I love Ireland and I love Irish fandom. I enjoyed my time at my first in person Ocoton, my first virtual Octocon and of course at Dublin 2019 an Irish Worldcon. Although you cannot read about it here I also spent some fabulous time and Shamrokon (Eurocon 2014). YYou should not be surprised that I attended this year’s Octocon. It was held virtually and therefore was easily accessible for me.
I didn’t have any commitments
The big change for me was that I had no duties during Octocon. We had Glasgow 2024 fantable but I was not coordinating it. We had a team of wonderful volunteers who took care of the table. Of course I spent time there. I was talking with people and I enjoyed myself. It even inspired me to finally buy Tunnock’s and Irn-Bru – I will have them ready for my next Glasgow fantable. The important thing was that I had no commitments. After almost a year of taking care of Glasgow presence at cons it was a “new experience” .
One of the backgrounds featuring the lovely Octopus at Octocon 2021.
I didn’t have any programme commitments either – the conventions was completely free for me. I could do whatever I wanted and it was great. Don’t understand me wrong. I love doing the stuff. I would not involve myself otherwise. Yet it is good to sometimes have the opportunity to enjoy the con without any commitments. Attending every con without extra tasks would be difficult for me. Having such holiday every now and then is refreshing.
I am not sure whether there were more programme items related to visual arts (including comics) or if it was just me noticing them. The fact is I got the impression there was many such programme items. I managed to attend some of them. I liked what I have heard. Those were interesting panels.
Yet should I choose the panel I remember the most form the Ocotcon it would be a completely different thing. Namely The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Irish Fan Scene. This was a conversation about Irish fandom – it’s history but also the present days. It was very good to learn about different initiatives. I am not sure how many of those I will manage to enjoy myself. Still learning about them at least gives me chance to look for them later.
Octopus went to sleep but Octocon 2021 was still live.
The Closing Ceremony came way too fast but it happens at all kind of cons. It was short but contained a very special announcement. It was the first time I heard about the plans to bring Worldcon to Ireland for the second time. Yes, you are reading it right. The year that was mentioned is 2029 and I am very excited by the perspective. The plans are in an initial phase. I think it was the first public announcement but I will keep my eyes open. I know I want to help.
After the closing ceremony there was a short break and the Dead Dog Party. I didn’t have too much time to spend there as I had to wake up early morning on Monday. Yet the conversations I had were nice. I hope that my optimistic suggestions about possible solutions for Octocon were not too naive. I also made a commitment. What I promised was that should I ever move to Ireland I would help with Octocon. I don’t plan such move but should it happen I will remember about my promise.
My next post will trat about Imladris 2021 and will be published within two weeks.