Discussion Forums - Science Fiction

Topic: conventions

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: conventions
Date Posted: 2/27/2014 9:51 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 468
Back To Top

I have never been to a sci/fi convention.  I am a middle aged (cough cough) woman but Balticon looks really interesting this year it has brendon sanderson catherine asaro and others attending.  Have any of you guys been to a convention?  How awkward would it be for a woman of greater middle age appearing on her own?  Is it better to stay at the convention hotel or is it ok to commute (I'm about 1.5 hours away).  I'm afraid I'll feel a bit awkward.  I have no problem going to places on my own.  It just seems like they are  very cliqueish.  It would be cool to take pictures of the costumes as as well...  It just seems like this is something I  ought to do at least once in my life. -and I am retired...and not moving to florida

Date Posted: 2/28/2014 11:00 PM ET
Member Since: 3/9/2009
Posts: 8,982
Back To Top

I'm a middle age woman and I love conventions!  There are cliques sometimes but people love to talk about what they're interested in.  Find programs that you like, hang out in fan areas, admire people's costumes, jewelry, artwork-start a conversation.  You may want to ask before taking pictures of costumes.  Most people love to have their pictures taken, but every once in a while...  Keep an eye on the info desk, bulletin boards and other public areas.  Often ad hoc fan meeting groups come into existance to celebrate Game of Thrones, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc.  Some of the authors do Kaffeeklatsches (small group meetings with coffee and tea)  If you like one of the authors, sign up EARLY.  Check out the Con Suite.  There are usually snacks and drinks available for the convention goers.  Sometimes there are special events that will take place there.  Sometimes there will be a newbie panel for people new to conventions.  You may want to check the schedule.

A lot of convention life happens at night.  Most of Balticon shuts down at 2 am but sometimes the room parties keep going.  I know there will be several concerts.  If you like dances, there will be several of those.  There will be a Masquerade-the best costumes are usually there.  They are strict though about photography at the Masquerade.   I always want to do everything, so I stay at the hotel or a nearby one.  If you just have a set number of workshops, lectures, panels, etc that you want to see, commuting will work out fine.  (It's also cheaper)   Please be careful though driving very late at night.  You may want to consider a room in those circumstances.  People have fallen asleep while driving home with tragic results.

ETA  Have a great time!


Last Edited on: 2/28/14 11:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/1/2014 10:25 AM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2007
Posts: 8,401
Back To Top

I've only been to a couple (Boskone, in Boston), 25 years ago or so when I was in college, but I keep thinking I'll get back to it some day when my kid's older (maybe even take him), so I am glad to know you enjoy it, Lisa! I know there always seemed to be a wide range of people at cons, many in costume - which can help if you feel self conscious - so it's hard to exactly "stick out" as strange.

Date Posted: 3/2/2014 9:55 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
Posts: 468
Back To Top

I think I'm going to go for it.  I might convince my elder son to go too.  He lives in baltimore and If I offer to pay He might go for it.  He really likes brendon sanderson.  The library of Congress is having some monthly  sci/fi noon talks that are really interesting.  There's one this week on steampunk.  I might see if anyone is going to balticon.   Thanks Lisa for the info!


Last Edited on: 3/2/14 9:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1