This week, there’s a lot to be thankful for if you happen to be a geek in Salt Lake City.
First, we have SaltCON, a homegrown board-gaming convention that takes place downtown every year. It starts Friday, Feb. 17, at 10 a.m., and is a constant gaming party until midnight on Saturday, Feb. 18.
A board-gaming convention is exactly like it sounds: People of all sexes and ages get together for two days to play every conceivable type of board game. As I’ve been saying lately, board games are a superior social experience, and this convention might just be your gateway drug. Attendees play games that range from Scrabble and Monopoly to Settlers of Catan and Dominion, with a game library of hundreds of games to try. There are tournaments, game-designing contests and prizes. One thing I’m interested to see is that they have concierges available to teach people how to play any game they’d like. This might be the time to get in on some Axis & Allies with the new rules, or learn a brand-new game and have a ready supply of people to play it with.
SaltCON takes place at Royal Garden Inn (154 W. 600 South, 801-521-2930) in Salt Lake City. You can register online at SaltCON.com in advance (at a discount), or onsite. I’m going to do my best to be there as much as I can over the weekend, and would love to see City Weekly readers there with me.
The second big thing going on is a book signing of epic proportions. On Saturday, Feb. 18, an entire troop of world-renowned, award-winning, best-selling science-fiction and fantasy authors will be appearing at two Eborn Books locations: South Towne Center (10450 S. State, South Jordan, 801-572-5501, EbornBooks.com), from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Valley Fair Mall (3601 Constitution Blvd., West Valley City, 801-965-9410), from 2 to 4 p.m. Local science-fiction authors L.E. Modesitt, Dave Farland, Paul Genesse and myself will be signing books. Members of the 501st Legion—Star Wars costumers, for those of you not in the know—and other costume organizations will be at the signings to take pictures and have a good time.
The following weekend, on Sunday, Feb. 26, Brewvies (677 S. 200 West, 801-355-5500, Brewvies.com, 21 ) and The Big Movie Mouth-Off are presenting the Academy Awards on the big screen for free. I was there in 2011, dressed in a shirt and a tie as befitting the occasion, and had more fun watching the Oscars than ever before. Doors open at 5 p.m.
That’s not all that’s happening at Brewvies, though. Big Shiny Robot!, City Weekly and Brewvies are continuing our presentations of The Walking Dead on the big screen, every Sunday at 7 p.m. There is no better way to watch the show.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are more and more events coming up every month. Stay tuned in to City Weekly and Big Shiny Robot! for all the news from the Salt Lake City geek scene.
Also: We’d love to start fielding questions about geekdom from the readers. Want to know what comic to pick up? Where should you start with a certain character? Need recommendations for science fiction and fantasy? What board games should you check out? Need help talking to your geek (or non-geek) friend? We’re here to answer your questions!
Bryan Young is editor-in-chief of BigShinyRobot.com.