The World Science Fiction Society exists to bring readers, writers, artists, and other fans and creators together to celebrate the best of science fiction, fantasy, and related genres, and NASFIC, the North American Science Fiction Convention, exists to bring people together in an affordable and accessible location when the Worldcon goes outside North America. Buffalo is ideally suited to host a NASFIC for several reasons:
Buffalo is easy to get to!
Travel cost is an important consideration for some NASFIC attendees, and Buffalo is very convenient. It is within a day’s drive of 150 million Americans and 20 million Canadians, from Milwaukee to Maine, from St. Louis to Charlotte. Buffalo International Airport is served by direct daily flights on seven major airlines from hubs like Chicago, Washington, New York, Atlanta, Boston, and Los Angeles as well as many other American cities, while connecting flights from the rest of the world come into one of those hubs .
Buffalo is affordable!
Compared to much of the northern United States, Buffalo has very reasonable prices, especially compared to other places that are easy to get to. According to Numbeo, a cost of living reference website, the restaurant price index for Buffalo is 73.6, compared to 100 in New York, 76.3 for Chicago, 90.9 in Boston, 82.5 in Washington; it’s similar to Baltimore at 73.3. Grocery prices are similar, for those throwing parties or saving money.
Buffalo has great food!
Buffalonians love to eat and dining together is very important here. Buffalo is known as the home of its unique spicy chicken wings, but also of “beef on weck”, roast beef on a kimmilweck roll which is one of the best sandwiches in America; locals will debate which places served the best of these, but everyone will tell you to try at least one. Buffalo is the home of other culinary innovations like Charlie Chapline squares. Buffalo is known for comfort food; it has a network of local Italian restaurants maintaining multi-generational traditions while learning from and gently competing with each other, so they’re all pretty good. Buffalo also has a large population of people with Polish and German heritage so there are many great places in these categories; you can also rely on Buffalo restaurants for having yummy dessert choices. Buffalo of course also has the usual range of national chains, and Canalside has plenty of trendier choices. Our NASFIC will have an extensive restaurant guide.
The downtown area around Niagara Square is the heart of Buffalo’s financial and government sectors; a lot of people work here so there are plenty of dining options from fast food to fine dining. Nearby, about 500 yards north, is the newly redeveloped Canalside neighborhood, with many restaurant and shopping alternatives appealing to tourists and locals.
Buffalo Has Nice Weather
The continental United States is generally in a temperate climate with hot summers and cold winters. Buffalo tends to be a bit cooler and wetter than many other cities, but August is Buffalo’s driest month. The infamous “lake effect” that dumps snow across upstate New York in the winters brings a cooling breeze in the summer. Average daily highs in August are around 75°F during the day to lows of 62°F overnight. There is light rain occasionally, around one day in four. Weather can vary from averages, of course, but Buffalo never sees snow in August, and the all-time high temperature (in 1948) was 99°F.