Viktoriya and Patrice Lajoye are two specialists on the rusophone SF&F (russian and ukrainian ones), translators, editors and owners of the Russkaya Fantastika french speaking blog, a remarkable instrument dedicated to the analysis of the russian and ukrainian fantastika fiction.
And here we are on the way to the European Convention of Science Fiction in Kiev (Eurocon 2013).
The departure was made from the Roissy airport on a frankly mediocre weather, and the arrival in Kiev arrival is gloomy. The city is slowly emerging from winter. Dirty snow and dust are everywhere, and the grass is as gray as the earth itself. But the little we were able to see today is already amazing. As Moscow, Kiev is still responsible for a large Soviet footprint, including curious industrial buildings.
But overall the city seems to have modernized at full speed, especially in the periphery where we saw huge housing buildings that have been built in the recent years, accompanied by various commercial structures, including many ultra-modern hotels such this one that we are staying: a three-star hotel, really friendly staff, for a real bargain price.
And we can already thank wholeheartedly the staff who has helped to overcome the first problem of the trip: a non-working mobile phone …
We have, however, already crossed our path with Georges Bormand, the French representative of the European Science Fiction Society under whose auspices the Convention is organized.
So we headed to the venue of the convention, a place called Expo Plaza, actually a kind of park exhibitions halls.
The EUROCON 2013’s location is terribly noisy, and the conference facilities are mainly arranged in the middle of the stands, where a permanent bustle reign.
Anyway, we met for the first time, very quickly, Oleg Ladyzhensky and Dmitry Gromov, alias Henry Lion Oldie, the ukrainian literary couple.
After a quick transition to the opening of the convention, attended by Christopher Priest (UK), Henry Lion Oldie (Ukraine) , Vadim Panov (Russia), Sergey Dyachenko (Ukraine ; without Marina unfortunately) and Bridget Wilkinson (European Science Fiction Society).
… We had participated to the first conference of Yuri Shevela and Vitaly Karatsupa, who had tried to objectively determine what a Ukrainian author of SF and Fantasy is. The one instaled in Russia and writing in Russian – even laced with ukraïnisms – it’s a Ukrainian author, for example. A complex problem for a nation still in the making.
Then we witness a presentation by Yuri Ivanov and Gleb Gusakov on the ways of publication and distribution in Russia and Ukraine, before we had interviewed – over an hour – Gleb Gusakov, a representative of the remarkable russian Snezhnyi Kom Publishing Press.
Afterwards we meet the Ukrainian author Vladimir Arenev, for whom we had firm plans to invite to the special “Ukraine” folder that we are preparing for the prestigious french SF magazine Galaxies. The latter, who had foreseen our visit, had the kindness to give us his latest book. And we are interviewing him – another long one – for Galaxies and it is with Vladimir that we go right past the Expo Plaza, while everyone is already gone and all stands are closed.
About the stands: this is probably a coincidence, since doesn’t have any connection with EUROCON , but we spotted a very curious, simply stand called “L. Ron Hubbard”, where it is possible to buy the integral of this author, or portraits in large format … Briefly, the stand of the Church of Scientology !
© Viktoriya and Patrice Lajoye (France)
Photos © Viktoriya and Patrice Lajoye (France)
Eurocon de Kiev – jour 1 : Viktoriya et Patrice Lajoye (France)
Republished by the permission of the authors. We’re thanking them!