There may be a pandemic going on, but that’s not stopping science fiction and fantasy fans from finding creative ways to celebrate their genre fun. This weekend, with the help of streaming services offered by The Fantasy Network (TFN), big name conventions including the 2020 Hugo Awards, World Con (CoNZealand), and Gen Con are all offering live-streaming of sessions and content.
Pandemic Won’t Break 65-Year Streak
On August 1, The Fantasy Network (TFN) is live-streaming the 2020 Hugo Awards, hosted this year by author George R. R. Martin (known best, of course, for his Game of Thrones novels and HBO series). The livestreams and video-on-demand will be free to the public at http://watch.thefantasy.network and within TFN’s free iOS and Android apps. No login or subscription is required.
The Hugo Awards has been awarded every year since 1955 and offers annual literary awards in fantasy and science fiction from the previous year. There are nineteen different categories for authors to win. This year’s online format ensures the awards won’t have to take a hiatus, in spite of COVID-19. The 2020 Awards will be presented at the 78th Worldcon, “ConZealand”, in Wellington, NZ.
First Time’s the Charm for Online WorldCon
The Hugos aren’t the only SFF event making its first virtual foray. For the first time in its 78-year history, the Annual World Science Fiction Convention—hosted this year by CoNZealand—will be held exclusively online, using technology developed by TFN.
CoNZealand attendees will use TFN’s authentication and SSO technology to participate in a unified member experience across multiple platforms, including Discord, Zoom, Grenadine, WordPress, and more. Livestreams and video-on-demand of scheduled events will be available exclusively to members within TFN’s free iOS, Apple TV, Roku, and Android apps (links at bottom of article). Additionally, TFN will stream the Hugo Awards—hosted by George R.R. Martin—for free to the public.
CoNZealand’s Attending Members will use TFN’s exclusive new Discord convention bots and tools to attend panels, meet with authors, participate in parties, and enjoy the informal social connections and networking that make in-person conventions unique events.
Largest Tabletop-Gaming Convention Offers Virtual Film Fest This Year
The Fantasy Network has also partnered with Gen Con Online to host and stream the 2020 Gen Con Film Festival, July 30 – August 2. Just like the Hugos and WorldCon, the livestreams and video-on-demand will be free to the public at TFN and within TFN’s free iOS and Android apps. No login or subscription is required.
Viewers of the Gen Con Film Festival can view over 65 films, varying in length and organized by category. Films will be available starting Thursday, July 30 at noon (Eastern), and will be removed at the conclusion of the show on Sunday, August 2 at 8 pm (Eastern).
The festival will announce the winners of the Film Festival on the GenConTV Twitch channel, on Thursday, July 30 at 6:30 pm (Eastern). Viewers can celebrate all the participants and watch the award winner’s acceptance speeches from across the globe.
Gen Con Online is a new online convention experience featuring four days of streaming shows, remote gaming, community on Discord, favorite exhibitors, artists, and authors, and lots more. Gen Con Online will take place July 30 – August 2, 2020.
More About The Fantasy Network
This year’s pandemic has tossed many events into upheaval, but some organizations are already rising to the challenge with innovative solutions. While the Fantasy Network originated as a video-on-demand streaming platform for independent fantasy filmmakers and fans, the network has responded to COVID-19 by expanding to offer platform support for virtual conventions and film festivals, including the Gen Con Film Festival, ZOEcon, Realm Makers, and CoNZealand.