Q: So what is Stone Hill?
A: The Stone Hill Science Fiction Association is a Tampa area club. Founded in 1979, it's a gathering of people that share interests in science fiction, fantasy & horror. These interests range from movies, TV, comics, gaming, computers and everything in between.
Q: Ok, I understand it's a club, but what does the name mean?
A: The name Stone Hill comes from the Jules Vern novel "From Earth to the Moon". (if you go to this link, search for the words "stones hill") In the story, Barbicane builds his cannon on the west cost of Florida near Tampa Town. He builds it 65 feet into the ground at a place called, you guessed it, Stone Hill (or depending on the translation, Stones Hill.) Having never been to Florida, Mr. Verne did not know that; A- there are no hills around this part of the state, and B- the water table starts at 2 feet below ground level. Be that as it may, it still struck the founding members as a good name for a club. It had an obscure but classic reference and was appropriate to the area. Thus a name was born.
Q: When do you meet?
A: We meet the second Sunday of each month. The only exception to this will be if our October convention, Necronomicon, falls on the second weekend. Then we meet that month on the first Sunday. Any variation will be noted on the meeting page.
You should also know that the party starts about 1-2pm. The club business meeting (usually kept to a minimum) takes place about 4pm. Breakup time is about 6-7pm, but it's been known to go later. (The hosting member has full rights to kick people out if it's getting too late.)
Q: Where do your meeting take place?
A: Meetings take place at the homes of members in the Tampa-St. Pete area. All meetings in even numbered months take place in Plant City. These meetings host blood drives with BloodNet USA.
The Meetings page will be updated regularly with the dates and locations of upcoming meetings. Each location has a map page to help you get there.
Q: How can I join the club?
A: It's very simple. Show up. Bring food. That's all there is to it. How much you are involved will depend on how often you come to the meetings.
Q: What kind of food should I bring?
A: Bring something you would like to eat. If you won't eat it, chances are nobody else wants it either. Think of the meeting as a potluck supper. Anything from snack food to gourmet dishes is great. It's always nice to have some "real food" in addition to junk food, especially at Blood Drive meetings. Also, it's good to bring a beverage to share. Soft drinks, water and juices are the usual favorites.
Q: Are there dues? Fees? Initiations? Brandings?
A: There are NO dues paid by members. See the above question.
Q: Neat! But who's in charge, how do you run things?
A: Stone Hill is a rare breed of club. There are no dues or fees associated with it. There are no elected officers. The group is a type of democratic anarchy. Anyone is welcome to suggest stuff to do, but that person had better be ready to spearhead the project. That means getting a majority of members to agree to his or her idea.
Stone Hill(the orginization) should not be confused with Necronomicon, the annual SF, fantasy & horror convention hosted by Stone Hill members. Stone Hill is not a legal entity. Necronomicon, Inc. is a non profit organization registered with the State of Florida. Business that affects Necronomicon takes place at Stone Hill gatherings. Necronomicon has a treasurer and a board of directors and a registered agent, as is required by the State of Florida. Stone Hill members are not required to take part in hosting Necronomicon, though most do help.
Q: Do you have secret handshakes and decoder rings?
A: Yes, but we can't show you until after your branding.
Q: What else do you do at meeting?
A: The main thing is have fun with like-minded friends. Also there is the part mentioned earlier about food. Beyond that, it depends on whose house we are at (summer time @ Plant City = swimming pool) and whatever people are interested in doing. Sometimes there is board gaming or computer gaming. As our October convention gets closer, we tend to focus on preparations for it.
As mentioned above, on the even numbered months, we host donate to blood with BloodNet USA. Since the mid-80s, Stone Hill has donated several hundred pints of blood to the community. We hope that all of our members can take the time to help out in this worthy cause.
Q: What do you do outside of meetings?
A: Well, there's this little thing mentioned earlier called Necronomicon. Follow the link to for more information on this event. We've helped with movie premier promotions, events at Florida SF conventions, and local public TV pledge drives. There have been group outings to movies, MOSI, the Bay Area Renaissance Festival, and local attractions.
Q: Hmm, that's about it. Can I go now?
A: No, you're going to think of one more thing to ask.
Q: Oh, one last thing. Who can I email about the club?
A: Further questions and correspondence can be sent to Ann Morris at email@example.com