This past weekend I was in Kingston, Ontario for the first Limestone Genre Expo, a one-day mini-convention covering science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, and romance. If you’re near Kingston (Toronto, Peterborough, Ottawa, upstate New York) and you missed the convention, you need to come next year. This is going to be an important convention in the next few years.
I’ve known two of the organizers—Barry King and Liz Strange—for a while now. For the last few years, Barry and Liz have been trying to organize something in Kingston to celebrate the genre community. It’s a challenge in a small city, but they got the Limestone Genre Expo organized earlier this year and I was fortunate enough to be invited to be a panelist and present a workshop. Other panelists and guests came from Ottawa, Toronto, Peterborough and Montreal (among other places).
And what a day it was!
When I arrived, about 20 minutes before registration officially opened, the line was out the door and around the side of the building. I sat on two panels—world-building and horror—plus gave a writing workshop on how to keep readers on the edge of their seats.
Attendees were excited, energized and engaged. My writing workshop filled up almost immediately (since you had to sign-up at the registration table). There was that “buzz” in the air you find at great conventions. I was so busy talking to attendees and workshop participants that I didn’t have time to catch up with my friends from Toronto and Peterborough. But that’s not a complainant—it’s great to have so many people around who are so passionate about speculative fiction.
I know Barry, Liz and the other organizers are thinking about next year and I hope they will consider a two-day event. The crowd in Kingston was great and with so many major cities only a few hours’ drive away I am certain they will draw even more attendees. Canadians know every summer weekend is precious, but if you are a fan of science fiction, fantasy, horror or other speculative fiction then this is an event you want to attend next year.