Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

12 Jun 2009, 18:11 p.m.

Should I Go to Think GalactiCon?

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2009 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

I had such a great time at WisCon that I'm now considering sneaking a weekend at a like-minded science fiction convention: Chicago's Think GalactiCon, two weekends from now (the end of June).

This year's Think GalactiCon is the second, following an inaugural con in 2007. The programming schedule, the activities (intro to LARPing, block printing), and the general attitude look right up my alley. And I can afford it, especially if any Chicago-based friends want to put me up (although renting a hotel room wouldn't be a hardship).

I met Isabel and other TG organizers or con-goers at WisCon, and they made lots of encouraging noises. It really looks like they're trying to take the WisCon vibe and focus to a new level, working on all the -isms: sexism, racism, classism, imperialism, speciesism, ageism, ableism, homophobia/transphobia, and so on. Panels include:

  • Anarchism and the Superhero: Anti-Crime Direct Actionist or Enforcer of the State?
  • Gender and Sexuality in Fan Fiction
  • Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations...Or Not? [Star Trek]

... as well as multiple panels specifically about the current discussion around issues of race in genre fiction. "Race & Ethnicity in YA," "RaceFail '09," "Cultural Appropriation," and "Why Are These Brown People Harshing My Squee?" (That last title makes me guffaw even more than the WisCon panel title "Something Is Wrong on the Internet!" did.)

So, I can afford it, I could probably swing a half-day off work to travel late Friday, I know and like a few people who are going, and I'd probably enjoy the conversations. On the other hand, July 3rd-18th I'll be off in Europe on business, so pumping more travel in less than a week prior might be exhausting.

Musings and suggestions welcomed!


12 Jun 2009, 18:21 p.m.

If it were me, I'd skip it on account of it being too much travel in such a short time, but then I'm not a totally energetic extrovert like you, so you might do fine. It sounds like you'll be away during Readercon, which is a shame. Pi-con is happening in August, though, and if you mentioned your interest in race discussions, they might very well schedule some panels about that. I'm undecided on whether I will go to this one, but I'm thinking about it.

12 Jun 2009, 19:51 p.m.

"Harshing my squee" wins my Phrase of the Month competition.