Cora’s Adventures at Flights of Foundry, the Obligatory 2021 Birthday Post and Some Other News

Life has been busy this last week, so here is an overview post about several of the things that happened in the meantime.

As you may recall, I took part in the virtual 2021 Flights of Foundry convention last weekend.

Last year, Flights of Foundry was one of the first virtual cons. Those experiences were clearly put to good use, because I found Flights of Foundry a well-organised and run virtual con. They used WebX for the panels, which doesn’t have a chat function, so questions were asked in Discord. This set-up took some getting used to, but worked well, once you did.

I was on three panels, moderating two, all on Sunday. My first panel was “Making Your Reader Hungry: Food in SFF”, which I moderated. Initially, there were supposed to be four panelists, but one had to drop out because of a scheduling conflict and one never showed, so I was down to two panelists, Nibedita Sen and Shweta Adhyam. Lucky for me, they were fantastic and I think we had a great and mouthwatering panel.

If the first panel of a con goes well, I’m usually a lot more relaxed about future panels. I also had three hours between my first and second panels, which was another bonus. My second panel, which I also was moderating, was “Romance in SFF” with Grace Draven, Cassie Hart, Elle Ire and Jeffe Kennedy. This was another panel that went really well and with barely a hitch except that one panelist dropped out due to connection issues for two minutes or so. As I’ve said elsewhere, the key to a good panel are really the panelists. If you have good panelists, who have interesting things to say and insights to offer, but who don’t ramble on endlessly, then the panel is certain to be good.

After the romance panel, I had ten minutes or so to switch gears, before I was due to appear on the panel “The Unique Challenges of Speculative Translation”. At least, I didn’t have to dash from one panel room to the next, which sometimes happens during physical cons. Also, I wasn’t moderating this one. Instead, the moderator duties were handled by the excellent Fabio Fernandes. My fellow panelists were Marina Berlin, Julia Meitov Hersey and Janna Ruth. We discussed pronouns, gendered languages and the unique challenges of translating Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie among other things.

Many of the Flights of Foundry panels and presentations were recorded and should be up on the Dream Foundry YouTube channel eventually, so you can still enjoy them, even if you did not get to see them live.

I didn’t get to attend as many other panels, presentations and readings as I wanted either, because Sunday, April 18, also happened to be my birthday, so inbetween panels I was unwrapping presents as well as dealing with phone calls and my lone birthday visitor (except for my parents whom I see every day anyway), my neighbour Rosi, which was a bit of an odd experience, because that’s not normally something that happens during a physical con. I also was out for an hour or so in the afternoon, enjoying nature and the fresh spring green. Initially, I wanted to get myself a celebratory ice cream, but the line at the ice cream parlour’s take-out window was way too long and also standing way too closely together that I decided to scratch that and just enjoyed a walk through the woods instead.

Sailor's Curry

It’s my birthday and a weekend, too, so it was time for sailor’s curry, my favourite childhood dish.

For more about this North German maritime take on curry, go here. If you want my family recipe, it’s in the back of Freedom’s Horizon. Or you can just ask me.

Wrapped birthday presents

Wrapped birthday presents.

Cora unwrapping birthday presents

Unwrapping presents while my Mom looks on.

Unwrapped birthday presents

Unwrapped birthday presents: Behold all the pulpy goodness.

I have now finished replacing my crappy old Robert E. Howard editions full of posthumously completed or altered stories with the Del Rey’s editions. I’m still missing Howard’s westerns and the boxing stories, but I’m not sure if I really need those. Maybe I should try some of the stories before buying to see if I enjoy them.

Some other things happened last week as well: On Wednesday, I was interviewed by a reporter of the local paper Kreiszeitung about my Hugo nomination. The article hasn’t come out yet, but it will be linked here, when it does.

In other news, the progress report No. 1 of Chicon 8, the 2022 Worldcon in Chicago, Illinois, came out last week as well. Normally, this is something I would post in the weekly link round-up at the Speculative Fiction Showcase, but not here.

However, I’m making an exception this time around, because I happen to be mentioned in this progress report on page 14. If PDFs are not your thing, you can also get the gist at File 770.

In short, Chicon 8 has decided not to run the 1947 Retro Hugos because the low participation does not justify the work and costs involved. Instead, Chicon 8 will be running a 1946 Retrospective to take a look at what SFF fiction, non-fiction, film, radio drama, comics and fandom had to offer in 1946. There will be program items, exhibitions and more.

And who will be running this great project? None other than yours truly.

You’ll be hearing more about this in time, but for now I’m really excited to share the SFF of 1946 with the members of Chicon 8 and the rest of the SFF community.

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