[SKRIVA] Rapport från Swecon

  • From: Ahrvid Engholm <ahrvid@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "skriva@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <skriva@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <novellmastarna@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2012 18:42:32 +0200

(Kort rapport från årets sf/fantasy-kongress i Uppsala. Skrev på engelska då 
jag är med på en massa engelskspråkiga mailinglistor, och man når väl en litet 
bredare och större publik där. Skrev rätt rapsodiskt, för om man skulle skriva 
en riktig rapport om allt skulle man få hålla på länge och det tycker jag får 
vara, har inte tid. Det kommer att dyka upp en rad Swecon-rapporter, och så kan 
vi alla komparera noter, för att prata svengelska. Många fotosidor med 
kongressbilder lär också dyka upp; bara att googla fram dem, fast Google tar 
några dagar på sig för att nå och indexera mindre siter. --AE)

Latest weekend saw Swecon 2012 (aka Kontrast 2012) being held in 
Uppsala, the university city 80 km north of Stockholm. GoHs were Peter 
Watts, Joe Abercrombie, Kelly Link, Sara Bergmark Elfgren & Mats 
Strandberg (Swedish horror authors) and Niels Dahlgaard (Danish sf 
expert and fandom legend). The site was Hotel Gillet in central Uppsala.
  I'll have to struggle too keep this report reasonably short, because 
it should be long - but I don't have the time for a long report. Ca 450 
people are said to have attended, the biggest con outside Stockholm, and
 maybe the 3rd biggest ever in Sweden (Scancon 76 475 att, Eurocon 2011 
750 att; there was a Swecon 2004 co-arranged with Stockholm Trekkers, 
where number of attendees has said to have been 4-500, due to many 
trekkers turning up, but I find no exact figures). Attendees came from 
all the Nordic countries and eg UK, US, Germany and even Russia (I met a
 Russian journalist there, specialised in covering skiffy for a Russian 
magazine). Many new faces esp since the con had the policy that 
pre-registered up to age 26 would get free memberships.
  The program had up to three tracks, and of course I couldn't see 
everything. Sometimes I went back and forth between two programs. There 
was a lot of tweeting from the con, much in English (my own tweet stream
 alone from @SFJournalen was ca 45 msg, check hashtag #Swecon - there 
were hundreds of msg).
  A few of the things I attended:
  "Writing: How do you do it", with eg the Icelandic skiffy author Emil 
Hjörvar Petersen and some of the GoHs. Emil later told me that they are 
about to start the first sf/f/h club on Iceland!
  Swecon voting. Stockholm won, unopposed. Con will be called 
Fantastika, and is 18-20 Oct 2013 in a place called Dieselverkstan (will
 there be some dieselpunk in the program?).
  Interview with Peter Watts. Had the opportunity to ask about the US 
border incident, and he gave a lively and interesting summary. We all 
heard of this event where Watts was mistreated grossly to he seemed to 
take it in good mood. Fun and interesting guy.
  Screening of short films, by Peter Öberg who has just published a book
 about Swedish sf/f/h-films. Especially the two first were very good - a
 Lovecraft story plus a strange "sf music" story.
  Panel on short stories. Since I write short stories, it was interesting for 
  Panel on steampunk. There'll be a Swedish steampunk con in 2014 in Gävle 
railway museum.
  Price ceremony, where Jonas Wissting won the Alvar (fan achievment 
award, named after fan legend Alvar Appeltofft) and Mariana Leikomaa 
from Finland won the Ghösta award (Uppsala Fandom's own award).
  On "copybots" by Swedish Euro parliamentarian Amelia Andersdotter, 
which was held in the office of Young Pirates a few blocks away. It was a
 copybot that stopped the Hugo webcast.
  GoH interview with Joe Abercrombie, who was very entertaing and made a lot of 
  GoH interview with Kelly Link, who said she writes intensly for 6-8 hours and 
then takes a bheer.
  Settings in fantasy. Held in hall 2, but so popular many had to stand in the 
  Discussion of sf/f you read as young. Eg Heinlein and Jules Verne showed to 
be popular beginners' authors.
  The Lars-Olov Strandberg slide show from old conventions - a must see on 
Swedish cons!
  There was a drabbel (100 word story) competion, but I was too occupied to 
take part.
  I missed some program, due to being on another program or mingling, 
incl some GoH interviews/speeches. But examples of other program items 
and subjects are: Wikipedia, Swedish TVs robot drama "Real People", 
alternate history, info about sf in Norway and Finland (also about the 
Helsinki 2015 Worldcon bid), skiffy blogs, some writing workshops, 
languages in sf/f, about science in sf, disaster novels (sf PhD Jerry 
Määttä is writing a book about it), translation, Greek gods and Star 
Trek, Philip K Dick, etc - but there were much more.
  Two highlights were the Saturday evening book release party, with some
 wine and snacks, and the hilarious talk by John-Henri Holmberg about 
the first Swedish Tolkien translator Åke Ohlmarks.
  JHH went through Ohlmarks' life from disaster to disaster. It started 
with Ohlmarks failing to get good marks for his academic work, because 
he wrote nasty poems about his professors in a student paper. Not the 
best tactics. Then he spent WWII in Germany, and actually managed to get
 a higher academic position - five months before the Red Army occupied 
the University of Greifswald. Not the best timing JHH dryly noted. Then 
Ohlmarks got a position as film scriptwriter, also directed one film, 
and earned so much money he got the taxman after him. Thus he has to 
flee Sweden, but in actuallity was in a country where "he rented houses 
under pseudonym". A result was he had to have a huge book production, a 
book every other month to keep the taxman away.
  JHH told stories about Ohlmark's "Pimpinelle order", a meeting of 
which was one of the most bizarre things I have experienced (as the 
lecturer said). We heard about Ohlmarks conflict with Tolkien and the 
tolkienists, basically because his LOTR translation was so shoddy (it 
hasd been re-translated by fan Erik Andersson). Tolkien forbad the 
Swedish publisher to let Ohlmarks loose on Silmarillion, but Mr O 
couldn't forgive that. After being hailed as the big Tolkien expert in 
Sweden, Ohlmarks now began writing books against Tolkien and the tolkien
 societies, which engage in" black magic, drugs, cirminality, sex 
orgies, international conspiracies" etc (according to Mr O). There was a
 infamous incident with one of Ohlmark's houses that caught fire, and Mr
 O blamed the tolkien societies.
  To keep to a reasonable format, I'll just summarise one of the program
 items. And the one about Ohlmarks was perhaps the one most worth a 
summary. People LOTFLed a lot.
  What else? Tried to mingle and chat quite a bit and met many 
interesting people. Nice to see folks you've previously only met on the 
net, not to mention all old faces. Some of gthes oldies now turned up 
with their kids, who in no time at all have grown from 2 years to a 
teenager. Strange.
 There was a daily newsletter, ed by Karl Johan Norén (sometimes up to 3
 ish/day). I had some small fanzines of my own, old ishs of SFJournalen 
and esp an small printrun of my EAPA zine Intermission with some info 
about the first Swedish sf club, Atomic Noah founded in 1945 (and with 
nobelist and space poet Harry Martinson as member). My bus back went 
rather late so I could also attend the Dead Dog event in local pub Pipes
 of Scotland for several hours - talked a lot with eg Niels Dalgaard, l 
since I missed his speech, and we exchanged info about sf and fandom 
things in the Nordic region (some very interesting, some not worth 
  Of course everything didn't go perfect, though Swecon 2012 overall was
 very well organised. It was too crowed in the corridors sometimes. The 
bar was closed during the Sunday. There were no roomparties (won't rule 
out tiny, private ones) even if it was in a hotel and people also stayed
 in surrounding hotels - are fans today forgetting the fannish roomparty
 tradition? There were only five press pieces about the con, all in 
local Uppsala papers (UNT, 18 minuter and Uppsalatidningen), and AFAIK 
nothing in radio or TV.
  The 18minuter ("18 minutes") piece was something I fixed, BTW. I 
contacted them to ask if they wanted a short story by me becase there 
was a convention in town. They didn't but instead began interviewing me 
by mail, I sent them a picture - and the article was mostly about my 
short-story writing, though Swecon info was of course given. You can see
 that story on p3 here http://etidning.ntm.eu/18-minuter/2012/10/05/ I jokeed 
and said that Andy Warhol promised everyone 15 minutes of fame. Well, I got 18 
  Lacking a time machine, I'm near the end of the time I can spare for 
this all-to-brief report. However, should mention how Swecon ended 
(minus the Dead Dog). Chairman Johan Anglemark traditionally brought 
forth the wooden container for "The Spirit of Swecon". He waved it in 
the air and said the Spirit of Swecon was in the hall, closed the lid 
and passed it to the chairman of next Swecon, Carolina Lagerlöf Gomez. A
 nice little gimmick which has been going on at Swecons for some years.


Ps. Swecon 2012 home page, kontrast2012.se/ , Swecon 2013 fantastika2013.com/ 
(info in English available on both).
ahrvid@xxxxxxxxxxx / Be an @SFJournalen Twitter Follower for all the latest 
news in short form! / Gå med i SKRIVA - för författande, sf, fantasy, kultur 
(skriva-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, subj: subscribe) info 
www.skriva.bravewriting.com / Om Ahrvids novellsamling Mord på månen: 
www.zenzat.se/zzfaktasi.html C Fuglesang: "stor förnöjelse...jättebra historier 
i mycket sannolik framtidsmiljö"! Nu som ljudbok: 
http://elib.se/ebook_detail.asp?id_type=ISBN&id?86081462 / Läs även AE i nya 
Vildsint Skymningslandet, årets mest spännande antologi - finns bl a på 
SF-Bokhandeln! - och nya E-antologin Skottdagen, 
http://www.elib.se/ebook_detail.asp?id_type=ISBN&id?86081454 / YXSKAFTBUD, GE 

SKRIVA - sf, fantasy och skräck  *  Äldsta svenska skrivarlistan
grundad 1997 * Info http://www.skriva.bravewriting.com eller skriva- 
request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx för listkommandon (ex subject: subscribe).

Other related posts:

  • » [SKRIVA] Rapport från Swecon - Ahrvid Engholm