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Playing in the Rain: A Dutch Fantasy Fair

Written by Tanja de Bie

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Terry Pratchett and Robert Jordan were two international names that visited the fair to do both lectures and signings, as well as several more local ones. Unfortunately the Roman Inn was not built to deal with the large number of fans that turned up. The signings knew more than 150 people at a time, the lectures even more. Things were so cramped in the small rooms I didn't even dare attempt attending one with Pepijn trailing behind me. Instead I left him with my companion and went to the VIP lounge, my knees almost buckling under me. Why, o why, had I written that email on impulse to the publisher of Terry Pratchett? You can find the resulting interview in the spotlight section next month.

For those of you wondering if there was a big meeting of AA members in the Archeon, sadly no. I did see somebody walking around with a big sign "Elfwood" on the top of his head, but he disappeared in the crowd before I got to talk to him. A Dutch gamer involved with Star Trek Sim USI wrote to me beforehand that he was handing out flyers, but again, no luck in locating him. I guess amongst the large number of visitors it was difficult to find anybody.

I left towards the end of the afternoon, the fair still busy with people. I was loath to leave this strange pocket outside of time that felt like home, but my head was spinning with an overload of images and I had this urge to get near a keyboard. Despite the inclement weather I think we can declare the Dutch Fantasy Fair a great success. I sincerely hope it will be repeated and inspire more events of the same kind, not only in the godforsaken place of Alphen aan de Rijn but all over the Netherlands.

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