SF Conventions And Aging

There’s a lot of talk about the crowds at science fiction conventions ageing and what can be done about that. But I think there’s a factor here so huge everyone overlooks it: the demographics of the entire western world (and beyond) is ageing.

Most days, we can avoid that fact by hanging out with people our own age or thereabouts, but at a convention that isn’t possible (It’s worth pausing here to wonder if the new wave of conventions such as Nine Worlds are not so much an attempt to usher in the next generation of fans with their new interests so much as a subconscious flight from raw reality. Indeed, twenty years hence will 9W’s dealer’s room offer botox injections amid the manga and cosplay items in order to prolong that flight?)

Here in the west we fear decay and try not to look at it. Yet everyone of every age enjoys SF, everyone is greying in large numbers and perhaps it would be healthier to accept reality and embrace such. It’s really not so bad when you look the matter in the eye, despite the crow’s feet.

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