Jones and Stross in Copenhagen

Knud Larn reminds me that the Danish national SF convention is taking place at the end of August, and the GoHs are Gwyneth Jones and Charlie Stross. I can’t afford the time – I’ve got Worldcon at the beginning of August, and two cons in September. However, for UK fans who are not going to Worldcon this looks like a great option. Copenhagen is a lovely city, and the Danes are very friendly. The convention web site is here.

4 thoughts on “Jones and Stross in Copenhagen

  1. Hi Cheryl- since you mentioned Anticipation here and because you have talked about youth and cons, I wanted to bring up an issue. If you think this is the wrong place, please move/delete it.

    I am in Germany. Three times in the last three months I have contacted Childcare at Anticipation to ask what would be up (I see there is info now- I was never personally contacted).
    I have two children. One will have turned 6 two weeks before the con. I am expected to pay for a membership for her and then to pay for childcare at $9 or $12/hr. Clearly, if not with me, my children will be in childcare. The membership pays for no care at all. Can you see why my desire to come to Anticipation has just taken a dive? And one of the reasons I had been asking was to determine how expensive care would be, whether we should try to find external care, etc.

    I don’t see us going as a family to cons like these. I don’t see us bringing our kids up with SF fandom. Although I have been part of fandom since 1980, I expect to stop going/participating in any real way while cons expect my kids to pay for memberships they cannot use. I am also pretty irate that no one could bother to speak to me about the situation for months. Can I point out that most convention in Europe consider childcare a right? And if it’s not, asking me to buy a membership for a kid-in-tow is just darned obnoxious.

    I don’t expect Anticipation cares- they certainlt don’t know how to return e-mails.

  2. G:

    SF conventions are often very bad at dealing with children, and I’m afraid it will only get worse. Part of this is that the conventions are run entirely by volunteers, and many of those volunteers are people who not only don’t have kids, they don’t want to have them. Such people are unlikely to want kids around. (And I’m talking young children here, not teenagers.) So the first requirement is that we need plenty of volunteer con-runners who like children. Without them, cons will always be child-hostile.

    Now the question of child memberships. This ought to be fairly easy. If there is child programming them the kids should have to pay memberships, and they won’t need child care (except maybe in the evening). If there’s no child programming, or the kids are too young to participate, then they should get in free and parents would need to pay child care if they don’t want to look after the kids themselves. However, if a convention is run by people who are not child friendly they may impose high prices on child memberships to discourage people from attending with their kids.

    Finally there is the legal side. As I have been explaining elsewhere, the legal requirements placed on events that admit children are growing ever more onerous. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see UK conventions banning children once this new law comes into effect. It will be far too much trouble and expense to comply with the law. (Legal problems are also why UK conventions don’t have con suites and tend not to have room parties.)

    Of course some conventions do have really good child programming. The con I went to in Adelaide this year was superb, and the kids looked to be having so much fun than many of the adults were getting jealous. James Bacon has done some great things with kids before now. It really does depend on who is available to do the work.

    Sorry about your email problems. Communication is one thing that many conventions do very badly.

  3. Thanks Cheryl, too kind.

    There is nothing stopping a dozen parents comming togther, approaching a con com and volunteering to run a programme.

    I don’t think anyone under fifteen should pay at all anyhow regardless of whether there is programme or not but that’s me.

    There may well be a programme though?

    It’s very hard work providing programme for kids and a big team needs to really ‘want’ to do it. It’s getting harder to do as fans – in the Uk anyhow -but parents need to start understand that they too can can contribute and excepting this situation where a six year old is charged in ( boggle) expecting their children to be ‘looked after’ is actually unreasnoble.

    I wonder what adult orientated pass times provide such a facillity for parents who wish to not mind their children.

    Of course I would encourage and even reccomend running youth and children programme – as long as the con com fully supports that – and it can be very very rewarding.


  4. Hi James- No, I wasn’t expecting Anticipation to give me free childcare. I just don’t expect to be charged a membership for a child who will always, obviously, be either in care or in tow.
    A youth programme is very different than a childcare area: I don’t expect volunteers to take care of my kids, nor do I expect that would be possible in terms of insurance/liability. Nor would I leave my (small) children with strangers, no matter how recommended, that were not trained professionals.
    It’s the lack of info, the lack of thought, the lack of care, and the sheer chutzpah of trying to charge me a membership that blows my mind.
    Given some response, I can assure you that my husband and I would have been happy to help out/volunteer hours in a room with toys and a changing table and perhaps a DVD and screen. Because clearly, we wouldn’t be leaving our children in a volunteer situation. But over the past few months no one cared to return my e-mails.
    It is what it is. And fandom’s lack of community is also what it is.

Comments are closed.