CanCon 2017

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Two weekends ago, I went to CanCon 2017, which is a mid-sized genre fiction literary convention that happens in Ottawa every autumn.

I went to some great panels, including a very entertaining talk by Robert J Sawyer on pitfalls to avoid in the writing life, and a fairly intense panel on mental health, neurodiversity, and creativity. I didn’t get to all of the panels I want to do, but I didn’t expect to. I had a teenager with me who has some anxiety issues, and the venue was just a little too claustrophobic for her to be able to handle for long periods. For those who lack such issues, cozy might be a better word, some of the panel rooms, especially. I’m personally lucky enough to be able to bank some stress relief or relieve it later by spending a little green time outdoors, preferably by myself. It’s a fairly common reaction for me being with too many people in a short time span. Not everyone woks that way. We all need to adjust and adapt to our own mental situation. I have my own, different issues. Most of us do.

But here is a list of panels that I actually got to:

  • Laksa Media Presents: The Making of an Anthology
  • Politics of Canadian SF
  • The Art of the Mosaic
  • Mental Health, Neurodiversity, and Creativity
  • Robert J. Sawyer: The Writing Life

I made audio recordings of most of them, but I won’t be sharing those. The convention policy on recording is that, unless you have permission from the specific individuals involved, video and audio recording are acceptable only for personal archival purposes. What that means is that I got to enjoy the experience of being there more, take fewer notes, and be able to go back and take more notes whenever I want. There were several book references I missed in one panel, things I want to make sure I got in Robert Sawyer’s talk, and many additional notes I might have made in the neurodiversity panel.

It was a good con, and I had fun, and we visited my parents in the evenings. But next time, I think that we should have a room in the convention hotel, or at least on the same block, so that there is easy space for any of us who are attending to go and destress, relax, away from the crowds.

I think it’s worth the extra money.

We are planning to go to ad Astra in the spring, sorry, I guess that one has moved to July now. And maybe to CanCon again next year. I enjoy the focus on literature at these conventions, and writing and related activities. Not to mention there’s the opportunity to run into a few old friends here and there, and maybe even meet one of my favorite authors once in a while. So we’re planning at least those two, and we’ll go from there.

Be well, everyone.

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