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Genre Science fiction
Location(s) Albuquerque, New Mexico
Country United States
Inaugurated 1969
Attendance 500+/-
Organized by Albuquerque Science Fiction Society

Bubonicon is an annual multigenre convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, typically held during the last weekend of August. It is the largest general-interest science fiction convention in New Mexico and among the oldest in the Southwest.[1][2]


Bubonicon was first held in 1969 as a literary science fiction gathering in Albuquerque called NewMexiCon. Authors Roy Tackett and Robert E. Vardeman were two of the key figures in establishing and promoting Bubonicon in its early days.[3][4] From a gathering of 20 in 1969, Bubonicon grew quickly with roughly fifty people attending in 1971 and over one hundred people attending Bubonicon 5 in 1973.[5] 1973 also introduced Bubonicon's mascot, Perry Rhodent. The name Bubonicon, not officially adopted until 1971, is a nod to Albuquerque's long history of bubonic plague outbreaks, with Perry Rhodent a continuation of this theme.[6][3][7]

In 1976 one of Bubonicon's longest running traditions, the Green Slime Awards, were started in order to honor the worst in Science Fiction from the previous year. This reflected the growth of the convention over the years from largely a literary gathering to one which now included science speakers, often from nearby Sandia National Laboratories and the University of New Mexico giving lectures on everything from physics to microbiology, and encompassed fiction and fantasy of all media.[8]

In the 1990s, Bubonicon averaged three hundred people in attendance and 2003's gathering marked the first time which over four hundred people from all over the United States were making the trek to attend, as well as international guests. Recent conventions average around 500 people in attendance. Bubonicon 42, held in 2010 at the Albuquerque Grand Airport Hotel, featured a theme based on Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.[9][10] Honored guests included authors Peter David and Mario Acevedo.[10][11]

In 2012, Bubonicon attendance surged to over 700, at the new larger venue, Marriott Hotel, at Louisiana and I40. The theme was based on the Mayan Apocalypse idea of the "End of the World as We Know It."


  1. ^ Reed, Ollie Jr. (August 17, 2006). "Visionary author is guest of honor at sci-fi convention". The Albuquerque Tribune. Retrieved July 11, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Convention Listings". Locus Online. 
  3. ^ a b Carr, Jessica Cassyle (August 21, 2008). "The force is with Bubonicon". Weekly Alibi. Retrieved April 6, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Deaths". Locus. June 10, 2003. Retrieved April 6, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Or So You Say". Amazing Stories. June 1972. p. 118. Retrieved April 6, 2011. The Bubonicon was in most ways a direct antithesis to the LACon. Small (perhaps fifty members), friendly, unstructured (except for a luncheon banquet), and relaxed[...] 
  6. ^ Steinberg, David (August 19, 2001). "What is a Bubonicon anyway?". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved March 3, 2010. 
  7. ^ Ash, Brian (1977). Conventions. The Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Harmony Books. p. 278. Retrieved April 6, 2011. 
  8. ^ Huard, Jennifer (September 5, 2009). "I Was a Stranger in a Strange, Storm Trooper-Filled Land". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved April 6, 2011. 
  9. ^ Fox, Adam (August 27, 2010). "Alibi Picks: Bubonicon 42". Weekly Alibi. Retrieved April 6, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Steinberg, David (August 22, 2010). "Fans of Sci-Fi Honor Adams at Bubonicon". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved April 6, 2011. 
  11. ^ "The Answer Is 42". Weekly Alibi. August 26, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2011. 

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