Now in its 25th year, SoonerCon is Oklahoma City’s longest running convention celebrating science fiction, fantasy and pop culture. A lot has changed since its inception.
“Much of what was once considered ‘geekdom’ is now mainstream,” said Jerry Wall, SoonerCon chairman. “This summer’s major movie releases reinforce the fact.”
The three-day convention plays host to a variety of events, including its first-ever zombie prom Saturday night, complete with a king and queen.
Other undead activities include a zombie walk and an indie movie that will be shooting at the convention.
SoonerCon will host two screenings of the feature-length fan film “Browncoats: Redemption” on Friday and Saturday. Created as a sequel to Joss Whedon’s “Serenity,” the 2005 film continuation of his TV series “Firefly,” “Redemption” was made with Whedon’s blessing and the participation of several cast members.
“Fan films are great, because they offer fans a chance to expand on the universe of their favorite franchises, especially the ones that ended before their time,” Wall said.
This year’s guest of honor is award-winning author Tim Powers, whose 1987 novel, “On Stranger Tides,” serves as the basis of the current “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequel.
“We’re very lucky and honored to host Tim Powers,” Wall said. “He’s really on a roll with the release of the new ‘Pirates’ film and his novel ‘Declare’ making the short list for the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction literature.”
Powers will deliver the opening speech on Friday and will participate in several panels. Other notable guests include OKC horror host Count Gregore, “Star Trek” expert Larry Nemecek and special-effects master Tate Steinsiek, an Oklahoma native contestant on Syfy’s “Face Off.”
Unlike many conventions put on by companies simply looking to make a profit off fandom, SoonerCon is a homegrown event aiming to provide a meaningful experience for fans.
“SoonerCon 20 isn’t just for diehard geeks. We want to encourage new and even reluctant folks to give us a try,” Wall said. “When movies like ‘Thor’ and ‘Green Lantern’ are all poised to be huge blockbusters, many people would be surprised how in-tune they are with SoonerCon and fandom in general.”