Once upon a time, six-ish years ago when I was but a wee terrible blogger, I began lurking in feminist SF/F communities, because I could barely believe that such things existed. And as I was lurking about, I heard about this thing called WisCon. It was a whole, real life, actual convention, just for feminist science fiction. I fell in love with the idea. I read tons of blog entries about it and decided that someday, finances allowing, I would go.
And I did.
Last year. I just never mentioned it here.
Worst blogger ever.
But I also went this year! And have just returned! And it was great! And oh man, am I tired.
I took notes at most of the panels I was at, and, assuming my notes are at all coherent, will attempt to turn them into blog posts soonish.1 For now, here are scattered, overall thoughts about the con:
1. The people are awesome. I’m super lucky in that one of my best friends lives in Madison, and she was happy to put up me and a couple of our other besties throughout the con (both years!). But I also met tons of people I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. I kept in touch through the year mostly by way of twitter, and when we got to the con on Friday, running into people was like coming back to summer camp and seeing the whole summer crew after a year of boring school. But better, because unlike summer camp, no one tried to tell me coffee was just for grown ups.2
And what’s great is that going to WisCon is like finding my people. There’s a core of shared interest among basically everyone there, so even if you don’t all have the same exact interests, it’s still refreshing to be around people who won’t bat an eyelash at how excited you are over whatever it is that you love. I wear my nerdy fangirl tendencies on my sleeve3 and it’s lovely to be surrounded by others who do, too.
2. The quiet room. I fell in love with it. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a dim room with nothing going on, where you can sit quietly and recharge if, say, you’re coming off of a night with only four hours of sleep, your day began at 6:30 AM, and won’t end until 1 in the morning. Or if you’re an introvert who’s been surrounded by people for a couple of days and you need a break. (Or, in my case, both.) I spent a few hours chilling out in the quiet room through the course of the weekend, and am deeply grateful it existed. I don’t have any real con experiences to compare WisCon to, but I get the impression WisCon organizers go out of their way to make the con as accessible as possible, and it shows.
3. I wish I had a time turner. Seriously, you guys, I can’t even convey how agonizing the choice between “But It’s Not For Girls,” “Geek Girls and the Problem of Self Objectification,” and “Feminism and the YA Explosion,” was. The programming is vast and varied, with different tracks that suit different people’s interests. There was tons of programming on class and race (both within science fiction and generally), panels on comic books and novels, academic discussions and readings, and tons more. There were a lot of things that sounded fascinating that I couldn’t get to due to conflicts with other things that sounded fascinating.
And now I feel like I should conclude this blog entry, but here’s the thing: I just got home from an awesome con. I need to go to bed. More (hopefully) soon.