I’m a guest of honor at MoCon III
I’m proud to say that I have been invited to attend as a guest of honor this June at Mo*Con III. Mo*Con is a genre convention organized by (and named after) Maurice Broaddus, who in addition to serving as the pastor/facilitator of a large nondenominational Christian church in Indianapolis is also a horror writer and cultural commentator. Hence his unofficial title, “the sinister minister.”
The two previous Mo*Cons have attracted some guests who are well known among the horror community, including Brian Keene, Wrath James White, Gary Braunbeck, and Lucy Snyder. The convention’s ongoing focus or theme is effectively expressed in the announcement for Mo*Con III at Maurice’s blog:
“Church is a communal expression of faith, to pursue spiritual formation to be the kind of people God wants us to be. To be a safe place to ask and wrestle with spiritual questions. Whose mandate should include building a sense of community, loving each other, and serving the world, all in the name of Christ. So why not have church with a bunch of horror writers?
“Continuing the tradition of exploring spirituality, art, and social issues, The Dwelling Place desires to be a refuge or sanctuary, a place of rest and freedom for people to be themselves, where we connect with God and one another by joining Jesus’ mission to bless the world. The goal of Mo*Con, pure and simple, is to continue conversations. With that in mind, I’ve invited a few friends to chat with me for the weekend.”
The huge increase in the size of this year’s guest list indicates how successful the convention has been in the past. This year’s guests of honor include Nick Mamatas, Mark Rainey, Lucy Snyder, Tina Jens, and yours truly. Additional “featured guests” will include Chesya Burke, Bob Freeman, and Kim Paffenroth, the last of whom you’ve seen me mention here at The Teeming Brain, and whose Stoker-winning exploration of religious themes in George Romero’s zombie films, Gospel of the Living Dead, you really ought to read.
I’m quite pleased to be invited to the event. This year’s theme is “the intersection of spirituality, art, and gender.” I don’t know if I’ll have anything worthwhile to add to the conversation, but I’ll certainly enjoy hearing what others have to say.
I met Maurice several years ago at a World Horror Convention — I think it was in 2002 or 2003 — and we hooked up again at the 2006 World Fantasy Convention. He’s an interesting and impressive guy who’s really into the interface between pop culture, especially horror fiction and film, and spirituality. I suppose this is why we hit it off, and why he thought to invite me to the upcoming convention: our mutual interests overlap at numerous points, as evidenced by a comparative browsing through his writings, including his blog, and my own bibliography of published works.
So here’s to the ongoing exploration of religion and horror. May the fruitful interplay of these powerful psychological, spiritual, and cultural forces never be resolved.