Weekend Fun – Fantastika 2018 – International Festival

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One of the least archaeologically visible events at Fisksätra’s Viking Period cemetery was Saturday’s visit by a fine Jamaican food truck.

It’s been a fun and intense weekend!

On Friday the Fantastika 2018 scifi con opened, conveniently located half an hour’s bike ride from my home, and I moderated a panel on Ursula LeGuin with my old friend Florence Vilén, Saara Henriksson and Markku Soikkeli. My wife came home from China, and two friendly con-goers that I know from my years teaching in Umeå stayed in our guest room.

On Saturday morning I fed my Umeå friends breakfast and then we went to the con where I gave a talk about Medieval castles. Thence back to Fisksätra for the annual International Festival, where I spent the day manning the Labour Party’s tent and canvassing for votes. Then back to the con and sit on a panel about empires in scifi and fantasy with the charming Linda Carey and my old friend Anders Blixt, moderated by my friend Hans Persson, had dinner with my old friend Erik Andersson and gave him an interview for the Fandompodden podcast. And back home to water the garden.

On Sunday morning I fed my Umeå friends, cycled back to the con, attended Hans’s geocaching meetup in front of the venue, bought some used paperbacks (Ryman’s Air, Roberts’s Salt, Reynolds’s Revelation Space) and listened to an interview with Mike Carey, a lovely man whose fine novels about Felix Castor the exorcist I enjoy (Aard regular Birger Johansson gave me those). Then I cycled back home, went skinny dipping in our nearby lake with my wife, napped for almost two hours, and drove the Labour tent & sundries back to my workplace. After dinner my Latvian Viking reenactor friend Artis Aboltins, who is visiting Stockholm for work, came by for coffee and sandwiches and to pick up a table he’d ordered for his sailing boat.

Oh, and Junior texted me that he’d namedropped me when talking to archaeologists at Slussen’s Open Day on his way to the Scifi Book Store, and my excellent Syrian driving pupil Obaida passed his driving test. ❤

All very good stuff! Dear Reader, what did you do?

Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

12 thoughts on “Weekend Fun – Fantastika 2018 – International Festival”

  1. I’ve started running. Saturday morning a typhonn came in over the island; fortunately a very weak one (properly just a tropical storm) so I could still do my scheduled run in the morning. Soaking wet – but then, I’m soaked by the end anyway so it doesn’t much matter. And the rain cools you down.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There was a brief appearence of Ra the sun god on Sunday (appropriately) but he was promptly chased away by Thor Monday morning.
    I hope your Umeå friends were home by Sunday evening.
    – – –
    Speaking about fantastika, some muslims claim the comforter Jesus mentions in John 14:16 is Muhammed, a blatant mixture of DC and Marvel. Any nerd can see it refers to Spawn!
    – – – –
    A Roman site recently found in Britain has two unfortunates with their legs hacked off, dumped in a Roman-era garbage pit. The Romans were arseholes.


    1. It needs to be read in the context of the time, history always does, and in some ways the Romans were less arseholes than some others.

      If you are going to read history from a modern day perspective, sitting in a modern developed socialist country, you are going to conclude that most ancient people were arseholes. Pax Romana was a real thing. Europe declined in a lot of major ways after the fall of the Western Empire.

      If you want examples of people being arseholes, there are many more recent targets than the Romans, including plenty of present day examples.


  3. We spent the weekend resting, but today we drove out to Second Beach. It took way longer than usual because they are re-building the road along Lake Crescent. It’s fifteen miles long and is nestled between high cliffs and the lake proper. A few years back one person was killed by a falling boulder and another by a falling tree, so they decided something had to be done. Unfortunately, this meant half hour delays each way since the road is fifteen miles long and nestled between high cliffs and the lake proper.
    Second Beach was as beautiful as ever. The tide was extra low, so we managed to walk out to one of the seastacks that is usually unreachable. We were pleased to see starfish on the rocks waiting out the low tide. There weren’t a lot of them, but just about all of them were killed by some mysterious starfish disease maybe five years ago. Then we walked a fair ways along the flat sand beach, watched the surfers, and checked the rocks for more starfish but only found a few. It was pretty easy going, but walking on soft sand is tiring.
    All told, an excellent end to the end of the weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Walking on soft sand *is* very tiring. One of the best ways to get fit is to run up sand dunes. During the glory days of the 1950s/60s when Australia was the world’s dominant tennis nation, that’s how the elite level Australian tennis players were trained – running up sand dunes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Still there in Perth and environs, and very many other WA coastal areas.

        The slave driver who coached all of the male Aussie tennis starts of that era was Harry Hopman, and he was in Perth.

        My HK tennis coach learned coaching from Harry Hopman, and inherited his slave driver approach – did me a huge amount of good, once I had managed to survive the first few sessions. None of my team mates could take it and dropped out. I was the only one left.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The last few weeks have been nazi-free. I think the local nazis are like the hibernating critters in “Riddick”, rain brings them to the surface.
    Aquadraco, we just got a sh@£€load of cold air, too. The Midsummer festivities on Friday might not be drenched by rain, but it will definitely not be optimal from the families’ point of view.
    And when speaking of families…
    “No, the Law Does Not Require Separating Immigrant Children from Parents” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/2018/06/17/no-the-law-does-not-require-separating-immigrant-children-from-parents/
    Compulsive liars are lying? What a surprise. To quote stand-up comedian Frankie Boyle, ‘the world does not deserve the mercy of an apocalypse’.

    Liked by 1 person

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