I haven’t felt like writing for a while, even though there’s been plenty of movies and games to write about, but now I’m back, at least for this one post.
I’ve spent the past two days at WorldCon in Helsinki and it’s been a blast. The first day there I attended only one panel, Fantasies of Free Movement, which was great. After that we (I’ve spend a lot of my time at WorldCon in the company of a former colleague Leona and a few of her friends) were planning to go to the next panel straight away, but when we got there it was already filled up. Taking this as a sign of things to come we decided to get seats for the opening ceremony (and the GRRM panel that followed that) early, so we went to sit in the main conference hall for the next 2 hours. But it was worth the wait, for we got front row seats, and while waiting for the show to start we met a nice German who helped me score a spot for the Kaffeeklatsch with Robin Hobb. A Kaffeeklatsch is a chance to meet an author for coffee, in this case in a small, 10 person group, so I was really lucky to get a spot. After the GRRM panel (1 hour and not a word about A Song of Ice and Fire…) we spend some time on the trade floor (so many cool items, so little money…), then headed home for the day.
My second day started with the Kaffeeklatsch with Robin Hobb. I was so nervous, it’s not often you get to meet one of your favourite authors. But once we got there and sat down around the table I quickly forgot to be nervous; Robin Hobb is just one of the nicest people you could imagine meeting. So we talked about her books and her writing, I even got to ask her a question of my own, what was it like to tie together all the storylines from both the Fitz books and the Liveship and Dragonkeeper books in your latest series, to which she answered by talking about how she’d had to carefully go through all her notes and sources and make sure she had all the timelines and character ages etc correctly matched up for the book. Then, at the end of our hour, she took the time to sign any books we’d brought with us. I had with me a copy of Assassin’s Apprentice that I got for Christmas in 2003 (my youngest sister gave it to me, not knowing anything about the books or that she’d just found me a new favourite author) and which was the book that got me into reading Robin Hobb.
After the Kaffeeklatsch I spend some time on the trade floor, then headed to get my book signed by Scott Lynch. The line for him was much longer than I expected and I have to admit to getting rather frustrated with some people in line in front of me who started to chat with the author, taking up several minutes of his very limited signing time, despite the line being quite long. I was rather stressed out by the time I finally got my book signed, since it was already 15 o’clock and that was the time he was supposed to end his signing session (there was still a very long line). But later I heard that he’d stayed an extra hour just to sign everyone’s books, what a great guy.
Next I went to the Robin Hobb fan meet, to meet other Robin Hobb fans, but Robin Hobb herself decided to show up so the fan meet turned into another question session with her. I’m definitely not complaining :D. And as a last item of the day we went to the Positive Disability in SFF panel where Leona’s friend Anna Smith-Spark was one of the panelists. The panel hadn’t really caught my attention when browsing the panels, but I had a great time. It was a really interesting discussion about how books choose to represent disabled people and what disability might mean in science fiction. After that we were done with panels for the day, but spent a few more hours at the convention center, just chatting with people about books. All in all another great day.
So, that’s it for part 1 about WorldCon, I’ve had a really great time at the convention this far and will hopefully write a part 2 very soon.