Every year, the World Science Fiction Society, an organization of science fiction fans, writers, and artists come together for several days to celebrate the films, music, costumes, gaming, artists, and writers of science fiction. It’s a fan-driven convention, but I think it’s safe to say that all creators of science fiction (in all its forms) are fans as well. It’s where the Hugos are awarded for both professional and fan-based publications. This year, total attendance is expected to be more than 5000. It’s fun and frenetic and (at times) furious and fantastic. This year, Sasquan (in Spokane, WA) marks WorldCon’s 73rd year, although it’s only the second time for me.
My first experience at WorldCon was four years ago in Reno. I did not know a single person there. I had never been to a WorldCon before, and I had no idea what to expect. Initially, I went to participate in the Writers Workshop and attend the writers track sessions. I found the workshop valuable, and the panel sessions interesting. I made a list of new-to-me authors and books I wanted to read, and got a couple of books signed by George R. R. Martin. I didn’t really get into the night life, and by the end of the third day, I was ready to go. It was a positive experience, but felt like I was missing something.
Since then (2011), I’ve grown as a writer, and gotten to know a lot more writers and editors who will also be attending (many of whom I’ve never met in person), so I won’t be all alone this year–I’ve got peeps now! I’ve read more (and more widely) and discovered more authors whose work I’ve enjoyed. One of the great things about being a science fiction / fantasy writer is that it’s a small and welcoming community. I’m not one of the big names, but I’m now a member of the club.
I’ve also been told that for many professional writers, editors, and publishers, WorldCon is where they do most of their business deals/discussions for the year. I’ve decided to look at it the same way. In addition to attending the daytime panel sessions, I’m looking forward to attending as many of the evening networking and social functions as I can.
This year, I want to experience it all. So if you see me, say hi!