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37th World Science Fiction Convention, Seacon '79
Page 55
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Seacon. 37th World Science Fiction Convention, Seacon '79 - Page 55. August 23, 1979 - August 27, 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 22, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1984_003/item/482/show/394.

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 55. 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/394

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 55, August 23, 1979 - August 27, 1979, Fritz Leiber Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention Flyers & Programs, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 22, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1984_003/item/482/show/394.

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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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 In Copyright
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 55
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name uhlib_1984_003_b057_f029_068_057.jpg
Transcript "I must admit that for a while my faith in Brian was slightly shaken, but I needn't have worried. The thing that went wrong was that two legs of my bed, which he was using as a trampoline, had proved unequal to his artistry, and the weight of about ten other people, and had gradually folded up, inclining him further and further off course. Given a perfectly horizontal launching pad he could have gone on bouncing on the spot all night." Despite broken beds it was probably the Tynecon that helped lengthen the average Eastercon by at least another day, since a large number of fans turned up on the Thursday before the con - a practice that had started in a small way two or three years earlier. Certainly by the following Easter a large Thursday contingent was ready and waiting for the start of Seacon 75. Originally conceived as the South East Area Convention with a probable site in Brighton, it somehow ended up in the De Vere Hotel in Coventry - and you can't get much further away from the sea than that. Harry Harrison was GoH and the rapidly increasing popularity of conventions was reflected in a new attendance record of over 400. Though suffering in comparison with Tynecon, this earlier Seacon was really quite successful and brought in some innovations which have more or less settled down as standard items at modern British cons. It was here, for example, that the idea of a fan room and alternative fan programme began, and it was here too that Graham Charnock and Group bravely agreed to play for a Sunday night dance - it was feared that fans wouldn't take to this (a disco at Tynecon had been one of the convention's few failures), but amazingly they did, providing strange sights and bruised shins. There were parties too, like the oddly straggling one Peter Nicholls encountered on the main staircase: "Overwhelmed, I began to walk spiralling down the stairs. With every successive landing, it was like entering a yet more inward circle of Dante's Hell. The circle of the drunkards was followed by a circle of limbo, where aimless neofans trudged in passive circles, seeking a way out to the great unreachable room party in the sky, which no one could locate. The next circle was the circle of the sleepers. Picking my way through them, I spiralled down through the circle of the failed gamblers, commiserating with another about the difficulty of filling inside straights. Further down was the circle of the lost. They sat, unreachable in their desolation, crooning to themselves "I need a woman". The pain and anguish of it all was too much to bear. I feared to descend to the lowest of all the circles, half-expecting to meet the horned one himself, haunches sunk in ice, endlessly chewing on the body of some long-damned fan. In practice, showing that dramatic metaphors don't always work out, the only people at the bottom were Peter Roberts and Karel Thole, apparently sober, talking intelligently about Art in apparent ignorance of the fact that it was 4.00 am and life and hell." The De Vere was a large, modern, and expensive hotel - a fact which may have caused the reaction which led to Mancon 5. This programme book is not long enough to detail the many horrors of that infamous convention. Apart from the fact that, as with almost all Mancons, the committee was to a greater or lesser degree incompetent and bored with the affair, the con had the peculiar (and so far unique) misfortune of being held on a university campus, in this case the squalid barracks of Manchester University's Owens Park. Though Robert Silverberg was GoH, the programme was a shambles - and quite what happened to the fan side of it never became clear. The only event of note was a self-organized football game (Ratfan Dynamo vGannet Flyers - referee, Bob Shaw) which might have started another new convention trend if real hotels only had football pitches. Chastened by Mancon 5 and Owens Park, Eastercon 77 returned to the De Vere (an hotel, incidentally, which has made most of British fandom paranoid about static electricity) for what was essentially a re-run of Seacon 75, though the fan room was larger and better and the dancing even more dangerous (Eric Bentcliffe gave an impressive demonstration of jitterbugging and Gerry Webb an equally exciting exhibition of falling over). John Bush of Gollancz was GoH. Meanwhile a couple of new conventions had sprung up in 1976, both of them small and with little or no official programme. The Faancon, first organized in Blackpool by Graham Boak and then moving in following years around the country, was (and apparently still is) held early in the year; never attracting more than a few dozen fans, it seems a rather shadowy and little-known convention. More obviously successful is the Silicon, staged by the North East Gannetfans over August Bank Holiday. Though intentionally small, with an attendance around fifty, it attracts many of the more active fans from around the country and seems essentially to be a continuous weekend party, which can't be bad. Both these small conventions reflected a growing feeling that the Eastercon (and even the Novacon) was becoming too large for comfort, and as if to prove this the 1978 Skycon moved to the Heathrow Hotel near London and attracted some 600 attendees - easily an all-time record for any British conventions up till now. Despite this massive turnout, the convention seemed lost in the hotel which in turn payed little attention to con attendees who were shunted off into crowded subterranean rooms (presumably for fear of falling aeroplanes) where they were nightly harrassed by hired thugs, posing as security men. It was not a nice place. The con went on, though, with Robert Sheckley as GoH and the committee introducing some considerable sweetness and light by declaring free drinks at the bar - an action which caused something close to a stampede and the swift swallowing of most of the Skycon funds. And that just about brings us up to date, with a new regional convention, the Glasgow Faircon, starting up in 1978 and the latest Eastercon, the Leeds Yorcon at the Dragonara Hotel, with Richard Cowper as GoH, managing to be both smaller and friendlier, and consequently more enjoyable, than the previous year's extravaganza. Including the new Faircon, we're left with five annual conventions in Britain, as well as a fairly new crop of fantasy, Star Trek, and other fringe and specialist conventions which are beyond the scope of this article (and its author though I was kicked out of the first ever British Star Trek con, if that's any claim to fame). So that's it: a biased and probably inaccurate account of sf conventions in Britain over the last 42 years. I hope it's provided some sort of background to Seacon 79; at the least it may have shown newcomers that the Brighton worldcon. is not an isolated event, but is part of a long tradition of British conventioneering; and it may also, with any luck, have jogged a few memories of conventions long past. If anyone's interested in further information, whether deeply historical or plain foolish, you can probably find me wandering around the con. Mine's a Guinness. Peter Roberts BRITISH CONVENTION LISTING 1937 Leeds 1938 London 1939 London 1941 London Bombcon 1943 Leicester Midvention * 1944 Manchester London Leicester Leeds Norcon Eastercon Midvention II Norcon II 1 1948 London Whitcon (GoH: Bertram Chandler) 2 1949 London Loncon 3 1951 London Festivention (GoH: Forrest Ackerman. Fan GoH: Lyell Crane) Bradford Necon (GoH: Ken Slater) 4 1952 London Loncon Manchester Mancon (GoH: John Russell Fearn) 5 1953 London Chatham Coroncon Medcon 6 1954 Manchester Supermancon (GoH: John Russell Fearn) 7 1955 Kettering Cytricon 1 8 1956 Kettering Cytricon II 1957 London LONCON1 (GoH: John W. Compbell) 9 1958 Kettering Cytricon III 10 1958 Birmingham Brumcon 11 1960 London (GoH: Ted Cornell. Fan GoH. Don Ford) 12 1961 Gloucester LXIcon (GoH: Kingsley Amis) 13 1962 Horrogote Ronvention (GoH: Tom Boardman) 14 1963 Peterborough Bullcon (GoH: Edmund Crispin) 15 1964 Peterborough Repetercon (GoH: Ted Tubb) 16 1965 Birmingham Brumcon 2 (GoH: Harry Harrison) London LONCON II (GoH: Brian Aldiss) 17 1966 Yarmouth Yarcon (GoH: Ron Whiting) 18 1967 Bristol Briscon (GoH: John Brunner) 19 1968 Buxton Thirdmancon (GoH: Ken Bulmer) 20 1969 Oxford Galoctic Fair (GoH: Judith Merril) 21 1970 London Scicon 70 (GoH: James Blish) 22 1971 Worcester Eastercon 22 (GoH: Anne McCaffrey. Fan GoH: Ethel Lindsay) Birmingham Novacon 1 (GoH. James White) 23 1972 Chester Chessmancon (GoH: Larry Niven) Birmingham Novacon 2 (GoH: Doreen Rogers) 24 1973 Bristol OMPAcon 73 (GoH: Samuel Delany) Birmingham Novocon 3 (GoH: Ken Bulmer) 25 1974 Newcastle Tynecon 74 (GoH: Bob Shaw. Fan GoH Peter Weston) Birmingham Novacon 4 (GoH: Ken Slater) 26 1975 Coventry Seacon 75 (GoH: Harry Harrison) Birmingham Novacon 5 (GoH: Dan Morgan) 1976 Blackpool Manchester Faancon 1 27 Mancon 5 (GoH: Bob Silverberg: Fan GoH: Peter Roberts) Newcastle Silicon 1 Birmingham Novacon 6 (GoH: Dave Kyle) 1977 Derby Faancon 2 28 Coventry Newcastle Eastercon 77 Silicon 2 (GoH: John Bush) Birmingham Novacon 7 (GoH: John Brunner) 1978 Manchester Faancon 3 29 Heathrow Skycon (GoH: Robert Sheckley. Fan GoH: Roy Kettle) Glasgow Faircon 1 (GoH: James White) Newcastle Silicon 3 Birmingham Novacon 8 (GoH: Anne McCaffrey) 1979 Cheltenham Faancon 4 30 Leeds Yorcon (GoH: Richard Cowper. Fan Graham & Pat Char <WmjQ) ": :''- lH t» EASTERCON NUMBER. 55