As expected, Mountain Con (www.mountaincon.org) has all the traditional trappings of a sci-fi convention, including full-sized metal robots (some of which were for sale) and attendees that look like theyíre extras from some nearby ìStar Trek,î ìStar Wars,î or ìHaloî movie set.
There were seminars about fan fiction (stories written using characters from a well-known TV show, book, etc.) and filking (writing music on a fantasy or sci-fi subject), the complete history of the Green Lantern, a round-table discussion about all that is wonderful in ìTwiligt,î and a J.R.R. Tolkien Jeopardy competition that pit ìLord of the Ringsî fans against each other in a test of knowledge.
Still, there was plenty there even for fans who are only interested in dipping their toes into more fantastical realms. There were both poetry and fiction workshops available for aspiring writers, physics discussions on topics such as zero-point energy, and a handful of mom-focused ones designed to help parents share some of their childrenís interests.
There was also plenty of good company. Brandon Mull, Utah resident and author of Fablehaven, was one of the featured guests. The Story Tellers of Utah dropped by to spin some stories for convention attendees, and Paranormal Investigations of Utah offered several workshops on the basics of ghost hunting.
Of course, the biggest draw of any convention is the chance for fans to get together and talk about the characters they love. Though that group does include die-hard fans who know their shows well enough to point out even the scriptwriterís continuity errors, it also includes those quiet, perfectly respectable people who are dying to share their theory about who the last Cylon on ìBattlestar Galacticaî is but canít quite admit it to anyone else at the water cooler out of fear that people will look at them funny.
At Mountain Con, though, there are people who will not only actually be interested in your theory, but will have one of their own to share and can discuss all the details. Which, in the end, is all any fantasy fan really needs.