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Arisia - January 18 - 21, 2013 Westin Boston Waterfront
Review by Daniel Dern
Date: 18 January 2013

Links: Convention Website / Show Official Info /

Arisia, held in Boston over the Martin Luther King Birthday weekend, is always a fun science fiction convention to be at, and Arisia 2013, held at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (adjacent to the BCEC Boston Convention and Exposition Center) was no exception. This year's Guests of Honor were:

  • Writer Guests of Honor: Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes
  • Artist Guest of Honor: Roger Dean
  • Musical Guests of Honor: Emerald Rose

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR. Click on image for details

There's a lot to like about Arisia. One, it's lively and multigenerational; there's fans of all ages, from babies and toddlers through pre-teens, teens, and (us) greyhairs. Two, something for everybody, from gaming (board, LARP, card, etc.) through media, workshops, panels, masquerade, the Regency Dance, readings, and panels. And three, Arisia looks like an SF convention, not just because of the signage and the hucksters, but also thanks to a good number of hall costumes or otherwise-accessorized garb.

Arisia's programming (panels, readings, and more) has grown vastly more comprehensive over the past half-dozen years, with panels on everything from SF/fantasy books, science, and technology, to comics, anime, movies, gaming, costuming, lifestyles, and more.

Sadly, my schedule wasn't a match for getting to any, for the long Saturday I was there. I did a reading in the main programming (Arisia, like some other cons, are matching up three authors to a session), plus, over in Fast Track (kids area), reading of my Dern Grim Bedtime Tales, Few Of Which End Well, And Other Stories, along with my traditional magic show ("What, you want me to pull a hat out of rabbit?").

And of course I had to spend time in the Dealers Room and at the Art Show, chat with folks at the various con tables (memberships for upcoming conventions and convention bids), schmooze with friends, grab some food in the Con Suite area or (since I was a participant) in the Dexter-themed Green Room. Not to mention simply walk or stand around to see and admire the hall costumes, which, as always, were often marvelous.

There was no shortage of panels I would have gone to -- time and schedule match permitting. Maybe next year.

Meanwhile, I had fun walking and looking, as my photo essay will attest to.

Our Readers Respond

From: Julia Hutchinson
Thanks for the photoessay, it was helpful! I'm considering tabling at Arisia's AA and used your photos to help me decide if the event is for me.

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