March 31st, 2010

Montreal Worldcon

The pros of cons

One benefit of joining my writing group was that I learned about conventions. Believe it or not, I really hadn't realized that science fiction fandom approached tribal levels, even though I had been reading in the genre since I was 13.

My first con was the last Disclave; little did I know how that con would be remembered! Next I went to Philcon back when it was in Philly but at the suburban Adams Mark, not the downtown venue. My first Worldcon was Buccaneer, in Baltimore, in 1998. I started going to cons in an effort to network, but what I found was that they were a lot of fun. One thing I noticed was the two friends who introduced me to conventions almost never went to any panels. They knew a huge number of attendees and they could spend hours browsing the dealers' room without complaint, but they almost never bothered to check the program let alone go to a panel.

After I had been to a fair number of panels, I realized one reason is, there is a sameness to many of them. I still attend programming but I have learned to be selective with my time and to sit near the door if the subject— or the panelists— seem likely to devolve into boring rants about things I don't care about.

I thought about all this today because Cheryl Morgan posted an article in the SFWA Bulletin that was a response to some complaints about Worldcon voiced by author Mike Resnick in an earlier article (not online that I could find). I thought Cheryl made some good points. Resnick's main complaint was that events like Comic Con were much larger than Worldcon. Well, duh! The irony to me is that Resnick is annoyed at having a smaller audience at a Wordlcon than he would at Comic Con, when in fact, Worldcon is smaller because it focuses on books instead of movies and TV. As a book author, he should be grateful there is still a good-sized literary con for authors to be Guests of Honor at. He also thinks Worldcon should stay in one city, so it can establish a following.

Personally, I don't want to attend a monster-sized convention. I recently saw a post that referred to Comic Con as having "flesh glaciers." Does that sound inviting? Well, maybe to some folks, but not to me. And I like that it really is a Worldcon, even if that means there are plenty of years when I can't go because it's too far away

So, I decided to do a poll, to see what everyone else out there thinks. If you have an LJ account, please take my poll! And if you don't take it, well, I guess then you're just a "no-account!"

Poll #1545876 Tell me about your con experience
This poll is closed.

Have you ever been to a con?

No, never
0(0.0%)
Once or twice I went to a local or regional con
1(11.1%)
I go to my local/regional cons all the time
3(33.3%)
I go to local cons a lot & Worldcon when it's close enough
4(44.4%)
I live for Worldcon
1(11.1%)
Worldcon Schmerldcon, X is much better (please tell me what X is in a comment)
0(0.0%)

What I like most about conventions is . . . (check all that apply)

attending panels and workshops
0(0.0%)
being on panels/running workshops
0(0.0%)
shopping in the dealers' room
0(0.0%)
schmoozing with other fans
1(11.1%)
room service -)
0(0.0%)
costuming-- love the masquerade!
0(0.0%)
gaming
0(0.0%)
meeting authors
0(0.0%)
networking to meet agents, editors, etc.
0(0.0%)
something else I will explain in a comment
1(11.1%)

What do you think of the idea that Worldcon should stay in one city every year?

What idiot thought that one up?
6(75.0%)
It would depend on what city it was
2(25.0%)
Doesn't matter to me; I don't go anyway
0(0.0%)
It might have some pluses, but they need to think it through
0(0.0%)
Great idea! When does it start?
0(0.0%)

Do you ever volunteer at cons (not counting programming)?

never
4(44.4%)
a few times
4(44.4%)
a lot
1(11.1%)

If you won a contest and could pick any con to attend for free, which one would it be?

Worldcon
5(71.4%)
World Fantasy Convention
1(14.3%)
Dragon Con
1(14.3%)
Comic Con
0(0.0%)
some other con I will name in a comment
0(0.0%)







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