The Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy provides many activities for SF&F fans in Israel, including conventions, book clubs, lectures and more. Below is a summary of some of our main activities.
The society organizes four annual conventions. Each year, every convention is held under a certain theme of concept. Occasionally, other conventions are organized on a one-time basis.
Videos of lectures, panels, shows and other events from these conventions can be viewed at the Society’s PhantomVOD.
The Icon Festival for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Role-Playing is an annual convention which takes place every Sukkot holiday in the center of Tel-Aviv. Established in 1997 (first named Sector972), it is the largest convention held in Israel. It is organized by the Society in collaboration with the Israeli role-playing society. Its 3 to 5 days program is diverse, intended to attract people of all ages and interests. Icon usually consists of hundreds of activities including lectures, panel discussions, contests, professional workshops, comical and musical shows, movie screenings, role-playing games for all ages, “battle ring” as well as comics and anime events, providing a huge celebration for the science fiction and fantasy lovers and even much broader audiences. Many Israeli SF&F authors, artists, play-writers and movie makers participate at Icon. Icon hold the largest bazar of SF&F related merchandise with dozens of stores and independent creators selling new and used books, comic books, action figures, artwork, cloths, jewelry and more. One of our most popular features at Icon is to meet world-class known authors, directors and actors. In previous years, we’ve had several guests during the festival or in surrounding events throughout the year, including Orson Scott Card, Neil Gaiman, John de Lancie, Tim Powers, Guy Gavriel Kay and others.
The Gefen award and the Einat Peleg writing contests prizes are awarded during Icon.
Established at 2009, Meorot is a one-day convention dedicated mostly to the relationship between science and science-fiction. Meorot is held on the first Thursday of Hannuka, in Edmond J. Safra of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Meorot program is composed of (almost) exclusively lectures, panels and workshops.
Established in 2004, Olamot is a 2-3 day convention held at the center of Tel-Aviv during Passover holiday. It is organized in collaboration with the Israeli Tolkien society and various other fan communities. Its rich program includes lectures and panels, workshops, live shows and screenings. Olamot features a filking writing and singing contests called “born to filk”, as well as interactive games, and comical and musical shows. Similar to Icon, Olamot holds a bazar of SF&F related merchandise.
Bidyon is a half-day SF&F literature-oriented convention, which includes lectures and panels only, hosted by writers, editors and guests from the academic world. The first Bidyon convention took place at the Mofet Theater in Ramat Gan during May 2004, with guest of honor Paul Kearney. Later events took place at Biet-Ariela library and cultural center in Tel-Aviv. Bidyon is held during the “Israeli Book week” which is traditionally held annually at the beginning of June. As of 2015, the convention will be re-named to “Bidyon in honor of Keren Embar”. Keren, a previous Society chairwoman and Bidyon manager, was a postdoctoral researcher who died tragically during her studies on the behavior of rodents.
Fantasy.con was an annual convention dedicated solely to fantasy. It was held during the years 2001-2003 during the Passover holiday. In 2004 it merged with a competing convention, Stardust, to form Olamot.
About fans, for fans, by fans! This convention, a joint enterprise of the Society, Starbase972 and other related organizations, was aimed at the younger audience. It usually included screenings of films and TV series, filk and story-reading events, writing workshops, and other fandom-oriented activities, including panels and workshops about sf&f conventions. Fancon was held over the years 2002-2006 and 2010.
Book clubs: The society organizes a monthly book clubs, each month featuring a notable translated or original book. Book clubs are held at several locations around the country. Details about the next book club are advertised at the Society’s website and in the monthly letter sent to members.
Parties and picnics: the society occasionally organizes themed parties or outdoor picnics. Details of such events are advertised at the Society’s website and in the monthly letter sent to members.
Lectures and screenings: on occasions, the Society collaborates with other organizations to provide discounts to screenings or lectures on SF&F throughout the country. Details of such events are advertised at the Society’s website and in the monthly letter sent to members.