• Eliza Chan

So… that was Worldcon

Updated: Sep 22, 2019

So I have now returned to reality, nearly a week after Dublin Worldcon. And it was… an experience. The last worldcon I went to was Interaction in Glasgow 2005. I was 21 and I only went because it was in my home city. I remember going to panels with Anne McCaffrey and Terry Pratchett; buying a fire lizard; asking about dice with more than 6 faces; watching a comedy Star Wars play. Ah, sweet summer child. 🙂

Dublin had, according to the rumours, about 7000 people in attendance and you could feel it. It was big and busy, overwhelming initially after the British cons of several hundred people. It was fortunate that I did know some familiar faces in the crowd and the best room mate, G.V. Anderson. I didn’t manage to make it to many of the panels sadly due to room capacity and queuing issues, but I did fit in lots of catch ups with people from across the globe, either in barconning, doughnut seeking and even the occasional proper meal. I also had the opportunity to meet some amazing inspirations and babble incoherently at them including Fonda Lee, Amal El-Mohtar and Zen Cho.

My own panels went well with a buzzing audience in ‘Urban Fantasy from the Margins’, a thought-provoking discussion in ‘Reimagining Monsters’ and joyful fangirling in the ‘Golden Age of Animation’.

At Urban Fantasy From the Margins. @nicolegkurtz Nicole Givens Kurtz, @elizawchan Eliza Chan, and @seelight Claire Light. — Ellen Saunders (@MulletBraid) August 17, 2019 — ⚖️ Katrina ⚖️ (@QuestionsAndTea) August 18, 2019

A highlights for me was for sure the Hugo Awards, simply to see the authors that I have been reading, loving and aspiring to emulate over the last few years. Jeannette Ng, Zen Cho, Becky Chambers and Martha Wells are some of my favourite authors currently writing so I felt really privileged to see them receive their accolades rather than obsessively scrolling through twitter to find the information. The outfits were  also beautiful, unique and personal.  It was a real shame the losers’ party marred some of this joy.

I enjoyed the Escape Artists live panel just to see the faces behind the voices I have heard host and narrate a variety of wonderful stories. I’ve had work published in Podcastle and narrated for both Podcastle and Cast of Wonders so it’s lovely to meet the people I’ve interacted with. Also… they were giving out free cookies!

But mostly I just loved meeting people: either friends I have only interacted with online or people I was introduced to at the con. To hear people enthuse about their projects and whole-heartedly encourage me to keep working on mine. It made me think there are few occasions when such a disparate group of people from all over the world get together to create. To build rather than destroy, in a medium of our choice.

It might not be any time soon, but I can’t wait to go to another Worldcon.

Codex picnic breakfast with Eleanna, @c_cristofari, @elizawchan and @luna_luminarium — Aidan Doyle (@aidan_doyle) August 18, 2019

#dublin #hugos #panels #worldcon

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