Festival thanks & upcoming events

The festival is now behind us for another year. Thank yous go out to:

  • our sponsors, On Spec Magazine and the Edmonton Arts Council, without whom we wouldn’t be able to invite the Guests of Honour we love so dearly;
  • our panelists/presenters, for being so generous with their time and expertise. We are so lucky to know so many talented, smart, funny, articulate, opinionated and/or passionate people;
  • our vendors, who seem to have formed a subcommunity of Vendor-Speculators among themselves and could probably organize themselves for future festivals;
  • our amazing entertainers: Brother Octopus, Vanessa Cardui, Make Out City, ~eclipse fusion~, and Liam Creswick, for rocking our socks off so much that we had to run barefoot in the snow on our way home;
  • our cadre of volunteer minions, who not only got their weekend passes reimbursed due to how many hours they worked, but also received a boat load of baked goods courtesy of Pure Spec’s Muffins4Minions / Karma Cupcakes program;
  • our special guests this year, who headlined our festival and made it pop like corn kernels in oil on a stove top: David Gerrold, Dan Riskin, Lucas Cochran, Amber Scott, Dave Gross;
  • you, our Speculators, for showing us how much you love us and our festival. Your smiling faces, your hugs, your photos, your social media posts, and all your kind words fill us with joy and show us just what it is we work for every year. Some of you are our biggest cheerleaders, even though we make you do a whole truckload of work behind the scene, and some of you are masochists who keep asking what ELSE you can do to help us out!

We love you all, and Pure Spec wouldn’t be what it is without you.

If you’d like to share feedback about the festival with us, please email pure.speculation@gmail.com or message us on Facebook.

But the festival isn’t the only thing Pure Spec does! If you’d like to ring in the new year twice, take advantage of the time vortex at our Time Traveller’s Ball on December 27. And on January 18, come to the Annual General Meeting to have your say in Pure Spec. If you were at the festival, you are a member of the Pure Speculation Festival Society and can vote at the AGM.

Late-breaking updates!

With the festival very nearly upon us—remember, Taste of Spec is tonight—here are some last-minute updates to all kinds of things.

  • The Family Programming page now has a schedule for the kids’ activity centre, plus links to all our Family Sunday panels all in one place.
  • The Gaming schedule is up!
  • The Charity Auction has new items from Metro Cinema and The Unknown Studio.
  • The panel schedule has been updated a whole bunch—the Arena panel has moved, the Listmakers panel has gained a description, there’s a new panel from the Saber Guild on Sunday morning, the NPR’s Star Wars reading has been cancelled, more tags have been added, and there’s been minor changes to the panelist lists for a few panels. Check out the schedule for all the details!

We can’t wait to see you at the festival. Hopefully we’ll see you at Taste of Spec at 7:00 tonight. Tickets to Taste of Spec are only $5 for advance weekend pass holders.

Charity Auction Spotlight: Gaming

Regular Pure Specians (Speculites?Speculons?) know that our annual silent auction in support of Crystal Kids has a bit of something for everyone. If you’re a gamer, this year’s auction is definitely something you want to check out. With the expansion of our Gaming stream, and not one but two Gaming Guests of Honour (Amber E. Scott and Dave Gross), we weren’t going to leave the auction out of the fun. And we know gamers are some of the most generous folks around, so we made sure there was something for them.

So for all you gamers out there, stop by the Crystal Kids Silent Auction table in the main dealer room and keep your eyes out for:

- signed books by both Amber and DaveDG CoversAS Covers

- individual seats at a special Charity Game on Sunday of Pure Spec, run by Amber E. Scott and Dave Gross (which usually sell out fast for all our gaming guests, so bid early and often!)

- a big BioWare package, with both Mass Effect and Dragon Age games, t-shirts, and books.

- an out-of-print Star Wars Duels set from HAsbro, for the Star Wars gamers out there (finally, a way to play out the Obi-Wan/Yoda grudge fight I’ve always wanted!)

The big news for gamers in this years auction, however, is the huge lot of classic Squad Leader games. If you are a fan of tabletop strategy games, this is not unlike the Holy Grail of gaming finds. The lot includes classic Squad Leader and Advanced Squad Leader, plus a metric butt-load of supplements and expansion sets. We don’t guarantee every last chit is there, because we don’t have that kind of time (if you’ve played any Avalon Hill game, you know what I’m talking about). But these games are in amazing condition for being over thirty years old, and are a must-have for any serious gamer’s collection. It’s one of the reasons this lot has such a high starting bid ($75), and a reserve price (A reserve in an auction means we won’t sell the item unless the reserve price is met).

So gamers and those with gamers in their life, don’t forget to stop by the Crystal Kids Silent Auction table and place your bids!

Pure Spec 2014 Entertainment: Liam Creswick!

Liam CreswickBased in Edmonton, Liam Creswick has been performing comedy for over 5 years. His stand up act covers topics such as pop culture, technology, the absurdities of our society, and his life as an unabashed nerd. Liam is also a founding member of the dungeons and dragon improv show yegDnD, and regularly appears in successful Edmonton Fringe productions. You can find Liam @liamcreswick or liamcreswick.ca.

Liam will be appearing at Spec Out!, our Sunday evening closing ceremonies. Don’t miss him!

Evening events!

Have you checked out the festival’s evening events?

Taste of Spec on Friday night will kick off the festival with belly dance, music, and something from each of our guests of honour. What kind of something? We don’t know – the only way to find out is to come to Taste of Spec! Tickets are $5 for advance weekend pass holders, and can be purchased online until 9 pm tonight. There will be refreshments and a cash bar.

The SciFi Uniformal is a chance to show off your best science fiction uniform. If you don’t want to wear a costume, you can certainly come dressed for a semi-formal dance. We’ll have two fantastic live musical acts, Vanessa Cardui and Make Out City. There will also be refreshments and a cash bar. Tickets are $20 for advance weekend pass holders, and can be purchased online until 9 pm tonight.

The World Made Magical will offer a quieter Saturday evening option, with readings, refreshments, and door prizes. And it’s free!

Spec Out!, on Sunday evening, is also free. Come wrap up another exciting festival with us! There will be refreshments and a cash bar.

That’s four evening events in three days. We hope to see you at some or all of them!

Spotlight On: Lucas Cochran!

You may remember Lucas Cochran from such audiovisual entertainments as technology segments on Daily Planet, the online show Pimp My PC on the Butterscotch Network, and this video we showed at Spec Out! 2013 to announce Dan Riskin as a guest for Pure Spec 2014:

He and Dan Riskin will be continuing the debate shown there in a Saturday morning panel at Pure Spec called Mother Nature is More Badass Than Anything in the Comics: Dan Riskin vs. Lucas Cochran. He’ll also be sharing his knowledge of Star Wars, comics, and making television with us in three more exciting panels on Saturday: The Science of SuperheroesMillions of Voices Suddenly Cried Out: Reflections on the Loss of Star Wars Canon, and How to Make 4 Minutes of TV That People Will Watch.

Check out our Guests of Honour page for more details about Lucas. And remember, you only have until 9 pm tonight to get your weekend pass at the advance price.

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