This upcoming weekend, many sci-fi enthusiasts may be out of touch from the outside world to attend TusCon, Tucson's very own sci-fi, fantasy and horror fiction convention, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
As Geoffrey Notkin - the producer and host of Meteorite Men and STEM Journals, two shows about science, technology and space stuff - puts it, these sci-fi conventions are much more than a tsunami of fans watching their favorite authors, artists and filmmakers do show and tells. They are a community gathering, where like-minded people are able to bond and exchange information in a welcoming environment.
"The first word that comes to mind is 'kingship,'" said Notkin, who moved to Tucson about 10 years ago. "There is that sense of belonging."
Growing up, Notkin said sci-fi, comic books and other things alike weren't as popular as they are now. "When I was a kid, it wasn't cool to be a geek."
"if you were a comic book or sci-fi fan, you were part of a very tiny minority," Notkin said. "...going to conventions and meeting like-minded people, on one sense it gave me a feeling of belonging, and on the other, there was this frantic exchange of information."
TusCon has been around since 1974. It emerged after two friends, James Corrick and Carol DePriest, decided the Old Pueblo should have its own sci-fi love fest.
From Nov. 8-10, fans will get to hang out with their genres' favorite authors, filmmakers and artists, participate in various activities, and even be part of the Arizona premier of "Radio Free Albemuth," a film based on Philip K. Dick's - author of "Total Recall," "Minority Report" and other sci-fi gems - book of the same title.
"It is like a bunch of kids getting together, no matter how old we are," said Juliet Blackwell, author and this year's TusCon's guest of honor. "It is just so exciting."