Thursday, April 06, 2006

Con- ventions

When I rode motorcycles, which I did from roughly age ten when I got a used minibike, until age thirty-three, when I parked my Honda 650, many people got the wrong idea about my personality. I never owned a leather jacket, have no tattoos, and never smoked anything. I don’t even curse often. However, the bias against my favorite mode of transportation followed me despite a total lack of interest in Hell’s Angels, Harleys and especially choppers. I preferred bikes with more zip, actually.

Hopefully, reading and watching science fiction are not always associated with being terminally weird, either. Oh, some people will always associate sci-fi with nerds. My interest in science fiction began in childhood, as I watched Star Trek along side the early efforts of NASA, but I’m not obsessed with the genre nor as weird as the stereotypical sci-fi fan.

I attended a science-fiction convention once, some years ago, because one in Atlanta was hosting James Doohan and Michael Dorn, and my long term love of Star Trek won out over any concerns I had about Alanta traffic or the attendees. Both of these gentlemen made excellent speeches, and I loved getting their autographs. The con, as these are now called, was quite an experience. The dealer’s room— a huge place filled with vendors hawking overpriced pins, comics, magazines, and 8x10 glossy pics of TV and film stars— was amazing. Even more amazing were the costumes, both in number and variety. As I stood in line behind a woman who was trying to look like Uhura, the communications officer on the original Star Trek, she informed me that her young son had made her costume. I had no trouble believing that. Many of the other costumes were quite professional, however. Being dressed in business casual, which I always deemed appropriate for a weekend trip to Atlanta, somehow felt downright odd.

One of my very best friends has a son who publishes sequential art— that’s comic books in layman’s terms— who says I should try hawking Trinity on Tylos at science fiction conventions. A really up and coming science fiction writer from this area, a guy who has published fourteen books, is speaking at Liberty.con in Chattanooga and at Dragon.con in Atlanta later this year. So, perhaps that is good advice. Maybe I should dress up, too. Not as a Trek character, of course, but I could dress up as a biker, since I never did that when I rode the various motorcycles that I owned during my youth.

BTW, I still have my motorcyclist’s license, but I haven’t ridden anything on the street larger than my daughter’s scooter for a number of years. Motherhood is a great responsibility, not to be taken lightly. But I could get a black tee shirt and a leather jacket with star shaped studs, I suppose, and try the con-vention. What do you think?

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