The 2018 SFWA Nebula Conference

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s 52nd Annual Nebula Conference was held in Pittsburgh, PA in 2018.

When: Thursday, May 17th, 2018—Sunday, May 20th, 2018

Where: Pittsburgh Marriott City Center, 112 Washington Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Conference Registration: $240.00 +$13.16 fee.   Registration


About

SFWA members and other individuals who are interested in the field of science fiction and fantasy are welcome to attend SFWA’s Nebula Conference. Attendees may participate in workshops, programming and special events throughout the weekend.

Focusing on three tracks relevant to professionals in the genre, attendees will be able to choose from career management, professional development, and expert knowledge panels and workshops throughout the weekend.

This conference is fully accessible and we will strive to make this event comfortable, safe, and engaging for all attendees.


Programming

Here’s the full schedule of panels and events: 2018 schedule.


Mass Autographing

There will be a (free) mass autograph session for attending authors on the Sunday afternoon at 1:00pm. This signing is open to the public as well as to the Nebula Conference attendees. If you’re an attending author and would like to participate, please sign up for the mass autograph session when you register with Eventbrite.

SFWA will operate an onsite book store that will carry as many of the participating authors’ books as possible.

Sunday, May 20th, 1-3 PM
Pittsburgh Marriott City Center, Grand Ballroom
112 Washington Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15219


Accessibility and Harassment Policies

Our policies on harassment and accessibility are located here:


Accessibility

Skooter/Wheelchair Rental

Pittsburgh Wheelchair Exchange

Our site is fairly compact–-restaurant/bar/Starbucks on 1st floor, function space on 2nd floor, hospitality on 10th floor–-but if you want to rent a scooter or wheelchair, the Pittsburgh Wheelchair Exchange will deliver!

If you have any questions/concerns about Accessibility, write to us.


Transportation

Discount for Parking at Your Local Airport

ParkON.com is offering a discount for Nebula attendees who are flying to Pittsburgh. Use ParkOn Parking at your home airport to receive this discount when you travel to the Nebulas.

With over 200+ parking lots at major airports across the US to choose from, use ParkON.com as a resource for reserving affordable airport parking. To save up to 15% off airport parking rates,  go to ParkON.com use the promo code SFWANC at checkout. No other credentials are needed for the lots. No black-out dates, no restrictions.


Getting to the Hotels

If you’re staying at the main hotel, the Marriott City Center, here are the driving directions.

If you’re staying at the overflow hotel, the Doubletree, here are driving directions.

Note that while the Marriott and Doubletree are easy to walk between, it is hard to drive between the two hotels due to one way roads.


Airport to the Hotel

Pittsburgh has SuperShuttle, taxis, Uber and Lyft.  For even more options, check the Pittsburgh Airport Shuttles page.

28X Airport Flyer Bus

The cheapest way to go from the airport to downtown is to take the 28X Airport Flyer bus, which gets you to downtown in about 40 minutes for $2.75 (cash).

Once you arrive at the airport and get your luggage, follow the signs that say “Ground Transportation.” You’ll see signs for 28X Airport Flyer bus which goes right to the terminal.

If you’re going to the Marriott:

  • Be sure to pull the bell (string along the window to request a stop) after the Seventh & Smithfield stop in downtown.
  • The bus will next stop on Forbes Ave (and, confusingly not on the Boulevard of the Allies as noted on the map), up the street from Chatham Sq.
  • Get off at the stop labeled Uptown Boulevard of the Allies at Duquesne University.
  • The bus will leave you off 2 blocks from the hotel. You’ll see a Barnes and Noble on the corner.
  • Cross Forbes Ave., walk down Chatham Sq. cross Fifth Ave. where Chatham Sq. changes to Washington Pl.
  • You’ll see PPG Paints Arena on the right. Walk about a block up Washington Pl.
  • You’ll see a sign for the Marriott on your left, take a left into the driveway.

If you’re going to the Doubletree:

  • Be sure to pull the bell (string along the window to request a stop) after the Wood St. stop in downtown.
  • Get off at the Smithfield & Seventh St. stop, walk up 7th St., cross Grant St.
  • Take walkway to the left of the UPMC building on Grant St., cross Bigelow Boulevard.
  • Entrance to the Doubletree is on the left side of the building.

Taking the 28X from Hotels to the Airport 

The fare for the bus back to the airport is $2.75 in cash.

From the Marriott

To get back to the 28X bus stop from the Marriott, don’t go back to the spot where you were dropped off (Forbes and Chatham Sq.). You need to go into downtown to get to the outbound 28X stop. The directions are a little tricky; the bus-stop is at 411 Seventh St. (in front of a Bruegger’s Bagels) near the intersection with Smithfield St. If you have GPS on your phone, that’s the easiest way to find it. The outbound 28X stop is about .4 miles from the hotel.

  • Exit the hotel lobby and turn left in the parking lot, away from Washington Place. Across from the left edge of the building, you’ll see a walkway over the highway that ends on Centre Ave.
  • Take the walkway, then a left onto Centre, and cross Centre at the first crosswalk which takes you by the Doubletree Hotel.
  • Walk down Chatham St. on the right side of the Doubletree, cross both lanes of Bigelow Boulevard. You’ll see the UPMC building (formerly Steel Tower) in front of you.
  • Take the sidewalk that goes to the right of the UPMC building. This sidewalk ends near the intersection of Grant and Seventh. Cross Grant, then cross Seventh so you’re on the right-hand side of Seventh. Walk about two blocks on Seventh where you’ll see a series of bus-stops. Check for the one that says 28X, it’s roughly in front of a Bruegger’s Bagels.

From the Doubletree

  • Take a left out of the lobby
  • Cross both lanes of Biglelow Boulevard. You’ll see the UPMC building (formerly Steel Tower) in front of you.
  • Take the sidewalk that goes to the right of the UPMC building. This sidewalk ends near the intersection of Grant and Seventh. Cross Grant, then cross Seventh so you’re on the right-hand side of Seventh. Walk about two blocks on Seventh where you’ll see a series of bus-stops. Check for the one that says 28X, it’s roughly in front of a Bruegger’s Bagels.

Parking

Marriott

The entrance into the Marriott portion of the garage is on Washington Place.

  • Hotel self-parking, fee: 6 USD hourly, 22 USD daily with in & out privileges
  • Hotel valet parking, fee: 26 USD daily

Doubletree 

The entrance into the Doubletree garage is off of Centre Ave, on the opposite side of the hotel from the lobby entrance.

  • Hotel valet parking, fee: 26 USD daily (so self-parking option at the Doubletree).

Other Parking Options

Closest cheaper option is 3 blocks away | MAP
Garage at Manor Complex
564 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

If you’re only parking temporarily at the hotel (under 2 hours), it’s cheaper to park down on 5th Ave. (1 block down Washington Pl from the hotel) during the week and Saturday until 6pm.  Street parking in Pittsburgh, where permitted, is free after 6pm daily and all day Sunday.

Mass Transit Stations to the Hotels

Train Station to the Hotels I Map

If you’re arriving in Pittsburgh via Amtrak, the train station is about a half mile walk or cheap cab ride to the hotels.

Greyhound Station to the Hotels | Map

The Greyhound Station is across from the Amtrak station, and is also about a half mile walk or a cheap cab ride to the hotels. 

MegaBus Dropoff to the Hotels | Map

MegaBus dropoff/pickup is at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, about .6 miles walk or a cheap cab ride to the hotel.


Pittsburgh Restaurants

Pittsburgh has a wide variety of restaurants, from cheap to very, very expensive.  We also have food trucks, but food trucks tend to be uncommon in the downtown area.  To track food trucks in the Pittsburgh area, download Mobile Nom for your smartphone.

Marriott Restaurants

Starbucks–-off the lobby of the hotel.

6am – 5pm Mon-Fri
7am – 1pm Sat-Sun

Crafted North—to left of the lobby as you enter the main door.

Burgers, Cocktails, Craft Beer

11am-midnight Sun-Thur
11am-2am Fri-Sat

Steelhead Grille—behind Crafted North

Breakfast buffet, Lunch, Dinner

Doubletree Restaurant

The Doubletree is our overflow hotel.  Take a left out of the Marriott lobby door, take the walkway over the highway, cross both lanes of Center Ave. and the Doubletree is in front of you.  The lobby door is on the right side of the building (Bigelow Boulevard side).

Bigelow Grille

6am—11pm Mon—Fri
7am—11pm Sat—Sun

Bar opened later Thursday, Friday & Saturday

Omni William Penn Restaurants

This is a large old hotel within 3 blocks of the Marriott on Grant St, on the other side of the Doubletree. It was the site of the 1960 Worldcon and it has a number of interesting eating/drinking spots.

Starbucks–with extended hours

5am-8pm Mon-Thu
5am-7pm Fri
6am-6:30pm Sat
6:30am-3pm Sun 

Wigle Whiskey Tasting Room

noon—8:3pm Thur—Fri
1pm—11pm Sat
1pm—7pm Sun

Taste award-winning local whiskey, try a sample of Threadbare cider, try a cocktail or buy a bottle to bring home.

Other Omni bars:  The Tap Room, Speakeasy

Food:  Terrace Room, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily (no dinner Sunday & Monday)

Palm Court Traditional Afternoon Tea  2:30pm-4pm, Mon-Sat (reservations:  412-281-7100)

Fresh and New – drink and snack specials all week long


Downtown Restaurants | MAP

There are many restaurants within four blocks of the hotel. Pittsburgh has one of the best restaurant scenes in the country.  A few are highlighted on the linked map, but there are many more.  Zagat named Pittsburgh its top food city for 2015.  TripAdvisor suggestions for downtown Pittsburgh.  DiscoverTheBurgh’s best restaurant list (though many of these are not in downtown).

There are probably 100 restaurants within 2 miles of the hotel.  The four downtown restaurants we’d particularly recommend for a fancy dinner are The Carlton (classic meat with an amazing wine list), Poros (Greek food specializing in fish), Valozzi’s (Italian with a mozarella bar), and Nine on Nine (while a dinner-only spot most days, it’s open from 11am-3pm Sunday). Note that none of these restaurants are open for dinner on Sunday.

Fine restaurants open for Sunday dinner in the downtown area include Or, the Whale (a new place with interesting fish, meat & cocktail choices), Le Lyonnais (classic French at the Marriott Courtyard on Penn), Lydia’s (great Lydia Bastianich Italian food), Nicky’s Thai Kitchen Downtown (great Thai) and Eleven (upscale American with a great wine list and bakery).

Pittsburgh now has a pierogi bar! Stuff’d Pierogi Bar serves at least 16 kinds of pierogies, even for dessert pierogies.  It’s over at 130 7th St., .6 miles from the hotel.

Taco joints have opened all over downtown Pittsburgh, and all of them are in or near the Cultural District.  The closest to the Marriott is Condado’s, corner of Liberty & 10th, Bakersfield  is around the corner from Condado’s on Penn and tako is on 6th but it is not open for lunch.  All of them have an excellent variety of tacos and have liquor licenses.

The Milkshake Factory, 314 Fifth Ave., less than a half mile from the hotel.  Millie’s  Homemade Ice Cream has a spot on Forbes just outside of Market Square and is just over a half mile away

Restaurants outside of downtown you might want to try include:  Morcilla’s (Lawrenceville – upscale tapas), Gaucho Parrilla Argentina  (Strip District at 16th St. Bridge – great Argentinian food; they also run the Asado food truck), Casbah (East Liberty – Middle Eastern & Italian with an amazing bakery) and Superior Motors (Braddock – an acclaimed new restaurant).

Pittsburgh has a reputation as a “shot and a beer” town, though most of the restaurants and bars in downtown have a variety of foods and drinks. But Pittsburgh has joined the upscale bar trend. Blend Bar has a variety of scotches and is one of the few bars where can buy a cigar and smoke it on site. It also has a dress code and it’s open Mon-Sat noon-midnight and Sun 3pm-10pm.  Eddie V’s Prime Seafood is just a few blocks away on Grant and has an elegant bar and eclectic happy hour treats 4:30pm-6:30pm every night.

Check Harper Bazaar’s “The Ultimate Guide to America’s Most Underrated City” for further reading.

If you want restaurant or other recommendations for things to do in Pittsburgh, write to Nebula Conference Local Coordinator, Laurie Mann.


Other Things to Do in Pittsburgh

If family members are coming with you, or you just need a break, here are some places to go/things to do in Pittsburgh in mid-May.

Duquesne University

The campus is just three blocks away, and sits on a bluff over the Monongehela River, offering an interesting view of the area.

Pittsburgh Pirates

PNC Park is a 1.2 mile walk from the hotel.  The Pirates are home all during the Nebula conference, playing the White Sox on 5/15 & 5/16, and the Padres from 5/17–5/20.

Events in the Cultural District

The Cultural District is an area between 6th Ave., Penn Ave., and 7th Ave. and is about .6 miles from the hotels.  It has several theaters and a variety of concerts and other events.

There is also a Children’s Festival on Penn Ave. during the weekend.

Science Friday

An NPR radio show on science hosted by Ira Flatow is being recorded on May 19 in Homestead at the Carnegie Music Hall just outside of Pittsburgh.  Unfortunately, it’s being recorded against the Nebula Banquet. We’re mentioning this here in case you have family members who are coming to Pittsburgh but didn’t plan to go to the Nebula Banquet (or someone invents a time machine before May so we can be in two places at the same time).

The Warhol

117 Sandusky, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
1 mile walk from hotels
Saturday-Thursday 10am-5pm
Friday 10am-10pm
Admission: $20, $10 children, students and seniors over 65
Half price Friday 5pm-10pm (cash bar and snacks available)

This museum houses Andy Warhol’s work and was one of the first single-artist museums in the world. Other mid-May events.

Heinz Heinz History Center

1212 Smallman St., Pittsburgh, PA 15222
About 1.5 miles from the hotel.
Daily 10am-5pm
Admission: $16, kids 6-17: $6.50

Many exhibits on history including native American, immigrant and sports history of Western Pennsylvania.

Carnegie Science Center

One Allegheny Ave.Pittsburgh, PA 15212
2 mile walk from hotel

Open 10-5 daily (until 7 on Saturday

Museum with Bodyworks, RoboWorld and a WWII submarine that you can tour.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History

4400 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Buses going to Oakland from the hotel area leave from Forbes and Washington Pl (2.5 blocks from hotel, where the 28X Airport Flyer would have left you off for the Marriott)

Any 61 or 71 bus will get you to the Carnegie Music Hall stop (you’ll see a brontosaurus behind the bus stop). Entrance to the Natural History Museum is to the left of the Music Hall.

Monday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Tuesday: CLOSED
Wednesday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Sunday: noon–5 p.m.

The Natural History Museum has one of the best dinosaur exhibits in the country, along with exhibits  on geology, gems, animals and ancient Egypt. An art museum and library are adjacent.

Rivers Casino

777 Casino Dr., Pittsburgh, PA 1521
2.1 mile walk

Casino on the Northside just past Heinz Field.

Kennywood

An excellent amusement park outside of Pittsburgh, especially great for coaster fans, car needed to get there.

Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village

401 Meadowcroft Road, Avella, PA 15312, 724-587-3412
Saturday: noon-5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m.-5.p.m.
Admission: $15, kids 6-17: $7

About an hour southwest of Pittsburgh (by car only), if you have any interest in one of the earliest archeological sites in North America, this is fascinating and worth the trip.