Zagreb, April 26-29 2012

Fandom and Science Fiction Conventions in Croatia

The organized fandom in Croatia dates back to 1976 when SFera Science Fiction Society was founded in Zagreb. Fandom members frequently attend SF & F conventions in Croatia and the neighboring countries, participating by giving lectures, organizing tournaments, presenting board games and card games. Although a relatively small country, Croatia is home to variety of fandoms and fan subcultures, of which we hereby mention only the most active and influential ones.

SFera & SFeraKon

SFera is a Science Fiction Society from Zagreb, which was founded in 1976. Every year SFera organizes SFeraKon, the longest-running (since 1979) and the biggest annual Science Fiction convention in Croatia and this part of Europe. SFeraKon hosts distinguished foreign guests of honor and is more inclined towards the “serious” type of program: lectures, panels, book promotions and a annual SFERA Award ceremony for best Croatian SF. Besides publishing collections of SF stories and books by Croatian authors, SFera also holds weekly meetings, promotes SF related books, movies, board games and projects.

3. zmaj & Rikon

3. zmaj (3rd dragon) is a fan organization from Rijeka founded in 2005, with a  mission to promote cultural activities regarding youth, primarily through Science Fiction and Fantasy themed events. It organizes annual SF convention RiKon in Rijeka which has a diverse program with a bit of everything. Last year’s RiKon was held in exotic and quite appropriate environment of Astronomic center building overlooking Rijeka.

Albus, Istrakon & FFK

is a fan organization founded in Pazin in 2003 with a  goal of exploring and promoting Science Fiction, Fantasy, mythology and alternative sciences. It organizes annual SF convention Istrakon (since 2000) in Pazin and publishes collections of SF stories written by Croatian authors. Istrakon has strong Istrian flavor, and has also started hosting foreign GoHs. Although there are many lectures and panels about SF and F, Istrakon’s young team of organizers also likes to keep their guests entertained by an abundance of games, shows and quizzes. Each year, during Summer, Istrians also organize Festival fantastične književnost (Fantastic Literature Festival).

Kulturni front & Liburnicon

Liburnicon is a SF convention organized annually by Kulturni front in Opatija, which is the youngest and reportedly very enthusiastic convention started couple of years ago as Abbacon, with just the right mix of entertainment, literary events and popular science. Being held at the peak of summer tourist season is a mixed blessing, however.

Gaia & Essekon

Essekon is held every year in Osijek and organized by Gaia. Over the years Essekon (called after the old Hungarian name for Osijek – Essek) is in constant danger of turning into a gaming convention, but the organizers have been resisting it so far, so there is always some literary SF program included.

Klub mladih Donji Miholjac & Domikon

Domikon is dual themed mini convention which sticks to  UFOs and Star Trek. It is held in small town of Donji Miholjac and often overlaps with Liburnicon, so fans tend to choose the latter. However, Domikon successfully compensates lack of seaside with hospitality and music festival.

Jules Verne Days

Jules Verne Club is a group of Jules Verne fans, founded in 1998 in Pazin. A curious detail is that little town of Pazin became famous for its monumental cave, which inspired a well-known Verne’s book Journey to the Center of the Earth. He also mentioned Pazin in his novel Mathias Sandorf. That’s why members of the club organize annually Jules Verne Days in the beginning of Summer.

Other

Zadar has also its small convention called SF Week which is organized at the University of Zadar.

USS Croatia is an organization consisting of Star Trek fans (Trekkers) from Zagreb, founded in 2000 who are holding regular meetings and attending conventions and other SF-related events, promoting Star Trek serials.

Ognjeni mač (Flaming Sword) is a society founded in 2005 in Zagreb in order to organize and promote LARP (Live Action RolePlaying) in Croatia and make the game more accessible to wider public and younger generations.

SG Alliance and (The Lords of the North) are two very young organizations. The first was founded by the Star Gate fans from Croatian forums in 2008 and holds regular monthly meetings in Zagreb. The latter is a Science, Science Fiction and Fantasy organization from Varaždin.

Starbase Cantina is a founded in 2010 in Zagreb and its members are focused on science fiction TV shows and movies. They organize cinema workshops, with tendency of creating their own amateur shows and movies.

Orion science fiction club from  Slavonski Brod was founded  in 2007 but it was dormant until 2010. Now they are holding regular meetings and aim to start new convention in their home town.