Well, I guess it's a week ago now, but I just returned from Westercon 65 in Seattle. I can't say that I've been to a huge number of conventions myself. All of three, counting the most recent, but this one was, shall we say, different. I think it was either happy drugs in the air ducts or some sort of subconscious trick with the patterns on the walls and floor, but everyone was nice. Quite nice. Unbelievably nice. So nice that I did not want to leave, and that's a rarity at a convention. It was very nice, and very clean.
You see, at most conventions, there's this sort of deep divide between the pros and the fans, as though the fans are thoroughly unworthy and the pros are royalty. Not here. Here, we actually had dinner with the prose. You could stop in the halls for a long while and have a conversation with a professional. You can sit in the hospitality suite and have breakfast with fans and pros, at the same table. At any other convention, that wouldn't be a possibility, I promise you that.
Maybe I'm wrong. I would love it if this was the new convention atmosphere: no superiority complex, nobody looking down any noses, nothing of the sort--just a good, honest rapport between two parties that aren't that different. Maybe the scene as a whole is finally going to take a leaf from the fans. Writer fans, reader fans, costuming fans, gamer fans--we all can sit down together and talk, or play a game. Maybe, just maybe, in this strange, new world of writing, we'll finally see the barriers broken down almost entirely. I can't honestly hope for an entire breakdown, and I don't think I would want one, but this last convention opened my eyes to what could be.
And I like it.