Why I love cons

Cons, as in conventions, not as in swindles. For those unfamiliar with the term, cons are meetups of fans and enthusiasts, usually involving presentations and panels of varying degrees of academic rigor by professionals and other leading figures in the fandom in question, social events, workshops where skills may be imparted, art shows, and vendors' rooms. There is also lots and lots of informal interaction, sometimes resulting in professional collaborations, sometimes in romantic liaisons, and (more often than you might think) in more permanent relationships, such as marriages, parenthood, and three-book deals.

For some, the informal interactions are the whole point; others take advantage of the mix of activities. Occasionally someone will make the big leap from attending panels to speaking on them (having made that leap myself at last year's Conflux, I can say that it's quite a buzz).

I don't attend too many cons, not least because the expense can add up pretty quickly. But the big con on my calendar this year is rapidly approaching: Aussiecon, which is this year's World Science Fiction Convention. And I'm starting to get all giggly.

I love science-fiction and fantasy cons. I love the latitude to be unusual (and we're talking serious latitude. How many standard deviations from the mean are there, exactly? Find out that number, and tack another couple on either side of the bell curve. That's how much latitude). And, paradoxically, I love having so much in common with everyone there. I love the meeting up with old friends. I love the casual chats in passing with writers whose work you've loved for years. I love realizing that, actually, I do know something about what I'm doing as a writer of science fiction and fantasy. I love the buzz of hundreds and hundreds of excited people immersed in something they love.

If you're reading my blog, you, too, may have an interest in science fiction and/or fantasy. If you're in Australia, or if you're absolutely swimming in cash you have no idea what to do with (or both), you might consider attending Aussiecon.

If you would like more information on cons and how they can be a very beneficial and productive, as well as fun, time for the writer or fan, read this and this.


At 9:57 AM, Blogger Flinthart said...

Ah! You're headed to The Big One as well. Good. I look forward to meeting you ftf. I think that as veterans of C2100, drinks are in order.

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Laura E. Goodin said...

Absolutely, drinks are in order!

At 8:01 PM, Blogger Imagine me said...

Looking forward to seeing you there.


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