One of my favorite conventions is Philcon, run by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society in New Jersey. (Look, just run with it.)
Philcon is the oldest science fiction convention still in operation, although it’s still one of the smaller conventions, apparently by design. It’s next weekend (as I write this) — November 18 – 20, and the main guests are Cory Doctorow and Boris Vallejo.
Many of my writer and artist friends attend and it’s great to see them all again. There’s this sub-group of convention goers — fans, writers, artists — who attend a lot of these things, most of which occur during the winter. For many of us, Philcon is the first time we’ve seen each other in many months. Then there’s Arisia (Boston) in January, Mysticon (Roanoak) in February, Lunacon (New York) in March, Ravencon (Richmond) in April, and Balticon (Baltimore) in May. There are even more, but they’re either too far away for me to attend or too small.
And these are just the literary cons that specialize in books. You see, when people think of science fiction conventions, they usually think of Comic Con and the like, where it seems that the vast majority of attendees are there in a costume from their favorite TV show or comic book and all they want to do is buy toys and stuff. A literary convention is very different. Or sure, some people do show up in costume, but the main point is to discuss books.
Yes, these conventions are for people who actually still read!
Which is why, if you are an aspiring writer, you should be attending these. Not only can you go to panels where authors discuss their writing processes, but you will make all sorts of connections. Agents and editors attend these too, you know.
Usually I post my panel schedule on the blog before each convention, but for some reason Philcon hasn’t sent out their schedule yet; but here are some examples from previous conventions so you can see what they’re like: Ravencon; Lunacon; Arisia.
Anyway, please say hi if you attend. I’ll be spending some time at my publisher’s table in the Dealer’s Room with fellow author Peter Prellwitz. Look for the “Double Dragon” banner!
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