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More Dublin Stories.

I mentioned badge ribbons in yesterday’s post, and some of you may have wondered what that is. This is one of the things I was introduced to back in London, at my first WorldCon, and I had so much fun with them back then already, which was repeated this year in Dublin. But I should explain first…

When you have an attending membership and turn up at the con registration, you are getting a badge with your name on it (or a badge name/alias/nick, whatever you put in the form when you got your membership), where you come from, and your membership number. This is your pass to enter the convention and all its panels and so on.

Underneath that plastic badge, you can stick ribbons – which are printed textile ribbons with a sticky stripe, (hopefully) in the width of the lower edge of the badge. You get “official” ribbons if you are a programme participant, dealer, or otherwise involved with the con; or if you are a Hugo finalist. You can also get ribbons from various other places – from authors, groups or societies, and from individuals who had an idea for a ribbon, had some made and now hand them out to those who ask.

There are some people (especially children) who make it a game to get as many ribbons as they can, and I’ve seen some kids walk around with a trail of ribbons that was about three times as long as they were tall. My haul was not huge – tiny in comparison, in fact – but each of them made me ridiculously happy. I got the “lack of yarn” handed out of the blue by someone passing my table, and thus could not even tell others who had given it to me, having no clear memory of the person in question. That was different for the “shiny” ribbon, whose maker walked around with a Kaylee parasol, and thus was relatively easy to spot. The TANSTAAFL came, of course, from the Heinlein Society table – it’s one of my favourite bits of Heinlein’s writing, and I was looking forward to getting one of these even before the con started… and the Cast of Wonders ribbon, obviously, also makes me happy, being one of their narrators.

So. Ribbons. Some don’t care for them, some collect them, and it’s definitely a thing at WorldCon. Plus they are a good conversation starter should you need one!

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