What a day… Quite tired now, arrived at WorldCon at about 8:45 this morning, 15 minutes before the doors even opened, and left at around 22:30 after the Hugo ceremony ended. But it’s been a very fun day.
So, I started the day bright and early to get a good spot at “Animals as Characters in Fantasy” a panel featuring, among others, Robin Hobb. Yeah, it’s been a really Robin Hobb themed convention for me so far. It was a great panel. After that we ate some breakfast and went to the next panel featuring Robin Hobb, Scott Lynch and Anna Smith-Spark, “High Fantasy: Is it Still Relevant?”. That panel was so great that the 45 minutes allotted to it felt waaaaay too short…
After the panels we decided to head downtown for some food and to show the city to Leona’s friend Luke Scull. We started off with burgers at Friends and Brgrs, then took Luke on a small tour of Helsinki, starting with Senaatintori and continuing by visiting the Helsinki Cathedral and Helsinki’s Market Square, before heading back to the con. Back at the con we sat down at the bar to enjoy some beverages while watching Anna Smith-Spark forge a dagger pendant at the blacksmith exhibition. Luke even tried what the bar advertised as the national drink of Finland, a Salmari, which he said he quite enjoyed.
After that it was time to line up for the Hugo awards. The line was long, but luckily they’d reserved a huge space for it, with apparently about 4000 seats, so everyone who wanted to attend got a spot. Some of the more notable awards were “Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire” for best novella and “The Expanse: “Leviathan Wakes”” for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) (this was a really close call between this and Black Mirror: “San Junipero”). To clarify, when speaking about notable awards I mean awards given for something I’m actually familiar with, hard to speak for the stuff I know nothing about. Personally I was a bit disappointed that Seanan McGuire didn’t also win Best Series, but to each their own.
All in all it was a great awards ceremony, with some really funny moments and over all a good spirit.
Now, some other observations about the convention that I forgot to add yesterday. I’ve noticed that I have a very easy time starting discussions with people in this convention, which is unusual for me since I’m generally quite shy. I guess it’s because I know, especially if I’m standing in the same line with them for an event or autograph session, that we’ve probably got similar interests and therefore something to talk about. So far I’ve met a fellow Robin Hobb fan from Finland whom I’ve talked quite a bit with since she’s been to all the same Robin Hobb panels I’ve been to, a guy from Denmark who’s a fan of both Babylon 5 and Sense8 (and had an awesome Sense8 t-shirt) and of course the German I mentioned in my previous blog post. I’ve also had shorted discussions with several other people while standing in line, among them someone dressed up as Starlord.
I’ve found this getting to know new people a really fun experience and will definitely look into going to more conventions in the future, like maybe WorldCon in Dublin 2019 😉