Age shall not weary

Last weekend, Pamela and I were at a miniature Science Fiction convention in Sydney called Freecon. I have posted a few photos here. A few days after that was Remembrance Day. In Binyon’s immortal works – “age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn”.

Looking around the convention room the years had condemned a lot of us but although age was doing its best to weary, a bunch of die-hard fans struggled on. I do not, by the way, count myself among them, however old and weary I might be. I found Cons pretty dull back in the seventies and occasional visits over the intervening years have not changed my opinion.

Still, for Pamela this is work. A number of these people are her potential customers and influential ones at that. People whose opinion on what constitutes a good book counts for something in SF book-reading circles. I was along as moral support and photographer.

I actually spoke at the 2007 version of Freecon (there’s a blog entry here) and thought I might have to again but in the event I wasn’t required. This may be partly because I bailed out of the Sunday sessions due to terminal exhaustion (age having wearied etc).

The days of the old-style convention must be numbered. The punters are growing older and cons will eventually go the way of other out-dated institutions. But there are still lots of fans out there – SF and Fantasy books are selling well let’s not even talk about films, games, comic books (sorry, graphic novels) and small furry toys.

A lot of it has moved online. Most of your favourite authors have blogs where you can keep up with their ideas and contribute your own. There are fan sites, chat rooms, author sites, gaming sites. Probably there are small furry toy sites. You can be a lot closer to your author than used to be the case and it is less necessary to spend a weekend listening to only occasionally interesting panels to be so.

As a not particular fan of cons I can but approve. People will still get together – however good online communication is it doesn’t quite compare with meeting actual physical people – but the format is changing. And about time too.

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 16th, 2008 at 8:44 pm and is filed under Fandom. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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