Thursday, June 9, 2016

John’s Convention Schedule

Nerd Convention Season is picking up, so it’s time to figure out where we’re going. Last summer got kind of ridiculous for me, so I’m scaling back travel a bit to focus on my health, and finishing a certain novel.

A note particularly for newer con-goers: I know being new sucks. You don’t know anybody, you feel like every attempted conversation is butting in, and you don’t know what the big events are. So if you’re going to any of these cons and don’t know many people, comment on this post, or tweet me, or shoot me an e-mail. Hell, if you see me chatting with a crowd in the lobby, come on over and I’ll introduce you to the conversation. I know how awkward it is standing on the outside of a ring of people. I’m happy to make these spaces more inclusive.

4th Street Fantasy. June 17-19, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
I’ve only gone once and this might already be my favorite con in existence. There is one track, and all ~200 attendees go to the same set of panels. Panelists dig deeper into the craft of storytelling than most cons, and the conversation rolls over from panel to panel, since everyone knows anything brought up earlier. For its small population, it attracts a high percentage of professionals, many of whom like to drunkenly sing in the cafe after midnight.

Readercon. July 7-10, Quincy, Massachusetts.
After years in Burlington, they’re moving to a new space that’s hopefully a little less cramped. ReaderCon attracts brilliant writers like Kelly Link, Ken Liu, and Elizabeth Bear, who pontificate generously on panels and at the bar. This is the only con I'm doing this summer where I'm not on panels, so I'll take this one more laid back. I'll be fun to watch everyone freak out over Guest of Honor Tim Powers.

WorldCon, August 17-21, Kansas City, Missouri.
Ending the summer with the big one. This will be my first WorldCon as a panelist, and my first WorldCon with the Rabid Puppy fights going on. People come from around the world, which means seeing more old friends than any other time in the year. I also hope to get some writers together to sneak out for a movie at some point...
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