Windycon – Dystopia, Space, and Art
Windycon Art Show web page
I'll be spending this weekend at the Windycon 36 Science Fiction Convention. If you haven't heard of Windycon it is one of the Midwest's largest regional science-fiction conventions with an average attendance of over 1300.
I will of course be participating in the art show. Kerry Kuhn (aka Trouble) will be running the art show again this year which means that everything will go smoothly. I always enjoy touring the art show and seeing what the other artists are up to. I especially enjoy the Friday night wine and cheese reception which allows the artists and potential buyers to mix, mingle, and make merry. Another feature of the art show is the art auction held Saturday night and run by Bob Passovoy. It's probably one of the most entertaining art auctions you'll ever attend.
I think that I've attended most of the Windycons over the last 20 years and this one certainly has the lightest personal workload. I typically give one, maybe two, presentations and participate in a few panel discussions. This year I offered no talks and was assigned to a single panel. But that panel is a good one. Titled Dystopia Begone, the panel's description is:
Does the future have to be so grim? Is our future really overcrowded, polluted and unequal? What books are interesting, good to read, and have a positive view of the near future? Or is there a positive view? Our panelists discuss the world of the next 100 years.
The panelists will be myself, E.E. Knight, Michael Williamson, and Gene Wolfe.
When it comes to science fiction and dystopian views of the future, I must say that I find the subject appealing. Looking over this Wikipedia list of dystopian literature, I find that I have read and enjoyed quite a few of the novels listed.
Based on memory I would have to say that of the ones I have read, my five top favorites are:
- The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein – 1966
- 1984 by George Orwell – 1949
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – 1932
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – 1953
- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess – 1962
For my money, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress and 1984 are far out in front of the other three on my list.
And in getting back to the future, I will also be participating in a planning meeting for the 2010 International Space Development Conference (ISDC) – being held Saturday morning at the hotel. The International Space Development Conference is an annual conference sponsored by the National Space Society for which I am a director. I tried to avoid becoming deeply involved in the ISDC for fear of being stretched to thin. However I failed miserably. In addition to now being the official photographer for the 2010 ISDC, I am also managing the Call for Papers and find myself to be the Web Site Coordinator. You'll be reading more about this in the future.
If you're attending Windycon, keep an eye out for me and don't forget to visit the art show.
Ad Astra, Jim