Saturday, September 14, 2019

Cora's Adventures at Worldcon 77 in Dublin, Ireland

Convention Centre Dublin
Regular readers may remember that I was away at WorldCon 77 in Dublin, Ireland, last month. I had a great time and even got to attend the Hugo Awards.

The lobby of the CCD bids WorldCon 77 members welcome.

A look into the lobby from the second floor of the CCD.
WorldCon 77 took place at the Convention Centre Dublin, a spectacular, if somewhat impractical building. As a result, queues for panels were often long.

Queueing for panels at the CCD
Luckily, there were many other things to do at WorldCon 77, even if you couldn't get into a panel you wanted to see. The dealers room was well stocked and there was even a bonafide DeLorean on display, though we have no idea if it can really travel through time.

A DeLorean parked in the dealers room at WorldCon 77. Luckily, there are no parking tickets for time machines.
In addition to the CCD, WorldCon 77 also had a second location about 800 metres or one tram tram stop away, at Point Square, a newly built and partly empty entertainment and shopping complex.

Point Square

Point Square not only hosted some panels and most of the signings, but also the entire arts and crafts portion of WorldCon 77, including the art show, crafting workshops and displays.

Lego castle with an army gathering outside the gates on display at WorldCon 77

The rebel base on Hoth recreated in Logo, on display at WorldCon 77
A Lego plant monster attacks a town in this display at WorldCon 77. In the background, you can see part of the art show.
Bayeux tapestry with bonus TARDIS on display at WorldCon 77. Created by Janet Clark.

Point Square was also home to the Raksura Colony Tree project, a collaborative fibre art project to recreate the giant colony trees described in Martha Wells' Hugo nominated Books of Raksura series. The project was organised by Constanze Hofmann who also outdid herself getting the entire Point Square arts and craft display area set up.

Since I'm also a crafter, a joined the project and contributed a couple of pieces. We not only created a beautiful work of art, but also had a lot of fun.

Crafting the Raksura Colony Tree
Crafting the Raksura Colony Tree
The finished Raksura Colony Tree model

A closer look at the finished Raksura Colony Tree model

The Raksura Colony Tree with some of the many contributors to the project
Furthermore, I also got to attend the Hugo Awards Ceremony as the designated accepter for best fanzine finalist Galactic Journey. We didn't win, but I got to enjoy the Hugo Awards reception and I got to see the ceremony close-up. What was more, I wound up sitting right next to NASA astronaut Dr. Jeanette Epps, who presented the best novel Hugo Award.

Contents of the Hugo finalist/accepter packet
At the Hugo reception
The auditorium at the Hugo ceremony
Mary Robinette Kowal wins the Hugo Award for Best Novel for "The Calculating Stars", presented by Dr. Jeanette Epps
Since Galactic Journey did not win a Hugo - the winner in the best fanzine category was the excellent Lady Business - I also got to go the Hugo Losers Party hosted by none other than George R.R. Martin himself. And because I was cold and shared a taxi with two others also going to the party, I also got lucky and arrived early enough to avoid the overcrowding issues that happened when the bulk of the finalists arrived by bus a little later.

George R.R. Martin takes the stage at the Hugo Losers Party
The Hugo Losers Party has spilled out onto the mezzanine of the Guiness Store House.
All in all, I had a wonderful time at WorldCon 77 in Dublin. And the airport even gave me a very Irish farewell, complete with a rainbow.

Rainbow over the airport. Yes, this really happened.

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