In the last year and a bit, I’ve been to a whole bunch of genre conventions. Starting with Up in the Aether (steampunk) last May, followed by Pandoracon (general fandom) in October, ConFusion (science fiction) in January, World Steam Symposium in April, Romantic Times in May, Steamtopia (a reboot of Up in the Aether) in June and now NASFIC’s DetCon1 in July. In short, I love cons, but I’m really burned out on them right now.
For each of these cons, I’ve been speaking, signing, and in general, trying to sell books. I’m kind of tired of that. I’m tired of hotel kerfluffles, mediocre food and packing tons of costumes. I’m tired of feeling like I’m missing something when I crash before the late-night parties. I’m tired of always being “on.” I’m also tired of my husband being dragged along as my unpaid assistant.
On the other hand, I love the costuming, the networking, and spending time browsing the vendor booths at cons. I love visiting with people who share common interests. I really do love genre fiction in all its forms, so I can’t say I don’t like going. I truly adored visiting New Orleans for Romantic Times this year. It’s one of the few conventions where I’ve actually spent time outside the convention hotel. And the highlight of DetCon1 was getting to sign and sell actual PRINT copies of Steam & Sorcery.
So what do you think? What are your favorite conventions, and how often do you go? What parts do you love or hate? And would you rather go as a Pro or just a fan? Both sides have their pluses and minuses. I’d love to know your thoughts.