Do you remember the days when the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre was the underdog? When you had to explain to your friends (often unsuccessfully) why you spent so much time in made-up worlds? It wasn’t even all that long ago, but since then, the field has grown massively.

Back in “the old days,” having friends who enjoyed the same things as you was important. With the internet in its infancy, interest-based clubs were strictly local and, thus, limited. It was rough going for those of us who couldn’t pull our heads out of our most recently discovered kingdom or space voyage long enough to join a sports league. But now you can hardly browse Netflix or your favorite media store without seeing something with an intergalactic space station or a lightning-wielding humanoid on it. It’s everywhere.

Science Fiction & Fantasy has become a genre enjoyed by a large portion of the population because the quality has grown as we have. Creative work expounds on other creative work. It was a long time coming, but the SFF genre is finally in its hay day—and we love it. It encompasses so many ideas that almost anyone can find something they like; and those of us who do will nerd-out about it all day.

Though we have access to a huge swatch of online communities geared toward any niche you can think up, a local community is still just as important. When the greater world is too busy, too saturated, the creators and patrons in our very own area offer a deeply personalized experience. And there are so many of them, hiding in plain sight. The Fox Valley is home to all sorts of artists, writers, editors, readers, gamers, actors, and LARPers and it’s as important as it’s ever been to, not only show local love, but offer a sense of kinship to our fellow enthusiasts.

In organizing this event, we hope we can offer all our local talent a chance at collaboration and solidarity. We want to bring something so exciting to the Fox Valley that it’ll gain momentum and attract people from farther and farther reaches. We want Conquer Con to be the coolest thing you’ve done all year.

It doesn’t matter your nerd type—space travel nerd, horror nerd, dystopia nerd, A.I. nerd, monster nerd, RPG nerd, world-building nerd, magic nerd, steampunk nerd—we’ll have something for you. Come find your people, find your zeal, find out just how far the fever has spread.