What a strange year this is! You've probably noticed. All around the world, science fiction convention after science fiction convention has gone virtual. Including Aelita, Russia's oldest SF con. Pictured above is Your Humble (and distinctly hirsute) Correspondent, delivering his opening remarks as one of the guests.
Because of the time difference between Russia and the US, I was speaking from home at 2 a.m. This was a new experience for me and, while it was not as much fun as being physically in Ekaterinburg would have been, it was still a privilege. I spoke briefly about my original experience with Aelita and how much physically and socially has changed since then, but how the core experience of the convention--the passion of the fans and writers for fantastika--remains unchanged.
The above photo was posted by Alexander Gritsenko in Russia and downloaded by me a third of a world away. Have I mentioned what strange times these are?