Thursday, March 13, 2014

Aggiecon 45: Who cares?

As Lawrence Person so helpfully pointed out, Aggiecon 45 has announced its guest lineup for this year. Which consists of exactly two people, an obscure anime voice actor and some guy who does a podcast that isn't StarshipSofa or any of the other A-list podcasts up for Hugos every year.

I used to be emotionally invested in the success or failure of Aggiecon, because hey, I ran the damn thing long years ago and was a regional guest on a regular basis for a decade running. I even received the "Aggiecon Lifetime Achievement Award" from those good folks (which puts me in a small fraternity including the likes of Harlan Ellison). But you know what? I just don't care anymore. Year-in, year-out I've offered advice and offered to open my SFWA directory for them to land some really cool guests, comparable to the really cool guests Armadillocon and Apollocon bring in. Crickets chirp in response. They've even stopped inviting me as a regional guest--not that I'm a huge draw, by any means, but I'm fun on panels. Surprisingly, this doesn't bother me. The current students seem to be fixated on emulating Dragoncon, which means lots of C-list media celebrity types and as few of those boring old writers as possible. Sorry, I've got better things to do with my time.

I do believe we're watching the final stages of the Aggiecon death spiral. At this point, it's a question of "when," not "if." Surprisingly, that doesn't bother me, either. I'd rather let the con die the true death rather than watch it limp along in the hollow, irrelevant manner that's come to dominate of late.

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  1. It does seem to be suffering quite a bit, but I continue to go, come hell or high water. It's my annual pilgrimage to College Station to meet up with friends. The con itself, these days, is secondary. If I go to multiple panels, it's a miracle. I take a once around the Art Show, a couple of trips around the Dealers' Room.

    Last year was saved, somewhat, by the GRRM event and the fact that I had to be there for LSC3. I don't think any of those saving graces will be there this time.

  2. Yeah, I see that. But BCS is too far a haul for me when I see more friends at any of the other cons. Plus, I heard some seriously troubling things out of the GRRM event. Arrogant, tail-wagging-the-dog behavior from Aggiecon. That's not sweetening the deal any.

  3. What was the GRRM stuff? Or was that only from me? >_>

  4. Sometimes things do just die. Sad when the new groups see no value in what went before, and tempting to think "You just don't know what you're missing."

    You'd think if all they want is DragonCon, they'd save the money and effort it takes to run a convention and just go to DragonCon (which is wonderful in its own way, I hasten to add, since I'm going again this year.) There's no way A&M can, or would, host anything like it...and a teeny-tiny attempt at DragonCon is too much like the chihuahua and the Great Dane love affair.

  5. Anonymous11:16 PM

    Thank you for posting what so many people think and so few people blog. Aggiecon has become the damp squib of regional science-fiction/fantasy conventions.