Swancon 14 – ‘The Real Official Progress Report 1’ – summary

Description and transcriptions by Anna Hepworth. As ever, typos faithfully replicated, and layouts and formats approximated only as much as can be done with trivial amounts of html.

The first ‘official’ progress report for SwanCon 14 was a 16 page, A4 sized booklet, saddle stapled together. The front cover has a Lewis Morley pencil drawing of a large robot mouse destroying buildings, including one inscribed with ‘Hilton’ down the side, and the words ‘SWANCON 14’ (at the top) and ‘THE REAL OFFICIAL PROGRESS REPORT 1’ (at the bottom) in the kind of font one more usually associates with circus posters and Ye Olde Wild West.

The inside front cover (p1) and pages 2 through 7 have material that will be transcribed later (convention summary, The Chairthingy’s Welcome, Convention news and information, How to have a Terrible Time at Swancon, Fan Fund information, a Few Programme notes, and information on The Masquerade).

Page 8 is a full page add for Tactics, to whit:

321 4860
W.A.’s biggest & best
gaming shop

For the widest range of:
* Games
* Accessories
* Minatures

in perth

Shop 35-40 City Centre Markets
Cnr Hay and William Streets, PERTH

Pages 9 and 10 contain potted biographies of John Varley (Guest of Honour), Bob Shaw (Toastmaster), and Paul J Stevens (Fan Guest of Honour) which will be transcribed later, while pages 11 and 12 have bibliographies for Varley and Shaw, which will not. More material to be transcribed later can be found on pages 13 and the inside back cover (The hotel, How to get to Swancon, Hotel booking form).

The back cover has a membership list containing 107 names (including guests), with two identified as ‘S’ (assumed to mean ‘supporting’) and nine listed as ‘P’ (any guesses?). One guest is singled out as being ‘WA’ — best guess is that there were multiple members of fandom with very similar (or the same) name. There is a small drawn silhouette that brings to mind the Spy v. Spy characters from M.A.D. magazine, holding what might be meant to be a lit bomb with the text “Go on, open the PR. It won’t bite ! ( It might explode, but it won’t bite ! )

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Wikipalooza at Swancon

We wikipalooza’ed at Swancon, acquiring information for the wiki from heads owned by people such as Sally Beasley, Ken McCaw, and Susan Margaret.

Articles that substantially increased in length included:

Swancon 5
Swancon 6
Confusion ’94
Swancon 2006

If you have recollections about these or other Swancons, get thyself a wiki account and edit away. Don’t worry if you don’t speak wiki-ese — content is more important than formatting, and one of us can come along later and apply the formatting. Or send us your reminisces, and we’ll paste them into the wiki ourselves.

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Twenty seventeen plan

Expect, gentle reader, for postings to be less frequent through 2017 than they have been in previous years (notwithstanding that they’ve been a bit sparse over the last couple of months anyway). This year we plan to focus on updating the wiki — going through the article for each Swancon in turn and ensuring that it reflects everything we know about that Swancon.

We also plan to add more to our flickr page.

We’ll keep the world posted with our progress.

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Swancon 2001 – Masquerade – Progress report 3 – Dave’s Rave

Being the Convenor’s report from the front page of a 10 pp A4 progress report. As ever, typos mostly faithfully reproduced…

Dave’s Rave

(Convenor’s Report)

I’m happy to say Swancon is really starting to come together. We are hard at work putting together what we think will be a great program. Its already off to a good start, with some great guests and some great events. I am particularly impressed with a fantastic response to our academic program. I am really looking forward to the con, and I hope you are too.

But remember, making a great con involves all the members, not just the con committee. This PR is the interactive one – you can offer to help, give us feedback on our draft program, and support the Ditmars and Tin Duck awards (and Australian and West Australian SF and fandom) by nominating work that you think deserves recognition.

The program is especially important – we are still putting it together, and still looking for program items and panelists, and now is the time to volunteer. While we are trying to include everyone, we really want people to approach us with ideas, so we can include the great diversity of fannish interests. We really want to hear ideas from everyone. We have a draft program, but the eventual program will be quite different – because is will be filled with YOUR ideas.

If you happen to be reading this in another state and wondering how you can make it to Perth for Swancon, check out the NAFF announcement elsewhere in the PR – there is a new fund to bring a fan interstate for the national convention each year. On behalf of the current natcon, I’d like to thank Grant* and Sue-Ann** for setting it up, and thank them for their effort (though you can blame me for the silly name).


* Watson
* Barber

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Masquerade Swancon 2001 progress report 2 — Dave’s Rave

Transcribed by Doug Burbidge – all typos faithfully reproduced.

Dave’s Rave

Swancon 2001 is pleased to announce that we will have as our International Guest of Honour Robert Silverberg, Hugo and Nebula award winner, and author of more than 100 sf books. As those who attended Worldcon in Melbourne last year will know, Robert is not only a talented and prolific writer but also a witty, knowledgeable, and entertaining speaker on almost any issue to do with science fiction.

Accompanying him will be his wife Karen Haber, also an sf writer and editor – we are very pleased to have her as well.

Robert should be a wonderful guest, and we are grateful to Harper Collins for their assistance in bringing him across.

While we are busy preparing for Swancon, we would also urge you to think about getting involved. We will have an art show and a short story competition in conjunction with the con, and a short film festival beforehand, all of which are great opportunities to show off some of the great talent that exists in Australian fandom. Another way you can get involved is by coming along to our open programming meetings. If you have some ideas for what you would like to see at Swancon, please come along and let us know, or email us if unable to attend. Swancon is a chance for everyone in fandom (in Perth particularly, but we really want national involvement) to share their interests, their enthusiasms, their ideas and most of all to get together and have a good time. So please let us know what you want to see, how we are doing, and what you would like to do – because its your con, the members, not ours.

I would also like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to those who have offered to help Swancon in various ways. A particular thanks to Harper Collins Australia, to JAFWA, and to The West Lodge. All your contributions are valued.

And lastly, a big woohoo to Cathy Cuppitt, Swancon committee member and DUFF winner, who by the time you read this will already be on her way to Worldcon to spread the word about Australian fandom and Swancon. Have fun Cathy, and remember that you will be sharing the experience with us all in your DUFF report at the Con!

Convenor and Chairthingy

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By Chris Creagh with help from all others
My job is to look through what we have blogged about SwanICon, find the holes and then fill them.
So the first thing I have found in PR1 is that they used to do a Freeform every month.
Just in case you are a newb, a Freeform is a theatrical style live-action roleplaying game which is not heavily combat focused. It is more about character interaction and story than battles. They can be one-off events or regular events in which the story continues. The players usually act the part they are playing rather than sitting around a table, though usually in a fairly limited playing area, one or two rooms maximum. Dice or cards may still be used to decide conflict rather than pitched battles with foam rubber weapons (the latter is more combat LARP). Each character has objectives, they may know who they are and what they are like, but in at least one Freeform that we know of (thank you Anna, Simon & Grant) this was not the case “You are in a room you do not recognise, with a load of people you do not know.” In the middle of the room was an obelisk. At some point there was a disembodied voice counting down. The aim was to survive!

Some freeforms have distinct factions, others are entirely cooperative, and in others it is every character for themselves.

The setting for a Freeform can be based on known genres (TV, movies, books) or made up. The How to Host a Murder style games are a more pre-packaged example of a Freeform but really what they are about, how complicated they are, and what the goals are are only limited by your imagination and free time.

For more information visit freeform role-playing or start a conversation at SwanCon.

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SwanICon Progress Report 2

Summary by Doug Burbidge.

I see that I have blogged SwanICon’s PR1:

SwanICon Progress Report I

And now (a mere three years later) it’s time for SwanICon’s PR2 (which I shall summarise in similarly slap-dash fashion).

A5, composed of A4 folded and stapled-stitched. 8 pages, plus a Fold-A-Lope as the centrefold, all on white 80 GSM.

The top right of the front cover shows a gargoyle atop some suitably gothic structure, being struck by lightning. The top left has a small SwanICon logo featuring a different piece of gargoyle art, plus “Progress Report 2 July 1998”. Then in larger letters “SWANICON”, with the “IC” very large to emphasise that it stands for “99”. The bottom of the cover declares “The 24th Annual Western Australian Science Fiction Convention 1st — 5th April 1999”.

The inside cover has similarly colophony information as PR1.

Page 3 features Julian Ackermann welcoming us to the con and to the progress report. The bottom half of the page describes an Anime Screening at Curtin.

Page 4 is “Paul Kidd-a potted history”.

Following the Fold-A-Lope, page 5 is “Daimyo’s Challenge”, a freeform. The bottom of page 5 tells us that we can buy memberships at A Touch of Strange Bookshop, Quality Comics, Tactics, Super Nova Books, Valhalla Games & hobbies, JAFWA, UniSFA, “And from your friendly Icon Committee.”

Page 6 is the Gaming Report, describing what was planned for the convention.

Page 7 is “members”, listing about 90 members, including 3 GoH’s, 2 Special Guest, 4 Invited Guest, 7 Committee, and one Fan Guest.

The top half of the back cover is mailing details: the return address, the “SURFACE MAIL” and “POSTAGE PAID AUSTRALIA” boxes, and space for a mailing label. The bottom half lists committee and “Friends of the Committee”.

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Festival of The Imagination 1996 – December 1995 Newsletter – Page 9 – Freeform Report

Page 9 of this progress report covers, in the top half of the page, “Fundraiser Quiz”, and in the bottom half of the page:

Freeform Report

As part of the fundraising for the Festival of the Imagination 1996, a series of freeform roleplaying events have been run at Caffe Sport in Northbridge. Begun as a one-off event, the response has been so enthusiastic that the Festival freeforms have become a monthly event. The freeforms are usually run on a Sunday afternoon and have about 20 to 25 players, each of whom contributes a small ($5.00) donation to the Festival. The management of Caffe Sport are kindly allowing the festival to use the private downstairs room free of charge.

We have a list of forty eight names of people who are interested in both the writing and playing of these freeforms, and we’d welcome any other people interested in taking part in these events.

Many thanks to:

  • Robin Clarke (for unpaid and tireless devotion to the whole project)
  • Stefen Brazil, Derek Bazen, Nick Evans and Danielle Robson (for allowing us to exploit their creativity and mess with their minds)
  • Joe from Caffe Sport (for letting troops of oddly dressed people behave strangely in his private room)
  • Everyone who has shown such enthusiasm for the freeforms. All of you have made this project not only a success, but also great fun.

Finally, anyone interested in participating in the festival freeforms or with any related questions can contact Stefen Brazil on (09) xxx-xxxx or Robin Clarke on (09) xxx-xxxx.

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Festival of The Imagination 1996 – December 1995 Newsletter – Page 7 – Video Programme

Transcribed by Elaine Walker. If I find any typos I will do my best to reproduce them.

Video Programme

The bleary-eyed video manager staggers out of the darkened room, into a world of light and colour. Its taken six months, but he has finally recovered. No more dark rooms, with giant video screens. He can get on with his life, suddenly a cold feeling runs down his back, a memory resurfaces. It was 6am on the last day of the convention, just after his brain had been flushed out. The dreaded words were said:

“Yeah sure, I’ll help with the video programme for next years Con.”

Oh well, his fate sealed, he turns and re-enters the dark room to search for the obscure, the classic, the brilliant and the weird, that will become the video programme for The Festival of the Imagination 1996.

So what’s this year’s video stream going to offer all those individuals who love to spend endless hours in a darkened room watching flickering lights projected onto a large screen.

  • Nightly features, with the Director’s cuts if possible, with a few surprises.
  • Homage to the centenary of the SF film genre.
  • Daily Australian and New Zealand films (we even found ones that don’t have “Max” in the title!)
  • Hong Kong Chaos (lots of guns, martial arts, tacky special effects and over the top action)
  • Rubber Suit Monsters (big guys in in bad costumes, who just love to destroy cities)
  • Open screenings. These will occur very late at night, so bring in any videos you wish to show others or simply to watch yourself. So remember – we want your videos.
  • If all goes well an audio stream.
  • Plus an assortment of the usual and unusual stuff (classic TV series, animé, etc.) and a whole bunch of new stuff you haven’t seen but should.

All this will be sorted into a continuous 24 hour video program that we hope will blow your mind.

P.S. Please remember, when entering or leaving the video room, do not trip over the dead video attendants at the door.

“The television screen is the retina of the mind’s eye.”

David Cronenberg, Videodrome


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Festival of The Imagination 1996 – December 1995 Newsletter – Page 5 – Additional Guests

Transcribed by Elaine Walker. All typos have been preserved as much as possible. Layout has not.

The Festival of the Imagination 1996 is dedicated to offering our members the opportunity to meet and interact with wide range of guests, particularly those from our own SF communities, be they literature, media or gaming. Therefore, in addition to our international guests, we are pleased to welcome a number of local guests around the country and around the world.  To date, these guests include:

Stephen Dedman

Stephen Dedman attended his first con, sold his first SF story and played his first RPG in 1977. Since then, his stories have appeared in F&Sf, Asimov’s, Science Fiction Age, Strange Plasma, Aurealis and Eidolon, and the anthologies Little Deaths, Alien Shores, Metaworlds, and Terror Australis. He has recently sold his first novel, The Art of Arrow Cutting, to Tor Books. He is also the author of GURPS Dinosaurs (stomping your way in May 1996) and several RPG adventures and articles. He’s also feeling a little overwhelmed at the size of Doctor Janeen Webb’s biography (Sorry Stephen!)

Dr. Janeen Webb

Janeen Webb is senior lecturer (professor) of literature at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia. One of Australia’s leading SF critics, her work is also widely published in the USA, England, Germany, and Austria. Her books include Trends In The Modern Novel (Institute of Early Childhood Development), Modern Australian Drama (with G McKay) (Institute of Early Childhood Development), and Storylines (with M. Tyrell) (Oxford University Press).  Dr Webb is currently working on critical bibliographies of William Gibson, Angela Carter, and Thomas Keneally for the Borgo Press Modern Authors series. She was co-editor of the Australian Science Fiction Review from 1987 to 1991. This bi-monthly journal was the premier science fiction forum in Australia and had a world wide influence on science fiction, especially in the USA. She is a consultant and contributor to the Hugo award winning Encyclopedia Of Science Fiction, edited by John Clute and Peter Nicholls. Dr Webb is listed in The Who’s Who Of Academics In Australia, The World Who’s Who Of Women (13th edition) and the International Who’s Who of Intellectuals (11th edition). She is a Special Guest at the Festival with her husband Jack Dann.

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