Because I follow the best vloggers out there…
Back in 2007 I was supposed to attend the WorldCon – the annual World Science Fiction Convention – in Japan. I was all set, I had saved my money and I was planning on meeting old and new friends and have a wonderful time. Then my mother died, and everything changed.
In recent years, the Convention was hosted in Europe – last year in Ireland – but my finances were not up to the challenge.
And this year?
The 2020 WorldCon will take place in New Zealand – exactly on the other side of the world to where I live – and to the roughly 250 euro of membership fee, I should add about 2000 euro of air fare and food & lodging. Unthinkable.
But then the Coronavirus happened, and now the organizers of the New Zealand convention have announced they’ll move everything online – the 2020 WorldCon will take place in cyberspace.
Which means no travel ticket, no food & lodging, and a reduced membership fee. And so here’s the paradox: I might attend my first WorldCon in the year when it happens on the other side of the world.
I am waiting for the announcement of the new rates and details – but I’ve said jokingly with some friends that we should pitch a few panels and give a few presentations. And I am joking only up to a point. It would be fun to be able and do it.
Meanwhile, I’ve set up yet another piggy bank, to pay for this strange cyberspace adventure.
Let’s see what happens.
I mentioned how this whole lockdown thing has not impacted dramatically my lifestyle – I can be worried about my income as projects are fizzing out and it looks like we’ll have a long dry summer and a cold winter, but my day-to-day routine and my general activities are the same as they have been since 2013.
Case in point: roleplaying games.
I have been playing with a regular team since the early ’90s, and when I moved to the countryside, 80 miles from our gaming table, I moved my games online. At the time I was still accessing the web via my coal-powered, copper-cable system, and the games where a chore. Paradoxically, when I finally landed a good, stable, high-volume connection, my old team fizzed out, and I remained player-less.
Today I delivered the first half of a book I was supposed to have finished and published in time for the Turin Book Fair in May. Niche-but-intriguing historical essay by an up-and-coming publisher, with my name smack on the cover, possibly with a live presentation, Q&A, signing session, the works.
But the Fair was cancelled – or postponed to a date yet to be established, and today I delivered the first 25.000 words.
I was supposed to deliver the whole shebang, but I decided to take the weekend off to try and recharge my batteries.
I decided I will devote some time in this quarantine period to read three series that have been on my radar for ages, now, and I have always kept for later – one of them, indeed, comes from one of my emergency boxes, the stashes of paperbacks I sometimes buy (especially when I find a good special offer) and save for the hard times.
Well, the hard times are here, so here we go.
I normally don’t like series anymore – as I grow old, I found out I prefer standalone novels, novellas, or series of short stories. But these cases are different. These are three series of which I have already read the first volume, and they are the work of three authors I greatly admire – so, no risk there, right?Continue reading
The news is that various areas in Italy are reaching the peak diffusion of the virus, and therefore the lockdown will be further restricted. Yesterday a wild story was circulated about army checkpoints and anti-contamination kits being distributed, one per family, and a lot of other rubbish. Easy to debunk, but a lot easier to spread, given the current psychological state of the citizens.
People fabricating such stories should be sent to clean the bedpans of the sick in the hospitals.
No, not the Fleetwood Mac song.
Ever since I was a kid, during highly stressful times I either get insomnia, or I have the strangest, most distracting dreams. As I think I have mentioned in the past, a lot of these dreams take place in the same locale, a white city that is sometimes completely deserted.
Two nights ago it was not.
And yes, I also hate those people that go and tell you about their dreams, so I think it OK should you decide to stop reading here.Continue reading