I seem to have developed a predilection for the convention thing. A couple of weeks ago, I attended my first ever fan convention – a gathering of geeks obsessed with the TV series Stargate, also hosted here in the Windy City. It’s certainly given me a taste for congregations of nerds. Fun things tend to happen.
The next con on my list is Chicon 7, also referred to as Worldcon – the World Science Fiction Convention, held in Chicago for the seventh time. I have five days of panels on the subjects of fantasy, science, and science fiction, author readings and autograph sections, the Hugo awards, a masquerade, a geek prom to look forward to, and possibly even a few interviews.
I’ve been dutifully preparing for this convention for the last few months, by which I mean that I’ve been reading those books that everyone should have read long ago – A Game of Thrones, The Name of the Wind, and many of the works of Heinlein and Asimov – in short, topics likely to come up. And damn, are those books addicting – they make me thankful that I can call my free reading time work.
I’ll be covering this convention for Blogcritics, in preparation for which I have printed out the entire eight–page schedule and highlighted all the interesting bits. Among the panels I have to look forward to are ones that tackle questions like the similarities and differences between science fiction and fantasy, violence in fantasy, several panels on female characters in the genre, and a few panels on science. I have no idea how I’m going to decide among all the possibilities, but, assuming I do, I look forward to soaking in and sharing as many of the fascinating insights bound to be flying around as possible.
But, despite all my nervousness and dilemmas, one thing is certain: as the advertisements for this convention remind me, these are the geeks I’m looking for. And if you don’t get that reference, then it’s likely that little of what I’ll be living and writing about in the next few days will interest you. If you do get the reference, however, you are pretty much guaranteed as much geeky excitement and intellectual insight as it’s possible to experience without actually attending – starting tomorrow.