At FeenCon in Bad Godesberg

The day before yesterday I read at FeenCon. I go there every year if I can. FeenCon in Bad Godesberg was the first bigger event that gave me a reading slot when my first book had just come out and nobody knew me yet.

Once again, it was very nice and I thank the organizers and helpers.

What I was especially happy about was that some people actually came to my reading, although the Orga had scheduled big-names Bernhard Hennen and Wolfgang Hohlbein for the same date and hour. My first reaction to this rather unfortunate concentration of readings had been a loud “Aaaarrrrghhhhhh! And no, that was not meant to be piratical. To compete against Hennen and Hohlbein is not easy for a midlist author.

On Cons you find the fandom and the core readership together. They know each other. People greet you of whom you – embarrassingly enough – don’t find the name in your memory, but you know you know them. Masked and dressed people enrich the scenery and make it colourful.

For quite a while I sat at my publisher’s booth, which was very nice and also had the advantage that I didn’t have to walk around all day on my inured foot. I also didn’t see some people who had said they would be there, but maybe I just missed them in the crowd of stands and fans.

The traditional “Bratwurst” (grilled sausage) was also discovered and eliminated, of course. Not even a WW diet could stop me. Some things are fixed rituals. And there are worse rituals than a freshly barbecued bratwurst. In blasphemous terms, if the church ever wanted to renew itself, I would suggest breaking a fresh roll and putting in a bratwurst instead of offering a wafer. After all, we don’t know what was offered at the Last Supper. Beef sausage is just as possible.

Sorry. Lost my way a bit. Back to the topic.

The fandom is family. Of course, I know that when one day I shall sit on a bench in an old people’s home, in the early stages of fossilization, this family will probably not come to visit to have a chat with me or to help me get to the potty. Still, the feeling is: family. Not that I don’t have a family. I have a very nice one. Wonderful cousins. And their children and grandchildren are also great people.

So fandom is a kind of extra family. Or a family of common ground. An environment in which you see people in a T-shirt adorned with a Dalek and the line: “Oh, R2D2, I loved him in Star Trek” and in which you know that everyone here understands the joke. I’d have to explain that to my colleagues at work. And then they still wouldn’t find it funny, but rather peculiar.

Maybe that’s what we are: peculiar. Merriam Webster defines “peculiar” with “distinctive”, different from the usual or normal, special, particular, odd, curious, eccentric, unusual. All these definitions are fine by me.

So, big hugs to you, my peculiar friends! Come to my readings!


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