SFeraKon 2019: Part 1

This may have been my strangest SFeraKon yet. But I say that every year since I started going. I was taken over by something crazy and suggested waay too many items.

I had 5 items on the program and none on Friday. I like to think that did not contribute to the fact that Friday was also the day I was in the best mood – total SFeraKon high.  Some of my coworkers are long time SFeraKon members, so the festive atmosphere began at work and was upped sky-high by this so very tall kid approaching me to thank me. I was confused, but I did manage to recognize him even though kids change so much in a growth spurt.

When I was chair of SFeraKon in 2016, I overheard two kids discussing not being able to afford a SFeraKon membership as they were leaving the pool. They were leaving swimming practice just ahead of me, back when I swam (more regularly) there during my kids practice. Without thinking it through, I gave my card to this kid and said he could volunteer and get a free membership. My husband told me I was insane – what would I think if some random lady gave my son a card at the pool, promising freebies?

Well, yes, I was lucky and Jakov did call, his parents did not think I was batshit insane and he got his parents consent and a spot as a volunteer at SFeraKon 2016. And, apparently one at SFeraKon every year since, including 2019. He came to tell me it was a life changing experience for him and I was moved beyond words. Thanks, J., nothing at the con beat that feeling! <3

I got to SFeraKon later than I planned but that was ok: managing to do sauna before a con is a thing I owe Helsinki Worldcon, and a thing I love. I missed taping Milena Beninis talk on fairy tales but managed to meet Asja Baki at the presentation of her short story collection Mars, which has recently been translated and published in English. Asja is a poet, and a rather unusual figure in Croatian mainstream lit – unconventional, outspoken and feminist.

John Kovalic signed a card for my kid, after a line that was no longer than half an hour, I met Alwyin Hamilton, even if it was for just a split second in between hugs and hellos, and I got to say hello to all the people I do not see enough. I am sure I said to more than one that I would be right back, only to get swept by in a gazillion of howareyous.

I attended a storytelling session about dragons held by Srebrenka Peregrin. A combination of lecture and telling stories, in a darkened room and under candlelight, accompanied by some lovely visuals and a lot of humour, this programming item is one of my favourites from the entire con. Also, I finally caught a Srebrenka storytelling item! (Alas, I missed the Saturday morning one!)

My evening ended with coffee, at an event Petra Buli organized. Her Dublin 2019, An Irish Worldcon Meet-Up had real Irish coffee, some really good plane coffee and some awesome people who like Worldcons. It was in a sit down section of the con, right next to the exhibition of alien creatures and very relaxed, informative and fun. I should have drunk less of the coffee – and listened when Petra told me it was really strong coffee – because I did not fall asleep until morning. Luckily, I had a panel or two to prepare.

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