(Author Chelsea Nolen, my wife Shelley, and Clayton J. Callahan)
This weekend was the 41st celebration of Orycon, Portland Oregon’s premier science fiction convention. Oh sure, we have not one but two Comicons every year (Rose City and Wizard World), but those are huge commercial events. Orycon is different.
It’s a smaller, more intimate affair where fans can connect with other fans without having to stand in line all day for autographs or other such nonsense. In this way, it’s a more authentic fan experience than the overhyped Comicons will ever be. For instance, the great CJ Cherith (Left) was in attendance this year and it took no autograph fee of hours-long wait in line for me to speak to her (much like the last time I saw her at Rivercon in 1985, and yes, I’m that old).
Costumes are also welcome at Orycon. And although Comicon has a lot more participants in that department, one can still strut one’s stuff in the halls of the Red Lion Hotell just as well as at the Portland Convention Center.
Now, to be fair, I do go to both conventions and enjoy them. But as in all things people are allowed their preferences–and I prefer Orycon.
By Clayton J. Callahan
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the 40th annual Orycon convention in Jenson Beach, Oregon.
I got to play some wargames with some great folks, dress up in my steampunk best with my favorite gal, and even met “Captain Kangaroo.” On the whole, a great weekend, as usual.
I’ve lived in Oregon for over ten years now, having come straight from Iraq at the end of my longest deployment. Since then, I’ve only skipped one of these conventions, and that was because the Uncle Sam sent my butt back to “the sandbox” for another fun-filled trip. In all that time, Orecon has changed hotels twice but never failed to keep its charm. It’s a smaller, writer based convention. Not as loud or attention-getting as a Comicon event. This is where you can just hang out in the con-suite and shoot the bull with other writers and fans about science fiction, fantasy, and all that nerdy jazz.
I’m pleased to say, the con is doing quite well for an event of forty years old attendance wise. We had to get a room at the hotel across the street due to lack of room availability and we were certainly not alone. If you’re a fan of any kind of geekery, I suggest you look for one of these smaller, more intimate conventions in your area. Always a good time and thus, always worth it.
By Clayton J. Callahan