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I'm drafting this up while sitting in the Helsinki airport Monday morning but don't plan to post it until Tuesday (to avoid bumping the week's LHMP entry off the front page). But then, I don't figure much of interest will happen for the rest of the day except travel and convention recovery. Sunday morning, having no panels of interest until 11am, I stopped by the WSFS business meeting and helped skate through the remaining agenda items (mostly various housekeeping votes) in record time.

Two days at once! I had the podcast blog to post yesterday, so here you get caught up on both Friday and Saturday at the con. I've fallen in with a regular breakfast group at the hotel (some of them even came to my historic fantasy panel, though maybe they would have anyway), so that initial sense of disconnection is falling away. The first Friday panel I wanted to attend was at noon so I spent the first couple hours of the day participating in the business meeting.

The photo is of the Belge Cafe where I had dinner in company with a number of other denizens of the File 770 blog, once more including my first face-to-face meeting with someone I've known online since Usenet days (Anna Feruglio Dal Dan). The cafe has a "library" theme, which was part of the attraction, though the food was also excellent. But I get ahead of myself.

I don't seem to have taken any pictures yesterday -- need to remember to do that today. The convention officially opened, though I had something else opposite the opening ceremonies so I can't report on them. There is evidently a certain amount of "victims of their own success" going on with much higher at-con membership sales than expected, so the popular events and panels are jam packed. So maybe I wouldn't have gotten in to the opening ceremonies anyway.

"Reception" is meant in several senses. The picture is not the official Worldcon reception at City Hall (which was a bit too washed out to make a good image)...but I get ahead of myself. One of the fascinating things about online culture, is that not only am I meeting people that I've known for years but have never seen face to face, but in some cases I'm meeting people I've known for years and realize I have no idea what their real names are.

This will be an irregular chronicle of My Summer Vacation, beginning in Helsinki, Finland. Seeing all sorts of online friends reporting late planes and missed connections, I have to count myself lucky at getting a non-stop flight (though we were delayed an hour taking off, so good thing I didn't have a connection to miss). I spotted several other Worldcon-bound fans in the waiting room for my flight, in some cases due to strategic use of the "Helsinki 2017" bright blue t-shirts, but in some cases because it was someone I actually knew (waves at David Peterson).

I confess I'm only now getting around to posting my Worldcon schedule because, dear reader, you're either going to be there or you aren't, and if you're going, you're going to pick your program items to attend based on  topic and triaging all the wonderful possibilities, not based on whether I'm on the panel. The only plea I have is that if you're at Worldcon and haven't bumped into me yet, consider swinging by my "signing" session Friday at 1:00 to say hi.

Session 537 - Female Friendship in Medieval Literature II

  • Sponsor: Medieval Studies Institute, Indiana Univ.–Bloomington
  • Organizer: Usha Vishnuvajjala, Indiana Univ.–Bloomington
  • Presider: Karma Lochrie, Indiana Univ.–Bloomington

Models of Female Friendship in the Lives of Saints - Andrea Boffa, York College, CUNY

Session 515 - Islamic Magic: Texts and/as Objects

  • Sponsor: Research Group on Manuscript Evidence; Societas Magica
  • Organizer: Liana Saif, Univ. catholique de Louvain
  • Presider: Liana Saif

Books as Robots: Authorship and Agency in Islamicate Alchemical Manuscripts - Nicholas G. Harris, Univ. of Pennsylvania

I had some difficulty in taking notes on this session. Part can be attributed to my unfamiliarity with the material, making it harder to sort out the relevant details from the background. But the speakers also rattled off their papers at great speed, which didn’t help.

Session 437: Occult Capitals of Islam

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