Before I launch into the next set of recom-mended cons as I promised I would this issue, I’d first like to thank readers for patiently awaiting Issue #115. As you are probably well aware, the Northeast got hit pretty hard by Hurricane Irene this past summer. While my family was one of the fortunate few who came through relatively unscathed, the same cannot be said for all of the Space and Time contributors, some of whom faced serious flooding issues, loss of electricity, and were generally caught up in the mayhem that ensued in Irene’s wake. Because of it all, this issue, which had been chugging along for an on time release prior to the storm, wound up late. I am sorry for this, though of course even a mighty editor cannot hold back the winds and rains. Please feel free to blame the deity or politician of your choice.
Now, for some more convention suggestions:
Ravencon (http://www.ravencon.com/): The little con that can-and does-put many larger and longer-established conventionsto sham e. Lovingly run by fans in Richmond, VA, this spring sensation offers a nice variety of literary programming, gaming, filking, and more. And the parties! Let’s just say the restrictions at hotels in Virginia are a lot less stringent than other locales and leave it at that. For a nice mix of horror, fantasy, and science fiction, with programming appealing to fans and pros alike, this is a great one to check out.
World Fantasy (http://www.worldfantasy.org/): While I haven’t included the granddaddies in my recs-Worldcon, Dragoncon, and the like don’t need me to plug ‘em-I do want to give special mention to World Fantasy, in particular because it is a fantastic opportunity for pros and wanna-be pros in the field (and not just in fantasy, all genres). This is easily one of the best networking opportunities offered, where for the price of admission, you will probably get more out of what goes on between and after events than during…not that during is shabby, by any means. Agents, editors, publishers, and top authors mix and mingle, many of whom you will not see at other conventions, and many a deal has been made and career kicked in the shorts. If you are serious about making it in this biz, go. Trust me.
Readercon (http://www.readercon.org/): Held annually in Burlington, MA, this one’s another convention that is great for networking and draws pros you won’t find at many conventions. Readercon has the added advantage of being comparatively small and tends to offer more scholarly panels on heroes and legends of science fiction, fantasy, and horror than other cons. A true literary convention, Readercon makes no pretense of moving beyond its niche and they successfully satisfy fans and pros looking to bond over the past, present, and future of our genre. Let’s put it this way: where else could you possibly wind up chatting in the lobby with Barry Malzberg, Paolo Baciagalupi, and Ellen Datlow? Exactly.
Necon (http://www.campnecon.com/): Saving my new favorite for last, though I almost loathe to promote it, as I don’t want it to become so crowded I can’t secure my reservation! The Northeastern
Writers’ Convention, affectionately referred to as ‘Camp’ Necon, is an amazing networking opportunity for fans and pros alike. More focused on the horror and dark fantasy genres, you will find yourself relaxing with luminaries in the field so unexpected to be hanging out at a convention I can’t even drop all the big names, because the con protects their privacy. This is a low-programmed con that is really a three-day camp for writers and others, with events like the Necon Olympics (candlepin bowling is about as strenuous as it gets, never fear), Scare-aoke (figure it out), and, best of all, the roast of whichever victim…er, beloved pro…is chosen that year. For an exceptional opportunity to relax and get to know the pros as pals, this is the con to try to get into. Be warned-there’s an attendance cap for a reason.
So that’s my list. What’s yours? Shoot an email to email@example.com and let me know if I missed any great ones. I’ll print your recommendations in upcoming issues. In the meantime, for a list of more conventions, please visit http://www.sfsite.com/depts/cons01.htm.