Sorry about the lack of a Thursday post, but as previously mentioned, I was at CONvergence this weekend. For those of you not familiar with it, CONvergence is a Twin Cities sci-fi/fantasy/general geekery convention that grew out of Minicon, but has rapidly come to outshine the venerable old sci-fi/party convention in the minds of me at least. It's a con that's hit that perfect sweet spot, large enough to attract cool guests like Paul Cornell and Kevin Murphy, but not so large that you have to wait in endless lines for each panel. (Although this year for the first time there were significant lines for badges. My advice to anyone going is to pick theirs up a day early.)
Once again on going to the con, I was struck by how absolutely great, how amazingly wonderful, how shout-it-to-the-rooftops awesome this con's harassment policy is. They make it clear through posters on every single wall and in every single convention space that being a jerk to your fellow conventioneers is not going to be tolerated (of either gender, by the way--several of the posters had men in kilts next to the slogan "Costumes Are Not Consent", which is a wonderful contrast to conventions that allow things like the Kilt Inspection Brigade.) They had various spaces designated as Official Safe Spaces, where you could go and be guaranteed that the person there would send whoever was bothering you away and give you a chance to get over whatever they did while they got convention staff to kick that person out of the con. CONvergence walks the walk as well as talks the talk, and the result is a con that attracts a lot of amazing and talented female guests and has wonderful gender representation on the panels. (Paul Cornell said that when he announced that he would only appear on panels if there was at least one woman up there with him, CONvergence was the only convention that didn't have to rearrange his schedule at all.)
And the panels were fun. I saw a great panel on the Worst of Bond, I was on a great panel on the Wilderness Years of Doctor Who (with Jason Tucker, who's arranging a new convention here in the Twin Cities, and Lars Pearson, who is always an absolute delight to talk to or listen to, and with my lovely lovely wife.) I ran four Red Dragon Inn demos, I jumped in a hot tub bigger than my actual bathroom, and I saw trailers for movies both real and fake. I took about fifty photos of people in awesome costumes, including a TV-quality Vastra and the Pink Dalek (an adorable eleven-year old girl handing out ribbons that said, "Exterminate! XOXO Pink Dalek". They were the hot item of the con.) And I am already looking forward to next year, and planning to join the movement to get Ben Aaronovitch to the next CONvergence. (The theme next year is urban fantasy. The man who wrote 'Rivers of London' deserves to be there.) (So does Paul Cornell, but he's already said he plans to go every year because he loves it so much.) (And frankly, so do I.)
So a big thank you to every single one of the volunteers, even if it was just someone who badged for a half-hour, and I hope to see you at next year's CONvergence!