Well, that was fairly full-on.
First up on Sunday was my LGBT Superheroes talk. Ten minutes before I was due to start the room was already full to overflowing. Program Ops made inquiries, and we were moved to a much bigger room, which almost filled. I got through 73 slides in 35 minutes, which I was quite impressed with. The audience seemed to enjoy it. As I have said before, I can’t put the slides online because I’m not sure of the copyright situation, but when I get some time I will put together a reading list.
I had an hours to re-inject myself with coffee before the academic program session that I was due to present in. First up was Anders Sandberg, a philosopher from Oxford who gave a great overview of science fiction’s attempts to portray lifeforms more intelligent than us. My paper went OK, and I got a couple of really good questions. Thankfully there were no Fan Studies experts in the audience. (Irma couldn’t get in — the room was packed out — but she did check the paper out before I presented it.) Also in the session we had a great paper on Cat Valente’s “Silently and Very Fast” by Merja Polvinen.
There is a plan for an Archipelacon special edition of Fafnir. Hopefully all three of those papers will be in it.
Then there was lunch, followed swiftly by a two-hour panel on translations with Ian Watson, Sini Neuvonen, Tanya Tynjälä. Again there will be a reading list, but not right now as I need time to put it together. A special guest in the audience was Finnish author, Maria Turtschaninoff, who has recently signed a 3-book deal with Pushkin Press for what she described as feminist epic fantasy. Book 1 should be available early in 2016. To find out more about Maria and the books, check out the new edition of Finnish Weird.
After another brief respite there was closing ceremonies, at which I had to announce the masquerade results. All the guests were effusive in their praise of the event. Obviously they were being polite to some extent, but I have talked to them all, and to many of the other overseas visitors, and everyone seems to have had a great time. Lots of people were talking about wanting to come back to Finnish conventions again. We seem to have created a lot of goodwill for the Helsinki Worldcon bid. I am so proud of my Finnish and Swedish friends right now.
After dinner there was the dead dog party. Farah introduced me to a couple of lovely young men from Iceland and muttered something about organizing a convention. Sounds like a good idea to me. Sjón as Guest of Honor, of course. And maybe Tuppence Middleton.
Parties have been taking place around the pool at the main hotel. It wasn’t nearly as warm as Anaheim, and there are no guest rooms attached to the pool deck, but there was a lot more seating and a good bar. Some bottles of whisky may have found their way into the party as well. I got back to my hotel at around 2:00am. It had not got fully dark, and was showing signs of morning.
Over breakfast this morning a few friends and I were batting around the idea of holding a convention in conjunction with the Midnight Sun Film Festival. We’d have to persuade them to have an SF theme for the event, and get the Wachowskis as Guests of Honor, but it seems a suitably mad project. Finnish fandom can do anything, it seems.