Millennicon is a science fiction convention held in Cincinnati on the third weekend of every March. Though its attendance is generally only a few hundred people, Millennicon has managed to become one of my favorite conventions. Not only does it attract surprisingly big talent, but the friendliness of the attendees and affordability of the badge and accommodations make for a fun, inexpensive, stress-free weekend.
The guest of honor at this year’s Millennicon was Tobias Buckell, a science fiction author who has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Prometheus, and Campbell awards. Other novelists appeared for panels, autograph sessions, and readings as well, such as Gary Wedlund, Tim Waggoner, and multi-Hugo award winner Mike Resnick. Denise Verrico and Faith Van Horne celebrated the releases of their latest novels with a very successful Saturday night room party.
Steampunk was definitely a presence this year, with members of the AirshipArchon, Airship Passepartout, and the League of Cincinnati Steampunks lending their expertise on various topics and generally fancying things up a bit. Steampunk artist Kitsune had several prints up for auction in the Art Room, and the Dealer Room featured corsets, goggles, and other accessories by Got Steam as well as vintage clothes and hats by The Alley. Neovictorian jewelry designer Oh So Fine Jewelry was also on hand with some gorgeous handmade pieces, while a vintage jewelry booth offered a treasure trove of inexpensive finds. Finally, the winner of the Masquerade was a gentleman in his own handmade Steampunk engineer outfit, complete with moving parts!
Opportunities to relax were plentiful at Millennicon. On the twelfth floor, attendees could find food and drink in the well-stocked con suite, watch a film in the movie room, or play one of the numerous board or card games waiting in the game room. A pair of massage therapists were available in the main hall, and Mary Bertke of Dreamweaver Braiding offered her services in the Dealer Room (both for a small fee).
Late night festivities included numerous room parties. Guests enjoyed barbeque and cornbread at one Friday night party, and a fully stocked bar and episodes of Dr. Who at the “Friends of the Time Lords” party on Saturday night. Room parties were a great chance to get to know other science fiction aficionados, and even hang out with authors, editors, publishers, and artists.
Millennicon always stands out to me as the friendliest convention I’ve ever attended. Nowhere else will you find as many smiling faces, hugs, and folks eager to see you’re back, year after year. Guests gladly give of their barbeque, alcohol, and smiles to friends both new and old. If you’re looking for a convention where you can relax, be yourself, and have a lot of fun without too much fuss, you should add Millennicon to your schedule next year.