Nowadays you no longer have to be labeled a geek or a nerd to enjoy one of the many science fiction or fantasy conventions that have sprung up around the country over the last several years. On the contrary, the popularity of such events, like the sci-fi movies and shows they are dedicated to, have reached a new high. Conventions are now part of pop-culture, and are now held around the country as well as around the world. Science fiction fans are some of the most passionate and dedicated fans of any genre, willing to go to great extremes to support their favorite shows. Whether you love Doctor Who, Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly, The Walking Dead, or any of the other imaginative shows that have come and gone, you are welcomed. Modern sci-fi conventions originated back in the 1980’s, but were smaller, were more underground, and were dedicated to specific sci-fi television programs and movies. They weren’t as popular, diverse, or well-promoted as the cons have now grown to be.
Sci-fi cons are often considered the first fan conventions, historically centering on science fiction books and literature. They have expanded to a wide variety of media, including television, movies, and beyond, and can very heavily on sub-genres focused on. Each convention is unique with a different style, but most feature comment elements: guests, typically either sci-fi authors or actors, and events, typically including panels, discussions, and autograph signings. Comic book and graphic novel artists and creators are also popular guests, such as Stan Lee, creator of Marvel Comics. Collectors are also drawn to sci-fi conventions for the chance to find rare, sought-after items that are impossible to find outside of Ebay, such as action figures, comics, and prop replicas.
Costuming, cosplay (costume playing), and larping (live-action role playing) have become one of the highlights of sci-fi cons. Many fans will spend hundreds, and even thousands, of dollar to make elaborate costumes. Some of these are based on popular movie, television and comic book characters, but others are totally original. Some people will wear multiple costumes throughout the duration of a particular convention, even as many as 2 or 3 a day. The sky is the limit when it comes to imaginative costuming, and bringing your favorite characters to life. Conventions are a great place to find others interested in the same things that you are, to make new friends, and to spend a few days.
Just a few upcoming conventions include The Denver Comic Con held the weekend of June 13th through the 15th, 2014, San Diego Comic Con from July 24-27, and Dragoncon in Atlanta, GA August 29 - September 1, 2014. You can do an online search to discover many, many other sci-fi conventions, and chances are, will be able to find one not far from where you live!