Parcon (the 33rd edition) is the oldest and historically the most prestigious yearly meeting of the Czech and Slovak fans, the Czecho-Slovak Nat SF Convention. It was founded in 1982 on the occasion of awarding the first time the Karel Čapek Prize and the first Czech SF Convention in Pardubice, Czechoslovakia.
IstroCON (Istropolis is a Renaissance scholarly name – Ιστρόπολις – greek for Danube City – Bratislava ; the city received its modern name in 1919; beforehand it was mostly known in English by its German name, Pressburg, as it was long dominated by Austrians and German speakers or by the hungarian name Pozsony) is a Slovak Festival of sci-fi, fantasy, horror and games.
Clockwise from top of left: View of Bratislava from the castle, St. Michael’s Gate in the Old Town, Eurovea shopping complex, Primate’s Palace, Hviezdoslav Square, Bratislava castle and the Danube riverbank at night.
Bratislava (415,589 inhabitants) became the capital of the independent Slovakia/Slovensko (population of 5,415,949; area of 49,035 km2 ) since the 1st of January 1993, an event sometimes called the Velvet Divorce.
”Nad Tatrou sa blýska” (Lightning Over the Tatras) is the poetic and romantic anthem of Slovakia, an EU member and an Eurozone member.
So, the slovak and czech fans decided to reunite (again) and to organize a Czecho-Slovak or a Slovako-Czech joint SF convention, Parcon-Istrocon or Istrocon-Parcon.
IstroCON is a success in terms of attendance, the festival attracted in 2013 12,000 visitors, so the 27th edition it’s a mix of events and tracks : the Comics Salon, the Anime Show, the Games Salon, the Fantasy and Horror Salon, the LARP Salon, the Scifi Salon (Lectures, literary competitions and workshops, Screening of new Sci-fi blockbusters, Star Trek, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Lost, Firefly, Futurama, Eureka), Fantasy’s Beauty, Card and Board Games, Pop Culture Salon, Japan’s Beauty. There are 15 separate tracks (salons) offering to the participants a wide choice.
Apart from lectures, discussions, panels and confrences on modern forms of fiction, many launches and presentations of new books, magazines, audio books and even computer games are scheduled.
Parcon is focused on science fiction, the main guest of the program is the doyen of Slovak SF, Jozef Žarnay (born in 1944, slovak science fiction writer) and other relevant SF&F guests are the slovak fantasy writer Juraj Červenák, czech fantasy writer Františka Vrbenská, slovak founder and editor of Fantazia.sk, Ivan Alakša, Ondrej Herec – slovak editor and columnist, Martin Kralik – slovak columnist, Juraj Malíček – slovak cofounder of Fantázia, the slovak artist Michal Ivan, Milos Ferko – literary historian and fantasy editor, the slovak artist Martina Pilcerová, the slovak artist Juraj “Mad” Maxon, the slovak columnist Mirka “Elendilka” Klempová, etc.
“Touch the Future” (Dotyky budúcnosti) Slovak SF Anthology featuring short stories by Jozef Žarnay, Jozef Tallo, Ondrej Krug, Alexandra Pavelková, Jozef Girovský, Štefan Huslica, Juraj Toman, Marek Eliáš, Michal Hvorecký, Anton Stiffel, Zuska Stožická, Michal Jedinák, Tomáš Knapko, Lucia Droppová, Diana Laslopová, Diana Majerová, Jana Plauchová, Lia Halčínová, Zuzana Droppová, Marek Slabej ; edited by Martin Roger Kralik and Zuzana Stožická ; Miloš Ferko : bio-bibliography ; cover’s illustration : Martina Pilcerová.
Other relevant events are the launching of the Slovak SF anthology of short stories, “Touch the Future” (Dotyky budúcnosti) by Artis Omnis press, the launching of the issue no.8 of slovak SF magazine “Jupiter” dedicated to the cyberpubunk, the panel on SF&F websites from Czech Republic and Slovakia (with Martin Šust – XB-1, Martin Kralik, Veronika Inglotová and Alexander Schneider) and of course the ceremony of the awarding of Karel and Dragon Prizes.