In less than two weeks (gulp) me and Scott will be attending WisCon the feminist science fiction convention in Madison, Wisconsin. I’ve been attending since 1996, I’ve read there, been on panels, been a part of the auction (mostly as a spender of money, but once as one of Ellen Klages’ lovely assistants) and have worked as part of the organising committee— I’m biased.
And yet strangely I’ve come to take it for granted. So much so that my not being able to attend next year (prior engagement to be part of something awesome in Australia) didn’t really phase me. Then I read Sheree Thomas’s eloquent explanation of why she loves WisCon and all of a sudden I’m miserable that I’m going to be missing next year’s WisCon even as I get ready for this year’s.
Sheree loves it so much she’s urging people to attend:
- What I really want to do is encourage you to check out WISCON, because if you don’t never go to but ONE science fiction conference in your big, beautiful life, then let it be, let it be WISCON 30, because this year is going to be amazing.WisCon takes place annually in downtown Madison, WI over Memorial Day weekend (May 25-30) at the Concourse Hotel. It’s considered “The World’s Leading Feminist Science Fiction Convention,” and is attended by a lot of cool and interesting women and yes, men (got to say that because some folk see ‘feminist’ and read ‘man hata’ and ‘crazy’) . Now, I ain’t saying there ain’t no crazy folk there (LOL!), I’m just saying that all kinda folk flow through and it is a celebration of science fiction work. This year, they invited back their previous Guest of Honors, including Samuel R. Delany, Ursula K. Le Guin, Nalo Hopkinson, Jane Yolen, Pat Murphy, Pamela Sargent, Vonda McIntyre, chile, I could go on and on.
And they got damned good child care, too! For real, with Legos and robots n’ shit! I mean really, what kinda feminist gathering would it be without an excellent program track for young readers?
The bad news is that this year’s WisCon is sold out. That’s right, you can put your name on the waiting list, but unless there’s a whole slew of last-minute dropouts you won’t be attending. But don’t let that stop you from going to next year’s. I’ve heard a little rumour about who the guests of honour will be and, well, let me tell you, stellar is the word.
This year’s is going to be unbelievablely fabulous. I was at WisCon 20 and I’ll never forget it. That weekend changed my life. But even the worst WisCon is a million times better than any other convention or conference I’ve ever been to. If you have any interest in genre or feminism or exploring new and old ideas WisCon is the place for you.