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Thursday, July 8, 2021

Fantasy Author Gail Z. Martin: Con-Tinual: The Con That Never Ends

The Con That Never Ends
By Gail Z. Martin
Even before the world shut down last year, I’d been talking with friends about creating an online space where we could draw together authors and readers across genres and fandoms. Then everything changed, and that’s when I pulled those friends into creating ConTinual—the online, ongoing, multi-genre convention that never ends.

Since April 27, 2020 ConTinual has hosted well over 300 panels, with over 400 unique authors, fan guests, and performers. We’ve created programming on fandoms, writing craft, mystery, fantasy, romance, science fiction, comics and horror. And we’ve hosted everything from live author readings and musical performances to Barcon hangouts and filking.

We leaned into the Fall/Winter holiday season hard because we knew people wouldn’t be celebrating in the usual ways. ConTinual hosted an array of programming for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, then came back for specially themed panels and events for Valentine’s Day, Spring Equinox, Pride Month, and more.

We’ve also featured more than a dozen panels with ‘aca-fan’ (academic/psychology professionals who are also die-hard fans) guests to talk about issues like grief and surviving the apocalypse since 2020 was a hard year for everyone. There have been panels on seasonal themes and others on deeper topics.

Guests have ranged from first-time authors with new releases to in-depth interviews with New York Times/USA Today bestselling writers. ConTinual has also worked with a number of regional conventions to partially host their online programming when help was needed with virtual events.

The goal is to create a vibrant, diverse crossroads for fans, creators, readers, authors, performers, and artists which provides some of the best parts of a convention without the expense, travel, and physical barriers of in-person events. We’ve experienced steady growth, and we plan to be around even when the world goes back to a new normal.

Some of Gail Z. Martin's series

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Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy, steampunk and more for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria.

Together with Larry N. Martin, she is the co-author of Iron & Blood, Storm & Fury (both Steampunk/alternate history), the Spells Salt and Steel comedic horror series, the Joe Mack Shadow Council series, and the Wasteland Marshals near-future post-apocalyptic series. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance, with the Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail, Kings of the Mountain and Fox Hollow series. Gail is also a con-runner for ConTinual, the online, ongoing multi-genre convention that never ends.

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