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37th World Science Fiction Convention, Seacon '79
Page 54
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Seacon. 37th World Science Fiction Convention, Seacon '79 - Page 54. August 23, 1979 - August 27, 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. February 21, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1984_003/item/482/show/393.

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 54. 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/393

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 54, August 23, 1979 - August 27, 1979, Fritz Leiber Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention Flyers & Programs, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed February 21, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1984_003/item/482/show/393.

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 54
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name uhlib_1984_003_b057_f029_068_056.jpg
Transcript m m 3h t 70s By Peter Roberts The first three parts of this series, published in the Seacon 79 Progress Reports, looked at British conventions from 1937-1970 and traced their development from small, lecture-hall meetings to large hotel conventions mixing sf discussion with fannish socializing. This final part brings us up to date with a brief look at British cons in the seventies and the rapid growth that's characterized them. Eastercon 22, the 1971 Worcester convention, was in many ways a model for conventions to come: though attendance was still fairly small at around 250, there were enough fans on hand to fill an entire hotel - and a modern and comparatively luxurious hotel at that. The Giffard indeed probably gave many attendees a taste for creature comforts that made previous accommodation seem suddenly shabby and second-rate. Additionally the Worcestercon, with Anne McCaffrey as Guest of Honour, presented a balanced and entertaining programme that mixed sf and fan items and managed to please just about everyone - a rare enough feat as any committee will tell you. Peter Weston, incidentally, was the con chairman, and that's one of the reasons we're still trusting him (though at that time, during a discussion on the possibilities of a British worldcon, Pete roundly claimed he'd never be chairman of anything again. So it goes.). At any rate, Eastercon 22 was a substantial success, even if certain popular innovations like the Monday morning boat trip (with bar) have never been repeated. If the Worcestercon set a pattern for Easter conventions, then the first Novacon, held in Birmingham later that year, topped it by establishing an entirely new series of conventions in Britain. Originally conceived by Vernon Brown and the Aston Group, and only later becoming attached to the newly reformed Birmingham Group, the Novacon was a success from the start. About 150fans, many more than were anticipated, turned up at the old Imperial Centre Hotel, for the first con and the light programming and general informality seemed to be just about the right mixture for the more fannish, less sf-oriented fandom of the seventies. There's not going to be room here to go through all the individual Novacons since 1971 and, indeed, there's no real need, since in a sense there'sonly one Novacon and it's virtually impossible for anyone who's been to all eight to distinguish one from another - the one true Novacon simply adds a few more days and a few more anecdotes to itself each year. However, there have been some changes - the con has doubled in size in recent years and in 1975 left the Imperial Centre for the newer and larger Royal Angus (with a one-off stab at the Holiday Inn in 1978). Committees have changed too, though the Brum Group's resident expertise has always been on hand to ensure a generally smooth running of affairs. The essence of the Novacon remains, however, unchanged - it's a relaxed and slightly smaller counterpart to the Eastercon, always held in Birmingham, and at the time of year when you feel the need for a bit of fannish company - the first weekend in November. The larger Eastercons, meanwhile, continued with the Chessmancon in 1972. Originally termed the Slancon, it was moved from Blackpool to Chester after the original hotel fell through. The new hotel, the Blossoms, proved quite inadequate for the numbers attending and many fans found themselves booked, and even double-booked, in remote parts of the town (the Peacock Hotel deserves a special mention - it turned out to be no more than a big pub which didn't allow guests inside till 6.00 pm and asked them to be back by 10.30 pm sharp, when the doors closed). Larry Niven was GoH and the programme was lessthan inspiring - there were no fan items, for example, except perhaps the amazing sale of the BSFA's fanzine library which caused some furore after the event. However, at least some of the chaos and gloom was dispersed by the hotel's bars and bar-staff: the Buttery was the meeting place for Chester's campier gay community - it was here that Ian Williams gained the name Tiger' - whilst the bar next door was run by a charming lady who sold fanzines, bought artwork, and treated people to free sandwiches. As if this wasn't enough, the third place was run by a barman with remarkable good humour - even at six in the morning when Pete Weston was giving forth his own, inimitable version of "Danny Boy" (consisting chiefly of the song's title shouted intermittently between bouts of tuneless howling). The con incidentally, ended with a giant paper aeroplane battle, started by kids and finished by professional authors. Strange things happen at conventions. The following year members of the Off-Trial Magazine Publishers' Association collaborated to stage the Bristol OMPAcon in the Grand Hotel - almost certainly the only time an apa anywhere has gone in for full-scale conventioneer- ing. Samuel Delany was GoH and odd events included a robot invasion of the fancy dress, a banquet notorious for its first course of lettuce & rice pudding, and an all-night open party where the GoH, Brian Aldiss, James Blish, and some forty other fans were still going strong at breakfast time. Though OMPAcon was considered a reasonable if not exactly a notable convention, its memory has probably suffered through comparison with the convention that followed. Tynecon 74, held in the Royal Station Hotel, Newcastle on Tyne, was certainly one of the best British conventions of recent years and even today it's still used as a yardstick by which all other cons are measured. The hotel helped, being pleasantly laid out and with ample room for a record attendance of some 350; but all credit really goes to the Gannetfan committee, an active and enthusiastic group who planned well and worked hard at the convention. Surprisingly perhaps, there weren't that many odd incidents at Tynecon, though GoH Bob Shaw witnessed one at his room party that's worth quoting: "On the Sunday night our room was so crowded that if you spilt a drink capillary attraction made it go up. I managed to find a comfortable spot by nestling in between the embossings on the wallpaper, and spent the entire night there, trapped. From this vantage point I didn't see a great deal of what was going on, and consequently was intrigued when - round about 3.00 am - I observed Brian Aldiss shooting up into the air, almost reaching the ceiling, and then sinking back down out of sight. He repeated this feat about a dozen times, gracefully, each time seeming to hang motionless just below the ceiling in defiance of gravity, with a look of beatific contemplation on his face. I grew quite entranced by this spectacle, and therefore felt disappointed when the initially perfect symmetry of his movements decayed into ordinary parabolas and he began colliding with other people and had to abandon his ethereal ballet. 54