I used to dream of going to Worldcon, and now I plan my vacations around SF conventions. Science fiction has become mainstream, and cons are popping up everywhere. Too many to count, way too many to visit, but I plan to have so much fun giving it a good go. Even though right now it seems that I am blogging more about the ones I will not be attending this year rather than the ones I will.
Ytterbium – Eastercon 2019, 19-22 April 2019, Park Inn Heathrow, London
I am not a regular at Eastercons, although I wish I was. It is a fun con and a fun way to spend Easter. Alas, Eastercons are, more often than not, too expensive for me, especially so in the year of a European Worldcon. This year, I comfort myself, my schedule in April is also so tight that even though Ytterbium is just a flight away – being held at Heathrow this year again, just like when I last went – I will not be able to make it. I will just have to live without seeing John Scalzi live. 🙁
I do have a membership, and
I am looking for someone to buy it off me.
(Membership sold! ;))
Pyrkon, April 26-28, 2019, Poznan, Poland
I have written and spoken and squeed about the great Polish convention Pyrkon a lot! The con is truly impressive, the Polish fans even more so and I will be very sorry to miss it this year. Alas, Poznan is less than a flight away – it is either a couple of flights away of a flight and a train ride away, and I do not trust myself to be able to land in Berlin and just hop on a train, however great a con Pyrkon always is.
And after last year’s drive, I think three times via car to Poznan and back is quite enough: around 8000 km in total, with getting lost a lot in the first year and having an old man making detours for lunch in Slovakia and such the second time I went. Highways have been added since 2015, true, but it is still a long drive, one I will not miss, unlike Pyrkon and the lovely people there.
Istrakon, April 26-28, 2019, Pazin, Istria, Croatia
Last, but not least, Istrakon might be a con I will make this year. The 20th anniversary theme is Istria, the Croatian peninsula in the heat of which Istrakon takes place. The peninsula has its own mystique, mood and a peculiar temperament. Add to that some good local wines, weird brandies and a lot of folklore, you will not need it explained why, in addition to hordes of tourists, Istra is a favourite destination of Croatian SF fans.
As a convention, Istrakon might be single-handedly responsible for SFeraKon being as great as it is today. People had preferred it for a while so much, and so much vocally so, egos and prides were hurt enough to try things never deemed necessary or important before. I loved being a part of that.
For me, Istrakon is the con where I met Krsto A. Mažuranić, the Grandfather of Croatian SF, and a fan still remembered by SF fandom – I still get asked at cons all over the world about him! It is also where I met Brian Aldiss, a great guy and possibly my first SF translation. British author Juliet E. McKenna, whose work I adore, was an Istrakon GoH and so was American Carrie Vaughn. This year, Istrakon Guest of Honour is British author Ruth Wheeler and the con can be found online here.