Geek Thanksgiving (Otherwise known as Philcon)

by Gail Z. Martin

It wouldn’t be Turkey Day without Philcon, at least not for me.  Philcon, the annual gathering of PSFS (and yes, people pronounce that phonetically—it stands for Philadelphia Science Fiction Society), is a fun con dedicated to Philadelphia but held in New Jersey.

Philcon is also the end of my con season for the year, a break before things start up again in January with Arisia.  Over the years I’ve gotten to know a lot of the authors, vendors and fans who are Philcon regulars, so it’s a comfortable gathering of old friends along with the fun of cheeky panels and a good con suite.  And don’t forget the Meet the Pros party, which puts out a top notch spread.

This year’s Philcon will be bittersweet, since we’ll be missing one of Philadelphia’s own, L.A. Banks.  I met Leslie (L.A.) at Philcon a couple of years ago, and we chatted for a while at the Meet the Pros event as well as on and off throughout the con.  She was gracious, unassuming, and very kind.  We continued the conversation on my GhostInTheMachinePodcast.com (see the archives, it’s still up), and she was generous in writing an author tip for my second Thrifty Author book (Selling and Promoting Your Book Online, which comes out in December).  I had looked forward to seeing her again and getting to know her better, but Leslie passed away over the summer, far too young.  This year, Philcon includes a panel remembering her work.

On a brighter note, my first time at CapClave outside of Washington, DC was a lot of fun.  Let it be said that CapClave knows how to throw a party, and a damn fine con.  Fun panels, a literary dealers room, and a surprise visit by Terry Pratchett were all part of the weekend.  Not to mention some fine conversations just chilling out in the lounge with other writers and readers.

I hope to see you at Philcon, but if not, perhaps at a con near you in 2012!

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