A week has passed since the final event of Kontakt, and I finally have a bit of time and brainpower to reflect on it.

I go to Zagreb on a fairly regular basis. I’ve been several times since 1998, and we’ve missed going only once in the last 7 years. Usually, however, I don’t set the agenda. I just go with the flow. Go for a walk, have a coffee, have a beer, have some kremsnita at Ivica i Marica. It’s all good. This time, things were different. I came mostly to help My Sweet get three little boys across the ocean without a permanent tic resulting. That’s fine. I also only stayed for ten days. That’s also fine, though I spent almost half that getting over jet-lag, and again when I got home. I also knew, thanks to Ansible, that Eurocon was in town the same time as me. Something for me to go to! And Charlie Stross and Tim Powers were Guests of Honour! Wooo! To be honest, I convinced My Sweet to back up the tickets by a couple of weeks so I could actually get to it. Our original plans had us leaving Canada on May 2. Everything fell nicely into place. I even had arranged to meet up with my friend Mladen while there, since he’s also into this scene.


Guests of honour: Tim Powers, Cheryl Morgan, Charles Stross, and Darko Macan with Bridget Wilkinson and Petra Bulic (erm, I think!)

Click here for more photos!


I opted for the deluxe package, which gave me some extra stuff, like an anthology of Croatian writers in English translation, a guided tour of the town (which I enjoyed, and learned some new things despite having been there so often), and an extra day and a half of conning, which took place at the Hotel International. This part of the con reminded me most of Can-Con, my local con, as it was very intimate (maybe 150-200 people at most).  Halfway through Friday we moved to FER, the engineering faculty of the UofZ, and more and more people began to arrive.

The Con itself was a ton of fun. I managed to gibber a bit at Charlie Stross (I actually said squee at him. Sorry Charlie!), meet people from around Europe and have great conversations. One thing that stood out for me was the mixture of lectures and panels. I’m used to the panel format at sci-fi cons and the lecture format in security cons, but I appreciated the hybrid, and wouldn’t mind seeing it again. The head of SFeraKon said that this was the first year that they had incorporated panels, but everyone seemed to like them, so they will try it again next year.

After the con, I went up to the Zagreb Observatory on a trip organised by Dave Lally, the chair of the European SF Society. We sat through a lecture describing the origins and mandate of the observatory, and then we got to go into the dome and do some sun-gazing.


Click here for more observatory photos!

In 2014, Dublin will host Eurocon, aka Shamrokon (it’s in Kiev next year (Dan?)), and I’ve already bought a membership with the hope of doing both that and the Worldcon that will hopefully take place in London the week before. I can’t wait.