Friday, April 04, 2008

Fourth Street Fantasy Convention: A New Old Con?

A couple of days ago I read on Elizabeth Bear's LJ that she is to the be Guest of Honor an "an intimate little con in Minneapolis" and I was intrigued.

I've wanted to go to a convention for a couple of years now. I was aware of Minicon, CONvergence, and while pulling links here just came up with a fall con associated with Minicon: Convivial.

And that all sounds good, but I've never been to a con before and I'm not horribly social, so the whole thing makes me a little nervous / uneasy / uncertain / something. I'm just not quite sure what all goes on and what one is supposed to do there. And they're expensive!!!

So why am I posting now? The Fourth Street Fantasy Convention. Guest of Honor: Elizabeth Bear.

From 1986 to 1995, Steven Brust and his friends put on a deep, intelligent, and intimate convention on the literature of the fantastic. In 2008, it will return.

Fourth Street is a small convention for people who are serious about good fantasy and good books– serious about reading them, serious about writing them, serious about appreciating them in all their various forms. It’s also for people who are serious about having a good time. It’s a weekend of high-quality, high-intensity, mind-stretching fun, focused on books– there’s a single track of programming that is at the heart of it all. When everyone sees the same panels, it leads to fascinating conversations in the consuite, hotel bar, and corridors.

Typical panel topics range from the sublime to the frivolous, from the uses of symbolism in fantasy to the symbolism of shoes in fantasy, from subtext to developing taste. The always controversial Moral Fiction panel is a favorite. Come and argue for yourself! (link)

There's an odd mix of wanting to go to a slightly smaller con so I don't feel lost, and wanting to go to a larger con so I can kind of just pass through and feel like I'm getting my money's worth.

But, Elizabeth Bear is the Guest of Honor and she's a kick ass writer (and may use that blurb on all future novels at no charge), and I am seriously thinking about Fourth Street Fantasy Convention.


Mary Robinette Kowal said...

That sounds like an amazing convention, and if I had a whole in my schedule, I would fly out for it. Definitely, go.

Sign up for programming or to volunteer. It's a quick way to make friends and to feel like you have a purpose.

And as cons go, this one is inexpensive.

Joe said...

I appreciate the thoughts on this. I might shoot Steven Brust an e-mail about a getting a little bit more info about the con and opportunities and how it works.

I just don't know how the whole thing works.

Laurel Krahn said...

Hey Joe, I wandered over here after seeing your comment in Elizabeth Bear's LJ re Fourth Street and MN cons. I've been to twenty Minicons (yikes) and go to Minn-StF (Minnesota Science Fiction Society) parties regularly. Have been to Fourth Street (years ago), I chair Convivial, have worked on and gone to many local cons over the years.

If you've got questions, just drop me a line in email and I'll do my best to answer them. While I've been at this a while, I still remember what it was like to go to conventions for the first time.