My Day at Bizarrocon: The Convention for Authors of Strange Fiction

Today was exhausting, but rewarding. Some time ago I bought a one day ticket to Bizarrocon. Not a convention for cosplayers of the Bizarro Sealab 2021 crew as the name might suggest, it is instead an annual convention for authors of strange fiction in genres like “bizarro” and “extreme horror”. Lovecraft, for example, described his work as “strange fiction” rather than conventional horror.

It was held at McMenamin’s Edgefield, a sort of mini amusement part for over-21s. There’s a day spa, there’s glass blowing lessons, and a wide variety of other cool stuff to see and do while absolutely hammered out of your god damned mind.

That’s because primarily it’s a brewery. Evidently a very old one as there’s still the building which once housed a dedicated power station for the brewery before local electrical infrastructure was able to meet its energy needs:

So if you like beer, this is the place to go. Or if you like spas, tasty food, interesting activities and (for a few days per year) a strange fiction convention. I was made aware of it by fellow author Autumn Christian. Leave it to her to know about something this cool.

It was worth the ticket price and trip out there just to meet up with her given the substantial overlap in the mood/tone of our writing, our interests and to network with people of note in the niche world of the bizarro genre (and related genres).

A complementary breakfast (rolled into the ticket price) was served at 9am in the Barley Room. I arrived at 9 on the dot as is my nature, having parked at a nearby shopping center to make use of their charging station.

I then stuffed myself shamefully full of sausage, spiced potato chunks and bacon. I am normally a pescetarian but make an exception for special occasions, and sought to make the most of this one. Not to worry, scientists recently discovered pigs are all secret racists, so it’s fine to eat them. Our duty, even. If not us, who? If not now, when?

I then attended the art challenge, where the resident artists tried their hand at illustrating bizarre prompts. My favorite, I confess, was “two headed clown where both heads are fighting each other over a dead chicken.” Because, of course, it speaks to the youth of today.

There was then a lecture on the history of the ouija board I attended some of before absconding with the only person there that I knew to the bar for some drinks, then later to the downstairs bar which sold us a fairly adequate pizza which I ate half of.

Having completed the tasty treat for my tum tum and gotten everything from the convention I intended to, I headed home. There was an after party I’d like to have attended, the problem being it goes from 11pm to 3am and I don’t want to drive home that late (early?) as I feel death would be certain.

He’s holding that skull with his bare hand even though it’s on fire. Wizards don’t fuck around. Anyways that was my experience of Bizarrocon. I feel as if I was really just acclimating to it and will get more out of it next year now that I have my bearings.

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