One of the biggest disappointments of my Chicon 7 trip was the fact that the con hotel did not have a pool. I am addicted to swimming and after a long day of sitting there is nothing better than a long swim. I loved that I was able to stay at the con hotel in Chicago and not lose any time getting to and from another one. I hated it that the room I was given had a view of the pool in the Radisson Blu accross the street that the internet claimed was the biggest (or perhaps the best?) pool near me.
The Park Inn at Heathrow has a pool. It’s not much but it was not crowded and it made my mornings at Dysprosium wonderful. Even though the Read Me, which I read solely because we @SFeraKon bitch so much over the fact that no one ever reads these things, was wrong and listed breakfast times wrong. (Dysprosium – the con that tells you to ignore your Read Me! how could I not love it?) Apparently, a lot of people at Eastercon do read them, because the breakfast queue was long – it appears everybody politely waited for 9 to go down and eat.The Writer’s workshop I went to was not what I would have called a workshop but it was immensely useful to me. Certain editing tips my be just OK for English speakers but when half your mind works in descriptive (read: adverb and adjective loving) Croatian, they can be GREAT!
At European cons there is no getting away from ESFS (European Science Fiction Society) so I chatted about that more than a few times with more than a few people. Even got mistaken for the current treasurer by the past one! I will leave it to her to discuss the mistake with the Irish gentleman who made it. (Makes me a tiny bit sorry I will not be there to see that discussion in St. Petersburg!)
Charlie Stross interviewed Jim Butcher and it was fun to listen to. I am not a huge fan of The Dresden Files, but hearing things about the creative process, about writing teachers, lessons learned and dealing with internet trolls is always fun, especially when people do it in a humorous way. (I almost put “witty” here but the American accent got in the way.)
What in the world possessed programming to put anything related to Terry Pratchett in a small room I will never know. Due to the fact that I stopped to vote for the BSFA Awards and take part in their raffle (which I am sooo stealing for some future SFeraKon!) I did not manage to get to it on time and then it was full. No Equal Rites panel for me! (After Loncon I should have known better!)
Had a lovely time chatting Finnish fandom, birthing options, Helsinki in 2017, SF drama queens and trolls and naming customs with Leikomaa Karo and Bridget Wilkinson at the Helsinki in 2017 table. (And they need to win the Worldcon bid, so if you haven’t gotten a supporting membership for Sasquan, get on it!). I also got to meet in person some of the people I have been emailing – that is always awesome.
I was not the only Croatian at Eastercin this year! Irena Hartmann, the young Croatian writer who won the ESFS Encouragement Award in Dublin last summer and helps run Rikon just happened to be in London over Easter and choose the con over sightseeing. Going from a fandom where you know most people and most people know you at almost every con in the country to a fandom where no one knows you at all can be a bit disconcerting. Irena took it well, and now she knows a lot more people, including James Bacon. I just realized I forgot to tease her that she spent a good portion of an evening talking to a Hugo nominee!
Eastercon Fan GoH Caroline Mullan I knew nothing about but after hearing her talk I wish we could afford to bring fan GoHs at SFeraKon more often. At the end of her talk a song was performed that made me think I might like go see a filking item some time.
In a bout of missing my husband I went to the Zombie panel. Zombies – the main idea of having to deal with an enormous number of deadly things coming out of the dark – terrify me. (Yeah, Starship Troopers also had some scary moments for me!). I don’t watch the TV series and the only book I read about them was the first one in the Mira Grant series. (and I loved that one!) The panel would have been great – awesome panelists! – but again the moderator was also an author who wrote zombies and that got in the way of it being interesting for me. Why can’t there be moderators who are just moderators? I seem to remember that is how this used to work?
I do like to hear how zombies ended up in somebody’s novel. But answering all questions with examples from one own’s books got tired real fast. As did a discussion of what European vs. American vs. non-European culture is or is not sparked by an unfortunately phrased question from the audience. Really do not appreciate it when everyone forgets – and this tends to happen at UK and American cons – that Europe is so much more than the UK. Really, mentioning Ireland, Spain, France and Italy as an afterthought, does not make it any more inclusive than just thinking of Britain in that context. They are not all Europe is, nor are they all that European fandom is. At all.
I have been told – and I have no memory by whom, it was by several people and more than once – about a game that is played at cons that is all about con-running . So I found The Great Game panel, convinced Irena that it was a useful use of her time and thus two Croatians and one Brit (I think! and sorry if I am wrong!) ended up organizing an imaginary Eastercon program in just 2 months. I had so much fun and I am soooo stealing that one, too!
The Hugo nominations deserve a post all of their own. I spent the rest of the evening thinking and talking about them.