2022 was a year when I came back to attending in-person conventions. The pandemic is not over and I am trying to be cautious but I was missing meeting people and enjoying the atmosphere. Yet I did not forget about the online and hybrid events!
When I am looking at last year it seems I visited lower than usual number of cons. I managed to attend six in person and seven online ones. Out of the latter category only one was purely online and the remaining six were hybrid. In short – I am very happy that I came back to attending conventions in person.
Luxcon – Eurocon – my first in-person con since the beginning of the pandemic.
The longer description would be a bit more complicated. None of the cons I attended required to wear masks. I was not very happy with such approach but I still decided to go. Despite lack of requirement I was wearing masks during each of them. I must admit, however, that because of the relaxed atmosphere at Nordcon I did not wear it all the time… Conventions from behind the mask were a bit different than before. It is possible that the difference was only within me. I always treated cons as my safe space. Having mask on my face constantly reminded me that it is not as safe as it used to be. Maybe this is the reason why I was feeling a little different. It was not bad though! I am very happy that I managed to come back. Even coming back with Covid from one of the events didn’t stop me from attending further ones. (It seems I caught it on my way back and not at the convention itself).
When it comes to online participation it also changed a bit. Back in 2020 and in 2021 most of the cons were online. Now we were more in the hybrid realm. Attending hybrid cons as an online participant is a bit different. On one hand the FOMO is a thing. I would love so much to be there in person and I am fearing what I am missing. On the other hand being there online is better than not attending at all! And some of the “virtual tours” were awesome. I am hoping to attend more in-person events in 2023. It doesn’t mean that I am resigning from hybrid/online cons – they are great opportunity to meet friends!
Eastercon in 2022 had the hybrid form and I managed to attend it.
Last but not least I must mention Chicon 8. It was my first time at the role of Area Head at Worldcon. My Area of Polish programme was very small. Possibly even the smallest at the whole con. Still it was a great thing for me. It is not for me to say how good it went. What I can say is that I am very happy that Chicon 8 decided to have such area and that I was invited to take care of it.
Last year was a bit tough when it comes to my Glasgow 2024 duties. For large part of 2022 I was anxious as we were waiting for the site selection. I know we were the only bid. I had high hopes and we became a seated Worldcon. Still I had the feeling that the decision will be made and that nothing is set in stone. I was observing the work done by the whole team and was impressed by it. I still am! And we became a seated Worldcon – I am thrilled!
Glasgow 2024 party at Imladris – Polcon.
When it comes to my part of the responsibility it was different. In 2021 I was attending a plethora of online cons. We had a fan table on many of them. So I had plenty of things to do at cons. Last year the situation was a bit different. We appeared at more in person cons and we had online table only at a few of them. So I was not as deeply involved in staffing the table as before. At the same time on some of those cons we had two tables and it required more effort from the volunteers.
Despite the fact that I am doing a lot to meet the foreign and international fandoms I am still deeply involved in local fandom. I am chairing SFF club in Kraków – Krakowska Sieć Fantastyki (The SFF Network of Kraków). Last year we came back to the in-person meetings but we also continued to have some online presence. A lot of effort was put to make it all happen. We changed some things, we managed to expand and I have a feeling that we are in a better position than in January 2022. I had the tendency to take too many responsibilities on myself. This was a mistake. Not only because of the toll it took on me but also because it was not optimal for the club. Thanks to Michał – my vice-chair I learned more on how to delegate tasks. Now many things are done by the others. This is amazing as not only the board has a bit more time but members are more involved and club is working better. I am still there whenever I am needed but I don’t have the feeling I must be doing something all the time.
All the new people that joined our club (either formally or not) were a proof that actions we took were good. All of them made me happy. At one point I realized that I needed this reassurance that the role of local SFF clubs is still important. I love to do things. I love it even more to do things that are needed!
As a club we were co-organizing last Imladris that was also our natcon – Polcon. What can I say? I wanted to organize Polcon in Kraków for a long time. Now we finally got the chance and I am more than happy! My role was not very big but I am happy I managed to help the con to some extent.
Similarly to 2021 I managed to publish three issues of “A~Zyn”. I am quite proud because of that. It may not be a lot but the second year was not worse than the first one. What is more important is that I am working on the next issue (this time in English!) and the subsequent one is also slowly forming. Making this all happen would of course not be possible if not for others. I am grateful to everyone who helped me to make it happen. I received help in the areas of (in alphabetical order): DTP, editing, illustrating, proofreading, writing articles, and writing a drabble.
Back in 2020, even before I started “A~Zyn” I decided to make 42nd issue of “DOJI”. Now I am a bit ashamed that so much time has passed and it is still not ready. Yet it doesn’t mean that the idea is dead. I truly hope that 2023 will be the year when it will go to printing house. I cannot promise it but I hope it will happen.
When it comes to reading fanzines I must admit that I read fewer than I expected. Somehow 2022 was bad for my reading in general. The only category where I read more than in previous years was comics. Still I want to mention one fanzine that I read late in December. It was “Through space and time A personal journey in Irish Science Fiction Part 1, 1970 – 90” written by Philippa and Helen Ryder. It was a great story of their personal lives and of fandom. I cannot wait for the second issue.
Looking back and forward
Whenever I think about 2022 my thoughts are coming to the war. It may not be directly related to fandom but fannish friends are involved. Each day I am concerned about their safety. Each thing they post online show to me they are safe. I would love to say that 2022 was a good fannish year for me. I did a lot of things and I attend conventions both in person and online. Still the war makes it impossible to call that year a good one. I am happy about good things that happened but overall the war clouds everything.
My selfie from Pyrkon – the biggest con I visited in 2022.
The thing that connects past and future for me is the European Fan Fund. We released the call for nominations in late 2022 and it will continue till 25th January. After that we will (hopefully) have a race. I am keeping my fingers crossed for this initiative as I believe it is an important one.
What else I am looking forward to in 2023? As stated above I want to make English issue of “A~Zyn”. The plan is to have it ready for Corflu (it will be my first in-person Corflu!). The larger number of copies will be brought to Eurocon. Then I am waiting for Lajconik – I am not yet sure whether I will be able to attend it but I am waiting regardless of that. Then we have Polcon (joined with Kapitularz), and Imladris, and a few other cons. And last but not least I am thrilled with the perspectives for Krakowska Sieć Fantastyki. Keep your fingers crossed for us to grow and broaden what we are doing.