We live in an era when fan conventions are increasingly overrun by industry publicity machines; granted, you can’t beat the sheer volume of amazing guests at Comic-Con nor the enthusiasm of the hundreds of cosplayers, but it does come at the expense of some of the cozy camaraderie of smaller cons, where the only driving force that really matters is common interest with your fellow geeks. It’s events like LosCon 36 , taking place this weekend, that keep that grass-roots-fandom vibe alive; with attendance numbering at around 1,000, it promises to be a small but pointed affair for those interested in the essence of sci-fi and fantasy storytelling, with guests including authors Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes, and cartoonist and illustrator Tim Rickard. Other activities include themed costume days and dozens of workshops and activities, including a steampunk science competition. (No prizes for blowing up the grand ballroom, now.)

Fri., Nov. 27; Sat., Nov. 28; Sun., Nov. 29, 2009

LA Weekly