This is an article about Szefantor, by Éva Vancsó.
In 1987, an enthusiastic SFF fan organized a camp for the Galaktika club members of Szeged. Later it was named SZEFANTOR, an abbreviation that stands for Fantastic Camp of Szeged –
and what comes next, is history. In the following years, more and more SFF amateur writers,readers, and fans gathered from around the country in the former school building in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by corn fields near Szeged. In the first camps, the SFF fans spent a week with presentations and an infinite amount of informal talking about books, films,hand science. From August to August, 40-50 people met and enjoyed each other’s company. The love of reading, watching, or even writing science fiction served as the common basis (the fans of fantasy later separated and organized their own camp). Almost all the key figures of Hungarian science fiction have visited the camp for thirty-five years. The participants listened to lectures on the latest technological advances in the latest SFF books, and discussed writers and literary trends, sitting barefoot in the shade of trees, sipping a cold beer or wine.
As time passed, friendships were formed, families were created, children were born, and generations grew up. SZEFANTOR has become more than a science fiction camp, a circle of friends eager to have newcomers and extend the circle. And though SZEFANTOR, in the meantime, moved to the outskirts of Nagykamarás and István Pusztay became the main organizer, the main things did not change: we still watch presentations, talk about books and films, play board games, play volleyball, eat, and drink together for ten days.
This year, the XXXVI SZEFANTOR takes place between 4 and 14 of August 2023 and offers the usual variety of programs. The camp will have a presentation on astronomy, psychology, biology, film, and environmental protection, accompanied by film screenings, a board game tournament, and a “pub quiz.” As a novelty this year, the camp starts a cross-border cooperation, having science fiction colleagues from Romania. On the two weekends, Anamaria Borlan and Tănase Gheorghe, and Darius and Simona Hupov will familiarize the campers with the genre, its organizations, clubs, etc.,across the border.
This is the secret of SZEFANTOR: it preserves its traditions and constantly creates new ones.