When I was fifteen or sixteen I discovered science fictions conventions. It was a revelation. We loved reading science fiction and fantasy but didn’t realize that there were places where people could go who had similar interests that we did. For a few years I went every year to Boskone, which was the local Boston convention, and then subsequently to a few Worldcons.
I stopped going to conventions after I moved out to Los Angeles and developed a taste for rock and roll. For years, far more than I care to count, I didn’t go to any conventions. Then a few years ago I went to a local convention, Loscon, that I remembered as being quite fun. It was smaller than I remembered, and decent enough, but not the fantastically good time I remember from my childhood.
When I saw that the World Science Fiction convention, or Worldcon, was in San Jose I had no good reason not to go. I wanted to go and see how the Worldcon stacked up to Worldcons of memory. So off we went, my brother’s family and me, to the convention.
It was different than I remembered, smaller and more sedate than the conventions of my youth. Then again, I am more sedate, if not smaller. I went to it with the intention of observing but I found out that it was so literary focused that it actually turned out to be a decent networking opportunity. It was mostly writers and fans and I met many interesting people along the way. It was also a good reminder that we are all in this together. I met several people who had accomplished milestones I have yet to achieve, like joining SFWA (Science Fiction Writer’s Association) or winning the Philip K. Dick award yet almost to a person all were humble and willing to help fellow authors.
I’ll go again, if not for the same reasons I did as an eager youth trying to find my tribe. Once upon a time I went, hauling my supply of Anne McCaffrey books to get her to sign them but this time I did not attend the autograph sessions. I still enjoy that, but that isn’t my focus. I watched the many eager fans heading for Brandon Sanderson and rather than want his autograph, wanted his talent and fan base. It’s all a matter of perspective, I suppose.
That’s all for now. Have a great day!