What’s a Fen?

I’m currently attending my first Sci-Fi convention—FenCon IX in Dallas, Texas. When I first heard about it last June, I got pretty excited. I had to go. I’ve loved science fiction my whole life. But what’s a Fen?

As the plural of man is men, the plural of fan is… wait for it… fen. And when you have a hotel filled with fen, the result is sheer fun.

I find myself surrounded by writers, artists, musicians, editors, publishers, astronauts (Dr. Stanley Love), and men in kilts. Kilts? Yep. One gentleman’s kilt is even sewn of green camouflage. Nearly everybody has a tee shirt with their favorite space hero, video game, or movie splashed across the front. Others wear top-hat fascinators or Jayne Cobb knit caps.

For my first day I learned about writing conflict, remembered Ray Bradbury, listened to panels about cover art, the future of comics, and the magic of Firefly, and saw a sneak preview of the new trailer of The Hobbit. There was even a musical number called “Red Shirt Riot.”

Today I will be listening to Dr. Love speak about the future of space exploration, as well as attending a panel about Sherlock Holmes, and one about The Hobbit.

Sunday holds a Phineas and Ferb panel as well as a Monty Python’s Flying Circus discussion. It’s a wide variety of programs that fall into the science fiction genre.

Every little piece creates this beautiful mosaic that forms a little piece of American (and human) history. The stories fit together, overlap, and overlay to construct a cool fan base—a fen pool, if you will.

That’s a wrap for this toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading.

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