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John Lamb, Published October 17 2012

May the fun be with you: ValleyCon kicks off Friday in Moorhead

FARGO – A long time ago, in a conference room not so far away ... the firstValleyCon was held.

Now the 38th installment of the regional fantasy and science fiction convention kicks off on Friday with a full list of events and otherworldly attractions.

While the annual gathering has wandered from hotel to hotel from year to year, organizers are set to conquer a new location. The afternoon and evening festivities, as well as vendor displays, will be held at the Hjemkomst Center, and after 9 p.m. celebrants will transport to the Moorhead AmericInn for more merriment.

The Hjemkomst ship, the Stave Church outside and the grounds offer a fitting setting for some of the featured events, like a “Renaissance Festival and Convention Costuming Survival Guide” at 1 p.m. Saturday and “Introduction to Steampunk Costuming” at 11 a.m. Sunday. Other highlighted non-costume gatherings include workshops on fantasy and sci-fi writing and becoming a game designer. Talks range from the expected (“Star Trek” chats and updates) to a discussion on the impact of “Tarzan” and “John Carter” author Edgar Rice Burroughs and a dialogue on all things James Bond.

More of the intergalactic color comes out at the AmericInn, which hosts the girls of Bad Weather Burlesque in the Fantastic Femmes Fashion Show at 10 p.m. Friday, followed by a set from Fargo funny troupe Kamikaze Snowmen. A masquerade party gets things going at 9:30 p.m. Saturday with a Warriors and Wenches strut-off at midnight for those 18 and older and with $2 to donate to fight breast and prostate cancer.

ValleyCon always aims for the stars with, well, sci-fi stars and this year brings in Nicole de Boer from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Stephen King’s Dead Zone” and fest fave, actor comedian Dean Haglund, the computer hacking Richard Langly from the Lone Gunmen in “The X-Files”.

Also appearing this year is comic illustrator Paul Fricke, authors Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta and Rhiannon Paille and psychic Tiffany Johnson.

Those looking to take a load off can take in some of the Fargo Fantastic Film Festival. Or blow off some steam with Shoot-a-Trooper, a fundraiser which allows you to fire nerf guns at Imperial soldiers to aid the Grand Forks Humane Society.

Even anonymous armies of sci-fi bad guys have a heart.

If you go

What: ValleyCon 38

When: Friday - Sunday

Where: Hjemkomst Center, 202 1st Ave. N., Moorhead, until 9 p.m., after which events are held

at the AmericInn Lodge and Suites, 600 30th Ave. S., Moorhead

Info: Passes range from $10 for Friday daytime passes to $50 for a weekend pass.

Online: For more information: www.valleycon.com

Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533