Sunday, September 23, 2007

Eurocon, Day Three

The Eurocon is over (for us, anyway; I’m sure the Dead Dog Party is going at full speed right now) and we’re sitting on the plane home. Today was somewhat slower than the previous days programwise: towards the end of the con it always gets harder to concentrate on the program items, but I also felt today didn’t have as many interesting things to see as yesterday.

One item was perfect for the last day of the con, though: Cheryl Morgan held an sf quiz with questions ranging from very easy to if-you-know-this-one-you-seriously-need-to-get-a-life hard. There were three contestants, Georges Bormand form France, Klaus Æ. Mogensen from Denmark, and Jukka “Yokohama” Halme from Finland. Jukka pretty much ruled for the whole competition (and wrapped at least a couple of young Dutch fen around his amazing brain) with his knowledge and mastering of trivia.

The program in whole was a bit of a mixed bag. Many complemented the excellent science programming, and a large portion of the program items (most of them in fact) were in English. There were several “introductory” items of the genre, writing, reviewing, and so on. On the other hand there were very few literary discussions or topics that did more than scratch the surface. And it didn’t help that the program book didn’t list the participants of most items.

The turnout at the con was better than I expected (if not quite as good as the organizers had hoped for)—there were more than 700 members at the convention, and according to the first estimates today if might have been closer to 800. There were many international members from all over Europe, and at a con this size it was very easy to meet and spend time with them. This is what I think made the convention for most of us.

The arrangements suffered from quite a few rookie mistakes—for example the information chain wasn’t working very well, coordinating the gophers and showing them the ropes was lacking, especially at the beginning, and many things just weren’t there or being thought of in time. But everybody worked really hard and all problems got solved. All in all things run reasonably smoothly. Wilf James, who acted as Gopher Mum, told me he was especially impressed by Pasi “super gopher” Välkkynen who was always where he was needed and took initiative to make things run well.

* * *

That’s is for this time—we’ve arrived in Finland and it’s time to head home. A big hand for the organizers; we had a great time! See you at a con somewhere!

Next: some photos
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