I have no idea how Friday went – for the second time in years I could not go straight after work at the end of the week. But I do know one thing did happen, even though I missed it: TranSFerzala. It’s a fun project cooked up by two Croatian SF societies, the Rijeka based 3. zmaj and the Zagreb based SFera, in order to get more people to attend Croatian conventions.
Most cons have Dead dog parties, but in Croatia, I believe only SFeraKon does. Istrakon has a Sunday morning Coffee with the Organizers, a combo of a feedback session that Worldcons do and Dead dog party while 3. zmaj’s Rikon has a late Sunday afternoon Post-Con Lunch. Where the food is to die for. And the conversation hilarious as well as constructive. At one such lunch in 2013, we cooked up TranSFerzala.
Croatian fandom is not only young, it is also atypical in so much as its geeks are also quite outdoorsy. Among out numbers hides the Croatian World Bronze Medalist in Precise Orientation, the SFeraKon chair probably has more orienteering medals than cons under her belt, SFera has a skating outing every month in winter and I think 3. zmaj hikes. In addition to lovers (and coaches) of skiing, swimming and underwater hockey, there are avid hikers and mountaineers among us – our own version of Smofcon, ŠTRUMF, typically takes place on top of a mountain!
So, on that warm and sunny day in October, we named our project TranSFerzala, after the long hikes mountaineers take looking for beautiful views and stamps which eventually get them a pin, should the reach all their destinations. Our SF fandom version is not very different – one purchases a card, attends cons and SF related events, collects stamps and turns the card in at what we call “the end of the fandom year” to get a T-shirt and a badge. In addition to this, three lucky people, whose names will be drawn at Rikon, receive free entry to all the Croatian cons that took part in that year’s, in the following fandom year.
Istrakon is the con that marks the beginning of the Croatian fandom year. TranSFerzala was, two years after we started talking about it at Rikon’s Post-Con Lunch, officially launched two days ago, on the first evening of Istrakon 2015. It has already sparked controversy on Facebook, which I can only be happy about– noise does make one visible, which is the point of the entire exercise. Besides, we have all been getting along for so long, I’ve begun to miss the quarreling!
The first TranSFerzala is launched and I can hardly wait to see where this trail will take us! The beautiful design, of both the card and the website was done by Croatian artist and 3. zmaj president, Nela Dunato, whose awesome prints I will be bringing to the Dysprosium Fan Funds Auction next Sunday!
Oh, and the stamp? The stamp is a green koala, one of the stamps I brought back from my GUFF trip. 🙂