SWECON, STOCKHOLM 15-17 JUNE
REPORT DAY 1, FRIDAY 15 JUNE 2018
Two years ago Hal and I attended our first Fantastika. Then I did my talk ‘Merlin – the man, the myth, the magic.’ This time, well, read on.
We arrive early, to get the books to the bookshop. A bit chaotic but it gets done and then we wait.
Five o’clock p.m. After all the preps and waiting, it starts out with a bang for my alter ego. ‘Shakespeare and magic’, Ruby fastens her mike round her ear, looks up at the small, but suddenly growing crowd, and says ‘Bubble bubble toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble.’ And off she goes, the audience with her. It’s a gang of Shakespeare lovers, that’s clear. It goes quickly. Suddenly it’s over, there are some good questions, and Ruby reverts to Rhuddem, which is what it says on the name tag round my neck. There is no question about it, both Ruby and I love to talk to audiences about Shakespeare and Merlin! (Thanks to Gwen Frazer-Dennison for the photo).
From there right on to ‘The lady doctor’, an interesting discussion with a terrible title. Just by giving it that title the gender labels are cemented. While some interesting points were brought up about the thorny gender path the writers of the show have ahead of them, I made the point that I hope in future Jodie Whittaker will be referred to as the 13th doctor, just as her previous regenerations are referred to by their number.
Because my friends Nina Grensjö and Marika Lövström were on the panel ‘boktips för ungdomar’ (Book tips for young people), because I only have a couple of hundred unread books on my shelves and absolutely need more books and because I’m young(er than I will be) I listened with interest to this panel discussion. Several I have read – The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, Children of Blood and Bone, Among Others, Equilibrium. One I have read and given away and don’t even really remember, Uprooted, obviously didn’t live up to Marika’s view, ‘What a treat!’ Sorry, Marika. Several I want to read: Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan, Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray, Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo, Into the Forest by Jean Hegland.
Our evening ended with the grand opening which I scarcely remember. Sadly we missed several interesting programs (The Works of Ursula Le Guin, Popular TV series other than GofT, and How Frankenstein formed Karl Marx, supposedly a serious talk but being it was Ian Watson, I wonder how serious it was!) because Hal and I took the taxi home and fell into bed.