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.