing properties such as Marvel’s Thor, Aliens and The X-Files as well as his own series, “Super City Cops.”

“I have a lot of good I-CON memories over the years,” he says. “Hopefully they will be able to recapture the magic.”

CATCH HIM AT Signing (11 a.m. Sunday) and reading (5 p.m. Sunday)


Creator of HBO’s “Carnivale” and current writer on “The Blacklist,” Dan Knauf delves deep into the fantasy/horror genre and seeks to inspire future writers.

“Every writer has a story well and you excavate it. It’s filled with every person you ever met, every experience you’ve ever had or every emotion you ever felt,” he says. “Story ideas come when you open yourself up and are ready to hear them.”

CATCH HIM AT Panels “Blacklisted” (10:30 a.m. Saturday) and “Return to Carnivale” (2 p.m. Saturday)


Pamela Gay seeks to make science accessible through her podcast, “Astronomy Cast,” and NASA web project CosmoQuest.

“Science is something that all of us can be part of,” she says. “It’s possible for everyday people to make great discoveries.”

CATCH HER AT “The Job of Science” panel (8 p.m. Friday) and “Breakthrough Starshot and Interstellar Exploration” discussion (1 p.m. Saturday)


When she came to I-CON in 1998 as a college student, Kristen Nelson’s vocal talent was discovered after she voluntarily participated in a Japanese animé dubbing workshop and ended up with a professional gig in “Boogiepop Phantom.”

“I-CON is unique because it’s run by fans for fans,” she says. “I can’t wait to be back.”

CATCH HER AT “Women in the Animé Industry” panel (noon Saturday) and signing (6 p.m. Saturday)


Venture captain Brian Cea oversees four-hour Pathfinder’s Society fantasy role playing games utilizing maps, miniature figures and a 20-sided dice.

“It’s all about having an imagination and the ability to interact with others,” he says. “We emphasize teamwork and communication.”

CATCH HIM AT RPG Table 5 (6 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday) and RPG Tables 4 & 5 (10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday)

NOTE: Scheduled times reflect vendors' changes since this story was first published.  



WHEN | WHERE 5-10 p.m. Friday, March 17, 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday, March 18, and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, March 19, at Suffolk County Community College, Grant Campus, Brentwood


ADMISSION $30 Friday, $50 Saturday, $40 Sunday ($65 three-day pass)


Here’s a quick hit list for fans of certain genres:

STAR WARS Learn how to use the Force at “Adult Lightsaber Training” (3 p.m. Saturday) or tackle the ultimate subject at the “Star Trek vs. Star Wars” panel (noon Sunday).

HARRY POTTER Create your own magic at “Wand Making” (3 p.m. Saturday), find out where you belong at the “Sorting Ceremony” (11 a.m. Sunday) or try your hand at “Harry Potter Jeopardy” (3 p.m. Sunday).

STAR TREK Battle it out at panels “Classic vs. J.J. Abrams” (6 p.m. Friday), “The Captains” (11 a.m. Saturday) or “The Women of Star Trek” (noon Sunday).

COSPLAYING Kept it cheap at “Cosplay on a Budget” panel (6 p.m. Friday), meet a new friend at “Cosplay Meet & Greet” (6:30 p.m. Friday), dress up or go home at the “Cosplay Contest” judged by the Grindhouse Radio cast (3 p.m. Saturday) or get sketched by an artist at “Cosplayer Pop! Draw Event” (5 p.m. Saturday).

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