After some discussion on Steve Brust’s blog, I’m wondering if it’s possible to list all the cons in this area. There really are a lot of them, and it’s very easy to lose track. I’ve seen various attempts to concatenate all the cons in this area, but they seem to come and go, and to quite often miss some important cons. Kevin’s listing is one of the best, but it’s hard to keep up to date.
For those reasons, I’ve decided to compile a list that doesn’t list specific dates, but rather general tendencies, so that hopefully this list won’t become incorrect too quickly. In other words, I’m aiming for a perpetual calendar, not a single year’s specific listing.
- A physical, face-to-face con, not online.
- Within a 5-6 hour drive of the Twin Cities.
- Concerned with SF&F and (what I consider) closely related hobbies.
- Open to the public.
- Persistent. Has been run consistently, within the above limits, for a few years, and usually occurs every year. (Thus I’m not — yet — listing things like Berserkon, BritCon, Furry Migration, GameHoleCon, Gaming Hoopla, Gaylaxicon, or MantiCon.)
I’m trying not to make judgments about what’s fannish and what’s not, at least within broad bounds. And I’m not trying to limit it to fan-run, non-profit cons, because it’s actually kind of hard to define those criteria precisely. This is not a list of recommendations, just an expansive list of cons.
So, within those limits, cons I know of are:
|Name||Approximate time||Location||Overall focus|
|SuperCon||Superbowl weekend (Late January?).||Hastings, MN||Relaxacon|
|Con of the North||Usually mid-February||Twin Cities||Gaming|
|Gamicon||Late February||Iowa City, IA||Gaming|
|Minicon||Easter weekend||Twin Cities||General SF&F|
|MarsCon||Early or mid-March||Twin Cities||General SF&F|
|GaryCon||Late March||Lake Geneva, WI||Gaming|
|Odyssey Con (aka OddCon)||Early April||Madison, WI||General SF&F|
|DemiCon||Early May||Des Moines, IA||General SF&F|
|Anime Detour||Late March||Twin Cities||Anime|
|NoBrandCon||April||Eau Claire, WI||Anime|
|WisCon||Memorial Day weekend||Madison, WI||Feminist SF|
|CoreCon||Mid-June||Fargo, ND||General SF&F|
|Fourth Street Fantasy||Last weekend in June||Twin Cities||Writing & SF&F|
|Convergence||Fourth of July weekend||Twin Cities||General SF&F|
|AnimeIowa||Late July||Coralville, IA||Anime|
|Diversicon||Early August||Twin Cities||General SF&F|
|Mnstf fallcon (The name changes every few years, but the con is very consistent.)||Usually October||Twin Cities||Relaxacon|
|Fallcon (the comic book one)||Early October||Twin Cities||Comics|
|Crypticon||Late October||Twin Cities||Horror|
|ValleyCon||Late October||Fargo, ND||General SF&F|
|MetaCon||Early November||Twin Cities||General SF&F|
|Icon||Early November||Cedar Rapids, IA||General SF&F|
|OmegaCon||Appears to be at varying times||Northwest WI||Relaxacon|
That’s already 25 cons, averaging more than two per month. And considerably more during the summer months. And not even getting into more far-flung cons, like the ones in Chicago. I knew there were a lot of cons in this area, but listing them out, I’m amazed.
Also, I am quite certain I’ve missed some. I know, for example, that I’m missing some university gaming/anime/comic/fandom clubs’ local cons, which still meet the criteria I’ve laid out. Which cons am I forgetting?
If possible, I’d like to keep this listing up to date, so feel free to give me updates, either via email or in the comments.