Ian Randal Strock

Future convention plans

I’m thinking of upcoming conventions and appearances. Thinking that there’s a real dearth at this time of year. After Philcon, a week and a half ago (which, as Philcons go, was average: a good time socially, a bad time commercially), I’ve got a one-day event in two weeks (The Steampunk Charity Bazaar in Boxborough, Massachusetts [see below for grumble on that town]). Then nothing until Arisia in mid-January in Boston (January 13-15). That’s followed by a gap of another month, before Gimmerdark (February 3-5 in Princeton, NJ), Boskone (February 17-19 in Boston, MA), Heliosphere (March 10-12 in Tarrytown, NY), Albacon (March 31-April 2 in Albany, NY), Lunacon (April 7-9 in Tarrytown, NY), and the Steampunk World’s Fair (May 5-7 in Piscataway, NJ). So I’m thinking of adding another one right in the middle, right in the same place: Dark Side of the Con, March 17-19, also in Piscataway, NJ.

With all of that work planned, I’ve also got Mensa events in Rhode Island in mid-January, and New Jersey at the beginning of March. But looking at this list, it tells me that I need to find conventions in other places: I’ve got three in eastern Massachusetts, two in Tarrytown, three in central New Jersey…

Oh, and that Boxborough grumble? We just found out that the town of Boxborough tries to charge a transient vendor license fee of $15. That’s in addition to requiring vendors to charge sales tax, and the money the vendors are paying to the convention/hotel for the space, and buying food in the town, and a hotel room in the town… This is the first time I’ve run into such naked financial opportunism on the backs of people doing business in the town and with town-based businesses. But since we were only told of the fee this weekend, and the show is in two weeks, we’ll be sucking it up and paying… this time. But I probably won’t be returning to Boxborough in the future.