Jun 082005

A lot of science fiction writers grow up going to conventions, but I was writing SF seriously for over a decade before I went to my first one. (Why pay $50 to go to a hotel in the suburbs when I could go to a punk show downtown for $5? went my thinking.) But Emily was so enthusiastic about WisCon that I decided to go… anything that billed itself as the World’s Only Feminist Science Fiction Conference had be be interesting, at least.

Who knew that feminism and SF would be two great tastes that go great together?

My first WisCon was four years ago, and I’ve been back each year. It’s worth the thirteen hour drive: the level of discussion is a great mix between genuine enthusiasm and intellectual rigour, that sweetspot of lowbrow highbrow. It was the perfect place for James and I to host theculturalgutter.com‘s first birthday party.

The panels are fascinating (I sat on a panel about the revolutionary potential of a zombie apocalypse), the parties are superfun (my karaoke rendition of “Bills Bills Bills” last year was well received), and the guests of honour are actually worthy of honour (that’s how I found out about Mary Doria Russell and China Mieville).

WisCon 30 is coming up next year, and you should come! This being the 30th anniversary, all the previous guests of honour have been invited back, including Ursula K. LeGuin. If you’re at all interested in SF or politics and don’t have an idiotic aversion to feminism, at the very least you’ll come away with having had some great conversations and a reading list that’ll tide you over ’til next year.

  2 Responses to “In Praise of Older Women’s Conferences”

  1. Wiscon is lots of fun, though apparently it’s now known as the “World’s Leading Feminist Science Fiction Convention” (not the only) because someone else has started a feminist SF convention. Also, Nalo H posted some photos of ppl smashing the patriarchy at this year’s con on her blog a while back. We were launching our respective books (and a comic) so I missed the whole thing… Did you make it over there to see the pinata burst?

  2. Hi Jim!

    It was a pleasure meeting you and your wife for the first time in person, Saturday night at the WisCon party (they all kind of ran together and spilled over into each other’s rooms). 🙂

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>