Steve Jackson's Appearances
Want to meet Steve? Here's a list of conventions he's attending, as well as other events where you can find him and say hello.
Our other staff members make appearances, too – click here for a complete list.
March 19-22, 2015
The motto of Chi-Fi is “Celebrate Geekdom.” That works for me.
The hotel is the historic and swanky Palmer House, the third of that name on the same site. The original opened on September 26, 1871, and stood a mere 13 days, until the Great Chicago Fire. The second one was built to be fireproof, but it collided with an iceberg and sank. No, I made that up. It in fact endured, both unburnt and unsunk, until the mid-1920s, when it was replaced by the current humongous yet spiffy structure. Which stands today, all shiny in the middle of the amazingness that is Chicago, and yes, the hotel was one reason I accepted the invitation! Very good choice, Chi-Fi. Well played.
Chi-Fi's guests also include the
Yes, I know that most of that website is in eye-searing ALL CAPS. Forgive them; they know not what they do. My advice is to pick somebody you don't like and get them to read it to you.
Come see me in Chicago and we shall celebrate geekdom amidst really neat Gilded Age surroundings, and if you say “This is sooo steampunk!” nobody will wonder what you mean.
(A reader asked me "Does that mean it's brown?" Yes. Yes, it probably does. REVEL in that, people.)
May 8-10, 2015
It's amazing when a con makes it to #50, and I felt very honored when Marcon invited me back for their fiftieth year. I've been there twice before, and both times it was great.
In 1989 I got to meet Hal Clement! And the convention took all the guests on a museum tour to see the traveling exhibit of ancient Chinese sculpture and artifacts. I still have posters on my wall from that show.
In 2005 we took the Chaos Machine, and John Kovalic was there, and Dr. Demento was the DJ for the dance and I did the Macarena, and all in all it could hardly have been more awesome.
So we'll see what happens this time. Among the returning guests are Barry and Sally Childs-Helton. I liked their music in 1989, and since they're still rocking, I'll still be liking.
June 26-28, 2015
I liked my first visit to LibertyCon so much that I was happy to be invited back. And Chattanooga is such a great city that on a previous visit I actually looked at real estate magazines. So this one will be fun. LibertyCon is a very comfortable, friendly event, gamer-friendly but definitely a full-spectrum SF convention.
The guest list is great. It's headlined by David Weber, best known for the Honor Harrington series (though he's done a lot of other great stuff). The toastmaster is none other than Howard Tayler of Schlock Mercenary.
(And it will be held in the Chattanooga Choo Choo, a hotel that not only has its own model train layout*, but is right on the city's electric-bus line that runs straight to the Aquarium and the good restaurants. A great choice.)
*News flash: they're remodeling, and it is anybody's guess whether or where the trains will be at the time of the con. Ah, well, more time to play games.
November 6-8, 2015
Gamehole Con is a convention for all types of gaming. All types, do you hear me? They expect about a thousand people for 2015. Everyone who's been to this con assures me that it's a very special event, friendly and well organized. Plus, Madison is amazing. So I'm going!
One of the things about this show: they invite a LOT of game makers. Madison is very close to Lake Geneva, where so much started, and a lot of the best Gygax-era names come to visit. I'm expecting to see Ed Greenwood, Tim Kask, Frank Mentzer, Ernie Gygax, Jim Ward, and the creator of some of my very favorite Old Skool games, Tom Wham! Not to mention young whippershappers like Matt Forbeck, Jonathan Tweet, Jenn Brozek . . . oh, go read the site.
Also John Kovalic! There will be Brandy Alexanders, have no doubt, and we may very well create a Munchkin set while we are hanging out there, just because we CAN. This will be a rare opportunity to get a double-signed Munchkin shirt in one fell swoop. That sounds like a Munchkin monster already. Level 13 Fell Swoop. Of course, “Fell Swoop” also sounds like a Star Wars character, doesn't it? Maybe that's my Jedi name now.
Okay, back to Gamehole Con.
A unique event will be the con-within-a-con sponsored by The Game Crafter. Aspiring game creators will be able to learn a lot of things about prototyping, and a whole lot of other breaking-into-the-business stuff, that I wish I had known 30 years ago, or even 20 or 10. And quite possibly some things that I wish I knew now. We shall see . . .
February 20-22, 2015
This is a surprise appearance. TO ME, TOO! I am in Seattle right now, all by my lonesome, for REDACTED and some quick meetings with Not Available At Your Clearance. It was a seven-hour trip from Austin; I left the house about 5 in the morning. Much of the flight has already mercifully slipped from my mind. It's better that way.
I wanted to put a gamer meet-and-greet on the schedule, but dropped it, because this was thrown together rather quickly and everybody who would normally help set up an event is recovering from Toy Fair. Yet . . .
As I was walking to my hotel room, I saw a big shiny banner and some people who looked very much like they were, well, OUR people. As in, US. I said “You're putting on a con?” They said that indeed they were. We talked. So: Mythicworlds is a new event with a heavy focus on music, art, and fantastic masquerade, and the chairman, Robert Gould, was kind enough to invite me to check out his show. I will!
Impressive guest list, including Brom and Laurie Lee Brom . . . which makes me happy because I'm a Brom fan and wish we had more chances to use his wonderful stuff.
If you're in Seattle, and this sounds good to you . . . well, I'm here, and it hasn't even started yet and already looks good to me. I do not expect to have any events, nor did I bring so much as a bowler hat. (Thought about packing it, and was overcome by sanity. It passed quickly, but not quickly enough.) But I digress. If you see someone here who looks like me, well, it probably is.
So . . . not only can I not escape geekdom, but it somehow knows where I will be and gets there before I do. What could be cooler?
February 13-15, 2015
New York City
It was amazing.
John, Andrew, and I all did signings. Many games were played. Fun things happened. Prizes were given. Sunday night after closing we held a party for distributors, partners, and other cool biz friends.
All thanks to Sam Mitschke for spearheading, for everybody who helped, and for all the munchkins who came out and had a good time. We are seriously thinking we'll do this again next year, and maybe at some other big events too.
January 31-February 8, 2015
I was the Gaming Guest at JoCo Cruise Crazy 5! My first cruise ever. It was a wonderful event, we want to go back, JCCC wants us to come back, we'll be back. (I say "us" because I was ably assisted by Andrew Hackard and Monica Stephens, without whom it would not have been possible to bring nearly so much of the awesome. Next year the team may very well be larger.)
-- Below is unedited material from the original announcement. I'll come back and replace it with more about the things that happened, but I wanted to get in NOW, start the update, and tell you that if you are any two of a geek, a gamer, and a music lover, you should come next year. --
JoCo Cruise Crazy is the Jonathan Coulton cruise. This year will be the fifth, and they keep on doing it, so obviously something is going right. It runs eight nights in the Western Caribbean on Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas, with music, comedy and performances from Coulton and friends. It departs from Ft. Lauderdale, FL on January 31st and returns February 8th, with ports of call at Phillipsburg, St. Maarten; Basseterre, St. Kitts; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Labadee, Haiti.
And because this is a geek event, and because many of us geeks kind of like games, the ship will have a game room. We're sponsoring it. There will be Munchkin. There will be Zombie Dice and Castellan and Revolution. Heck, there will even be Ogre. It's a big ship; we're pretty sure it can carry the box.
Not to mention a great number of games that we did not publish ourselves, because face it, some of those are pretty good too.
This whole thing is exciting to me for several reasons:
• I have been a Coulton fan for years, seen him in concert, spent a lot of time (but not enough yet) listening to the music . . . but I've never met him.
• Time spent around Paul and Storm is never wasted. Well, actually, it probably is, but it sure is fun.
• And Andrew is coming, and when he gets together with Paul and Storm the repartee is competely repickulous.
• I have never in my life been on a cruise.
November 21-23, 2014
San Antonio, TX
This was my first dedicated "neo-Victorian" convention, but I've had a great time at the steampunk tracks of events like Comicpalooza. So I wanted to try a pure steampunk weekend. I don't usually call out an event in public after I attend as a guest, but on the whole this was not a good representation of geekdom to the public.
There were some great moments. The hotel was excellent and pretty darn near Victorian, and the staff tried very hard to be accommodating. I saw some wonderful outfits and met some nice people. I learned a lot from a presentation on steampunk in comics. The guest of honor was Michael Moorcock, and I got some books signed!
But on the whole, this guest did not have a good time. Things that were promised did not happen, the schedule wasn't taken seriously by the organizers, and a late-night event that was billed as "introduction for newbies" turned out to be more like "spooky Camarilla-style improv." It was probably a real hoot if you were part of the in-crowd. For the captive audience, it was tedious, then embarrassing, then tedious again.
I have to give the whole event about one star out of five. Come on, folks . . . we can do better, and if we can't do better, we shouldn't be doing this at all.
October 11, 2014
Munchkin Panic Release Party
I joined my friends Anne-Marie and Justin De Witt, aka Fireside Games, at the release party for Munchkin Panic! It was at Wonko's Toys and Games in northwest Austin from 6-9 pm. And it was busy! Andrew Hackard was there, making awful puns. There were games, prizes, and swag. I played one game. And I won, though it was hard fought. Munchkin Steve ftw! (Yes, in the "More Munchkin" rules of Munchkin Panic, there's a winner. What you want to do is make sure to be the one with the most kills when the castle finally falls down. Which translates to "Stop fighting the monsters and help the castle fall – while you are ahead.)
And there was indeed cake – a chocolate Spyke with Rice Krispy horns, and a lemon Duck of Doom. Plus cookies in the shape of monster counters. Fireside really knows how to throw a party.