I revived my blog a few days ago, mentioning that I was attending MarsCon 2019 for the first time. As I mentioned in that brief post, it was largely a bittersweet experience. I’d like to write about the convention itself, as it was my first time attending this particular event.
I fell in love with sci-fi/fantasy conventions several years ago. The first one I ever had the pleasure of attending was Con Nooga way back in 2015. I’d been eyeing conventions a little wistfully for many years beforehand. I decided to take the plunge due to two factors: an author that I really liked was the guest of honor that year, and I finally had a friend who lived close enough to accompany me. It was an overwhelmingly delightful time for me, and it spawned a desire for MOAR. I learned a lot that first year, mostly the hard way, but I still had a great time.
I’ve attended a few more conventions since then, notably MystiCon in 2016 (when the convention team somehow managed to charm George R.R. Martin into venturing to Roanoke, Virginia — witchcraft that I want to know the trick to), and ConCarolinas last year. I’d heard about MarsCon before, years ago, but never managed to make my way there. Last summer, when I discovered that two of my favorite authors, Seanan McGuire and Catherynne M. Valente, were going to be the Guests of Honor for 2019, I swore I’d go. I bought my pass and planned my trip with one of my oldest friends, who lived close to Williamsburg (MarsCon’s home). As I mentioned in my brief post over the weekend, that friend passed away quite unexpectedly, two weeks after we made our plans to take MarsCon by storm.