Eurocon Barcelona Progress Report # 4
March 15, 2016
Welcome to Progress Report #4! Please be aware that the membership list is filling up rapidly with people from Spain itself. As of the latest update of the Membership List at the end of February, our BCon had almost 500 members, and rising quickly. We cannot accept more than 800 memberships. People from other parts of Europe are urged to join this Eurocon quickly. Please spread the word.
How to be Connected in Barcelona
For information about SIM cards:
There will be free public WiFi in the CCCB.
Pre-con and Post-con Events:
The Consortium of Barcelona Bookshops has agreed to programme cultural activities related to SF and Fantasy during October and November. Also, authors and publishers wishing to present books can make use of library event rooms gratis; contact firstname.lastname@example.org before 31 August.
In our PR 5, due in September 2016, there will be a list of pre-Con activities if you happen to arrive in Barcelona a few days in advance. We are organising a Get-Together-plus-Early-Registration Party for Thursday evening, and a Dead-Dog-Drown-Your-Sorrows Party on Monday. Stay tuned!
Also, Gigamesh bookstore will hold activities during the previous days. These will be in Spanish, but the bookstore is the perfect place to meet other Euroconners.
Please check HERE your names on the list, and email us if you need any change.
Becoming a Member: join us here
What does “badge name” mean?
Some people like to have a short name or nickname or fun-name on their badge, such as “Juanmi” instead of “Juan Miguel Alonso” (just for instance) or “Princess Leia” (just for instance) instead of their “normal” name. This is a badge name. If you choose a badge name, this will appear on your badge and on the membership list we publish. (We maintain a private data base of “correct” names and email addresses.) If you leave “badge name” blank when joining the Eurocon, the name you put on the membership form will appear on your badge and on the membership list. (This is not a recommendation to chose a badge name. This is just an explanation.)
Multiple purchases of memberships
If you buying more than one membership, please do fill in the box(es) “Additional membership Badge name”. Example: If you buying 2 memberships for Anna Jones (yourself) and Peter Jones (your husband or son), put “Peter Jones” in the Additional Membership box—or “Peter” or “King of Mars” if he wants a badge name different from his regular name.
If you don’t do this, we end up with 2 “Anna Jones” on the Membership List, which is confusing.
Hispacon, the 2016 Spanish National Convention partnering the Eurocon, is now joined by Catacon, the name we are giving to the Catalan programme track
The Barcelona Metro has opened an extension to the airport, so now you have another choice of how to get into the city. Tickets cost 4,50 Euros one-way, compared with 6,00 Euros on the bus. The new L9 connects the airport with the three main Metro lines (L1, L3 and L5) with connections to anywhere in the city, such as Plaça Catalunya close to the convention hotel within 45 minutes. Much of the route is underground, so you won’t have views, except of the tunnel and stations if you travel in the first car of the driverless train; and you will need to change. The Metro might be very convenient for members who have booked lodgings elsewhere in the city than around Plaça Catalunya.
We still need a few panelists for the following items:
“Weird Fiction in Europe”
“The Failures of Futurology”
“The place of Euro SF in the World”
“Comics & SF”
“Cross-Media: New Narratives for the 21st Century”
“Does SF prevent a bad future?” (Orwell, Huxley, Brunner etc)
“The Significance of Jules Verne”
We will have a panel about “Anti-Gay-Male Phobia in SF”. Gay female societies tend to be portrayed as positive, but gay male societies as negative. Is there a prejudice in SF against gay male societies? We very much need for this panel a woman who is knowledgable about LGBT issues.
We aim to have a 50/50 balance of men and women in the programme overall.
Please email email@example.com, saying who you are and why you want to be on a particular panel.
Gigamesh bookshop now has a full virtual tour:
- (a) IGNOTUS AWARDS
As a member of Eurocon-BCon, you have the right to vote for the Spanish “Ignotus” Awards, which are given each year at Hispacon, the Spanish national convention combined this year 2016 with the Eurocon. If you are interested in participating, please send an e-mail to the AEFCFT (Asociación Española de Fantasía, Ciencia Ficción y Terror), the association which organizes the “Ignotus” Awards, to this electronic address: premiosIgnotus@aefcft.com. After that, the AEFCFT will make contact with you to request all that is required for your registration as a voter.
- (b) ACCESSIBILITY (= Disability)
Both the official hotel and the CCCB observe the Spanish rules for those with physical diversity. All the rooms at the hotel are equipped with a bath in the bathroom. If you have any kind of special need, you only have to state so in the registration form or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will contact you if required.
About sensory diversity, we’re still working on offering the maximum level of accessibility possible, so that everybody can enjoy this Eurocon. We hope to offer you more news on this subject on the next Progress Report, and we can also answer your questions at the above email.
During the Eurocon, you will be able to address any member of our staff so that they can lead you to special areas for people with physical or sensory issues.
Induction Loop: We are investigating the possibility of induction loops for those who have difficulty hearing. Please email email@example.com if you feel that induction loops will help you. We cannot promise that loops will be possible but, if nobody emails, we may not act on this.
If you want to reserve a fan table—free to legitimate fan organisations and convention organisers—please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. Availability is limited.
Advertising in the Souvenir Book
Our Souvenir Book will be a de luxe production in full colour of about 100 pages about A4 size. There are two advertising rates: a cheaper rate for legitimate fan organisations and convention organisers, and a professional rate. Only 2 pages remain available for advertisements at the Fan Rate. Our Rate Card is available from email@example.com
Featured Place to eat well
# 4: Attic, Ramblas 120 (about 6 minutes from CCCB)
You might easily miss Attic because it isn’t on street level—you need to go up a flight of stairs to the first floor. But this is an advantage, since Attic gets shielded from the noise and the passing tourists. If you’re lucky enough to get a table by a window overlooking the Ramblas, which you can request if you make a reservation, you can watch the world go by on the main Barcelona artery. (In the Summer months, the terrace on the roof provides even better views, but may be closed in November. A great setting for enjoying an outdoors meal in the heart of the city without being surrounded by noisy tourists or passing cars.)
Although Attic can get slow at busy times—mostly weekend nights—service is usually fast, and for lunch on a weekday you can have eaten your meal within an hour. Not that you may want to! Try the 15€ sample of assorted tapas, with delicacies such as deep-fried brie with sesame seeds, steamed mussels, eggplant hummus with pita bread, or the ubiquitous patatas bravas (probably the most popular tapa in Spain, fried potatoes with a spicy pepper sauce). Or if you feel like choosing from the extensive menu, which includes daily fresh fish from the nearby world-famous La Boqueria Market, be ready to splurge a bit more. But fear not, Attic offers a classy atmosphere without being overly pricey. Highly recommended.
Open all week: 1.00 – 4.30; 6.30 pm – 12.30 pm
Reservations online here
Phone: 933 02 48 66
George Orwell Walking Tour
In order to estimate how many people want to participate in a George Orwell Walking Tour during the Barcelona Eurocon, will you kindly email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading “Orwell”, saying “Orwell: Yes”, or “Orwell: Maybe”. If No, there’s no need to email.
The walking tour, conducted in English by Ian Watson, is scheduled at the moment for the Saturday morning of the convention, 10.30 to 12.00, maybe allowing time for a beer at a nice pub in the Plaça Reial (Royal Square) where palm trees grow. The timing is so that the Boqueria food market, where Orwell bought some cheese, will be at its best. There isn’t a great distance to walk because almost all the events described in the “action” chapter of Homage to Catalunya happen on the Ramblas.
Maximum number for the tour: 30. The tour costs nothing.
Featured Places to visit
‘The Ramblas’—a couple of minutes from the Eurocon—is one of the most famous avenues in the world, running from big Plaça de Catalunya, where buses from the airport arrive, 1200 metres down to the sea where Christopher Columbus (Colon) on top of his column points the way to fortunes in gold and silver by looting the New World.
Raml, the Arabic word for sand, apparently also refers to the dried-up bed of
seasonal stream. This became choked with medieval sewage, washed away in the Spring and the Autumn. The original Rambla was a giant gutter, which was diverted by the 1370s as urbanisation began.
Different stretches of the Ramblas have different names—such as the Rambla dels Caputxins, due to a Capuchin monastery, or the Rambla de Santa Mònica, because of a convent. Popular names arose depending on what was sold along the different stretches of the same street: the Rambla of the Books, the Rambla of the Birds, the Rambla of the Flowers… Collectively, the Ramblas.
Nowadays, gone are the books—and the birds, due to animal welfare regulations. Tourist stuff, snacks, and ice creams seduce you along the Ramblas. Trees pleasantly line the wide walkway down the middle, and there are sights to see: the Fountain of Canaletes (drink its clean water and you’re destined to return to Barcelona), a pavement mosaic designed by Joan Miró—just by the Boqueria food market, a feast for the eyes, and for the mouth; a former umbrella shop from which an impressive Art Deco dragon juts out;
then Barcelona’s Opera House, the Liceu…
(Just use a little normal caution that your wallet isn’t hanging invitingly out of your back pocket, or your bag held too loosely… As often happens in places full of innocent, awestruck tourists, there are probably pickpockets.)
If you like cocktails…
Just off the Ramblas, at Carrer dels Tallers 1, only 5 minutes walk from the Eurocon, is the oldest cocktail bar in Barcelona, Boadas Cocktails, a local institution, mythical. Art Deco inside, behind a more modern frontage, founded in 1933 by Miguel Boadas after he moved from working at the famous Floridita in Cuba where Hemingway went for his daiquiris. Their website http://boadascocktails.com/ has nice photos of the pictures on the walls and memorabilia and of many metres of bottles. “A welcoming place where time has not passed.” Open from Noon till 2.00 a.m.; shut on Sundays.
This photo was taken a while ago:
Bring your Bathing Costume?
Maybe not in November… though who knows? Not far seawards beyond the Zoo (see PR # 3), and easily reached by Metro line 4 (get off at “Barceloneta”), is over a kilometre of wide golden sand—which even features in Don Quixote—known as Barceloneta Beach, named for the old fishing district there. During the sunbathing season it’s fully supplied with beach umbrellas, life guards, changing rooms, and amphibious wheelchairs, with restaurants and nightclubs along the boardwalk; and quaint streets are nearby.
Elsewhere in the city of Barcelona note that you are forbidden to go naked in public, or semi-naked, or even wearing a bathing costume—a law was passed in 2011 so that the metropolis of Gaudí would not be mistaken for a seaside resort.
Form a Human Tower
Catalans like to form Castells, human castles. This tradition started in the early 18th Century, and has now been declared by UNESCO to be a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Mankind”. Some might say that it’s the opposite of intangible! Practice makes perfect: nowadays Castells can rise up to 9 levels of people. Castells are a Summer sight—but hey, Eurocon can form a human tower in the courtyard of the CCCB…
If you are coming with kids…
Let us know at email@example.com so we can consider if any action is needed and/or possible.
Last but not least: a “Special Guest”
Best-selling Brandon Sanderson—winner of two Hugo Awards—will be a transatlantic “Special Guest” of BCon.
Brandon Sanderson grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. He lives in Utah with his wife and children and he teaches Creative Writing at Brigham Young University. His first published novel, Elantris (2005), was received by critics and public as a very interesting renovation of the fantasy genre. He has also published a brilliant trilogy: Mistborn, with the titles The Final Empire (2006), The Well of Ascension (2007) and The Hero of Ages (2008), together with their prequel, The Alloy of Law, where he sets the foundation of his Allomantic Imagery in a world of mist and ashes.
After Warbreaker (2009), an epic fantasy book in a single volume in the line of Elantris, Sanderson initiated with The Way of Kings the first part of a great and huge decalogy, The Stormlight Archive. The most recent books published by Nova are Steelheart and Firefight (followed by Mitosis), the first and second books of the Trilogy of The Reckoners, Infinity Blade: Redemption and The Rithmatist.