#3: Attend a Science Fiction Convention

I’m a big science fiction fan.  It runs in my family.  Give me your Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Farscape–franchise or standalone, short story, novel, television- or mini-series or movie.  I’m a sucker for a good myth arc, be it preachy, quippy, campy, or politically allegorical.  I guess you could say that I enjoy slipping into other worlds, or the idea that this one has whole secret patterns we just haven’t noticed yet. 

One universe that does exist, but which I’ve never explored, is the Science Fiction Convention itself.  I’ve been invited, I’ve been coaxed, but I’ve never committed to going.  It’s usually the road trip that puts me off.  Imagine my surprise to find that a science fiction convention was in town last weekend. I’d already missed the first day of Arisia 2010 by the time I discovered it, and I had plans to attend the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting.  Since it’s the year of 52 adventures I decided to take a break from a conference that used science to organize fiction to visit a science fiction convention. It was just in Cambridge!  Not a long trip at all. Except, of course, that the day I picked to venture out with a couple of like-minded neighbors was one of the slushiest I’ve ever seen. Appropriately enough, we now had a quest.

 

It's deeper than it looks

Many had attempted to ford the legendary swirling frost-moat of the Landmark Center Tower in pursuit of adventure, but few survived.

It took about forty-five minutes to make the five-minute walk to the Fenway T stop.

Upon arrival in Cambridge, we narrowly missed the first shuttle, but made the second.  I managed to keep my pants on.  Registration took a little while, although because it was the last afternoon of the convention, people had started registering for next year.  We waited to register and soon found our name badges, which were decorated with cats wearing goggles.  It hadn’t occurred to me to create a fun name for myself until I noticed, after the fact, that the woman running my registration was named something like “Fiona Philomentica.” (If you’re reading this and your name really is Fiona Philomentica, I say that without any judgment or mockery–that would be awesome.)

I think the woman was named Jo, but maybe it was the cat

I donned the signet of identification which would permit me to view the citadel's treasures.

Since we went on the last day of the convention–and the weather was horrifying–the events were pretty low key, the registration process was clockwork-quick but weary, and the vendors were packing up their goods.  It was fun to walk around and check out what was left; it leaned towards fantasy more than science fiction, with your standard issue corsets, bustles, crystal necklaces, and elaborate steampunk weaponry.  I wish I could have gotten some photos of the costumes, but everyone just seemed so fatigued on that last day, with the exception of a very sprightly Dr. Horrible who was just too quick for me to catch.  We explored the area, sat in on one panel, had pizza for lunch, and stopped by the Harvard Book Store on the way back.

All in all, a successful adventure!  I think it’d be worthwhile for me to try this adventure again, earlier in the event, when things were more energetic.

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