Winters can be dark and isolating here in the Northwest. Our fertile imaginations and the holiday bounty of games can keep out the rain for a little while, but eventually a geek has to get out! Fortunately, there are many conventions here in the Northwest.
RUSTYCON Fri., Jan. 17–Sun., Jan. 19 The Northwest’s first sci-fi and fantasy con of the year, Rustycon features literature, costumes, gaming, artwork, and more. The panels cover a wide spectrum of geeky subjects, including “Being an Independent Fantasy Artist,” and “Coming Out in Comic.” Guest of honor Todd Johnson McCaffrey is the son of Anne McCaffrey and author of books in the Dragonrider of Pern series. Marriott Hotel, SeaTac, rustycon.com. Buy badges at the door, $20–$55.
CONFLIKT Fri., Jan. 24–Sun., Jan. 26 This con is devoted to filk music and culture—a genre, dating back to the ’50s, that focuses on science fiction and fantasy fandoms and often features songs written and performed by fans. Conflikt offers workshops and panel discussions on filk, and concerts galore, with special guests including Amy McFiddler, a professional fiddler and filk favorite. Hilton Seattle Airport, SeaTac, conflikt.org. Pre-register online or buy passes at the door, $55–$60. Children 1–12 are free.
RADCON Fri., Feb. 14–Sun., Feb. 16 In its 23rd year, RadCon has long been a staple of Washington’s geek scene. But what sets it apart is its support of the education, writing, and filming of sci-fi and fantasy at this con and throughout the year. Among this year’s guests will be writer Mike Resnick, winner of five Hugos and a Nebula. Red Lion Inn, Pasco, Wash., radcon.org. Tickets online, $35. Children 1–13 are free.
BEYONDCON Fri., Feb. 21–Sun., Feb. 23 BeyondCon is a costumer’s haven, catering to fantasy and sci-fi fans as well as history buffs and re-enactors and offering a place to learn new costuming techniques and share your own. This year’s theme is “Celebrating the Fabulous ’40s,” so panels will discuss fashion from the 1040s to the 2240s, and Saturday’s dance party will be soundtracked by ’40s hits. Inn at Gig Harbor, Gig Harbor, Wash., brcg.org/events/beyondcon. Tickets online, $37–$40 (to attend the con but not the panels, $15).
FAERIECON WEST Fri., Feb. 21–Sun., Feb. 23 Celebrating music and art of the faerie and mystic realms, FaerieCon West includes concerts, masquerades, workshops, panels, vendors, a fashion show, and an art show. Special guests include FAUN, the popular German pagan folk band. Seattle Doubletree Hilton, SeaTac, faeriecon.com. Tickets online or at the door, $8–$110. Kids 12 and under are free.