(Un)Conventional

Room 314 (to be continued… infinitely…)

Pi-Con:

A God-forsaken (He wasn’t invited anyway) haven of Science, high spirits, and intellectual chocolate.

It billed itself as “An Event for Geeks, Nerds, and Dorks”.   Pi-Con was a small, friendly convention, which attracted intelligent, highly-evolved, down-to-earthlings, who love nothing better than a lively debate on some obscure subject. The consuite always had pie, of course. Alas, Pi-Con is no more, the last being 9Pi-Con, which happened in 2015. Here is my send-off blog for the event.

[5Pi-Con 2010]
[6Pi-Con 2011 “Hurricon”]
[7Pi-Con 2012]
[8Pi-Con 2014 “OctoPi”]
[9Pi-Con 2015 “The Last Slice of Pi”]

Arisia:

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?

It’s a bit like a hyperspace luge. The Arisia SF/Fantasy convention in Boston sold a record 4000 badges in 2015.  At any given moment, a dizzying choice of things to do and see, some of which aren’t even on the program. Just sitting in the lobby taking in the costumes is a show in itself. To paraphrase BarFleet, if you aren’t staff, you’re entertainment.  This is the thirty-three-ring circus they call a convention.

[Arisia 2015]
[Arisia 2014]
[Arisia 2013]
[Arisia 2012]
[Arisia 2011]
[Arisia 2010]

Boskone:

Boskone Panel Moderator

Everything in moderation

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.

Update: Things are evolving at Boskone.  Read Boskone 54 for details.  If you haven’t been to Boskone before, or for awhile, you may want to.

[Boskone 54 2017]
[Boskone 53 2016]
[Boskone 52 2015]
[Boskone 51 2014]
[Boskone 50 2013]
[Boskone 49 2012]
[Boskone 47 2010]
[Boskone 46 2009]

Pirate Reading

Avast and harken to me story, arrrh!

World Fantasy:

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.

[World Fantasy 2008]
[World Fantasy 2007]

Readercon:

For Pros and readers

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.

As of 2013, major changes were made as the result of a regrettable kerfuffle.  Some of the founders of the con left, taking the Kirk Poland Memorial Bad Prose Competition with them. A tradition has died. And somehow, Readercon isn’t the same.

Readercon 21, July 2010
Readercon 25, July 2014

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One response

14 04 2013
Margery Harrison

Nice summary of the three Boston-area cons I’ve been to, so likely of the others as well. Although, at first I confused Pi-Con with Py-Con, which is about Python programming.

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