Dublin’s a friendly city, friendly enough to wait for EuroCon to finish before the rain started! The Dead Dog party is over, I have partied hard and slept well, and I am really looking forwards to the next one.
This was the 36th convention (Shamrokon) of the European Science Fiction Society (ESFS). We went there looking to meet people from the European SF fandom and found so much more. On the surface EuroCon does what all the other SF&F cons do, and does it well – panels, parties, interviews and workshops. What it sets out to do specifically is create a place for people around the world to meet and talk. I met people from Spain, Lithuania, Germany, Ireland, China, Finland, the Netherlands and New Zealand. And a few American refugees from WorldCon too.
Chinese SF fandom is in its infancy, the energetic Regina Kanyu Wang from Shanghai is part of the Beijing WorldCon bid. Regina agreed to write about SF in China, so hopefully more of that later.
Who was great? Pretty much everyone was. What was wrong? Not much at all. The city was nice, the hotel good, the staff friendly and helpful, as a simple con-attendee everything seemed to go as it should. It was disappointing to hear people talk about the slim chances of the more ambitious WorldCon bids – Finland, Beijing, New Zealand. WorldCon needs to be more international, it’s huge, it’s influential, and it should be setting the standard. You can’t call it WorldCon if it only steps outside the USA every few years, and virtually never outside the Anglophone countries.
EuroCon seemed to me to be exactly what SF&F conventions should be about – connecting together people with common interests from all over the world. I loved it and it left me wanting more. Like any good convention, it’s left me with a head full of ideas. In a way it was a ‘first’ con for me because it was so international. I spoke to a lot of people, I should have been braver and spoken to more.
Will we be in St Petersburg in 2015? That would be a bigger adventure than Dublin, but I hope so. We shall almost certainly be in Barcelona in 2016 however.