Yes, along with everything else, fantasy-horror-SF cons have been cancelled. At least the ones I was planning to attend.

I'm not suggesting that they should go on. If the authorities are to be believed, drastic measures are required to get us out of this pandemic.

I'm also not crying the blues over my losses this year. We've all suffered heartbreak and loss. Some have been financially devastated. I haven't missed a day's work, as I am an essential government employee. But I gotta tell you, after thirty years of being a machinist, I could have used a break. Plus going to a Navy base where personnel are constantly coming and going has been stressful. So far no one I work with has contracted the virus.

My situation is microscopic in the big scheme of things. Even though I was just getting my footing as a used bookseller. Even though I've spent a small fortune in the last year acquiring books and things to sell. Even though I have two closets full of the stuff.

It'll all be back next year, I am assured. And I believe it will. We will get back to the old normal. I can't think otherwise and not go crazy.

I miss library sales. Thrift shopping. Eating out. Walking around without a facemask.

What I miss most though is the conventions. I was set to sell books at three this year. Scares That Care Weekend, in Williamsburg VA, a startup show in Norfolk VA called Tidewater Horror Convention, and a little one in Chesapeake VA called Monsterfest.

Things are great in my homelife, but I miss my horror family. Badly. Horror has been my whole life for so long. I've made dozens of friends, and every time I go to a show I make at least a few more.

We are at a difficult time in so many ways. The horror genre has been rocked by allegations of sexual misconduct. People are on edge and social media has not been the most pleasant place to be.

I need my faith in the community restored. I'm very tired of social media, and I much prefer to meet people in the flesh. People behave much differently in person and when it is a one-on-one situation. People tend to be kinder, more understanding.

Conventions are the lifeblood of the community. It's where friends are made, business is conducted, and the genre is out in full regalia. It's a beautiful spectacle, and just about the only place I can get any real horror conversation.

Again, it will come back. We need it to. And when does, I will be at the regional shows and I will be laughing, talking horror, selling books, and having the time of my life.

Let's not give up hope. I hope to see you there in 2021. I doubt there will be any events sooner than that. In the meantime, keep reading, keep buying books, watch some cool horror. Be kind to each other.

Written by Mark Sieber

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