For a long time, Liburnicon, held in the famous tourist town of Opatija since 2006, was the youngest Croatian SF. Although I miss the smallish summer convention that use to close out the summer by providing late programming over that final weekend at the seaside so we could all swim during the day, I am really proud of what it has become – a festival of the genre with some impressive guests of honour.
This year, Liburnicon is to be held August 16-18, and the guest of honour is Tad Williams, the American writer whose genre work has been translated into more than 25 languages. His epic fantasy and the success of his series is not the only thing that has earned him the title of “The American Tolkien” – he has been cited as an influence by many of the genre’s famous names, such as Robin Hobb, Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan and Patrick Rothfuss. Reportedly, George R. R. Martin named the sons of House Willum in The Game of Thrones after the brothers from The Dragonbone Chair, the first volume of Williams’ famous Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series.
Williams joins an impressive list of Liburnicon GoHs, among whom there were Guy Gavriel Kay, Steven Erikson, Jacqueline Carey, Ian Gibson, Gillan Polack, Richard Watson, and Dimitrij Guhovskij. Recently, the festival has shifted dates, positioning itself in mid-August, catering to a younger crowd. I dislike the changer personally, but am duly impressed by the fact that Liburnicon got a major name to attend an Adriatic SF con on the Worldcon weekend. And very sorry I cannot be in two places at once.
Liburnicon is organized by the Croatian non-profit Kulturni front, comprised of enthusiastic young people who combine a good party with interesting lectures, panels, workshops and awesome guests, creating a festival feeling for their con. For those looking for a good reason to do something fannish in the Adriatic during summer, Liburnicon is the con to visit.