A God-forsaken (He wasn’t invited anyway) haven of Science, high spirits, and intellectual chocolate.
It bills itself as “An Event for Geeks, Nerds, and Dorks”. Pi-Con is a small, friendly convention, which attracts intelligent, highly-evolved, down-to-earthlings, who love nothing better than a lively debate on some obscure subject. The consuite always has pie, so they are okay by me.
Pi-Con is taking a hiatus in 2013, but hopes to return, tanned, rested and ready, in 2014 for 8Pi-Con, a.k.a. “Octopi”. Stay tuned.
Four days of costumes, gaming, panels and presentations, science and science fiction, fantasy, artwork, horror and humor, parties and dancing, videos and readings, stuff to buy and opportunities to sell. What more could you possibly want?
I’ll confess my energy level wasn’t high going into Arisia this year. The convention keeps getting bigger and crazier every year, and after the events of the last couple of months, I wasn’t sure I was equal to it. But I’d promised the boys they could go with me this year, and they had arranged a Brony Party, so there was no turning back.
The smaller, more serious sibling.
They are held in the same hotel, the Westin Waterfront in Boston, about a month apart from each other, but Boskone is smaller than Arisia, and greyer. It is the serious, bookish sibling; more suits, less glitter. Costumes are fewer, as are the parties. No Barfleet, for example. There is also no Green Room; you take your chances in the con suite with everyone else. But the opportunities for professional development are richer at Boskone if you are in the business or want to be. Because it is smaller and less frantic, there is more time to talk seriously with other pros, and approach those whom you admire. On the other hand, if you are looking to connect with fans, Boskone might disappoint.
It happens on Halloween.
My first experience with World Fantasy was in 2007 at Saratoga Springs. I went to attend the Shimmer magazine Pirate Issue Release Party. John Joseph Adams was special editor of this issue of the zine. He accepted my story Perfect Hook”; it was my first published story. You never forget your first.
I went back in 2008 when World Fantasy was held in Calgary. Another first for me, the furthest away I’d ever been from home, requiring a passport, which I got for the occasion. Also the first time I’d flown in 20 years, and I had to cope with all the new TSA regulations. But it was all worth it. Calgary was splendid. The convention wasn’t bad, either.
Home of the Kirk Poland Memorial Bad Prose Competition Tournament of Champions.
It’s a serious con, without gaming, filking or costumes. The emphasis is connecting the Reader to the drug of preference, Books, and providing insight on the source and production of literary intoxication. But don’t get the idea there’s no having fun allowed. Quite the contrary. There’s Kirk Poland.
It’s simple: your hosts read a passage of unidentified but genuine, published, bad (and I mean truly awful) sci/fi, fantasy or horror prose, which has been truncated in mid-sentence. Each of the contestants then reads an ending for the passage of their own creation. One of them reads the real ending. The challenge for the audience is to guess the real one. It’s harder than you might think. Points are awarded on the basis of how many members of the audience the panelists fooled, while the audience collectively scores a point for everyone who voted for the real answer. Usually the audience comes in third or fourth (but wins big in laughs). Confused? You just gotta be there.