Is There Interest In a Mid-West Regional Meet-Up/ Lecture?

David Trammel's picture

As I've mentioned a few times, I am a long time member of the Archon Sci-Fi Convention community which is held near St. Louis, Missouri each year on the first weekend in October.

Their website:

By long time member I mean my first was #5 where I met Steven King in an elevator. In 2017, it will hold its 40th continous year of celebration.

(Ok so I'm as old as the hills and twice as bushy, lol.)

Archon is a general sci-fi convention, with a broad range of interests for the fans, averaging around 2500-4000 people in attendace. It is held at a amazing convention center in Collinsville, east of St. Louis in Illinios. If you have never gone to a sci-fi convention, its a great time, alot of fun.

I have been working for the last couple of decades on the costume contest crew, and so I know about everyone that runs the thing. This past year I stepped back from that job, thinking that I wanted to focus more on promoting my writing and especially, promoting Green Wizardry.

One of the things they do is hold several lectures and/or demo classes each hour (called tracks). These can be anything from a guest reading by a well known writer, to a round table discussion on a variety of subjects. If I can get 3-4 other people who will commit to attending, I will approach the people who run the convention and get us a hour lecture on the tracks for Saturday.

I think this could be a great way to attract new people to what we do here, as well as promote JM Greer's work.

As a plus, St Louis has a great community of costumers, which really are just people who sew and make their own clothing, as well as "Maker Space" people, "Zombie Squad" (a tongue in cheek prepper group, and remember too, collapse fiction is hot.

There may well be a few lectures that you want to attend as well.

Ticket prices are $45 for the single day of Satuday, but I'm pretty sure I can pull a few strings and get that down to $20 for Green Wizards coming into town, or perhaps even free for those doing the lecture.

If you are far enough outside of St. Louis, and need a hotel room for the night, prices are around $125 a night for a room near enough to walk to the convention. And they sell out fast. Collinsville has 5-6 smaller hotels and one large one around the convention center. If you are willing to go a exit or two down the highway you can probably cut that in half.

If we can generate enough interest in this, a bigger repeat lecture next year or two, then I may be able to sell the people who run it, on the idea of having JM Greer as a guest. They would then pay for his travel and hotel, but that is far down the road.

Its 9 months out but what does everyone think?

David Trammel's picture

I've heard back from the convention staff for programming and WE are on the line up for this year's convention.

It will be Saturday, sometime between 2-5pm.

Let me just make this personal offer, to anyone who would like to sit in and contribute, I will pay for your one day membership at the convention. It is really a wonderful time.

Email me if you are interested in being a member of the panel.

My first Archon shirt says #25 so you have me beat by a few. I suggested going the Con route last year when we were trying to organize our own GW gathering. If they bite, we might be able to get a couple of programs on the track. Are you thinking about a lecture on Greez Wizardry? You could propose another on the After OIL books if a couple other authors are available to come. Or a survey of books in the collpse genre.

I'm trying to jump start a local sustainability group on FB, so maybe I can dangle this in front of them. We had almost talked a casual friend into going on Sat last year. She has her own home repair business, so maybe I can try again for this year.

For folks who want the very early 411, the Archon website is here:

David Trammel's picture

I don't want to go too big first year. I've done that the last few times I've restarted Green Wizards and then flubbed it badly. Cathy probably wants to give me a big slap if we ever get together in real life.

Most new tracks/lectures get bumped to Sunday, where there is less traffic. I think I can get us onto Saturday, which means those of you new to Cons, can come in and have some fu, and do so reasonably cheap with a one day membership. Like I said I see no problem with either the Con, or myself prorating some one day memberships for those new the convention.

Perks of too much over time, lol.

I think the people who go to sci-fi cons are probably the perfect market for Green Wizards, and could we'll see a multi-hour track of several lectures in a few years.

I'd rather start with one hour and work up. I think if we just can have a simple sit down, and explain JM Greer's Theory of Collapse, then the next few years will take care of themselves.

David Trammel's picture

I am starting to think that maybe a lecture on the Collapse and what Green Wizardry is, might not be the best way to "start" with the sci-fi crowd.

I was thinking a title of "Collapse Now and Avoid the Rush", with a subject blurb of "Learn how to better prepare for civilization's soon to be downward slide and how to live better during hard times", might be a little scary.

I am now thinking we might see more participation, if we pitch it as a writer's and prospective writers lecture. Something like a title of "Introducing a Hot New Genre for Writers - Climate-Fiction".

Given that many of us have seen publication in either JMG's books or the new quarterly, AND that sci-fi conventions are full of want-to-be writers, this might be a more attractive way to bring in people. The writers will after all need to do research in the genre before they try and write in it.

If we provide a handout with helpful links to things like the Archdruid Report, perhaps other similar sites, as well as this one, and if I set up some short tutorials about the concepts here, those want-to-be writers will be reading them.

The Future and the societies of a Collapsed World are a huge universe where people can come up with any number of things. That we have a community of people who are already preparing to live in such a world is a great resource for a writer.

I'm reminded of the first wave of "cyberpunk" novels of my 20s, and the underground hacker community I found living it. While I never got to write anything in the genre, I so wanted to live in that Future.

If we get people excited about the Collapse and perhaps being "Green Wizards" in it, then they may find themselves better prepared for collapse when it comes, without even knowing it.

I think the SF community is probably way past Climate Fiction 101. Google "Cli-Fi." In August, 2015, The Atlantic published "Climate Fiction: Can Books Save the Planet?"

"A new literary genre that focuses on the consequences of environmental issues is striking a chord with younger generations—and engaging them in thinking about the Earth’s sustainability."

With a banner picture of Jon Snow.... Colleges are offering classes in CLI-Fi. I would say, go in and BE Green Wizards. Talk about our research. Talk about cribbing ideas from older cultures. Talk about our favorite authors--whether SF/F or non-fiction writers. Maybe talk about markets, maybe not. Maybe talk about writers who created the genre, maybe not. But basically do the Green Wizard Forum in real time. Tell them about fruit walls and tick tubes and all the other amazing stuff squirreled away here.

How about calling it "Surviving (and Even Thriving) in a Cli-Fi World"?

Here's another article on Cli-Fi:

I would mention that this sense of despondency was very much the response of people reading The End of Suburbia and The Party's Over a decade ago. I think a lot of people finally shoved it to the back of their minds, but a lot people made changes...