A Special Hypericon Moment

So this past weekend was Hypericon. One of my favorite cons, it’s special to me because I get to see many of my loved ones, family really, and it is always the perfect way to kick off summer. Great food, great friends, scifi, cosplay, what more can a guy ask for?

Sadly I wasn’t able to attend this year. One of my closest friends is undergoing chemotherapy so I’ve been staying with him and helping him out.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t let this year go by without commemorating Hypericon. And what better way to celebrate the con than by sharing one of the most cherished moments I’ve had as a professional author.

10423768_10205888365863511_5403922836518686251_nFrom left: Yours truly, Mage TeeVee, and Cass Teague

It was two years ago and I was helming a diversity panel. While I was speaking, the con’s photographer, a tall handsome older white gentleman meandered throughout the room and snapped some shots.

Later that weekend while grabbing food from the greenroom, I ran into the photographer.

Photographer: I only caught some of your panel, but I really enjoyed what I heard and what you discussed.

Denny: Oh thank you very much for telling me that.

Photographer: A few years ago I was hospitalized for an extended period of time. As you can imagine, my beard and hair grew to a considerable length. When they finally released me, I drove myself home and on the way, I got pulled over by a cop. I wasn’t speeding or anything. But because I drive a very nice car and had a disheveled appearance, they thought I must’ve stolen the car. The officer held me forever and ran my plates and once he was convinced the car belonged to me, he finally let me go. What I went through is only a tiny fraction of what minorities go through everyday. I can’t begin to imagine what it must be like for you.

Denny: Thank you for sharing your story. I truly appreciate it.

As I’ve stated in the past, the work I do is to enlighten, empower and entertain others. If I can do all three simultaneously, it’s a good day. But being reminded that I’m making a positive difference, no matter how small, is also pretty awesome. And for that I’m both humbled and grateful.



Speculative Fiction Novelist. Author of Hollowstone, West of Sunset and other cool stories. Wordsmith, activist and nerd seraph. Saving the world and/or taking it over. http://www.dennisupkins.wordpress.com