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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - 02:14 pm:   

Everyone must have a little (or little-known) convention they go to that they have a soft spot for. What's yours?

For me: Just returned from a weekend at Radcon, in the little (and out of the way) town of Pasco, Washington. This was my 3rd year there. The first year I went with low expectations: all I'd ever heard about this con was that it was a major party con, a lot of gaming, etc, no real writing contingent. But a couple of organizers have really made a push to get writers over there, and that first year I was pleasantly pleased. They gave us (Fairwood, Wheatland Press, Scorpius Digital) a suite for very, very cheap, and they paid one night in full for us. All we had to do was run a "small press" room during the day hours, where we could put out our wares and sell them, and then we also had to run a party one night. And the convention provided a keg of beer and a lot of peripherals for said party.

The perks have continued over the last few years. This weekend I was their very first Small press GoH. Honna, Orion, and I were treated very well, despite the fact that the hotel had been remodeling some rooms and contractors were still in them at noon the day the convention started!
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Forrest
Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - 07:05 pm:   

Wiscon - if it can still be considered a little convention. But I think its scope and attendance puts it out of "little convention" contention.

Reasons I love Wiscon:

It's in my home town.

A lot of very intelligent people concerned with literary matters.

Feminist/liberal bent.

No Klingons.

Many of my best friends in publishing attend.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - 09:03 pm:   

Forrest, Wiscon's got good pub. It's one I hope to get to soon. (Deb Layne talks about it all the time--I think you guys shared a table last year? Or am I thinking of someone else?)

A VERY little convention out here (coming up this weekend, and the 2nd con for me in as many weeks) is Potlatch. A serious readercon, small number of attendees, and it rotates between Seattle and California. I get a table in the dealer room at this one, for low cost, and do relatively well.
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Marie Brennan
Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 - 09:12 pm:   

My personal little con is VeriCon, run by the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association, but I'll admit my bias up front: I helped start it. Worked as guest coordinator the first two years, until I graduated, and it just finished its sixth year, with none other than George R. R. Martin as GoH. (Attendence spiked from 2-300 on average to about 600.) It runs the last weekend in January every year, and Guy Gavriel Kay is set to be the next GoH, I believe. College con, possibly a little thin on the guest-programming, but strong for lots of quirky little games and the like, with a masquerade dance every year.
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kenscholes
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - 05:24 am:   

It was fun seeing you, Honna and Orion at Radcon. Jen and I had a good time. We'll be going back next year.
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Ellen Datlow
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - 12:04 pm:   

Readercon--small, a lot of writers and editors, no costumes, actual, interesting discussion topics. What's not to like?
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Jason Sizemore
Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - 01:28 pm:   

Hypericon in Nashville, TN is fun as hell.

It's slanted more towards horror, but it has some nice science fiction and fantasy guests as well.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2006 - 12:38 am:   

Ditto, Ken! Radcon is growing little by little (as far as attending writers goes). Bob B. takes good care of us.

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minz
Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2006 - 11:04 am:   

Wiscon
Readercon
Armadillocon
(keep meaning to get to a Potlatch, but it hasn't happened yet)
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Saturday, February 25, 2006 - 09:29 pm:   

I've heard others tout Armadillocon too. What's the deal with that one? How many folks attend? Does it tend toward the literary end, or is it a mixture, with costuming, gaming, art, etc?
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Nancy Jane Moore
Posted on Sunday, February 26, 2006 - 05:19 am:   

Armadillocon definitely tends toward the literary. And they hold dances at night, which is also fun.

But I wouldn't call it small, anymore than I'd call Wiscon or Readercon small. Regional might be a better word -- not many people travel across the country to get there, but they still draw a good sized crowd. I mean, Wiscon has capped membership at 1000 people this year. That's not small. I love Wiscon. It's a wonderful place for great conversations and people actually plan for panels. Plus the parties are good. And, actually, lots of people do travel across the country to get there.

Capclave is a small but up and coming con here in Washington, DC. (Actually, they've been holding it in Silver Spring, Maryland, but that's just across the District line.) Last year's con was a great place for interesting panels and good private discussions. Of course, Howard Waldrop was guest of honor, which drew a lot of people from out of town. Definitely on the literary side. Probably draws a few hundred people.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Thursday, March 09, 2006 - 11:26 pm:   

Has anybody ever been to Miscon (in Missoula, Montana)? It's 45 minutes away from where I grew up in Kalispell, but I didn't know about conventions back then. I know it's a "little" convention...I was just wondering if anyone knew what it was like.

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