Stargazers Science Fiction Fans to Cluster in Collinsville

Article excerpt

Area science fiction fan --and some from across the country -- will gather this weekend in Collinsville for their annual celebration of movies, costumes and things otherworldly.

This year's convention features one of the giants in science fiction: Ra y Bradbury.

Bradbury was the first science fiction writer to establish a solid reputation outside the genre, being included in the Best American Short Story collections in 1946, 1948 and 1952. Even many people who have never read a word of science fiction are familiar with some of his titles: "Fahrenheit 451" and "The Martian Chronicles." The convention - Archon 20 - begins today at the Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville. This is the 20th year for the event. About 800 people are pre-registered for Archon 20. Randy Davis, who maintains the Archon 20 Web page on the Internet, said pre-registrations usually account for about one-third the total attendance. If that trend holds true, about 2,400 will attend this year's event. This year's "artist guest of honor" will be Ray Harryhausen, the stop-motion animator famous for such movies as "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad" and "Jason and the Argonauts." The convention also will feature dozens of panels with fans and professionals discussing a variety of topics. Video rooms will show non-stop science fiction movies and "anime" (Japanese animated movies - more adult than typical American cartoons). The "Huckster Room" will be filled with dealers of everything from used paperbacks to swords. …

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