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37th World Science Fiction Convention, Seacon '79
Page 28
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Seacon. 37th World Science Fiction Convention, Seacon '79 - Page 28. August 23, 1979 - August 27, 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. February 24, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1984_003/item/482/show/367.

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 28. 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/367

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 28, August 23, 1979 - August 27, 1979, Fritz Leiber Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention Flyers & Programs, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed February 24, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1984_003/item/482/show/367.

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 28
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name uhlib_1984_003_b057_f029_068_030.jpg
Transcript "One of the reasons (he told me) he made the change," the doctor continued, "was that he'd come to think that backgammon is much more like real life than chess is. In chess you're operating in an ideal universe where all the laws and forces are known to you and you control half of the pieces. You can make the most far- reaching and elaborate plans and nothing can upset them but your adversary. But in backgammon blind chance enters the picture on each move, at every throw of the dice. There are no certainties, only possibilities and probabilities. You can't plan in the same way as in chess. All you can do is make your arrangements so that whatever comes, good or (more often it always seems) bad, you can best endure it or take advantage of it." His voice was growing more animated. "It exemplifies the Pythagorean injunction: Believe that anything that can happen in the world can happen to you. You can only fight on for victory or survival, while chance rains down its blows unendingly." He took a deep breath and settled back. "He once told me another dream he had," Jack Penrose broke in. "He was on this rather large flat square roof that seemed strangely familiar. It had a parapet a little less than waist high. There was also a wall the same height that went across the middle of the roof, dividing it into equal rectangles - later in the dream he figured it was the roofs of two buildings the same height and shape abutting each other, because the central wall was thicker with a crack down its middle and when he had to cross over that wall (as he did several times in the dream, moving rapidly) he was always afraid there'd be nothing on the other side or that something else drastic would happen. "It was night with a heavy overcast pressing down and a biting wind that blew irregular splatters of rain, but enough light leaked up from the streets so that he could make out his surroundings. He was wearing some sort of dark gray uniform - it felt uncomfortable and harsh to the skin, like a uniform - but without any insignia he could discover. "He wasn't alone. In fact, there were quite a few other people on the roof, but they were all crouched down against the outer walls (or at least along three of those walls) just as he was himself, some of them alone, some in pairs and small huddles, so that he couldn't see them too well. In fact, during his whole dream he never got to look one of them in the face - or address a single word to any of them, or they to him - though later on he occasionally got comfort, or at least a sense of safety, from being close to one of them and moving side by side together without their ever looking at each other. They all seemed to be wearing the same sort of nondescript gray uniform as his own, only quite a few of them - about half, in fact - were wearing uniforms of a lighter shade of gray; being near one of the latter never gave him a sense of reassurance. "Most of the time all of these figures held very still, though watching each other closely, he supposed, as he was doing. But every so often a couple of them would scurry-crawl along the wall they were huddled against for a short (or sometimes quite long) distance and then as suddenly hold still again. If one of them had to cross the central wall in the course ofhis crawling rush, he'd hump over it as swiftly as he could through the chill swooping wind, always keeping a low profile. It struck him that their actions were a lot like those of soldiers practicing to advance across a broken field under enemy fire. "And every once in a while he'd get the overpowering urge to do likewise. He'd crawl as fast and inconspicuously as he could for as long as he felt the urge. When it left him he'd hold still wherever he happened to be, alone or beside others, but always as close to the wall as he could get. That part was like musical chairs, he said, except there was no music to tell you when to start and stop. It was only the urge that gave you those orders. "He noticed that the dream soldiers in lighter gray always moved in one direction along and around the walls, while he and the ones in the same darker uniforms always advanced in the opposite direction. When opposing soldiers neared or went past each other the sense of peril increased. Whenever the light gray soldiers moved, especially if he were alone against the wall, he'd huddle down, trying to hide his head, in horrid anticipation of one of them landing on his back or just so much as touching him. "Yet whenever in spite of all his efforts that did happen, there wouldn't be any terrible pain or shock such as he anticipated, but only a break in the dream, a momentary black-out after which he'd be back at the point where the dream had started, or near it, and all that crawling and terrified crouching in the dark windy wet to do again, and no comfort except sometimes a like-uniformed faceless gray soldier to crouch against, shoulder to shoulder. "It was only when he'd at last made it all the way around and was huddled down with all the other dark gray dream soldiers and they began without warning to vanish two by two (yes, just like that) that he finally realised he was part of a backgammon game being played with living, feeling men - like chess played with living pieces who didn't know they were that. And as he waited his unpredictable turn to be borne off (vanished), there began to build up in him a fear and a pressure -" Jack snapped his fingers as he broke off. "Pressure!" he said, "- that's what I was trying to remember. Once, apropos of nothing special, maybe we'd been talking about science fiction, certainly not backgammon, Mr. Manning asked me if I'd ever had the feeling of being under a kind of pressure that would suddenly squeeze me out of the world altogether, shoot me away in any direction like an appleseed or - " "- or just melt away into space-time," Joan murmured. "Seriously, Joan," Jack asked her, "how could something like awareness melt away into the material?" "Everything has an awareness side, even the atoms, else reality wouldn't balance out. Mr. Manning once said that. And I remember another thing he told me- that a person ought always keep a packed suitcase handy, in case he were called away at short notice. Only 28