Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Back from Swecon

ConFuse is over and we’re back home. And what a great convention it was!

On Saturday evening, after the programming ended, people stayed at the con site drinking beer and chatting (and some of us having a cigar in honor of the half-Finnish team that was victorious in the quiz program), when suddenly the door started beeping menacingly at us. Apparently the burglar alarm had been set so that after one o’clock going back and forth through the door wasn’t a terribly good idea. I think some people still stayed for a while, but shortly after witnessing Tommy sprint from the building with Pasinen in tow (presumably to catch the bus, not to escape from the scene before security came to investigate the alarm), we decided to call it a night and left for the hotel. Jukka entertained Ben and me well into the night with obscure sf trivia questions from a book he had bought.

A bunch of folks sitting around a table in the bar chatting with the GoHs

Sunday started, again, with the Guests of Honors on a panel; this time they talked about blogging and all the ways modern writers are expected to promote themselves. In addition to mentioning that a blog can be a useful tool for a writer, one that can be used for creating a personal connection to ones readers, it was noted that we may once again be entering an era of performing creators and that these things go in cycles (when audio recordings were invented, performers were furious that their art would be reduced to mere “clerking in a studio,” and now authors are lamenting that they can’t necessarily do their work secluded from the audience again but are “required to be performing monkeys” to promote their work.

Sunday was more quiet than the earlier days, as these things tend to go. In addition to not sleeping enough the previous couple of nights, the mood changes a bit when people start to leave already during the day. So did also we because we needed to catch the evening ferry from Stockholm: after Jukka and Mari were done with their Evil in Fantasy panel, we said our goodbyes and headed for the railway station for the train to Stockholm. The train left almost on time despite Juha’s timetable-bending warp field being present. On the way home we stopped four or five times to grab a quick bite (I swear Dr. Pasinen has a Tardis stomach; it must be bigger on the inside—and if you don’t take him eating when he’s hungry, he’ll just stare at you with his puppy eyes until you cave), got a lot of bad ideas (and some good ones too), learned what mozzarella is really made of, educated Ben, Jukka, and Marianna on certain unmentionable horrors of the Internet (they’d rather not had learned about), and reminisced about the con.

Tommy, Ylva, Jukka, and Marianna discuss evil in fantasy

So what was so good about it? The location was excellent, very close to the city center, the hotels, and many restaurants. And the venue worked very well for a convention this size. Everything was close together, with the second-hand book tables and the bar on the entrance level, and a lounge area, the art show, and the program rooms half a floor down, close enough for easy access but not too close to the bar to disturb each other. There was a notable amount of interesting programming (a lot of it with the GoHs), and it run admirably on time—mainly thanks to Britt-Louise, who kindly but firmly announced when the items were supposed to start winding down.

Swecons aren’t know for their t-shirts and other merchandise but this time the organizers had made stylish ConFuse mugs. In addition to being very inexpensive, they included free coffee or tea for the duration of the convention. Exellent! And as Sten said, every convention automatically becomes 30 % better with an ice cream buffet.

The front and back views of the LSFF mug: moon surface, and LSFF & ConFuse logos

Did I already mention books? The Alvar Appeltofft Foundation had their traditional book sale, and were they selling! In addition to the normally impressive selection of books they had just had a sizable donation of books they wanted to move—and they were priced as such. There was a lot of fluff, but also real finds on those tables, to be had from 5 crowns up (that’s about 50 cents).

A view from the end of the table, with rows and rows of books

According to the organizers there were 95 warm bodies present, which made this the biggest ConFuse ever. Huge thanks to the Linköping fandom for a great time, and hope to see many of you at a Finnish con also! And congratulations to Anders Reuterswärd (two-time Swedish agent of Åcon, among other things) for the Alvar Appeltofft memorial award!

I’ve put up some more photos of the con on Flickr.

« previous


Johan said...

I think some people still stayed for a while

We didn't stay for long after you left, but a few of us (John-Henri, me, Johan Frick, Bellis) went to John-Henri's hotel and had a small room party until fiveish.

Anyway: I agree, great convention. Good talks and panels, good GoH:s, good organization and really nice to have the seven of you Finns there, even though I didn't talk to as many persons as I'd have liked this con, as I attended far more programme items than I usually do.


Tero said...

The same happened to me: I’m pretty sure I saw more program items than at my previous Swecons put together.

Finlandia Award Nominees 2018

The Finlandia Award nominees for this year have been announced, and there are a couple of familiar sfnal names in the mix. Magdalena Hai’s K...