Manticoran News Bureau

“Can’t Stop The Signal“




With so much brass in one place, it was necessary to have a photo op. (Photo: Martyn Griffiths)


The Creator Came Down to Raleigh

by Cmdr Darryl Hobbs, HMS Kraken, & Capt (JG) Marcus Johnston, HMS Claymore

What do you get if you take a convention, add some authors, throw in a nerf battle, Rocky Horror picture show, a bright yellow Shore Patrol, about two hundred plus Honorverse Fans, and pack it into three days? You get HonorCon 2015, the annual meeting of TRMN. HonorCon is an experience every spacer should have once; it’s a chance to truly expand your understanding of the Honorverse and of our particular branch of fandom. “Geared to fans of military science fiction in general, and to David Weber's Honorverse in particular,” IS/2 Scott Ash explained, HMS Achilles, “HonorCon brings together members of the… Royal Manticoran Navy and others wishing to role-play within the Honorverse and get additional insight into the author's mind.”


Members from all over the country migrated to the Midtown Hilton in northern Raleigh, North Carolina to mingle with old friends and make new ones.  “My third attendance at HonorCon and first as Steadholder was fun,” Captain Martyn Griffiths, commanding DesDiv 413 in Great Britain, reported. “I was co-opted in the photo session of the Space Lords because I was Steadholder. I met up with a number of old friends such as Jim Kratzer and his wife Sandy who I had not seen for a few years.” Captain (JG) Marcus Johnston, commanding HMS Claymore, echoed his sentiment. “Living in Arizona makes a trip to the East Coast very difficult. However, my work keeps bringing me out to the Carolinas, and for that, I’m very grateful. Once I got a contract in Greenville, SC, the first thing I did was cancel my previous con plans and signed up for HonorCon.”


Now for something completely different… a picture of people taking pictures of the brass. (Photo: Scott Ash)


Attendees could take part in on any number of the Games that were running during the Con ranging from WarHammer40K, SITS 101 & 201 (run by Commander Jon Stout, HMS Rigel) to The Honorverse RPG (also run by Jon Stout) not to mention a very strange game called “I Drank What?”. Con goers could also attend panels on a variety of different topics from: BuSup - who we are and what we do, TRMN Costuming 101, and So You Want the White Beret, to Evil GM’ing and How to Create Strong Characters in an Epic Space Opera, and not kill them. During the Con, kids ages 2-15 could spend the day in the Kids room learning about Building space stations, Treecats in space, and Rockets. If one was brave enough, they could attend the Nerf War disguised as a RMN Boarding Action. IS/2 Ash noted that it was an “attempt to conquer or defend a small ballroom with Nerf guns and perhaps not a small bit of alcohol.” The wackiness was palpable. “Seeing The First Lord of the Admiralty Martin Lessem and the Duchess SaraKate armed to the teeth with Nerf weapons is truly a site to be seen,” Commander Darryl Hobbs, XO of HMS Kraken, laughed. For those with a different kind of courage, the Rocky Horror Picture Show was shown, complete with audience call backs, and even a Halloween Masquerade ball.



A rare sighing of two marines on the same ship. (Photo: Scott Ash)


Authors that took up residence in Author Alley this year included the Father and Creator of the Honorverse David Weber; Spacer 2/c Lori Janeski, HMS Hector, noted that “David Weber is a wonderful person, and I know this because I happened to be exiting the main ballroom right behind him, and thanked him for answering my question during the panel.  All of a sudden, I found myself with his undivided attention, and got to listen to him talk for almost an hour.  I can’t imagine another convention where the author who inspired the fan club cares so much about individual fans, and not just about them as a group.  He was completely engaging not just as a panel speaker, but one-on-one as well.” Of course, His Grace wasn’t alone; Taylor Anderson, A.G. Riddle and Ian J. Malone were also in attendance, along with David Drake who dropped in on Saturday and Marko Kloos. Author Chris Kennedy also was there and held a launch party on Friday for his newest book “Beyond the Shroud of the Universe”.


Captain (SG) Joel Lyons, commanding HMS Specter, and his crew helped man the ConSuite as well as set up and run the Horizons Bridge Simulator. “He turned the ConSuite into a full kitchen!” Captain Johnston smiled with the memory. Captain (SG) Mark Polanis, commanding HMS Kraken, was in charge of the Shore Patrol. Understaffed, overwhelmed, and exhausted, he and his Bright Yellow Beret clad staff provided security for the con. As Captain Polanis was fond of quoting the movie Bull Durham as he dragged himself to the next station, “When you speak of me, speak well.” Nina Gordon and Tammy Massey held down the fort in the kid’s room. Brandi Henson and her army of volunteers as well as the entire Con staff all came together to pull of the miracle that is HonorCon.



Marcus Johnston poses with his ship crest, signed by the Creator. (Photo: Scott Ash)


Janeski noted “the convention itself… was pretty small, and therefore probably easier to navigate than, say, DragonCon.  This was my first-ever convention, and it’s probably a good thing that I started with it, and not DragonCon.  There were always people (like Shore Patrol) around to help you if you were lost, in addition to the handy maps and things, so you knew where to go to find the panels of your choice.”


If you missed all the fun of HonorCon this year, don’t fret. Tickets have already gone on sale online for HonorCon 2016 being held 28-30 OCT 2016. If you just can’t wait till next October don’t forget that MantiCon 2016 runs 27-29 MAY 2015 at the Hilton inside the Mall of America in Minneapolis. “I’d love to see how MantiCon is compared to HonorCon, but I’ll definitely try to be back in Raleigh next year,” Spacer Janeski concluded.


Some steadholders had more fun than other con attendees. (Photo: Martyn Griffiths)


Article Copyright © 2015, Bureau of Communications, The Royal Manticoran Navy: The Official Honor Harrington Fan Association, Inc.
CAPT (JG) Marcus Johnston, OC, CGM, Director of Publications, BuComm. All pictures used with permission or used in a way that qualifies as fair use under US copyright law.