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37th World Science Fiction Convention, Seacon '79
Page 37
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Seacon. 37th World Science Fiction Convention, Seacon '79 - Page 37. August 23, 1979 - August 27, 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. February 17, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1984_003/item/482/show/376.

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 37. 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/376

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 37, August 23, 1979 - August 27, 1979, Fritz Leiber Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention Flyers & Programs, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed February 17, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1984_003/item/482/show/376.

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 37
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name uhlib_1984_003_b057_f029_068_039.jpg
Transcript One mustn't be too hard on British bathrooms, however. I find them superior to their American and Canadian counterparts in one important respect - the doors are usually fitted with traditional shootbolts which, once engaged, let you know you are safely locked in. The first time I went to the toilet on emigrating to Canada I was dismayed to discover that the door appeared to have no lock. I dithered around for a while, then noticed a little button sticking out of the doorknob. Being naturally quick on the uptake and having a trained engineering mind, I thought: Ahah! If I press that button in it mil lock the door. I did so and was about to proceed with the matter in hand when another thought occurred: How do I know the door is locked? I twisted the knob just to make sure and it turned easily and the door sprang open. A moment's calm reflection would have told me that was the way things had to be, otherwise Canadian toilets would have acted like Venus fly traps, but it's hard to reflect calmly at a time like that and an agonising minute of clicking and punching that button went by before I accepted that I just had to trust it, and even then I remained highly uneasy. No, you're definitely better off with a shootbolt. You know where you are with a shootbolt. You're safe with a shootbolt. Perceptive readers may have noticed my anxiety creeping back again at the end of the preceding paragraph - it's because of all this stuff on bathrooms. I tried exorcising the fixation about finding bodies in the bath by putting the hero of my latest novel, DAGGER OF THE MIND, through the whole thing - writing is a good catharsis - and so as not to skimp the job I put two bodies in the tub and removed all their skin. It might have worked, except for the fact that shortly afterwards I read Stephen King's book, THE SHINING, and had a highly uncomfortable experience with it. The story is set in a huge spooky hotel which has been closed up for the winter and is being looked after by a couple and their small son, Danny. The boy is sensitive and knows he must stay away from room 217, where a woman had died in the bathtub some years earlier, but - as people always do in horror stories - he goes into it anyway. Coincidentally while reading that part, I was staying in an unfamiliar and rather gloomy hotel. I hadn't been able to sleep and finally, at about 4 a.m., I had given up trying and started to read. The joyless grey light of pre-dawn was leaking in through the window, and I don't like that sort of light - it is worse than outright darkness, with a graveyard feel to it and a knack of making things appear to change shape when you stare at them. Those were the circumstances when I read: So he pulled the shower curtain back. The woman in the tub had been dead for a long time. She was bloated and purple, her gas- filled belly rising out of the cold, ice-rimmed water like some fleshy island. Her eyes were fixed on Danny's glassy and huge, like marbles. She was grinning, her purple lips pulled back in a grimace . . . Danny shrieked. But the sound never escaped his lips ... He took a single blundering step backwards, hearing his heels clack on the hexagonal tiles. . . The woman was sitting up. At that moment I suddenly became aware that the door to my bathroom was open, creating a rectangle of crawling darkness. I don't mind admitting that I had got the creeps. Like most people, I'm usually immune to old-fashioned superstitious dread, but sometimes a kind of psychic switch gets thrown in the brain and, for no reason at all, I became prey to vague terrors. It happened while I was staring at that dark opening to the bathroom, and a conviction stole over me that I would feel a lot easier in my mind if 1 closed the door. There were two problems, however - firstly, I would have to get out of bed and reach into the bathroom to grasp the doorknob; secondly, and more serious, doing that would be admitting that something bad was going on, giving way to fear. In the end I decided to be levelheaded and sensible by putting the bathroom out of my thoughts. I was turning back to the book when, at that precise instant, one of the taps in the bathroom gave a kind of sigh and water began to run from it. He/Ifs bells, I thought, this just isn't fair. Hotel plumbing can play all kinds of pranks, but it has absolutely no right to happen at this moment. There's no justice. The noisy gasping and spluttering of the tap lasted only a few seconds. When it had finished I raised the book again and, trying to ignore the cold sensation at the nape of my neck, read: He ran full tilt into the outside door of 217, which was now closed. He began hammering on it, far beyond realising that it was unlocked, and he had only to turn the knob to let himself out ... He could only hammer on the door and hear the dead woman coming for him, bloated belly, dry hair, outstretched hand . . . And he was . . . just beginning to realise that the door must be unlocked and he could go, when the years-damp, bloat, fish-smelling hands closed softly around his throat and he was turned implacably round to stare into that dead and purple face. That was the end of a chapter so I risked another glance at the bathroom, just to reassure myself that everything was all right - and the damned faucet did it again! It was louder this time, a sort of fiendish hissing cough, as though an obscene something which should never have existed was striving to express rage and hatred. I put the book on the floor, slid further down into the sheets and lay there - sad, reflective and chastened - until the room was filled with sunlight. There was no more strange behaviour from the taps during the rest of my stay, but I never managed to feel entirely at ease in that bathroom. During the time it has taken me to write this article I have drunk several cups of coffee and a quick trip downstairs to the toilet would be in order, but I'm alone in the house and oddly reluctant to go. My bathroom door is fitted with a shootbolt, you see, and those things have a habit of sticking. If there was something in the shower cubicle and it clawed the curtain aside and came after me I mightn't be able to get the bolt open in time. I think I'd be better off with one of those button-type things. You're safer with one of those buttons. You can get away faster with one of those buttons. . . ©Bob Shaw 1979. Fanzine editors who may wish to reprint this article will be granted permission by the author. 37