Minnesota’s inaugural furry con, Furry Migration, wrapped up last Sunday. They were kind enough to invite me as a Guest of Honor and I was delighted to attend. I spent many years in Minnesota and Sofawolf Press is there, so I usually end up back there once a year anyway.
The con itself ran very smoothly. It felt like me to the inaugural Furry Fiesta, and it was comparably sized (and as at Fiesta, I encountered a lot of people who were attending their first furry con). Fiesta has grown into a terrific con that I try to attend every year, so that is a high compliment. All the FM staff did a great job, and when there was a problem (the first “Meet the GOHs” panel did not have any attendees, for example), they evaluated it and tried to fix it (we scheduled another one for Saturday evening). Their Guest of Honor liaison kept us fed and made sure we were happy throughout the weekend, the dealer room seemed to run well, and the dances looked fun when I poked my head into them. I enjoyed the panels as well: I did a panel on “Why is the Fandom So Gay?” and on “History of Furry Fandom,” both with some very knowledgeable and talented co-panelists. I also managed to talk for an hour plus on how project management applies to writing novels.
The local alt paper, City Pages, sent a reporter who interviewed Kellic (the Chair), the guests of honor (me, Jeff Eddy, and Foxfeather), and Ken Fletcher, who could legitimately claim to have helped co-found the furry fandom if he so wished. The interview is up now in video format and from what I heard (and what I recall from my part of it), seems to have presented a pretty good face to the fandom.
One of the coolest things about the con is that it was run with the help of the Geek Partnership Society. That group helps a number of different organizations run conventions, from Minnesota’s largest SF con, Convergence, to their largest anime con, Anime Detour. Both of those conventions contributed staff and material to Furry Migration, and I saw several people at the convention who said they weren’t furries, but knew some of the staff or had heard about the con and wanted to help it succeed. That was especially heartening to see after we’d gone through the history of the furry fandom and the acrimonious relationships with a couple prominent SF cons over the years, as well as the strained relationship with anime fandom some 5-7 years ago. We seem to have moved on from that and realized that we’re all just a certain kind of geek, and some of us like cat girls, and some of us like to identify with animals, and some of us like to read SF books and comics. Some of you guys know that I’ve been trying to build bridges between furry and SF for a couple years now, so of course I liked to see that.
Furry Migration will be back next year. If you’re a furry in the upper Midwest/central Canada, it’s worth your time to attend. If I can make it work with the rest of my travel, I’ll be putting that one on my schedule as well.