Śląskie Dni Fantastyki 2024 – A Short but Intense Convention

Śląskie Dni Fantastyki 2024 (ŚDF) lasted for two days. Yet for me they were even shorter. Because of some private matters I didn’t manage to travel to the con in the morning. I reached the convention venue around 3:30 PM on Saturday – very late for me. I was a bit concerned I would not have enough time to enjoy the ŚDF 2024 but my concerns were not valid.

Just a Tiny Bit of Programme

I wanted to attend some programme items and I did. It was not as many as I would visit in a usual circumstances. I am happy that at least I got the chance to visit two items (both lasting for 2 hours). The first one was on the research on fandom. I was looking forward to it but unfortunately I was a bit disappointed. The presenter knew how to speak but the topic was not exactly what I was hoping for. My expectation was to learn a bit more about researching of classic SF fandom. What was covered however was not that. Presentation was devoted to analyzing ten scientific papers. First was about how well one of the online “which xxx from yyy you are” test was predicting personality. It was quite interesting but the following papers were way further from what I expected. They treated “fandom” in extreme broad fashion including also fans of sports and cars. It was not a bad talk but not exactly what I was hoping for.

Person in violet jumper stands in teh corner, speaks and gesticulated. In the pictured a few members of the audience is also visible.
Presenter during the first (for me) talk of ŚDF 2024.

The other programme item I visited was held on Sunday morning. It was a panel discussion about Writers’ False Friends. The basic idea was that some aspects of the world seem very obvious and therefore are not researched or challenged by the writers. The discussion was interesting even though sometimes it was straying from the topic. One of the panelists suggested that Elves should be portrayed as way more alien than it is usually done. The difference in the lifespan should make them incomprehensible to humans. This reminded me of anime I am watching recently ­– “Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End”.

As I found “Frieren” worth discussing I approached the said panelist after the panel. When I started to cover the basic idea for the series the other panelist mentioned that “Frieren” is great. We started to analyze both the anime and the concept of eternal/long lasting beings. Another fan joined us in the discussion. In the end we decided that Elves should probably have a mechanism similar to bacterial quorum sensing. This should be linked to their fertility. This way the race would not overpopulate the world but would be also safer in the face of natural disaster. This led to another topic related to cities. Quorum sensing mechanism would mean that no children would be born in the cities what would have some social implications too. And so the discussion was ongoing. Interesting food for thought!

A classrom filled with people. Five people sit in front of the blackboard and talk. In front of them there are a few rows of people sitting in the audience.
The room during the panel was quite full. Considering it was on Sunday morning I dare to say it was very full!

A Long (Expected) Party

Rynvord planned a celebration of his 100th convention. It was held in a neighbouring city. ŚDF 2024 took place in Chorzów and the party was in Katowice. It was not far away – just two stops away by local train. On the train platform I met a friend and some other fans who seemed to be going into the same direction. Together we went to the Pod Ożartym Smokiem (At the Gobled Dragon [with one b]). We came there before Rynvord but he and some more fans joined us shortly.

It was a long evening we talked and drank (water in my case) and enjoyed the company. Over the long hours more and more people were leaving. In the end there was the four of us – Julianna, Seji, Tel and myself. And when we left the bar the bartender left as well and closed the venue. It was 1 AM and I think it may have been the first time in my life when the bar/pub was closed behind my back.

Picture taken at night. It shows the pub sign with a red dragon and 'Pod ożartym smokiem' inscription.
Somehow I the only pictures I took during the evening was when we left the pub.

Somehow ordering a taxi was not an easy task. Well ordering was easy but for the driver to pick us up was a different story. In the end we succeeded after fourth or fifth trial and around half an hour of waiting. Then short shower at the hotel and I was able to get to sleep at 2:30 AM…

Talking with Friends

In my previous report I complained about lack of social interactions. This time I came back home fully satisfied with the convention’s social life. I had a great time in the pub and the next day I enjoyed discussing Elven Society. In the meantime I got enough time to talk to some of my friends. We made plans for the future conventions and discussed literature.

Plushy Dragon in front of the glass of juice and two pieces of wood.
One of the Imladris’ dragons had a Sunday lunch with us.

Even when I left the convention venue I met again with some friends. We agreed to have a lunch together before greeting farewell. In the end together with Seji we traveled back to Kraków. Śląskie Dni Fantastyki 2024 were very short for me but they felt longer. Maybe this was the case because of how intense they were for me. I completely didn’t expect to stay in the bar till 1 AM nor to wake up in the morning the next day. It was somehow as on the conventions from my early days when I didn’t need as much sleep as I do now. I enjoyed myself thoroughly and I am looking forward to the next convention.

The next post will appear within three weeks.

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