Science fiction conventions are seen as the epitome of geek fandom, and there's a grain of truth to this notion. The Creation Star Trek conventions are the worst: they're overpriced, overhyped, overmerchandise geek shows that do nothing but cater to the most obesseed Trekkie fanboys. But the more enthusastic fan-based conventions are designed to appeal to a much wider segment of fandom, and the biggest cons like Worldcon and Noreascon are experiences that have to be seen to be believed! I only go to one con on a regular basis each year: the Arisia con in the Boston area each January, and every year it's a blast. Sure, we've got the inevitable portrayal of this con on TV showing girls in chainmail bikinis and 400-pound guys with Vulcan ears saying "It's only logical"…BUT, Arisia also has lots of healthy SF fans who gather for the sole purpose of having a GREAT time. There are lots of discussion panels for talking about books, movies, media, and subjects like publishing and the Net; there are role-playing games, lots of great things for sale, movies, videos, and round-the-park parties; there's the famous Masquerade that's both awe-inspiring and hilarious; and it's all far less expensive than those Creation rip-offs. Come on up to Boston in January for the Arisia con!