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DemiCon facts for kids

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Status Active
Genre Multi-genre
Venue Holiday Inn Northwest, 4800 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines, Iowa 50322
Location Des Moines, Iowa
Country United States
First held 1990
Organizer Des Moines Science Fiction and Fantasy Society, Inc.
Filing status 501(c)(3), Nonprofit
Official website DemiCon

DemiCon is an annual volunteer-run science fiction, fantasy, and gaming convention held in Des Moines, Iowa, in late April/early May. The convention was first held in 1990.

DemiCon's host organization is the Des Moines Science Fiction and Fantasy Society, Inc. (DMSFFS), a nonprofit group that promotes literacy, science, and the arts, especially through the enjoyment of science fiction and fantasy.


DemiCon was founded in 1990 by fans who learned the trade from the likes of Joe Haldeman and graduates of his University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. These fans had formed the Des Moines Science Fiction Society in 1989, and at their first meeting, included a convention among their goals.

The event's name, DemiCon, is derived from the words "Des Moines Convention."

Programming and Activities

DemiCon's decades of growth have led to a wide variety of programming, but some of the offerings remain consistent from year to year. The following programming is standard fare at each DemiCon:

  • Opening Ceremonies, including a performance by Trans-Iowa Canal Company
  • Gaming
  • Masquerade & Cosplay (a structured and staged costume contest)
  • Hall Costume contests (informal, no staging)
  • Art show
  • Dealers' room
  • Panels with the Guests of Honor
  • Presentations by musical guests and professional guests
  • Consuite
  • Room parties
  • Closing Ceremonies

In addition to the staples listed above, DemiCon offers parallel-programming (also known as multiple-track sessions) that can include many diverse topics from Anime to Zombies. DemiCon is a family-friendly event, and offers a wide range of activities with appeal across generations of sci-fi and fantasy fans. A DemiCon member (attendee) might experience:

  • Music room featuring filking
  • Gaming competitions with prizes (from board games to electronic games)
  • Live Action Role Playing (LARP)
  • Fhannish Film Festival
  • Venue D (open-mike entertainment)
  • Discussions of literature, television, movies, media
  • Panels on science, technology, and the future
  • Steampunk and alternate history activities
  • Anime programming and cosplay
  • Children's programming
  • Teen Lounge
  • Presentations pertaining to a wide variety of hobbies and activities, such as:
    • needlework show-and-tell
    • home-brew tasting and judging
    • belly dancing
    • defending the world against zombies
  • Demonstrations of costume and prop construction
  • Iowa's Writers Forum
  • Live theatrical performances, such as "TICC After Dark"
  • Video room
  • Blood drive
  • Scavenger hunt


DemiCon has always made its home in the metro area of Des Moines, Iowa, USA.

DemiCon 1 through DemiCon 7 in 1990 to 1996 were held at the Howard Johnson (which is now the Holiday Inn Northwest) on Merle Hay Road. This was also the venue for DemiCon 9 in 1998.

The Inn at University was the venue for DemiCon 8 and 10 in 1997 and 1999.

For DemiCon 11 in 2000 through DemiCon 13 in 2002, the location was the University Park Holiday Inn in West Des Moines (which is now Sheraton).

The Hotel Fort Des Moines in the downtown area was the site of DemiCon 14 through 20 in 2003 through 2009.

In 2010, DemiCon 21 returned to its original location at the Holiday Inn Northwest. This is slated to be the convention's site through DemiCon 35 in 2024.

Guests of Honor and Themes

The following table lists the annual themes, and the guests that have honored DemiCon since the event was founded.

Year No. Theme Author Guest of Honor Artist Guest of Honor Fan Guest of Honor Toastmaster
2021 32 Super Manga Graphic Novels Comics Animation Lettie Prell Alison Johnstun; David Pancake Orlando Winters; Dana Hinterleitner and Bruce Hinterleitner Susan Leabhart; Mitch Thompson
2020 31 Legion of DemiCon Lettie Prell David Pancake Dana Hinterleitner and Bruce Hinterleitner Mitch Thompson
2019 30 It's About Time Gail Carriger -- with Timeless GOHs Gay & Joe Haldeman John Picacio Becky Kinnamon & David Winterton Susan Leabhart
2018 29 Down the Rabbit Hole Christina Henry Christine Mitzuk Susan Leabhart Mitch Thompson
2017 28 Heroes Shall Rise Lars Pearson Ron Wagner Richard Harper Susan Leabhart
2016 27 Zombies Always Ring Twice Adam J. Whitlatch Alan M. Clark Gary and Erin Wickering Tadao Tomomatsu
2015 26 The Magical World of DemiCon Jim C. Hines Megan Lara Michelle Clark Tadao Tomomatsu
2014 25 Hi-Yo, Silver! Celebrate Away! Tee Morris Lojo Russo Kevin Roche and Andy Trembley Susan Leabhart
2013 24 24-Karat DemiCon: Celebrating the Golden Age of Science Fiction David Weber Scott Ross Mitch and Mary Thompson Dennis Lynch
2012 23 Full Moon Fantasy Patricia Briggs Allen Williams Ange and Brian Anderson Tadao Tomomatsu
2011 22 Here Be Dragons Sarah Prineas Sarah Clemens John and Denise Garner Tadao Tomomatsu and Toastmaster Emeritus Rusty Hevelin
2010 21 Everything is Better with Pirates Karl Schroeder Don Maitz Gregg Parmentier Tadao Tomomatsu and Toastmaster Emeritus Rusty Hevelin
2009 20 All My Cons Remembered Joe Haldeman Sara Butcher Roger Tener Tadao Tomomatsu and Toastmaster Emeritus Rusty Hevelin
2008 19 Back Where We Belong Steven Barnes Mitchell Davidson Bentley Joe and Inger Myers Tadao Tomomatsu and Toastmaster Emeritus Rusty Hevelin
2007 18 You Can Go Home Again...Just Use Your Imagination Catherine Asaro Theresa Mather Steve Houle (aka Wookie) Tadao Tomomatsu and Toastmaster Emeritus Rusty Hevelin
2006 17 Enter the Twilight Zone of Imagination Frederik Pohl Janet Chui Ted Poovey and Darice Schirber-Poovey Tadao Tomomatsu and Toastmaster Emeritus Rusty Hevelin
2005 16 Life, the Universe, and DemiCon Brad Linaweaver Mike Cole Sheila Lenkman and Scott Corwin Tadao Tomomatsu and Toastmaster Emeritus Rusty Hevelin
2004 15 DemiCon-A-Fan-alistic-XV-Fun-A-Liscious Emma Bull and Will Shetterly Alan Gutierrez Rusty Hevelin Tadao Tomomatsu
2003 14 Contemplating the FUTURE Octavia E. Butler Lubov Lynda Sherman Rusty Hevelin
2002 13 Con of the Living Dead F. Paul Wilson Alan M. Clark Dennis Lynch Rusty Hevelin
2001 12 DemiCon 2001: A Con Oddity Harry Harrison Sergey Poyarkov Tadao Tomomatsu Rusty Hevelin
2000 11 Y2K Compliance is Futile. This One Goes to Eleven. Lois McMaster Bujold Susan Van Camp Alois and Wendy Tschampl Rusty Hevelin
1999 10 Generation X: Too Old to be Neos...Too Young to be Nostalgic! Spider Robinson and Jeanne Robinson Néné Thomas Bill Broughton Rusty Hevelin
1998 9 Plan Nine from Des Moines George Alec Effinger William J. Hodgson Marshall and Dee Willis Rusty Hevelin
1997 8 Sorry, But We've Chosen Not to Become Evolved - Supporting Your Eternal Right to Entropy Barbara Hambly Mitchell Davidson Bentley Charles Piehl Rusty Hevelin
1996 7 God created the heavens and the earth in 6 days...DemiCon VII. We may have taken 6 years with DemiCon, but on the Seventh Con, We'll Party. Algis Budrys Keith Berdak Otto and Ruth Sheller Rusty Hevelin
1995 6 The Undiscovered Con Roger Zelazny Wilson Tucker Rusty Hevelin
1994 5 The Fifth of DemiCon: The Smoothest Convention Around Glen Cook David Lee Anderson Pierre and Sandy Pettinger Rusty Hevelin
1993 4 The Dawn of Fan Mickey Zucker Reichert Erin McKee Mark Moore Rusty Hevelin
1992 3 My God! - It's Full of Stars Rob Chilson David Cherry Myrna Logan (The Dragon Lady) Rusty Hevelin
1991 2 The Voyage Continues Joe Haldeman Lucy Synk Gay Haldeman Rusty Hevelin
1990 1 Witness the Birth C. J. Cherryh J.R. Daniels Rusty Hevelin
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