Worldcon After Action Report

My first ever World Science Fiction Convention aka Worldcon – and the accompanying con plague – is over! And what a marvelous time it was. I’m fairly new to the whole con scene so I was woefully under-prepared for what met me. It was a good con to start with regardless as it was apparently one of, if not the biggest Worldcons so far and I had loads and loads of fun.

(For the record, I am aware that in English it’s the con crud but in Finnish it’s the con plague and plague is a much more accurate description for the way I’ve been feeling over the last two weeks.)

My con started with a looooooong registration line that was also kind of great since it gave me the chance to actually understand the sheer size of the convention. Finncon and World Fantasy being my only previous con experiences the vastness of

Funnily, The Daily Dot did an article on the generation gap between Worldcon and other fannish cons. What makes it funny is that I had pretty much the exact opposite experience. The panels I attended were either a majority of women or half and half and in one case two women talking about fashion. The only place I ever even saw the old-guard people the Daily Dot article talks about was the business meeting and if they were in the audience (I really don’t remember seeing them there) on the panels I attended, they certainly didn’t talk over any of the panelists. And this:

Content and Form panelists at Loncon 3.
Content and Form panelists at Loncon 3.

was much more along the lines of my con experience. Which is of course not to say that the experience of Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is in any way invalid. It was just completely different from my own.

Much of my con was spent on writing related panels. Probably the only programming I saw that wasn’t writing related were two readings; Mary Robinette Kowal and Seanan McGuire. Oh, and the Hugo’s of course but that doesn’t count. And the time I didn’t spend on panels I mostly spent at the fan village in the Helsinki in 2017 bid tent, helping out.

Awesome genderbent Dr. Newton Geiszler <3
Awesome genderbent Dr. Newton Geiszler

I met some truly excellent people. A lot of cosplayers. Remet some people I’d met at World Fantasy Convention in November. And of course my sample was highly skewed but people seemed terribly excited about the chance for a Helsinki Worldcon. And considering I live here I think it’s an excellent idea. I didn’t see all the people I wanted to see, mostly due to the sheer size of the con. Did some interviews with people. I got to hang out with an astrophysicist (the excellent Jonathan McDowell) who let me use him for his knowledge.

Holding a Hugo
Me, holding the Hugo for 2014 Best Novelette

Perhaps the best thing about the con… Oh who am I kidding? Possibly the best thing of my entire year was when Mary Robinette Kowal, John Chu and Aidan Moher came over to the fan village with their Hugos and Mary let me hold hers. And let me tell you, it was freaking heavy. Also gorgeous. After having shown the above picture to everyone I knew at the fan village, I decided I want – nay need – one. That is a pretty awesome goal to be working toward and the memory of holding the Hugo is a pretty awesome inspiration to actually work toward it.

Coming back was a nightmare, mostly because of the plague I got for my troubles which I’ve only now started to get over. One of those afraid you’ll die, hope you’ll die, afraid you won’t die -deals that thankfully left my lungs in tact even thought it didn’t always feel like it would. Even with all that downtime I’m still processing through everything that happened at the con.

All in all, despite the con plague, my experience with Worldcon was amazing and I can’t wait to go back again. Although hopefully next year around that time I’ll be at Clarion.

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