This last weekend was the second annual Nerdcon: Stories. My husband and I went last year, and I quickly bought tickets when they became available this year.
This event defies a set explanation. It was created to be a convention but I noticed the word conference being banded about this year and I feel that is a little bit better term. It was co-created by Hank Green and Patrick Rothfuss, both individuals I admire a great deal.
It is about storytelling in all the forms humans undertake it: Fiction, music, art, and storytelling. Because it is so broad in scope it is a little difficult to market. About a month ago Hank put up a video calling the event a failure. I understood his perspective and the position and issues he brought up but it bothered me a great deal. I’ve been trying to determine exactly why. There is the obvious of course, that I was looking forward to it for six months just to have one of the creators call it a failure was a personal hurt. But I think there was more to it than that. This event is about narrative and how we create our narrative. Hank created his narrative by calling it a failure. He could have said it wasn’t a financial success. This may actually be more accurate because let me say, it wasn’t a failure to me.
This event has become a part of my life’s narrative. Seeing people do things so passionately. Watching friendships unfold and the unexpected happen in front of you and to be a part of it. It is powerful and amazing. It is the one time my husband and I have taken away to think and laugh together once a year. Not to mention there is some amazing people there.
I got to take a drawing class with Karen Hallion guys!!! I saw my crushes John Scalzi and Patrick Rothfuss in all their nerdy glory. People talked about representation in literature, and their struggles with mental health, and played role playing games on a stage. Not to mention discovering so many artists that I need to find All of their work: Saladin Ahmed, Mikki Kendall, Nalo Hopkinson, Leslie Carrara-Rudolph just as a start. There is still so much for my brain to unpack.
All I can say is if Patrick and Hank are listening, please don’t make this the last one. I don’t care if it changes cities or if it is spread across 4 different public libraries or if you run a kickstarter for it. These are conversations that need to be happening more frequently, not less. And I’ll do whatever I can to make it a financial success as well as a personal one.