Cosplay, Publishing and the Authors’ Coffee—Getting Ready for SFeraKon 2022

Getting ready for SFeraKon 2022, one of the major Croatian scifi conventions, and probably the major fandom event this year, hits a bit differently this year. It almost feels as if we’ve had no events in the past few years, which is totally untrue, and yet… you know. A lot of things have changed since late 2019.

And those changes are probably the reason why I’ve been getting hyped up in the past few days in anticipation of next week, May 13-15th, when I’ll be in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, in cosplay for the first time in years, sharing what we’ve been doing for the past few years with the general public, in person.

And, while I’m aware that most of you who read this blog aren’t coming to SFeraKon—aren’t, even, on the same continent as Croatia—I still wanted to share all the many stuff I’ll be participating in this weekend, in hope you’ll get a tiny taste of what it looks like at Croatian cons. After all, who knows—maybe we’ll see you here next year?

(And if you’re coming to SFeraKon this year, definitely stop by and say hi! I’ll be the too-serious, dark-haired, after-hours librarian in gray, with two prop blades. Most of the time you’ll be able to find me by locating the tall girl in white, with a flower crown.)

On Friday, we’ll start the Shtriga programming at 7PM, with a discussion with my partner in crime, Antonija Mežnarić, about folk horror in pop culture, movies, literature, and her own published fiction. (Tradicija straha: folk horror s autoricom Antonijom Mežnarić, A 201, 19:00.) I’ll be talking to Antonija about horror in general, especially queer horror and horror written by women, and we’ll try to deconstruct the reasons why South Slavic folk tales lends themselves so beautifully to folk horror.

On Saturday, early in the afternoon, Antonija will be talking to me—we’re both a little out of our depth, which is why I think it’ll be such a good experience, learning alongside our audience—about romantic plots in speculative fiction, what it’s like reading and writing both, and what the pitfalls of their intersections are. As an additional prep for this one, I’ve been listening to a ton of Fated Mates, and having the time of my life! (Romantika u spekulativnoj fikciji s autoricom Vesnom Kurilić, Siva soba, 14:00.)

Later on Saturday, I’ll be joining my colleague Dalibor Perković as a co-speaker at the traditional round table discussion about the state of the genre(s) in Croatia. It’s been a while since I’ve participated in one of these (almost a decade, I think?) and I’m realy looking forward to seeing what old feuds we manage to drag out and which new directions the audience thinks the Croatian speculative fiction has managed to take in the past few years. (Okrugli stol o stanju domaćeg SF-a, D2, 16:00.)

Sunday at noon, sharp, I’ll be hosting something which was, I guess, inevitable, but which makes me almost more excited than the rest of our programming combined—the first ever Author’s Coffee (Autorska kava), at a bar close to the SFeraKon venue, an attempt to bring the writers of spec fic from all over Croatia closer together. (Actually, my initial idea was to get us introduced to one another, as many people as possible, and to share info and pool up resources. I think people call that networking, but I’ve been to too many conferences with my day job to be comfortable with the term, and I’ve generally become a misanthropic recluse in the past few years.) (You spit. I’m ‘a sit. We’ll see where we land…) We’ll se how it goes!

Later on Sunday, I’ll be talking to Igor Rendić, another author with Shtriga, about urban fantasy, especially in regards to writing a series set outside of the anglo setting. His recent debut novel, A Town Called River, is a great example of what we can accomplish when we start writing about our own neighborhood, and it doesn’t hurt that Igor’s been a voracious reader of the subgenre for a good chunk of time, too. (Urbana fantastika od New Yorka do Rijeke: razgovor s autorom Igorom Rendićem, D1, 13:00.)

Even later on Sunday, Antonija, Igor and I will be hosting the first ever Morina kutija geek quiz—titled, literally, What’s in the box?, where we’ll cover the basics of the Morina kutija project (not from the project itself—it won’t be a test!), and have a ton of Sunday-afternoon fun. (What’s in the box?, D1, 15:15.)

And that’s it! If I remember correctly… I made a point of not even trying to llist all the programming I’m going to go to as a visitor, nor all the things I’ll get to miss because I’ll be, basically, working. Working at a sci-fi convention Now there’s… a natural progression of being a creative geek, I guess?

Hope to see you there, and, if not, hope you’ll have a good geeky weekend yourself!

Photo by Frane Medić on Unsplash.

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