Westercon 69

It’s been too long since I went to a con.

I’m not talking about tech conferences. I’ve been to those but fan conventions are something special and I have not been to one since 1990 when I wore my Zenith costume on the stage at the UK Comic Arts Convention.

I have many friends who go to cons. One in particular has been suggesting I go to Orycon but it’s usually in November which collides with NaNoWriMo. But I decided at the end of 2015 that I should try to go to at least one con this year.

So Westercon 69 is the first fan con I have attended in more than 25 years. And it’s been great.

I mostly focussed on the writing track. There’s been some fascinating panels on publication, revision, writing groups, dialogue and more. It is terrific to hear established writers talking about their process and their experience, as well as to make contact with other writers at similar stages to myself.

There are also a great many opportunities to hear authors expounding on related topics. Mr Scalzi is always entertaining, although I mostly followed Charles Stross in his panels and he’s been fascinating to hear on topics ranging from hells and netherworlds to anthropogenic extinction.

Looking around, I saw so many excellent cosplayers and wildly creative costumes. Westercon 69 has been co-located with Gearcon 2016 so the steampunk undercurrents were deep. I was also struck by how safe a space this is: there are a lot of kids around, and a lot of folks with mobility assistance. I’m very impressed by how mellow this place is. Not all of the panels I’ve attended have been kid-safe, but that’s also pretty clear from the topic.

I’ve been told that many of the folks here are also part of the scene at Orycon, so I think I have to go to that now. With any luck I can bring my family.

I hope to see you in November!

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