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Fantasticon 2009

I spent a happy weekend in Copenhagen at Fantasticon 2009, the Danish convention for the speculative genres. I enjoyed this more than I had ever imagined, as the con was filled with great people, great panels, interesting interviews and surprising science talks.

Charles Stross and Gwenyth Jones were guests of honor, and a lot of the Danish fandom-cum-writer community was there as well, most notably H.H. Løyche, who writes some very thought-provoking fiction (some of which are available in English). They participated in a lot of very informative (if sometimes rather improvised) panels, and blew my mind away with their analyses of near-future sf and British sf. I also had the opportunity to talk to Ralan Conley, who, in addition to helping the SF community by running Ralan.com, is also a very nice fellow. So, for anyone using Ralan.com, remember that September is fundraising month ;-)

The science talks included introductions to the current energy crisis and suggestions for solving it (Hint: working to generate much more wind-, geothermal-, and solar energy should feature high on the list of any responsible politician.)

Another great speech was given by Klaus Æ. Mogensen about the future of copyright laws and what happens when we all own a 3D printer. High points: 3D printers are already available as "open source", i.e. the building instructions are available on the net for free. The first printer that can copy itself has already been built. And printers should soon (if not now) be able to produce electronics, as in "print your own phone" -- or simply copy your neighbors phone if you find that easier. Copyright, it stands to reason, will change drastically in the next two decades, and the effects on society seem pretty mind-boggling. (Klaus is going to publish a report on this later -- I'll try to link to it when I can.)


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