Wednesday, September 26, 2012
On cons and fans
Last weekend I was at Can-Con, Ottawa's literary-focused SF convention, which is now in its third year since being raised from the dead. Unfortunately I was only able to go one day (Saturday) but made up for that by being on four panels and doing a reading, all of which was a lot of fun (one nice thing about it being a small con was that the readings were part of the main programming tracks, which led to probably the biggest crowd I've ever gotten outside of book launches.) There was also a sizable Toronto contingent this year, which meant I got to see people I usually only see once or twice a year along with my fellow Ottawa writers (whom I also only see once or twice a year, since I'm a misanthrope.)
Anyway, good con. Good conversations, especially the Women in SF and Fantasy panel, and it's always fun for me to spend a little time in an exclusively "fannish" frame of mind. I don't do a lot of the fannish stuff I used to do, like playing computer games, but they're still a part of my identity. I recently realized that it had been six months since I last bought a single issue of a comic, and wondered how long I'll keep on thinking of myself as a comics fan; probably forever, since I haven't played a computer game in about fifteen years and still think of myself as a gamer. (This one's come in handy, since I'm often called upon to be the video game expert at my day job.) There are differences, of course: quitting games was a very conscious decision that I made regarding where I put my time, while leaving comics (primarily superhero comics, since I still buy a fair bit of indie stuff in trades) was more gradual and a combination of the aesthetic (Marvel and DC cancelling all the books I read -- in fact the last comic I bought in monthly form just got cancelled) and the practical (my work moved and is no longer across the street from a comic shop). I'm nowhere near quitting SF and fantasy (reading it or writing it), but it's pushed to the margins of my life sufficiently often that it's good to have a space where it can actually take centre stage for awhile.