CONvergence is an annual convention for fans of Science Fiction and Fantasy in all media: a 4-day event with more than 6,000 members, and the premiere event of our kind in the upper mid-west.
War is Peace.
Freedom is Volunteering.
Mark 2 is Strength.
CONvergence 2015: DoublePlusGood celebrates dystopian visions in science fiction and fantasy. Spend as much time as you like imagining new economic models, better systems for social justice, and the most delicious free desserts delivered to your doorstep. Someone else will look at your ideal world and immediately know it’s not for them. That’s the problem with utopian fiction—it’s hard to find any two people who agree on what their perfect utopia would look like.
But it’s easy to agree that we wouldn’t want to live under the oppression of Big Brother’s totalitarian regime in 1984 or the theocratic dictatorship of The Handmaid’s Tale. We don’t want to spend each day fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic setting like Mad Max or The Walking Dead. We wouldn’t line up for The Hunger Games or Death Race 2000.
And yet, these settings draw us to them with undeniable fascination. They hold up a horrific funhouse mirror to our own society and allow us to imagine waking up to a world filled with different obstacles and possibilities.
We can gaze upon the worlds of Metropolis, Ergo Proxy or Blade Runner. We can quest our way through Pandora in Borderlands. We can read of A Clockwork Orange, V for Vendetta or Minority Report. (Unless of course we are in the world of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451!)
It’s fun to imagine ourselves as part of these worlds, safe in the knowledge that when the stories end, we’ll be back in our own universe with its familiar virtues and flaws. Dystopias are the science fiction and fantasy incarnation of, “It’s a nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there!”