Monthly Archives: September 2014

First Annual AtomaCon Short Film Festival Deadline Approaching!

We’re pleased to announce the first annual AtomaCon Short Film Festival!  As a growing convention devoted to sci-fi/fantasy and art, it is only fitting to introduce a film festival in our second year. We hope to give local and international filmmakers the chance to showcase their cinematic triumphs in the genres of sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, horror, and fandom.

All submissions must be received no later than midnight on September 26, 2014.


  • Submissions open April 15, 2014.
  • All films must be under 30 minutes in length, including credits.
  • All films must be complete and ready to be shown in their entirety.
  • All entries must be accompanied by a brief synopsis and biography of the filmmakers via a completed submission form.  ( Available here: also available via mobile devices here: 
  • Please submit your film digitally, in .wma, .mpeg or .avi format, via our Dropbox.
      • Please email us when you’re ready to enter at In this email, please attach your completed application form, and tell us what name your PayPal entry fee is under.
      • When we confirm your payment, we will invite you to our Dropbox. There, you can drag and drop your film into its own dedicated folder, where it will be kept private and partitioned from other filmmakers.
      • When we successfully receive your film, we will email you with a confirmation letter of receipt.
  • If you have difficulty uploading to the Dropbox, please let us know and we will make other arrangements.
  • Each individual is allowed up to submissions, but must pay the entry fee for each.
  • While we expect some zombies and gore, please do not include full-frontal nudity or torture porn in your submissions. We will advise parents to use discretion when bringing their younger children to the film festival, but we hope this is an event that most ages can enjoy.


  • All submissions require an entry fee of $10 USD payable to AtomaCon.
  • Students may submit their films for a $5 USD fee, with a scanned copy of their school ID or class schedule.
  • Please pay this fee online using PAYPAL ( before September 26th. No cash will be accepted at the door. No entry fees will be refunded.


  • This film festival is juried based on length, content, and artistic integrity. You will be notified by October 3, 2014 if your film was accepted for screening.
  • If we accept your film, you will receive one free AtomaCon weekend pass!
  • You will also be allowed a discounted price of $25/weekend pass for up to 4 cast and crew members.


  • Fan Films – These films or webisodes take place in an pre-established universe (a la Star Wars, Doctor Who, or Game of Thrones) They can be original fan concepts or an adaptation of expanded universe content.
  • Original Films– These films or webisodes are entirely original and are not set in a pre-existing fandom.
  • Micro Films –  These can be original or fandom, but they must have a running time of under 2 minutes.


  • Best Original Film
  • Best Fan Film
  • Best Micro Film
  • Best Student Film
  • Additional awards may be given at the judge’s will.

PRIZE: Lifetime Membership to Scripped, Two weekend passes to AtomaCon 2015. Other prizes to be added.

The Scoop on RPG Gaming at AtomaCon

Today we have another guest blogger: Jon Maness from SCARAB.

Hello, I am Jon Maness, Scarab Swarm member, the first Scarab Iron GM, and host of the Scarab Swarmcast Podcast.  Del Collins asked me to write up something about tabletop RPG gaming and some of the games SCARAB will be bringing to AtomaCon.  These tabletop RPGs are different from the Organized Play RPGs, such as Pathfinder Society, in that they are usually a one-shot game, come in a wide variety of game mechanics and styles and deal with a very singular experience.  Tabletop RPGs at conventions can be a good way for players to learn about new games or try out games they’ve heard about but not had a chance to play before.

We’ve got some great offerings for new and more experienced RPG gamers this year.  They run the gamut of traditional pen, paper and dice games to more abstract, story-telling games.   We’ve got some classics, some new, and some more esoteric offerings.  If you are new to the whole shebang, as it were, do not worry.  Our experienced GMs have got you covered.  We’re here to make sure you have fun.

Some of more tradition gaming offering are Arcanis the World of Shattered Empires, a fantasy game setting of high adventure, and Dragon Age the RPG, based on the popular video game by BioWare.  If you are looking for something fast and light hearted, we have Maid the RPG (based on the anime trope) and Kobolds Ate My Baby, where you get to take on the role of pesky and mischievous kobolds.  Do you want to play a dragon, and fight other dragons and monsters?  Give BattleDragons by Spartacus Publishing a try!

We are offering up some of the more talked about indie gaming hotness as well.  Using the FATE system, Keberos Club offers a Victorian-themed super-powered theme.  Better Angels offers a chance to play as super villains, using a game mechanic that helps explain why the bad guys always seem to lose to those pesky super heroes.  Also being offered is Fiasco by Jason Morningstar, a game that indie gamers have enjoyed for years now and was featured prominently on Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop web series.  Other much talked about indie games being offered are Apocalypse World and the Drama System game Hill Folk.  Give these last two in particular a try for a very different roleplaying experience, as they both deal heavily with character development and world building.

These are but some of the tabletop RPGs being offered by SCARAB.  Check the Warhorn site ( for a more complete listing.  If you want to learn more about some of these games or others, please feel free to talk to any of the SCARAB Swarm, we may be able to suggest some other games to check out, and may even be able to break out a Quick Start from any of the Free RPG Day materials we have on hand.  Feel free to also ask about the Swarmcast Podcast and the SCARAB Iron GM contest as well.

Jon Maness
SCARAB Iron GM 2012

Family Friendly vs Family Oriented

There have been a great deal questions and confusion among con-goers and con-newbies as far as the difference between the terms Family-friendly and Family-oriented.   AtomaCon is a Family-friendly convention.   What does that mean?  Well, it means we have tried to price our memberships so it is affordable for the whole family to attend.  Programming, Dealer’s room , and Costuming guidelines reflect a PG nature with some of the more adult subject matter being held later in the evening.

In short, what you see during the day should be suitable for most families.  However, it is up to each family to decide what that is.  There will be Costumed folks dressed from all genres.  If your kid is scared of Storm Troopers or R2D2 or Zombies, you might have a problem.  (My daughter was afraid of anything with white faces for a while).  Everyone has their own opinion especially in the costuming area.   Is someone dressed as Tarzan or one of the Greeks from 300 or Slave Leia from Star Wars or Wonder Woman inappropriate for children?  Sure they are skimpy outfits but in the context where they are from, most would say no.  Rule of thumb, if you can’t wear it on the beach legally, then it doesn’t belong at this type of convention.  That means tops and bottoms for the ladies and bottoms for the men—no thongs. Body paint is not clothes—even though I’ve seen this tastefully done!   Most Cosplayers know what is appropriate when small children are present.

Family-friendly does not mean it is safe to just drop off your minor children and let them go.  This is a public event and there will NO adult supervision provided.  Kids 15 and younger must have an adult who can take responsibility for their actions attend with them.  This is for a couple of reasons.  If no one is watching your kid and they damage hotel property or fall and hurt themselves, who is going to be responsible for it?  What if your kid leaves the hotel and they get assaulted in the parking lot?  We as a convention can’t possibly provide enough people to babysit your children nor do we want to take on the liability to do so either!  We want young people at our convention, but we want them to be safe.   We will have kid-oriented events especially in the gaming room and a few special discussion panels but most of our programming will be suitable for everyone to attend.

Family-oriented is basically an event that is geared toward kids.  Most of the events are suitable for kids and the parents pretty much have to tag along.  Sometimes it is called kid-friendly.  Most of the times these events have folks who can help supervise and watch your kids.  AtomaCon is not that kind of event.

I hope this helps explain a little bit about the convention and please comment if you have questions.

Gaming Comes to AtomaCon!

Dell Collins from SCARAB is our guest blogger for today:

Gaming for AtomaCon is being run by the South Carolina Area Roleplayers And Boardgamers (SCARAB). SCARAB travels all over the United Stated bringing our sponsors great games to events, retailers and gamers of all types.
For AtomaCon we are bringing a slightly different gaming experience than other conventions typically run. We are designing our schedule around entertaining, short play games so people who may have never gamed before can jump into and play without having to have any experience playing games before. This type of schedule was tried at XCon World by SCARAB and PAX Prime by Paizo this year to great success and we think it is a great fit for AtomaCon as well.
We will be bringing lots of board games from our library with us and one game in particular that we are bringing to run as a tourney is King of Tokyo from the awesome sponsor Iello. Winner will get a copy of the game! In addition we will be running a variety of roleplaying games and of course we will have the vastly popular Pathfinder Society.
We would be thrilled to have you attend and demo your favorite games, for those more experienced gamers please feel free to bring your own games and if you are an experienced roleplaying game master feel free to contact us if you would like to run your game at AtomaCon and we will get it on the schedule so players can begin signing up asap.
Are you a gaming newbie or just haven’t gamed in what seems like forever? That’s is awesome, come on out and let us introduce you to this wonderful hobby or for those who have been away from the hobby a while let us show you some of the hottest games being played today. We believe there is a game for everyone and we are happy to help you find the kind of game you like to play and get you started having fun.
Hours of the gaming room will mirror those of the convention: Friday 4pm-midnightSaturday 10am-Midnight and Sunday 10am-4pm.
To see the full schedule as it develops and to reserve your seat at a scheduled game tune into the warhorn site at
Don’t see a game you want to play on the schedule then please contact us and we will do our best to get that game on the schedule and remember we are going to have a chunk of our board game library with us that will allow you to check out a game and play ad hoc as much as you like.

Del Collins
Director of SCARAB

New guests this year!

Today we will feature some of our guests who are making their first appearance at our convention. Please visit their sites to learn more about them!

Stephen Euin Cobb

Currently a contributing editor for Space and Time Magazine, Stephen was a columnist and contributing editor for Jim Baen’s Universe Magazine for three years (2006-2010), a contributing editor for Robot Magazine for one year (2009-2010), and has written for H+ Magazine, Grim Couture Magazine, Port Iris Magazine and Digit Magazine. Stephen also has a popular award winning weekly interview-based podcast in which he and his guests discuss all the ways our lives are going to be different in the future.

Heather E. Hutsell
Heather is a self published author of (currently) 9 books. Genres range from absurdist fiction to Steampunk mystery, vampyre and werewolf romantic horror and other surrealist and otherworldly tales. Heather is also an artist and costumer.

Chris Kennedy
Chris Kennedy is a Carolina native (NC), who has been ranked as high as #30 on Amazon’s Top 100 Science Fiction Authors List. His works include: When the Gods Aren’t Gods, Janissaries, Red Tide: The Chinese Invasion of Seattle, Occupied Seattle. Chris is a 20-year Navy veteran and educator.

Gail Z Martin
Gail Z. Martin is the author of the new Deadly Curiosities urban fantasy series (Solaris Books), set in Charleston, SC. She is also author of Ice Forged in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, Reign of Ash and War of Shadows (Orbit Books, 2015), plus The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven & Dark Lady’s Chosen ) from Solaris Books and The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn and The Dread) from Orbit Books. She writes two series of ebook short stories: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures and the Deadly Curiosities Adventures. Gail will be having a book launch party on Saturday from 9 pm- 11 pm at the convention. Look for signs at the convention for the room number!

James Daniel Ross
The Radiation Angels: The Chimerium Gambit is his first novel and is followed by The Radiation Angels: The Key to Damocles. James shares a Dream Realm Award with the other others in Breach the Hull, and an EPPIE award with the others appearing in Bad Ass Faeries 2.
Josh Strnad
Josh Strnad has possessed a deep love of books since he was just a wee lad. When not guzzling down hot tea and typing stories on his old computer, he also dabbles in film making, writing music, and drawing cartoons. A few of his favorite authors include Mark Twain, HG Wells, Edgar Allen Poe, and CS Lewis. Josh’s first novel Pantheon is now available from Urania Speculative Fiction. Josh lives in small-town North Carolina with his family and two incorrigibly goofy golden retrievers.

Ashley Field-Pamela Nance
Since forming Spirit Hunters of the South in 2008, Ashley Field & Pamela Nance have conducted field-work at approximately 70 historic sites & properties throughout the mid-Atlantic & southern United States. Over time, they developed a paranormal investigative model based on research methodologies from anthropology, archaeology, history & quantum physics.

Gregory French
Gregory French is a New York native who currently lives in South Carolina. He got his start in professional acting when a friend asked him to be in a commercial he was shooting. He has appeared on the tv shows “Under the Dome” and “Revolution”, but is best known for his many appearances on “The Walking Dead”, where he has played over 15 different walkers in seasons 3 and 4 including the Barbed Wire Face Walker, one of the Gas Mask Walkers, and several Prison Walkers. His movie credits include “Iron Man 3″, “Parental Guidance”, and “We’re the Millers”.

Michael Mundy!michael-mundy/c1okl
Mike lives in Atlanta where he works, as an actor whenever possible! His most recent notable appearance includes the television show The Walking Dead, where his eyeball was showcased in the opening shot of the season 3 premiere. The shot pulled out to reveal “Grandpa Walker,” who soon succumbed to a fire poker in the head gifted by T-Dog. Spends time in the recording studio working with many bands. When not acting or working mike enjoys hiking and fishing.