Photo: zilant.konvent.ru
Zilantkon (Zilantcon), also known as simply Zilant, is the largest international convention in Russia dedicated to fantasy, science fiction, and live action role-playing games. It is held every November in the city of Kazan, Tatarstan.

Zilantkon was founded by the local fantasy and science fiction club Stranniki (“Wanderers”). The inaugural convention was held in 1991 with support from the Kazan State University. The event was named after a Tatar mythological creature named Zilant, a winged snake that reminds of something between a dragon and a wyvern. Zilant has been the official symbol of Kazan since 1730, it can be seen on the city’s flag and coat of arms.

The inaugural event attracted about 100 attendees, but it was just the beginning. Since its inception, Zilantkon has become one of the largest fantasy and LARP conventions in the former Soviet countries. Every year, it attracts more than 2,000 participants from all over Russia and abroad. Zilantkon is organized by a committee that comprises people from various Russian cities.

Zilantkon was originally conceived as a “synthetic” convention that unites science fiction and fantasy fans, LARP players and organizers (game masters), tolkienists, re-enactors, minstrels, etc. The event offers a rich and diverse program that includes seminars, tournaments, workshops and master-classes, concerts, shows, presentations, lectures, exhibitions, role-playing games, dance events, and more.

Two literary awards has been presented at Zilantkon since 1995. The Big Zilant Award is given to outstanding science fiction or fantasy books that haven’t received any major literary award, for one reason or another. Past Big Zilant winners have included famous authors, such as Kir Bulychev, Sergei Lukyanenko, H. L. Oldie, Marina and Sergey Dyachenko, and others. The Small Zilant Award is given to the best science fiction or fantasy works by up-and-coming authors. The awards are presented by a professional jury, assigned by the Zilantkon organization committee.

In 2020, the event was partially held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Photo: mik25.livejournal.com




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