Famous Fan: Carolina Gomez Lagerlöf

I think I met Carolina at the Zagreb Eurocon, as I was not one of the Croatian fans to attend the Stockholm Eurocon she chaired in 2011. I am sure I know her through the European Science Fiction Society because it is strongly tied to her in my mind – she is currently chairing both the society and the Belfast Eurocon. A regular attendee at many cons – from Swecons to Eastersonc and Worldcons, Carolina won the Big Heart Award which was awarded her at Worldcon 76 in Helsinki in 2017. 

1. How did you discover SF?

A friend of mine suggested that I should read “Double Star” by Heinlein, when I was around 14 years old. After that I read everything I could find in my library that was SF or Fantasy related.

2. What’s the best thing about SF fandom for you?

That I have met so many nice people everywhere.

3. What was you first convention like?

It was a small convention in Stockholm. Looking back I can say that it was very small and maybe not that well organised, but for me it was a fantastic experience to finally meet SF fans.

4. How did you get sucked into organizing them?

I started to do some volunteering on conventions in the beginning of the 90s and I was part of the committee at a Fantasy convention in Stockholm 1995. We were a group of fans that visited the worldcon in 1995, and we had a great time there. After that we decided that we wanted to organise something in Stockholm, so I chaired my first convention in Stockholm 1997. It was a small one, but it went well.

5. What con-running job do you hate the most, and what do you love the most?

I am very bad in promoting things on social media. I like to do programme.

6. What do you think makes fandom special in Sweden?

It is rather small so we know each well.

7. What was this Swecon like?

The Swecon this year was organised by a rather new local group in Sweden. It went well. A Swecon in Stockholm or Uppsala have about 300 participants, a Swecon else were about 200. We have always a English speaking programme track as well as Swedish ones, because we have international visitors from the Nordic countries as well as UK and Germany.

8. You are currently chair of the ESFS board, what it that like and what does it entail?

ESFS has a General meeting at the Eurocon, where we decide where the next Eurocon is going to be in two years time. Each European Country have two delegates that votes in the site selection and also decide who is going to win the different ESFS awards. Each European Country can nominate in the different categories of the awards.

The Board organise the meeting and open for the nominations for the awards. We usually have 3 board meetings a year usually by skype.

9. You are also volunteering to run this year’s Eurocon in Belfast and you were chair of the 2011 Eurocon held in Stockholm. Eurocons are wildly different from each other, what is the one characteristic you love about running Eurocons?

That we are a group that work together to make a convention happen. There are many things to think about and we need to work for a year planning the programme and everything else. We decide a convention we want to go to and invite everybody to join the fun. During the con we need to prepare that not everything is going as planned and that is a challenge that also is fun in a way.

10. In 2017, you received the Big Heart Award. What was that like?

Fantastic! I felt both honoured and surprised.

11. What are your fandom plans for the future?

Well, first to run Titancon. After that we are going to start plan Fantastika 2020, the Swecon in 2020. It is going to be in Stockholm and little earlier than usual, 20-22 Mars.

I have also been invited to visit two conventions in China in November, so I am going to China.

Carolina is also an avid walker and has written up a tour near Dublin within the Touring Tuesdays series



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