07 May 2011

Jean Marie’s Year in Cons, 2011 Edition

The merry month of May marks the opening of my 2011 convention season. To show you why I’m so excited about this year’s roster, I thought I’d share memories of the same conventions from years past—and advertise the dates. Can’t pass up an opportunity for shameless self-promotion, after all.

Balticon 45, May 27-30
Hunt Valley, Maryland



You never know what Maryland's regional science fiction/fantasy convention will serve in the way of entertainment—sword-wielding belly dancers, scientists and Ninjas Vs. Vampires, oh my!—and that’s a large part of its charm. That and a Masquerade which often features appearances from luminaries of the International Costumers’ Guild.


RWA National Conference: Bright Lights, Big Stories, June 28-July 1
New York, New York



RWA’s 2000 National Conference in Washington, DC, was all about the SEALs—the SEALs as written by Suzanne Brockmann (pictured), who won RITAs for her two 1999 novels, Undercover Princess and Bodyguard. Something tells me 2011 will be an even bigger year for manly men in uniform. But the lure for me isn’t more military-themed romance than a dozen editors can shake their blue pencils at; it’s the prospect of a chapter reception at the Algonquin Hotel. “Vicious Circle”, here I come!


Dragon*Con, September 2-5
Atlanta, Georgia



My favorite summer camp for wayward adults—roughly forty thousand of us at last count. Panels! Concerts! Art! Film festivals! Parties! Costumes! Swag! And a parade! What more could you ask? Heck, Frankenstein’s monster and his livid bride consider it the perfect place to honeymoon. Incidentally, the sign trailing streamers from the back of the car read “Made for each other!”


Capclave, October 14-16
Gaithersburg, Maryland



Capclave is my hometown con, specializing in short form science fiction, fantasy and horror. One of its most charming customs is the annual presentation of a commemorative painting to its guests of honor. Here, 2010 Guest of Honor Connie Willis explains the various pictorial elements drawn from her time-travel fiction, in particular, her novel To Say Nothing of the Dog. All hail Cyril—and painter L.W. Perkins who rendered Ms. Willis’s famous fictional bulldog on canvas.

So how are you planning to spend your summer—and autumn—vacation?

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To learn more about my adventures at cons past, check out my Flickr page—or better yet, attend one yourself!
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