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Friday, October 11, 2013

LoneStarCon3 2013

If you don’t know WorldCon, they have 2 names. One is the generic ‘WorldCon’ name with the event number after it. This WorldCon was the 71st WorldCon.  The other name will be the local site name, LoneStarCon3.  This year’s WorldCon was in San Antonio.  This was the same location of the first WorldCon I ever attended.

WorldCon is not like SDCC or other ComicCons. This is a literary convention and instead of actors, it’s full of authors and a few scientists and maybe an astronaut or two.  The crowds are much smaller.  Maybe 3000 total and there are lots of panels and places to sit. 

The crowd is older and greyer and heavier than a typical ComicCon. The crowd is more the classic nerd than the pop culture nerd you see in San Diego.   The cosplay leans more to the renaissance faire and steampunk than skimpy bust-ful heroines.

Since I’m a big reader, I enjoy WorldCon a lot. San Antonio’s convention center is on the River Walk which affords lots of tourist shops and restaurants. The convention hosts many of the authors I truly enjoy.   It also hosts many authors I haven’t crossed paths with.  I usually end up with a lot more books to read.

The pace of WorldCon is extremely laid back, especially when compared to SDCC.   The plethora of panels means no standing in lines for hours to be turned away. They are usually intimate, seating 50 to 200 people.  You can see the authors and they can see you.  Many of the topics are intriguing and though provoking.

The panels really let you see another side of the author.  The panels are rarely about the author or their books. It’s a ‘sci fi-ish’ topic and 4 or 5 authors will discuss it. Whether it’s cooking with alien food or cloning as an insurance policy or mining the Oort cloud, you see the person behind the words emerge.

Because of the smaller crowds, you aren’t constantly swimming upstream to get from one panel to another.  Because of the smaller crowds you do get to chat with more people.  Because of the smaller crowds you aren’t clogging the aisle as you stop at a vendors’ table.

Not every author does a scheduled signing.  It’s usually easy to approach then between panels.  Sometimes it’s a faux pas when it’s a big name, especially when they are signing the same day, but even then the authors are gracious.

LoneStarCon 3 was fun.  While I didn’t partake of the Hugo awards, the Masquerade, or the evening parties, this year, I did feel I got my money’s worth.  I met some of my sci fi geek friends.  I met new people.  I got lots of autographs.



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