The Friday after Thanksgiving, I entered the LAX Marriot for LosCon not knowing what to expect. Like many, I’d longed to gather with fellow science fiction fans. On the other hand, I was aware the U.S. had surpassed 750,000 covid 19 related deaths. Only because of the precautions taken by the hotel and convention was I able to participate in my first live convention in two years. AND IT WAS AWESONE!
This was the 47th LosCon, which is typically a small, literary focused science fiction convention with between 700 and 800 attendees. Despite being combined with WesterCon, this year’s seems smaller than usual. However, what it lacked in size it made up for in opportunities to reconnect and network. The mood was overwhelmingly that of gratitude at being able to see old friends in person again and a willingness to make new ones.
The guests of honor were: Artist, Jeff Sturgeon; Fans, Kristine & Dennis Chery; and author Dr. Gregory Benford. The theme was, “Putting the Science in Science Fiction.” With the current buzz about Mars, Dr. Benford made the perfect choice for writer guest of honor. His novel, The Mars Race is strangely prophetic when it comes to the privatization of the new space race.
Highlights for me were serving on the “Mars-The Next Moonshot?” panel with Dr. Benford and doing high tea with him and a dozen of his closest fans. A shout out to the staff who put on the tea–complete with fancy teapots and delicious finger foods. They did a fantastic job making the event feel special. And the teas donated by Dragon Marsh Apothecary & Teas were the best I’ve ever had—especially the blood orange flavor.
Other highlights included a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and just kicking back in the green room shooting the breeze with Larry Niven. Saturday morning Tia Chi with Steven Barnes is something I always look forward to and it didn’t disappoint.
Not to say the convention didn’t suffer a few glitches due to the pandemic. Both the dealers room and art show were smaller than in previous years. The author autograph sessions were thrown together at the last minute causing a lot of confusion. But the staff and volunteers were exceptionally patient. Since patience has been in short supply in 2021, I was glad to see it in abundance within our community at this convention.
LosCon is hosted by The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS), the world’s oldest continuously active science fiction and fantasy club. Chairs for the convention were Sheri Benoun and Bruse Farr.
Gallery: Rebecca with convention friends
My updated bio:
Rebecca Inch-Partridge serves as a slush pile reader for Amazing Stories Magazine. She is a freelance editor and author. To read her nuclear apocalyptic novel, Surviving the Fall for free, sign up for her Chapter of the Week Club at www.ripartridge.com