Condense—The Heavy ConventionSwecons always draw in (quite) a few Finns and Swecon 2010, Condense, in Gothenburg was no exception. Due to several reasons, this year the Finnish con-team consisted of only two members: Kisu & Karo from Tampere. Other members of Finnish fandom were sorely missed and everybody sent their best regards to all Finnish fans (especially those, who’d been to Gothenburg conventions before, you know who you are and we heard quite a few tales about your experiences).
The best way to travel to Gothenburg was by air and we arrived to Gothenburg in Friday afternoon. The convention begun in the evening and one of the first items was an interview with the guest of honor, the always interesting Justina Robson. After that it was time to socialise in the bar (and to check out the Alvarfonden books, which is always a costly mistake).
Saturday’s programming begun with book tips and breakfast (the convention offered breakfast to all members for free!). After that, Kisu took part in a panel, “Is there more SF than we see,” with the other guest of honor, Nene Ormes, and Per Åkerman. The three panelists had slightly different views on what the panel was supposed to be about (and the programming information gave a fourth interpretation), but in the end it seemed to be a success, ranging from manga to Swedish and Finnish science fiction and fantasy all the way to amateur films and radio plays (which there should be more of). After that it was time to do a bit of sight-seeing in Gothenburg.
In the evening Kisu attended the Banquet while Karo went out to be social and network with some other non-banquet attending members. The banquet included also speeches from the guests of honor, which were interesting to hear. As traditional in Swedish fandom, awards were also given (Alvar prize went to Helena Kiel, which was nice!). An extremely surprising turn of events took place when the winner of the Tentacle-award was announced. Tentacle is a Gothenburg-based award, given out for societies or persons who have actively bridged the gaps within the fandom. Much to everybody’s surprise, the winner of the Tentacle award was Åcon! The beautiful diploma will (hopefully) make its way to Finland a bit later on.
After the NoFF-auction (where they also auctioned off a few interesting beers, which sold for high prices) it was time for more relaxing discussions in the bar, outside the convention venue and in the Swecon 2011 bid party organised by Eurocon 2011. Sunday morning came way too soon, but we still managed to make our way to the convention to hear first about the future of fantasy, and then to take part in “How can conventions be improved” discussion, which highlighted some of the real successes of Condense. Breakfast for members!! After that, it was time to vote for Swecon 2011, and the Stockholm Eurocon gave a nice presentation about why they should also be Swecon. The other conventions of 2011 declined to run, and so the Eurocon 2011 won the vote and is now also Swecon. After the spirit of Swecon had once more been captured, and the tearful goodbyes said to the guests of honor, it was time to go back to the hotel to pack before the dead-dog party (where the Finns were the last to leave…).
Condense might’ve been the “heavy convention” but it all seemed very light and most especially friendly. We were warmly welcomed and will certainly come back some day! But first next year and Stockholm!
Kisu & Karo