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37th World Science Fiction Convention, Seacon '79
Page 4
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Seacon. 37th World Science Fiction Convention, Seacon '79 - Page 4. August 23, 1979 - August 27, 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 10, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1984_003/item/482/show/343.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Seacon. (August 23, 1979 - August 27, 1979). 37th World Science Fiction Convention, Seacon '79 - Page 4. Fritz Leiber Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention Flyers & Programs. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1984_003/item/482/show/343

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Seacon, 37th World Science Fiction Convention, Seacon '79 - Page 4, August 23, 1979 - August 27, 1979, Fritz Leiber Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention Flyers & Programs, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 10, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1984_003/item/482/show/343.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title 37th World Science Fiction Convention, Seacon '79
Creator (Local)
  • Seacon
Date August 23, 1979 - August 27, 1979
Description Information regarding the guests of honor for Seacon '79.
Donor Leiber, Fritz; Leiber, Justin
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Science fiction conventions
  • Fantasy fiction
  • Science fiction
Subject.Name (LCNAF)
  • Leiber, Fritz
  • Aldiss, Brian W.
  • Shaw, Bob
Subject.Name (Local)
  • Seacon
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Brighton, England
Genre (AAT)
  • brochures
  • documents (object genre)
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
Original Item Location ID 1984-003, Box 57, Folder 29
ArchivesSpace URI /repositories/2/archival_objects/5301
Original Collection Fritz Leiber Papers
Digital Collection Fritz Leiber Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention Flyers & Programs
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/1984_003
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Rights Undetermined
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 4
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name uhlib_1984_003_b057_f029_068_006.jpg
Transcript APPORTIONING THE BLAME A Welcome to SEACON 79 by the Chairman, Peter Weston Five years is a long time. In fact, the history of the British bid for the 1979 World Convention goes back even further, to September 1970, when in an issue of my fanzine Speculation I suggested British fandom should think about hosting the Worldcon at some time in the seventies. At the time it seemed a good idea. Hell, it was a good idea! The question was, who would do something about it? I was busily planning the British Eastercon and had quite enough to do, thank you, even though I'd made a vague survey of hotels and concluded that the Brighton Metropole was really the only sensible place. No-one else obligingly stepped forward, and inevitably my Eastercon rolled around; it wasn't a bad year, though I say it myself, but to my horror I found the Worldcon idea had caught on, and thanks largely to Dave Kyle had been pinned very firmly to my coat-tails. "No!, no!, no!" I screamed, overwhelmed by Ken Eadie's Vigilantes, people who camped out in the hotel lounge, and the sheer hectic pressure of organising so vast an event. Why, over 200 people attended the Worcester convention! I went for a soothing walk on the banks of the Severn—it was a beautiful Spring day, I remember—and quietly consigned all thoughts- of Worldcons to the deepest part of the river. And there things remained for nearly three years. The credit for reviving the idea must go to Malcolm Edwards, himself an energetic organiser and also prone to the temptation to plan ever bigger and more spectacular projects. "Wouldn't it be nice to run the World Convention?" he whispered seductively in my ear. And Peter Roberts, too, was similarly beguiled, to the extent that our triumvirate made a bold declaration of intent at the 1974 Tynecon. We would make a bid! We'd show those Yanks what British fandom could do! "Britain's fine in 79" applauded Ruth Kyle, thus completing what her husband had begun, providing our slogan, and setting us irretrievably on a path which ends in Brighton on August 23rd. Why did we do it? Why does anyone do it? I've been looking through my back-issues of Speculation to try and gain some insight into the motives of that strange, earlier self. A fanzine is like a diary, you know, prompting memories or events long forgotten, preserving odd chunks of thought and introspection and a wonderful exercise in nostalgia. Here's a comment from a time when my committee and I were enthusiastically planning the 1971 Eastercon: "I used to wonder why on Earth anyone should want to take on the job of organising something as demanding and complex as a large convention. I now know the answer — there is a certain feeling, not of "power", which would be ridiculous, but of satisfaction in making arrangements and exploiting opportunities to the best advantage." (September 1970) Then there's the other side of the coin, a more melancholy assessment of my attitude after the event was all over: "I can't in all honesty say that other commitments alone have kept me silent; rather, as some of those who met me this summer will know, I think I must have felt a bit disenchanted with the whole business of Eastercon. I seemed to have spent the entire time rushing around without sitting down to actually listen to anything, meet anybody, or otherwise enjoy myself. After completing an exacting four days I felt that I wanted to relax at a convention—and suddenly discovered there wouldn't be another one for six months or more." (October 1971) But time is a great healer; after Tynecon I was once more full of energy, plotting and scheming with Malcolm and Peter, weighing up the chances of success in our efforts to bring the World Convention to this side of the Atlantic again, for the first time since 1965. We didn't have a proper committee, at this stage; we didn't have a chairman or even a name. But we had decided upon one very important thing, which was the date—1979 was the year when we would face the weakest competition on the North American continent. I won't go into the rules which govern the selection of Worldcon sites, but suffice to say that while overseas bids are welcome in any year, they must face opposition from any U.S. group who would normally be entitled to bid. And we knew that we would inevitably lose if any American city made a strong effort; we just didn't have the firepower to win without the wholehearted consent of a large slice of U.S. fandom. So we conceived the idea of a "pre-emptive strike", whereby we would go all out for support long before any competing force could get off the ground. We produced campaign buttons, advertisements, began selling supporting memberships and published a Progress Report—and I went across to the 1974 Worldcon in Washington (through the generosity of the TAFF fund) to lobby for votes when the time arrived. I don't know if this story is true—my memories of Discon are confused for all the usual reasons—but on the Sunday night I seem to remember that Mike Resnick, prospective chairman of a bid for Chicago in '79, suddenly discovered that all his potential committee members were supporting our efforts. With good grace he bought me a beer and signed-up too! If that is true, then our 'strike' was worthwhile, for we would have surely lost against a united Chicago contingent. As it was we only had to face some hastily-organised opposition from a New Orleans group, and by 1977 the actual voting was almost an anti-climax. An enjoyable anti-climax, of course; this time Peter Roberts went across with TAFF to the World Convention in Miami, along with Rob Jackson and myself and other supporters. We had a fine time—and were suddenly confronted with a huge pi leof money and the reality which now seems to grow more daunting every day; we had to do it in 1979! That's very largely the story of the last nine years, although there is an interesting sub-plot in the genesis of our name, "SEACON 79". You see, Malcolm was really bitten with the organisation bug in 1974; not only did he launch the British Worldcon bid, but during the same weekend he also took on the job of chairman for the Eastercon in the following year. Afterwards we rationalised it, as a good chance for Malcolm and his team —most of whom, like Leroy Kettle and Graham Charnock, are on the present committee—to gain actual experience of running a convention. That's true, it was. But Malcolm's bid really originated during a crazy Saturday night when certain members of fandom decided that the prospective Manchester bid for 1975 would be a certain recipe for chaos. Something Had to be Done; a group composed mostly of London fans conceived the idea of a seaside convention as a more palatable alternative—and "SEACON" became the immediate title for what proved to be a very enjoyable event. In Coventry. Well, yes, they realised Coventry is 100 miles from the sea, just about as far from the coast as it is possible to go in Britain. Malcolm made a few brave attempts to suggest "SEACON" stood for SouthEast Area Convention, but his heart wasn't really in it. The truth of the matter was that British seaside hotels proved a fairly negative lot and the committee simply couldn't find a site anywhere along the coastline. There isn't anywhere! Except the Metropole at Brighton. And in a sub-sub-plot, Eve Harvey and husband John tried to arrange a 1978 Channelcon at the Metropole, as a sort of try- out for this coming August. Their bid collapsed and they joined the SEACON 79 committee instead; now do you see why our title simply had to be what it is, even though we apologise to Seattle, one of the bidders for 1981. For if they win, you know what they're going to call their convention, don't you? ... Having written the above, I suddenly realise that a large proportion of the people who read this programme book will probably have little or no idea what I'm talking about. Once upon a time that would have worried me; today, after these nine years, it doesn't. I've put in a lot of effort (and enjoyed every minute of it) and my committee members have probably put in more. So forgive us our little indulgences, the anecdotes we tell during our brief moments in the sun, and remember that despite all the serious stuff about Science Fiction, SEACON 79 is about people, it's a chance to have fun. And if anything goes wrong don't blame me—blame Malcolm. I never wanted to be chairman, anyway! Peter Weston