WorldCon 2019 – Where Creative Wonder meets Dublin City at the National Convention Center How Dublin became our Galaxy’s Capital City for a long weekend of science fiction, creative writing and the arts… The creative energy at Ireland’s National Convention Center was enough to overwhelm the everyday journalist with thoughts of distant galaxies, bending of
WorldCon 2019 – Where Creative Wonder meets Dublin City at the National Convention Center
How Dublin became our Galaxy’s Capital City for a long weekend of science fiction, creative writing and the arts…
The creative energy at Ireland’s National Convention Center was enough to overwhelm the everyday journalist with thoughts of distant galaxies, bending of space-time and the creation of whole new worlds in the mind’s eye of the author. I arrived on Friday morning to find a host of events ongoing and indeed had a wonderful walk-around between the Convention Centre and Point Square down the road by the Three Arena. I could feel the anticipation and wonder of some 5,000 to 6,000 people dispersed in meeting rooms and large auditoriums along with those marveling at the exhibition displays.
As I went by registrations to head to Point Square, two Starfleet Officers were lining up to register showing me how imagination; just like the universe knows no real boundaries. Point Square was another busy venue with 2 of the 6 Odeon theatres full up so I dropped into the art exhibition to find memorising displays of Lego art covering popular themes from Tomb Raider to Star Wars. The walled section was a wonderful display of fantasy and mystical art where imagination was expressed in forms that left me smiling with satisfaction as I went. On my return to the convention centre, I dropped into the forum area and was impressed by the range of indie art sellers, jewellery makers, big brand book retailers plus more. With recon done on the what’s what of the merchandise area, I sneaked a few pics of the Back to the Future car at its entrance and headed out for the day.
Day two started with a highly engaging panel talk on How Astronomy might break Physics. Cosmologists and physicists talked about the universe, physics and how cosmology ensures in the main that physics will be a provisional science altering as we find out more about the way the universe works. They made a great point about why we must never stop learning about the greatest mysteries of the universe in this epoch era when background radiation is so detectable.
Fascinating stuff indeed but time for questions was short and I had too many to mention. I then went downstairs to a novella reading by Adrian Tchaikovsky for his upcoming novella Walking to Aldebaran. He gave a charismatic reading of chapter one and three to a full house. See our review here.
After moving around the constantly packed convention centre as events were swapping over, I headed into my penultimate event for day two. This was a panel discussion on Inclusive Game Design, where experienced role playing game designers and video game artists shared their insights with us. The gender barrier was a consistent theme that they addressed with male/female selection features for the same characters as part of the character set.
They also talked about safe words for approach/not approach in role playing games making it welcoming to all. I have to say, such consideration in putting the player first was something that resonated with me proving that humanity and good business can be more aligned than some my think.
My final stop of the day saw me enter another fascinating discussion, which focused on Relationships with Sentiment AIs in science fiction. The panel incurred some lively debate on the use of modern AIs (i.e. data analytics and predictive analytics) to the science fiction novel writing of possible futures for AI. The leading ideas of the day seemed to be based around large system AI’s forming relations with many humans on an intellectual level aswell as robotic AIs able to synthesise human empathy and interact more emotionally with humans on a one to one basis.
My final event day (and night) began on Sunday as the Hugo awards are spinning up that evening for a literary treat, which I will be covering in my second article on WorldCon 2019. First up for me was an interesting panel of science fiction authors covering How Science and ordinary people can change the future. Some of the authors also identified themselves as futurists who agree that community action via ethical buying and inspiring others into positive change can lead to changes en masse that can spread to countries, regions and even go global. They also cautioned the audience that negative change can also be enacted via the same transformational leadership process. I guess we need to be careful what we wish for.
I went onto my next event been The cost of time travel for science fiction authors. It was an exploration of time travel with one lively panelist in particular touching on parts of the multiverse theory, where each possible action creates a new reality. They explored books and movies such as Back to the Future, and also multiverses that have author defined rules of interaction and associated cost.
Getting Published and staying Published was another lively discussion where panelists differed over the usefulness of agents for the publishing author, presenting examples of agents who added value as much as those who got paid after all the work was done by the author. They also compared experiences on how a publishing company’s book offer can open up the doors of more effective agents, who suddenly become available. What authors and publishers on the panel all agreed upon is that every author gets rejected so never give up with your writing. Stay focused, stay positive and stay on course, it will happen eventually if you can tell a good or bad story well.
As I look back on WorldCon 2019, I have the distinct feeling that the world is not done with humanity been human. This includes our irrational side, which leads to new and wondrous ways to think about and charter a better future!
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