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37th World Science Fiction Convention, Seacon '79
Page 51
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Seacon. 37th World Science Fiction Convention, Seacon '79 - Page 51. August 23, 1979 - August 27, 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. February 20, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1984_003/item/482/show/390.

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 51. 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/390

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 51, August 23, 1979 - August 27, 1979, Fritz Leiber Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention Flyers & Programs, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed February 20, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1984_003/item/482/show/390.

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 51
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name uhlib_1984_003_b057_f029_068_053.jpg
Transcript automobile accidents, turds in bedsitters. Horizons expanded and contracted appropriately, and Ladbroke Grove became a place of pilgrimage. At the centre of it all sat the quixotic Moorcock, a hairy, large and generous man, hacking out sword-and-sorcery books to pay the printing bills. It was a mad time, full of paradox. What are we to make of the new wave now? Some of the stories that came out were genuinely original and exciting, though most were not. If you go back to New Worlds and read through the stories, it is certainly arguable whether or not things were improving, but one thing was sure: there was a new, stimulating mood in the air. Until Mike Moorcock took over New Worlds the traditional way for a British sf writer to make a name was to take on the Americans at their own game, but to do it in a peculiarly British sort of way. There were exceptions (notably J. G. Ballard and Brian Aldiss), but a typical issue of the magazine in the pre- Moorcock days would be full of stories which appeared to have been rejected from Campbell's Astounding SF. Most of them actually had been; a lot of British manuscripts in those days had the grime of travel on them, from repeated crossings of the Atlantic. What Moorcock did was to encourage British writers to kick over the traces of the sf idiom, to reject half a century of accepted ideas and plots and to look within themselves for a sharper vision of the universe. Inevitably, some writers took this to mean that they ought to angle their work for a different kind of market, perhaps to write "new wave" selfconsciously. (This certainly happened a couple of years later when the new wave was exported to the States. By then a new wave "type" of story had emerged - sexy, downbeat, usually obscure - and many literary atrocities were committed in its name, both here and abroad. One finds much sympathy with those who felt that science fiction had taken a turn into a blind alley.) It is interesting to see, with hindsight, that those writers who did spring forward to supply what they probably saw as a different kind of market were unable to continue when the new wave fell from favour. Because the new wave had its day. It surged forward, frothing and foaming, broke on the uncaring beaches of literature, and withdrew. It was spectacular to watch, exhilarating to ride, it dislodged great clumps of mouldy old seaweed and made a thrilling noise on the shingle. But at the end of the day, all a big wave can hope to achieve is to make a stretch of sand slightly wetter than before. What really matters, before this aquatic metaphor dries up, is not a freak wave but tidal influences. Now we are in 1979 and New Worlds still exists, but its day has passed and it is no longer central to British sf. What has replaced it, not too ironically, is the very thing Moorcock tried to encourage. Modern British sf, if it has a collective identity at all, is represented by a large number of individual writers all going their own way. Perhaps that doesn't sound too interesting, but writers have to relinquish something personal if they follow a party line. This was always a problem with the new wave: it rapidly developed a private language, a set of OK attitudes and a distinct desire to be thought cool and laid-back ... a new set of cliches, in other words. Justifiably, many of the writers who served the party whip in 1965 are today as obscure as their stories were then. Those who took inspiration from the idea of the new wave, however - the idea that there was more to speculative writing than imitating Heinlein or Wyndham - found their own voices and have become recognized in their own right. At the same time other writers have come to prominence; either writers who had nothing whatsoever to do with the new wave, or writers who have started work since. Survivors from the new wave include Ian Watson, Keith Roberts, Robert Holdstock, Josephine Saxton, Michael Moorcock and M. John Harrison, although only Moorcock and Harrison were closely identified with the New Worlds movement. Richard Cowper, D. G. Compton, Bob Shaw and Michael Coney have responded to the new enlightenment, and each treads his own path. New writers (new in the sense of being post new wave) include Andrew Stephenson, Garry Kilworth, Chris Boyce and Christopher D. Evans. Other writers, who were not only well established before the last Worldcon but who survived the new wave and continue writing today, include Arthur C. Clarke, John Brunner, J. G. Ballard and our British guest of honour, Brian Aldiss. Nor is it just the British who respond to the bracing qualities of our erratic climate; several Americans have committed themselves to varying terms of exile here. Harry Harrison qualifies as a sort of honorary Brit, having lived here or in Europe for years; now he has absconded to Ireland, where Anne McCaffrey also lives. James Blish came to England for the last years of his life. John Sladek is here. Ursula Le Guin, Robert Sheckley, Greg Benford, Bill Butler, Frank Herbert, Norman Spinrad, Judith Merril, Thomas M. Disch ... all have lived and worked here at various times. On a less happy note, we have lost a few writers since 1965. John Wyndham, who visited the London Worldcon, died in 1969 (WEB, a posthumously published novel, appeared earlier this year). We lost Eric Frank Russell in 1978, and E. J. ("Ted") Carnell in 1972. Arthur Sellings, also at the 1965 Worldcon, died in 1968; J. R. R. Tolkien in 1973. It has been said that Michael Moorcock died of lung-cancer in 1971, a fact reported by James Colvin, who himself had perished in 1969, when a filing-cabinet full of unpublished manuscripts fell on him. 51