Hundreds of speculation fiction conventions known as "Cons" occur every year in the U.S. and around the world. You should plan to attend at least one. You will not regret it. In January, I will be in Boston, briefly.
Note: when I say "speculative fiction" I include science fiction, comic books, AFRO sci-fi, Hollywood movies, TV shows, roadside faeries, love-sick vampires, steam punk, sword and soul, horror and everything else that involves out of the normal experience in fictional entertainment.
Cons are like flavors of ice cream: you will like some and some you may be less fond of but it is always an experience. There is a speculative fiction convention for every lifestyle and every age. In January, 2013, I will be seen at Arisia, a con in Boston, Massachusetts.
I've attended Arisia for several years. In fact, it was my first con. I've seen the same short Batman guy every year (he's kinda of kooool). The Carl Brandon Society always has a great gathering. And, the green, toxic beverage they serve at the Klingon party gives me delightfully fuzzy memories and just a mild hangover. People who attend represent all ages and races and economic strata. They are open-minded, willing to express themselves and fun to be around. There is lots of fab art, hot discussion, new people to meet -- and did I mention the parties? I always laugh too hard and learn much more than I expected and make connections that I hope will further my writing career.
This Arisia takes place January 18-21, 2013, in Boston, Massachusetts. I will Blog about the major events and points of interests via several of my websites (I lose count, Google me or send email to email@example.com -- I promise to respond).
Tananarive Due was at Arisia 2011 to collect a Carl Brandon Award for her story "Ghost Summer" in the anthology "Ancestors". We enjoyed her energy and enthusiasm so much that Arisia wanted her to come back. Her husband, Steven Barnes, is better known in science fiction circles, starting with Dream Park (with Larry Niven) and continuing on to write many more books as well as television screenplays and novelizations. Barnes is also a martial arts expert and a writing coach. Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes have collaborated with Blair Underwood on the Tennyson Hardwick mystery series.
So each month, I will endeavor to post my thoughts on the Speculative Cons of the month. Even if you missed the event, you can always plan for next year. Go! But be wary of the Romulan Ale.