Skip to content Skip to navigation

Worldcon75

Blog entry

Thursday was both leisurely and taken up entirely by travel. After a lazy breakfast, I could the train from Deventer at 11am. Local to Schiphol, then the Thalys to Brussels, the Eurostar to London, one train up to York, then a change for the last leg to Durham. The changes all had plenty of time to find my platform, but never really enough time to stop and look around or do more than grab something to eat later on the train.

Wednesday was another ambling around Deventer day. Irina and I went off to various shops to pick up so specialty cheese and wurst to take to Sara & Co. on my next stop. (Also some cheese for me to take home, once I'd verified that their packaging technique would pass customs.) Then just more wandering with tour guide: tracing the old city walls (both the earthwork built against the Vikings and the medieval stone wall that can still be seen in fragments and lasted into the early 17th century (IIRC).

When I thought about what I wanted to do to extend my trip a little (because it seems silly to fly all the way to Europe and not do a bit of extra traveling), I decided that rather than focus on museums and castles and whatnot, I wanted to spend the time visiting people--especially people that I've known for quite some time and had never met in person. I met Irina way back during Usenet days on rec.arts.sf.composition, so that would be about 20 years ago or so. She's been a beta reader for a number of my stories and books, but up until last week we'd never been in the same time and place.

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).

Subscribe to Worldcon75