Istrakon turns 20!

IRijekaā€™s Rikon turned 20 a few years back and that was the best con I attended in a long while; I could the goose bumps the entire weekend, and long after. SFeraKon turned 40 last year and one could feel the organizers walking on clouds with excitement. Istrakon turned 20 year and there was none of that, for me. Still, this was one Istrakon I had an awesome time at.

Panel on Dragons, Photo by Martina Jarak

I missed Friday because a friend I had not seen in more than a year was sleeping over en route to her southern Dalmatian island home and childhood friends trump conventions any day of the week. This meant that we only started from Zagreb, after seeing our guests off. And then there was rain on the way there, which slowed us down, then a bit of hail, and finally the police stopping us for a check upā€¦

Panel on Dragons, Photo by Martina Jarak

All in all, I managed to be late for my own panel! Only 15 minutes, luckily and Maya Starling did the honours of starting it off for me. The panel was great: my panelist interesting and talkative. Srebrenka told us about dragons in voodun, Maya about her dragons, and Antonija about Slavic fairytales and so much more. Quite unintentionally, SFerakon got mentioned a lot, as Antonija had a lecture on Saturday (which I am scheduled against, arrgh!) and Srebrenka tells dragon stories on Friday and dispense storytelling advice on Saturday (both of which I am not scheduled against, amazingly enough!)

Round robin at Istrakon, Photo by Maja Å kvorc

After a while the audience relaxed and started to chime in – the part I love about panels. The thing I liked most about panels at Worldcons was hearing people talk about the books, movies and tropes in SF they loves. It is what I loved about Squeecast too, and what I try to replicate when doing panels in Croatia.

At this panel, I especially enjoyed the fact that all the panelists were women, so we kept coming back to (motherā€™s!) milk and female dragons. As I was late, the recording of it needs editing but as soon as I have a minute or three, I will post it here, permissions pending.

In the meantime, you can download a list of names and titles we mentioned at the panel. Afterwards, the writing workshop which finished with a Round Robin session being read out in the sun, to much laughter. Some of the combinations were truly hilarious.

Sketch posted on Antonija’s Instagram

While I was talking dragons, my child got a sword and learned to shoot arrows. I managed to spend the rest of the day and the better part of the evening sitting in the local coffee place, talking to friends I have not seen in ages. I barely noticed time passing by and ended up missing the rest of the program, including the GoH item and some other I had thought of going to. I do not regret it, I had a good time socializing. It was slow and relaxed and sunny and fun. One of the best Istrakons yet.



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