Our first Worldcon (but not our last, it seems!)

Being the only Finns at the cruise (WXR2017), we kept getting the same obvious question: ”So, you’re going to Worldcon?”. But no, we had no idea if we were going or not. We kind of used up all our babysitting hours on the cruise (10 nights away from Mum and Dad will do it!) and thought that we would see in what state the kids were when we came home before making any Worldcon decisions. Luckily, amazingly, the kids had a great time when we were away, and all the preparing we did beforehand really paid off. It is not easy to leave your kids when they have a trauma background, but this time it worked. The ship didn’t sink, Mum and Dad were still alive and healthy, if with a bit of a sore throat, and everyday life could continue. We had some meltdowns, but not major ones, so we decided to roll the dice and attend Worldcon on Thursday.

After bribing the younger kids with them getting to go as Leia and Luke, we set off for Helsinki. And we had such an amazing day!

It started off with a grumpy Mum, i.e. me, not liking Messukeskus, the place where the convention was held. Everything was so confusing and the maps didn’t really help. I get really annoyed when people don’t organize things properly! (by the way – there was nothing in the organizing of the Writing Excuses Cruise to get annoyed by. Everything went smoothly, and the organizers immediately fixed every little glitch). The maps were confusing, the signs were confusing, and the rooms were too small for the amount of people who attended. We walked round looking for the panel we  wanted to attend, and when we finally found it, it was full. That was to be the story of the day. People stood in line for ages for some of the panels, and then half the people of the line got turned away.

The kids found a book, yay!

Nalo Hopkinson! And our Leia!

But despite that we had a great time! We met so many people from the cruise, and it was amazing to see them in Finland of all places. We were surrounded by fellow geeks and got to see our idols (our eldest: GRRM, myself: Nalo Hopkinson).

Happy teenager after listening to his first panel discussion – the only regret was that he didn’t get a picture of himself with Ken Liu (it’s now on his bucket list!)

Our boys even attended a workshop led by Robin Hobb! They have no idea who she is, but I was star-struck! She is the reason I even read fantasy – I had read lots when I was little, but when I was growing up in the eighties it felt as if fantasy as a genre had become lackluster and just spit out the same plots over and over again (like David Eddings and Terry Brooks) . But not Robin Hobb. I am an omnivore when it comes to reading, but at one time I almost gave up on the fantasy genre. Except for Robin Hobb’s books, because they were just that great and had that certain something that set them off. So she is one of the biggest reasons I kept reading fantasy books, and kept discovering new things about them, and finally got to the Writing Excuses Cruise and Worldcon 75. (Her short story ”Neigbors” is one of the best short stories there is, in my opinion, about a woman with Alzheimer’s – look it up under Megan Lindholm!)

This girl had amazing contacts! So many amazing costumes at the convention

It was so fun to attend Worldcon with our whole family. The kids were photographed all day long, and women kept coming up to our Leia and curtsy and say: ”Your majesty”. She posed for so many pictures, happy as a salmon as we say in Swedish!

Happy teenager with a new Tardis-mug in the bag

We went home with a car full of sleeping kids and memories, and with a teenage son who is adamant that we have to start saving up for our next Worldcon! Hopefully in Dublin in two years time

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  1. […] We went to WorldCon a while back, and I quickly had to make princess Leia-buns. They don’t look nearly as perfect as the real Leia’s buns, but they were good enough for my Leia, and took maybe five minutes to make. Which is good enough for me! […]

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