The Turconen minicon started on Friday. There was a pre-convention reception at Turun Sarjakuvakauppa organized by the local sf society and the Turku comics society. I’m told it was one of the most popular events ever held at the store. The official pre-con pub night at Cosmic Comic Café was also a success, with hardly a chair left at the pub. The night went quite well: meeting friends over a few beers, accompanied by the cosmic soundtrack played by Dj Tekri.
Yesterday was the official convention day. The arrangements started quite early in the morning, and we were well set up by 10:30 when the doors were opened to the public.
Our great host at the library, Gunnar Högnäs gave a presentation on the e-books lending situation at the library, with lots of information about the hoops they have to jump through with publishers, and also some good links to resources for lending books.
Next up was our Guest of Honor, author J. Pekka Mäkelä, who gave an impressive performance, reading some texts accompanied with a guitar and some sound effects. Afterwards he was interviewed by Shimo Suntila.
The other program items for the day included a round-table discussion about pulp literature that was accompanied by delightful audience participation (mostly by Boris Hurtta, a pulp author, among other things, himself). There was also a discussion about favorite characters in science fiction that was plagued by a couple of unfortunate cases of cancellations due to illness, but luckily replacements could be volunteered, and the discussion was quite entertaining. The last item, a new books discussion, also went smoothly and produced a good list of sf books to check out. All in all, I think the programming was quite succesful, and the audience seemed to enjoy it.
Our goal was to have 30 persons attend the event, with an optimistic goal of 50 persons. The most people we counted in the programming room at one time was 54 (which filled out the room quite nicely), and since there were people coming and going the whole day, I’d say at least 70 persons visited the event, so we were very happy about the turnout.
After the convention, there was an opportunity to visit the comics store across the street. Mäkelä visited a local book store to sign some books, and we went to have dinner afterwards. In the evening, the con ended with another pub night, this time at Teerenpeli. The upstairs lounge was just big enough for the crowd that showed up, and many fun conversations were had. I noticed at least a few new faces at the event—I hope some of them liked what they saw and will stick around!
I would say the first Turconen was an unqualified success. Thank yous all around to everyone who made the convention possible!