The Con

Brain Lag. Nov. 2020. 242p. ISBN 9781928011415. pap. $14.99. SF
DEBUT A hotel in Toronto is hosting both an sf convention and a meeting of the Jane Austen Society. Enter the cast of characters: a middle-aged, possibly schizophrenic sf fan; two genius fangirls; a nerd power couple; Austen’s most disreputable character; a pair of geeky brothers; a star athlete outside her comfort zone; a lonely Janeite; and the extraterrestrial presence of Azogo of Uirtkauwea’ki. Through cosplay and gaming, polyamorous relationships and fumbling teenage encounters, robot battles and Anglican LARPing, and a drunken visit to the astrological Augur of Quaoar, our intrepid band of heroes must reevaluate what’s important in life as well as what is real and what is simply a con.
VERDICT DeLuzio gives an up close and personal look at the sometimes feared, often mocked sf convention, only this one just might have real aliens in attendance. The double entendre title highlights the book’s deeper theme: How do we define what is real and what is fantasy? Some readers may be confused by the sf references and gaming jargon, but the quirky cast of characters and their relatable geekiness more than make up for it. Includes short stories “Troll Bridge” and “Do You See What I See?”
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