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Mount Orégano
Sue Burke
More books than parties 
6th-Nov-2007 12:00 pm
I'm back from Ishbiliya-Con 2007, Spain's national convention, Hispacon, held this year in Seville. The one thing I miss at Spanish conventions compared to American conventions are the parties at night.

That's because conventions in Spain are usually held in a cultural center, not a hotel, and people are scattered around the city in different lodgings, so there are no room parties. Sometimes a group of friends manages to converge on the same bar or restaurant in the evening, but it's just not the same. I think this weakens Spanish fandom, since a lot of business occurs spontaneously during unstructured, open social settings.

Besides, Spaniards are extremely good at partying. It's a big lost opportunity.

Literature dominated this year's Hispacon, as usual, since every other person seemed to be involved in writing, publishing, reviewing, or editing. No costumes -- but, as usual, there were a lot of black tee-shirts with messages of some sort printed on them. It's the Spanish fannish uniform.

I came back with a stack of books, and I'm especially eager to read two.

One is the Ishbiliya-Con 2007 Anthology put together by this year's convention organizer, the Three Cultures Foundation, with an emphasis on Arab writers. It turned out the foundation's coordinator, Dario Marimón, is not only a science fiction fan, he's fluent in Arabic and has spent years hunting down genre writers, some of them forgotten in their own countries and others quite famous, and he was delighted to have a chance to bring them to Spanish-language readers.

The other book is the first novel by Daniel Mares, Spain's best genre humorist, called Madrid. Set several centuries in the future in Madrid, it involves a serial killer and a diplomatic incident that might result in interplanetary warfare and the end of the world, but more importantly, Madrid and Barcelona are facing each other in a championship soccer match. The novel takes place during the game, and its opening and closing words are the common soccer fan chant, printed in big, bold letters: "¡Hijooos de pu-ta!" (Sons of bitches!)

By the way, the convention logo shows flying saucers over the Seville skyline, including the emblematic Golden Tower, built in the 1220 A.D. to guard the city's port during the reign of the Almohade Muslims.

6th-Nov-2007 12:43 pm (UTC)
love the new userpic.
6th-Nov-2007 04:29 pm (UTC)
I always look prettier when I'm on vacation, which is when the shot was taken. (The Colosseum is in the background.)
6th-Nov-2007 08:19 pm (UTC) - Parties
No! :D We do parties. Maybe it's not clear, we run out in groups. Spontaneous and chaotic groups, yes. And the groups use to join each other as the night goes on. If there is one thing i love in the Hispacon, that's the party.
Next year, in Almeria, we'll show you the Hispacon Nightology. Sure :)

(And, of course, i apologize for my poor english)

Alfredo Álamo
7th-Nov-2007 05:50 pm (UTC) - ¡Macrofiesta!
Exactly. Groups of friends go out on the town, which is great fun. I've been part of that and enjoyed it tremendously. But what usually happens at conventions in the United States and some other countries is quite different.

Conventions usually take place at hotels. Most people have their rooms there, and the daytime programming takes place there -- and at night, there are big parties at the hotel where everyone is welcome. Instead of going out with a group of friends you already know, you get to meet new people. People who do not belong to a group also get to party and have fun. Everyone has a chance to talk to everyone else, make new friends, and possibly develop ideas with people they might not have known otherwise.

It is almost as chaotic, but far more inclusive. And that makes a big difference in the growth and development of the science fiction community. A convention becomes one big group.

I think what the 2008 Hispacon needs is not just nightology, though as always I would enjoy that, Hispacon needs a macrofiesta.

(And by the way, your English is fine.)
7th-Nov-2007 06:02 pm (UTC) - Re: ¡Macrofiesta!
A Macrofiesta is always wellcome :D In other Hispacones the post-Ignotus party was in the same place (not like this year... mrmmrrmmrfff), and in the Asturcon, people starts the party in one big block from the first day.
On the other hand, the groups in the Hispacon are not closed, i think they are related to the check-out time from the convention.
But yes, Macrofiesta. No doubt about it :D I'll make some calls...
7th-Nov-2007 06:13 pm (UTC) - Re: ¡Macrofiesta!
Yep, that last comment was mine.

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