Posts Tagged 'speculative fiction'

Conventions as “safe spaces” for the shy and introverted

can-con

Can-Con 2016, Ottawa speculative fiction convention, is coming up in a few weeks. It’s taking place September 9 – 11, 2016 at the Novotel in downtown Ottawa.

If you are a fan of sci-fi, fantasy, horror or anything like that, but have never been to (or considered attending) a convention, please give this a try. A bit of my history: When I began writing seriously, I was encouraged to attend Ad Astra in Toronto. I was very hesitant. I am a shy person, very introverted, and a weekend surrounded by strangers seemed overwhelming to me. Like, panic-attack overwhelming.

But I went and was transformed. Here were people like me: shy and thoughtful, but away from the loud-and-boisterous braggarts who dominate just about every public space, we could be ourselves. Was Robotech as good as we remembered, is Star more SF or more fantasy, when does horror go too far? I could talk to people if I wanted to, or be off by myself and no one bothered me. And not just did no one bother me, no one made me think that being on my own was somehow wrong.

A speculative fiction conference is a safe space in a lot of ways. We actively fight sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and racism. But you are also safe to be in your own shell. We’ve all had experiences where sitting and reading our book is viewed as pitiable or even a justification to “save” us from being alone. This does not happen at a speculative fiction conference. And something like Comiccon, even with all its geeky goodness, can be overwhelming with so many people.

SF conventions, like Can-Con, are places to observe and think. It is as contemplative as it is social. You can go to the room parties, read in the bar, or chill out in your room—it’s all OK. If you don’t say one word to anyone else, no one will judge you or think it’s wrong or you’re being a jerk.

If you’re a fan of SF/F/H and feel like no one at work or in your family really gets you, and you have to pretend to be someone else to get by every day, please come. Experience what I did. Make strong friendships even after a life-time of finding it hard to make new friends. We might not all love the same things, or see eye-to-eye on The Force Awakens, but we will respect who you are and what you believe, and welcome you into our community even after so many others have excluded you.

Please come: http://can-con.org/cc/registration/

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Save the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic

Here’s my contribution in an effort to help save the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, an award for Canadian writers of speculative fiction.

In partnership with the Toronto SpecFic Colloquium, the Sunbursts are looking for 30-second to 2-minute videos from people sharing their thoughts on Canadian speculative fiction. Entries are posted to their YouTube channel and a longer video will edit together clips and be shown at the the opening remarks of the Colloquium on October 23, 2010.

More information can be found at: http://www.specfic-colloquium.com/sunburstawards.htm.


Upcoming Appearances

ChiSeries Ottawa: Charles de Lint, Paul Glennon and Liz Westbrook-Trenholm – Host
Nov. 7, 2017
Clocktower Brew (Basement)
575 Bank Street
Ottawa, ON
Nov 21st OIW: Short Story Writing with Matt Moore, Lydia Peever – Instructor
Nov. 21, 2017
Hintonburg Community Centre
1064 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON

Where Else to Find Me

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Email me at MattMooreWrites@gmail.com


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