This bank holiday weekend I’ll be at Eastercon or, Dysprosium, as it is called this year, the 66th annual event where SFF fans gather to drink, I mean, talk about books and stuff.
This year there are some exciting and interesting guests of honour that I’m looking forward to meeting, but I’m actually more excited about meeting up with friends. These are people I only get to see maybe once or twice a year. You can’t choose who you work with and I have often ended up in an environment for my day job where I’m lucky if one person shares even one of my passions and most often the number is zero. At a convention I have something in common with almost everyone and it’s a great place to just geek out, relax in good company and have all of those important conversations like, why Batman is so much cooler than Superman. It means I can get into the nitty gritty on certain characters or novels, and rake over stuff with a fine toothed comb if I want and no one will suddenly switch the conversation to their children, or pensions, or football, because they can’t join in and have no clue what I’m on about. Conventions are a great place to belong and find your tribe. They are a great place to relax where I can be myself and I don’t have to hide what I enjoy as there’s no mockery.
I can’t choose who I work with, but I can choose who I spend my free time with and, geek conversations aside, I find the people at these conventions are always well read, thoughtful and intelligent. Sadly there are always a few bad apples, and the convention organisers work very hard to prevent issues so that everyone can have a good time, but generally the atmosphere is relaxed.
So if you’ve not been to one of these events before I would encourage you to do so, as you’ll probably meet a lot of like-minded people who share your passions, and you’ll come away with some new friends. If you see me at Eastercon at the weekend, come over and say hi and we’ll sort out once and for all which is better, Marvel or DC comics.