Nothing, though, could make me stop loving Tolkein, chess, Star Trek, marching band, Pern, Narnia, Skeve and Aahz, Damar, dragons, unicorns, video games, and all of it. I was just...quiet about it. And that habit carried into adulthood, even among friends, even among the communities where those things are celebrated. I've been part of those communities for a very long time, just not, I guess, an extrovert for them.
In November, I'll be celebrating at my twenty-fifth Orycon, which is a wonderful local convention for all things science fiction and fantasy. It's also something of a benchmark for convention experiences, and no other convention I've been to (Westercon, Norwescon, Rustycon, etc) has been much different, just bigger.
This year, Worldcon – the World Science Fiction and Fantasy convention – was held in Spokane, Washington. An easy, if long, drive. And one of my best friends talked me into sharing a booth with her and another of her friends in the dealer's room. So, not only did I go to my first Worldcon, I was in the dealers room with my artwork. And not only that, but it was a history-making Worldcon in many ways, not least because of the controversy over the Hugo awards. If you're reading this, you're probably already familiar with the whole tempest, so I'm not going to recap it, but I did want to share some articles that do a great job with that.
From that last link: "The experience of being at WorldCon vs. reading about it online was like night and day." This is dead-fucking-on. In the run up to the convention, based on all the things being said online, I expected a frightening and confrontational atmosphere. What it was, though, was the same friendly, welcoming, joyful atmosphere that I've found for over 20 years at Orycon, and every other convention I've attended.
I don't think I will fear any convention in the future. The trolls stayed home, or even better, vanished into the crowd of good-hearted people who love SF/F and have no fear of change. And, at least for a while, I want to be more open about the things I love about science fiction and fantasy and fandom, no small part of which is the optimism, the inclusiveness, the hope for a different and better future.