Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Spocon Ambassador

Last weekend I enjoyed a blissful escape to Eastern Washington's favorite science fiction convention. Spocon might be a small con in the grand scale of things, but the guest list reads like a who's who of speculative fiction.
This year we had Tanya Huff, Seanan McGuire and Patty Briggs. Let that sink in for a minute.
Now add C. J. Cherryh and artist Michael Whelan and let the swooning begin.

Thanks to our fearless leader, I had SFR Brigade badges to sport, cards to hand out and a great flier for the promo rack. We had at least three brigade members present, and I think, were a formidable force for the great name of Science Fiction Romance. . . at least, we didn't get laughed out of the room.

I did get into some great discussions and when the genre came up, it was met with serious consideration and even one, "there's a good market to be in." I took heart from that, and from the great reception and fellowship that didn't look askance at me because I wrote the romantic side of things.

Aside from business, the con was also immensely fun. If you're not a con-goer yet, let me tell you, you're missing out. (I mean, there are stormtroopers for heaven's sake) If you do decide to give the con circuit a try, or if you're an old pro at it, I think we have an opportunity to chip away at some biases and spread the word about our genre and our Brigade.

And have a great time to boot.
I can't think of anything better.

~Frances Pauli


  1. Thanks so much for a great post, Frances. It sounds like you had a lot of fun. Stormtroopers! Gotta love that.

    The subject of Cons came up at RWA and several of us discussed the merits of attending the Cons as another way of getting the word out about SFR to SF-minded enthusiasts.

    On behalf of the Brigade, thanks to you and the others for being our ambassadors to Spocon. :)

  2. I've actually attended four cons now and was able to get on panels for two. For three, I was met with enthusiasm. However, I encountered very negative vibes from one, mainly from one author/publisher of regular sci-fi. I won't say which, but it was one I actually did a panel for. I shared a panel with this person who tried to hog the conversation. Funny though, at the end of the panel, most of the questions were directed toward me. Gotta love that.

  3. Welcome to the blog, Ciara. :)

    Yes, I had to chuckle at that, too. Just shows where the audience's interest was focused.

    Let me know before your next con and I'll try to get you a supply of pins, Ciara.

  4. I think a lot of the readers SFR could easily win over come from the traditional SF fan base, especially women. I mean, they are already primed for SFR through authors like Tanith Lee, Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey, (come on, those early dragon books are romances!)
    The key is to convince them they're already fans of the genre and that SFR is not synonymous with "bodice ripper" (a term that came up more than once)
    I suspect the best way to do that is to show up and chat.
    :-) Thanks again, Laurie!


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