Swancon XIII – Progress Report 1 – An Interview with Tim Richards

This is from page what we shall call 8 (if we treat the front cover as 1 as per our Summary) of the first Progress Report of Swancon XIII. Transcribed by Elaine Walker. All typos reproduced as faithfully as possible. Except for all the weird extra spaces. I didn’t feel the need to reproduce those.

AN INTERVIEW WITH TIM RICHARDS by Tim Richards

Q: I understand you were born in Donnybrook, of poor but honest farming folk?

A: It’s a lie! I was in fact born in Peru in 1823 as the spiritual twin of the revolutionary Simon Bolivar. A tempestuous life awaited me, if not for the fact that I was spirited away by Gypsies at the age of three.

Q: Gypsies? In South America?

A: Did I say Gypsies? They were in fact the original inhabitants of Easter Island – a strange race of extraterrestrials with the uncanny power to levitate onions.

Q: Ah… and your first contact with science fiction fandom was through your re-awakened interest in Doctor Who?

A: Either that or ‘the Magic Roundabout’…

Q: And you helped found the local Doctor Who club, The West Lodge, which is still going strong. I hear you’ve also dabbled in other areas of media S.F. – Blake’s 7, Star Trek, Hitch-Hiker’s, The Prisioner…

A: …Lost in Space…

Q: Yeah, but I didn’t think you’d want to admit that. Why do you think the SWANCON 13 Committee asked you to be a Fan Guest of Honour?

A: Insanity? Desperation? Who knows? Maybe they just liked my Dalek baseball cap at SWANCON 12.

Q: Right. Well, that’s just about all we have time for…

A: Can I just point out that I have a large collection of S.F. paperbacks (I’ve even read some of them) – I’m not only a media fan you know…

Q: So we say ‘thank you’ Tim Richards…

A: Oh yes, and I’d just like to plug WHOCON 4 (DETAILS ELSEWHERE IN THE REPORT) if you don’t mind…

Q: …and now for something completely different.

A: I want to complain about this parrot…

THE END. BUT TIM WILL RETURN IN ‘SWANCON 13’…

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Swancon XIII – Programme book: A summary

A quick and dirty summary by Anna Hepworth

The Programme book for Swancon XIII is a 18 page (including covers) A4 stapled booklet, printed black on standard bond paper.

The front cover is a statement in minimalist design. The con name and book title are in slightly large font at the top, with a thin rule top and bottom; this is reflected lower down where ‘Theme – The Black Swancon’ is similarly formatted. In between is a dark line-art work of two black unicorns facing off, with the robot swan logo hidden in their enormous tails. Right at the bottom it says ‘Westos Hilltop Hotel’ and ’29th Jan – 2nd Feb 1988′.

In contrast, the inside front cover is dominated by a large drawing featuring a spacesuited figure with a hat and coat. Down one side it reads ‘SWANCON 14’, with details of the following year’s con (Guest of Honour – John Varley; Toastmaster – Bob Shaw; Fan Guest of Honour – Paul J. (“Antifan”) Stevens. Theme: The Urban Spaceman).

A very plain contents page is followed by an assortment of short articles and summary pages. In order, these are the Chairthing’s Blurb, Barlowe’s Guide to the SWANCON committee*, “…The Duck Strikes Back!”, ‘Who is Tim Richards’*, Program (2 pages!)**, a foolish article about running a Worldcon in Perth in 1994*, Vital Information*, Local Eats and Services**, the membership list (largest number is 42, but there are two #1s)***, ‘FM meetings’*, and then finishing up with two pages (back cover and inside back cover) on Kinkon 3*.

* Coming Later!
** Not! Coming Later!
*** might be coming later, depends on how obsessive we get.

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Swancon XIII – Progress Report One – Summary

This here is an overview (by Doug) of the contents of a Swancon XIII Progress Report, which is titled “Swancon XIII Progress Report”. Did they have more than one? I don’t know.

It’s eight sheets of A4 paper, which is to say 16 pages; stapled at the left edge. (It’s a bit odd, actually — staples at the top and bottom of the left edge go through all eight sheets, but a staple in the middle only fastens sheets 4 thru 7.)

The front cover is emblazoned with the aforementioned title, and has art featuring two black prancing unicorns, with the “tin duck” robotic swan between them. The inside cover says “Cover Artwork – Many thanks to Kira McKenzie”. It also says “Progress report – Stephen Dedman   Ann Griffiths   Don Griffiths”.

Page what-I’m-going-to-call-three is titled “Progress Report One — December 1987”. Ah — so now we know. It introduces us to the date, venue, GOHs, and the committee, and is blogged elsewhen. The next page covers Rates, Room Rates, Advertising Rates, The Rumour Terminating Department, and Programme, and is also described in that prior post.

Page oh-let’s-call-it-five covers Programme for Black Friday, Satyrday, and Black Sabbath, with Dead Dog Monday and the 31-member-long Membership List on the following page.

Page 7 is A Synopsis of Dave Luckett by Sally Beasley. Page 8 is An Interview with Tim Richards by Tim Richards.

Page 9 is a full-page ad for Swancon 14. Page 10 is a Swancon 14 Progress Report. (How… recursive.)

Page 11 is an ad and blurb for WhoCon 4 (“The Fourth National DOCTOR WHO Convention, Perth, W.A.”). Page 12 continues for WhoCon 4, spruiking the Timelord’s Ball. The ball was at the Pagoda, and the convention at UWA.

Page 13 advertises Conviction (“27th Australian Science Fiction Convention”, also “Syncon 88”), with page 14, yes, continuing on the Conviction theme.

That brings us to page 15, which is a Membership and Room application form, with page 16, the back cover, being blank.

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Swancon 14 – Programme Book – Bob Shaw

This is a transcription of page 16 from the Swancon 14 Programme book, being a biography of one of the Guests, Bob Shaw. This was transcribed by Elaine Walker, who has attempted to faithfully reproduce any and all typographical errors.

Bob Shaw

A photograph of Bob Shaw is on the top left.

The first time I ever met Bob Shaw was in Melbourne at Aussiecon II. A southern belle by the name of Charlotte Proctor introduced me to him. (Charlotte is herself a well known fanzine author.) She introduced Bob by saying, “Greg, this is a good friend of mine, Bob Shaw, he likes drinking Scotch too.” Well, suffice to say that anyone who has an affinity for the finer of the spirits will soon, over the bar, become a good friend of mine.

After a short time a small group of fans gathered and it was decided that we would go for dinner somewhere in the city. I started to strike up a nice conversation with Bob and after some fifteen minutes or so we found a basic Italian food hall that fitted the most important of fan criteria: it was cheap. We selected our food and sat down. I thought that I would ask Bob what he did for a living. There was a stunned silence at the table, and Handfield nearly choked on his food. Bob just looked at me for a moment, sort of puzzled, and quietly said, “………I’m a writer.”

It was at this point that there came a dagger in my mind, as I realised who I had been speaking to for the past few hours or so. I tried desperately to say something intelligent but all that came out was, “Oh, that Bob Shaw!!!!!!”

Bob Shaw is a professional science fiction writer, born on the 31st December, 1931. Bob started out as a fan and in fact Tuck’s Encyclopaedia of science fiction and fantasy mentions in passing that Bob Shaw “ is also very well known in fan circles. ” This is like saying that Bob Hawke is a member of the Labor party. Bob Shaw is a real fan’s fan.

Bob’s list of novels bears testament to his literary achievements. Novels such as Dagger of the mind, The Ceres solution, Ship of strangers, Orbitsville, Vertigo and many other novels and short stories.

In convention terms one of the things Bob is most famous for is his talks. Bob can natter delightfully on an assortment of topics. At Aussiecon II Bob gave one of his very best after dinner speeches. He had the diners alternatively laughing, crying and falling off chairs. The spotlight operator was broken up by fits of giggles and Bob performed an impromptu Irish jig which cracked up the assembled audience. The dinner was sold out and when Bob heard that there were fans outside that were going to miss his talk he insisted that they be allowed in. Bob’s just that sort of bloke.

Finally, Bob Shaw is one of the most polite gentlemen I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and anyone who gets to his programme items at Swancon 14 has my assurance they will not be disappointed. In short, Bob Shaw is a delightful person, and not at all into being a ‘big name author’, despite the fact that he is one of the Britain’s most successful science fiction authors. (Marc Ortlieb has informed me that Bob is also one of the best selling authors in Poland, however he is unable to take the money out of Poland. One day Bob might go to Poland to spend it.)

Oh, by the way, he is partial to the a single malt scotch or two at the bar, I have that on good authority, so remember to stock up for Good Friday. He has also sampled the more traditional items of Australian cuisine, such as meat pies, lamingtons and vegemite, but I doubt they are as popular.

Greg Turkich

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Swancon 14 – Progress report 3 – pages 3 and 4

Page 3 and 4 are blurbs about the committee.

The Most Wanted List

In every society, there are those who, through no fault of their own, rise to positions of prominence and power. Rarely do they seek high office, and even more rarely do they attain it. Instead, they wind up on convention committees. Swancon 14 is privileged to have a rare combination of talents embodied in those who compose its committee: teachers; film editors; accountants; tap-dancers; professional assassin; frog-stranglers; people who own Swiss Army knives; the list of their many accomplishments goes on and on. Allow me to introduce you to them (of course, if you already know them, this is all redundant; go away and do something else while this is going on; make chicken soup, or something).

CINDY CLARKSON:
Cindy used to be an Evans, until she got tired of all those Welsh jokes and accepted the proposal of Matthew Clarkson, who promised to make an honest woman of her. Cindy married him in spite of this, and interrupted her preparation for the convention long enough to have a rather delightful wedding. Since Matthew is an ex-chairperson, I feel that a certain dynastic ambition may have entered into the match, and that we can look forward to Clarksons chairing conventions well into the twenty-first century. Apart from this, Cindy is eminently huggable, and will appreciate one from you, if you are at all likeable. Her hard work and capacity for doing all the things that everybody else forgets about will make her either a very successful convention organiser or a raving loony by the end of the convention. be nice to her; she’s had a hard day.

HING-WING CHUN:
Sceptical, tight-fisted, cynical, suspicious, parsimonious; Wing is all the things a good convention treasurer should be. He somehow manages to disguise his better qualities behind a mask of self-effacement and bonhomie. There are even those who suspect that this is his real self, but I cannot bring myself to believe this. He also play a damn good guitar.

TERRY CHILVERS:
Terry is a very laid-back person; at times you have to look closely to ensure that he is still breathing. Totally and utterly unflappable by anything short of nuclear warfare, he provides a cool and stable presence at meetings and other times. Look for him at the convention; he’ll be the one reclining.

GREG TURKICH AND VANESSA LEBER:
After the history of success which Greg has had in organising hotel bookings for conventions, he decided the time was ripe for passing on the flame to a younger person, one who could carry on the tradition of Greg’s efforts in the past. To this end, he decided to take Vanessa under his wing and teach her all he knows about organising hotel bookings for conventions. Fortunately, she decided to ignore him. Greg is the person who is large and friendly, and a darn sight fitter than the majority of fans. If it is your misfortune to wind up with the wrong room, at the wrong hotel, for the wrong days, it may well not be Greg’s fault, this time. Greg drinks and socialises at all hours of the day and night, and will and will wake you up when you have a hangover. If he does, realise that it is only his way of being friendly, and try to repay the compliment.

DARYL COLGAN:
Daryl is in charge of fundraising. He will try to part you from your money. He has already done this successfully for many people. He gives the money to Wing, who guards it from harm. He wants your money. All of it. He is a nice person, but he wants your money. Give it to him; it will save time and trouble. He’ll get it in the end.

GRANT STONE:
I have known Grant Stone for practically as long as I have been involved in fandom. At first I thought he was a relly nice raving loony. I still think he is really nice, but there has, over the years, emerged a method from the apparent madness. Grant has probably, in his quiet way (Quiet! Who am I trying to kid?), done more for SF in Perth than any other person, through his radio programmes, his collection of SF magazines, fanzines and journals at Murdoch University, and his constant support of fandom. Grant is in charge of the Awards, and I can think of no better person for the job, since his knowledge of the field is formidable. He also has a sense of humour sufficiently warped to get from here to Aldebaran in twenty minutes.

(Here endeth page 3.)

JOHN RICHARDS:
John is a fairly recent addition to the ranks, and I have had the privilege of knowing him since I was a teacher at Christ Church Grammar School, in 1985. He would wander around the school, starry eyed and innocent, a book in his hand, dreaming of the world to come. A far cry from the Drag Queen he portrayed, with consummate skill, at the last Swancon. I dunno; maybe it’s the effect of an all male school. He has, however, entered into the spirit of the convention publicity officer’s job with an energy and enthusiasm which is, at times, quite overwhelming, particularly for jaded old conventions groupies like moi. It is a Very Good Thing to have people like John around; fandom needs a constant supply of fresh m – I mean, new enthusiasts.

ELIZABETH BOWYER:
Liz is helping out with publications, and all sorts of other things, as well. She is neat, petite, about to be married, and does a wonderful impersonation of Mr. Gumby.

GINA GODDARD:
For the all-singing, all-dancing Gina show, you MUST attend the convention. Gina is an ex-member of Slippery Jim and the Ratettes, has a voice best described as loud, and a vivacity sufficient to keep an average Russian city warm throughout the winter. How you would actually get Gina to keep you warm throughout the winter I do not know, but I wish you luck in your explorations. She is voluptuous, warm and delightful, and she already has a boyfriend.

IAN NICHOLS:
That’s me. I’m in charge of programming the convention, which is somewhat like trying to juggle live piranha while figure skating blindfolded over an obstacle course. Fortunately, I’ve done it before. I only lost three fingers as fish food and two toes to frostbite, so I figure I still have something to give. Despite runours to the contrary, I do not devour live babies for breakfast, nor do I spend most of my time singing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” whilst lying inebriated in the gutter. Many of the things you may have heard of me are untrue, especially the one about the strawberry jam. It was only the two of us. I look forward to seeing everyone at the convention, and, by the end of it, I probably will have. Room parties, cocktail parties, dinners, lunches, games, all sortsa stuff; it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

The Guests

JOHN VARLEY:
Winner of both Hugo and Nebula Awards, author of the “Titan” Series, “Milennium'” “The Ophiuchi Hotline,” “The Barbie Murders,” “The Persistence of Vision,” and lots of others. A person of immense reputation in the SF field, we are privileged to have him as Professional Guest of Honour.

PAUL J. STEVENS
Antifan. A myth figure in Australian fandom. Presenter of the Golden Caterpillars. A speaker of note and wit. A mighty edifice of knowledge, expertise and wisdom, and a helluva nice guy. Since he’s moved to Perth, we seized upon the opportunity to have him as Fan Guest of Honour. Just goes to show you; you can be lucky

BOB SHAW:
Toastmaster and raconteur extraordinaire. Bob has authored many famous SF books, and is famed for his “Serious Science” talks at conventions, one of which we will be privileged to hear. If you get a chance, ask him his recipe for Irish Coffee.

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Swancon 14 – PR4 – Evening Entertainments

This is on pages 4-5 of Progress Report 4 for Swancon 14 and covers the selection of evening entertainments over the con. This particular convention appeared to have a fair number of dances. Transcribed by Elaine Walker. All typographical errors reproduced as faithfully as possible.

The Fan Dance

Hey! is this a convention or an elaborate tea dance? It’s a convention of course! but Perth Fans have always been fond of dancing and dressing up, and no one shall say that they are not going to get ample opportunity to do both this Easter. The Fan Dance, which was to be a Cocktail Party until we discovered the cost of cocktails, is the ‘getting-to-know-you’ event off with which Swancon will kick (How’s that for grammar?). So if you want to get a kick from Swancon (or possibly its proxy – Grek Turkich) come along and meet the committee (the people cowering behind the potted palms) and everyone else listed on the back cover of this progress report. Dress as formally as you like and dance to the music of the Navy Reserve Jazz Band “Dixie”. The Band will play from 8 to 11 pm, and drinks, including cocktails for the wealthy, will be available from 8pm to midnight. No entry fee, you just pay for your drinks. The every helpful committee will try to produce some dance instruction sheets for beginners.

The Banquet

Those wishing to attend the Banquet will need to book tickets by 1700 hrs on Thursday 23rd March (the first day of the Convention). Why? -because it will be Easter weekend and the hotel needs to know the number early so that the food can be ordered. Tickets are twenty two dollars ($22). Please use the generic booking form to let us know that you will be attending, even if you can’t send the money now. You may collect your prepaid tickets at the registration desk or pay for tickets there, but there will be no sales after 1700 hrs Thursday 23rd March

The Masquerade.

Those of you fortunate enough to have a copy of Progress Report 1 will already know that on Friday 24th March we will be holding the Masquerade, with the judging of all those elaborate and exquisitely detailed costumes over which you have been slaving for months. Slaving so hard in fact, that very few of you remembered to tell us that you wished to enter said masquerade. Never mind, we generous and forgiving souls, and you will be able to enter right up until Friday evening.

Those of you who haven’t read the first progress report, possibly due to tardiness in becoming a member of Swancon, will no doubt be eager to read the following list of categories so that you can decide on the best title for your hastily constructed, but no less exquisite and elaborately detailed, costume.

Costume presentations will be made on a raised stage with a short catwalk. A microphone will be provided as well as a cassette player for music or a voice-over. Ninety (90) seconds will be allowed for each presentation, but you may request more time if you really think you will need it. If you can’t see the edge of the stage, or can’t climb onto the stage in the first place, let us know beforehand! We can’t help if we don’t know about your problems before they happen.
The categories are:

  1. Best John Varley character(s)
  2. Best Bob Shaw character(s)
  3. Best presentation on convention theme (Urban Spaceman)
  4. Best group entry
  5. Most humorous
  6. Judges choice
  7. Best overall costume

NOTE: The ceiling of the main hall is quite low, so costumes must be no more than 7 ft (2.1 m) high.

Masked Ball.

The Friday of the convention is Good Friday, and the law forbids the sale of alcohol on that day. Since most people attending Swancons appear to like their drinks, we decided to hold the party side of the traditional Swancon masquerade – when everybody dresses up in a Hall costume and dances until the wee small hours to the sound of a band with a dubious reputation, a chorus line of rattettes and some very strange singers – on Saturday night. Negotiations are continuing with the band with the dubious reputation, but we will certainly be entertained by Brenton Fosdike, an entertainer with a very good reputation. A cash bar will operate from 8 pm until midnight.

At the masked ball you will need to wear a mask, so plain masks will be for sale at the door for a small charge in case you don’t have one. Both hall costumes and masked will be judged at the ball, so create something spectacular.

Weapons.

Remember “the good-ol’-days” when a convention included lots of people careering down the halls shooting people with mock phasers and other hardware and generally making a nuisance of themselves, tripping over all the other people harmlessly pursuing scantily clad aliens up and down the stairwells? Well, these days, with far more realistic replica plastic Uzi submachine water pistols available in any toy shop, and rather too many paranoid ex-military types in fandom, we can’t allow you to do those things any more. However, a costume isn’t a costume without a phaser if you’re dressed as a Star Trek security man, and Elric looks rather lost without Stormbringer, so we hope to have a rather relaxed weapons policy during the Masquerade and Masked Ball. Replica and model weapons may be worn as part of a costume inside the hall, but they must be checked and okayed by security at the door each time you enter the hall. Swords and daggers must have a peacestrap.

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Swancon 14 – Programme book – The Cream Pie List

Pages four through seven of the Swancon 14 Programme book showcases the Swancon 14 committee. The first three pages have four bios apiece; the fourth has a single bio, a short thank you, an advert for the Melbourne Science Fiction Club, and a line drawing of a ‘Durban Spaceman’, being a play on the ‘Urban Spaceman’ theme of the convention.


The Cream Pie List

or

The Committee members exposed

CINDY CLARKSON: Chairthingy
It is amazing how much Cindy has come to resemble a chair over the course of preparation for the con. Not a familiar, faithful, overstuffed armchair; more a piece of avant garden furniture. Colourful, with arms that wrap around you when you sit. Much like the favourite piece of household furniture – lovingly displayed in pride of place in the lounge; Cindy is the hearth of the convention.

Terry Chilvers: Secretary
Somnabulist extraordinare; many have mistaken Terry in a fit of excitement for a three toed sloth. Terry lives by the principle that, of the seven deadly sins, sloth has received a lot of bad press. You’ll recognise Terry by his red ringlets and perpetually dazed expression.

hing-Wing Chung: Financial Controller
Wing has three great fears in life; money, pink pig suits and hot coffee on his groin. Two of these he has experienced, one he hasn’t. It’s up to you to work it out. Just notice the resemblance to a guitar-playing Ewok.

Greg Turkich: Hotel
Sidle up to Greg and ask him to tell you about toilet training and he will! Greg knows many hotel rooms in Perth intimately, that’s why he has a habit of knocking on strangers’ hotel room doors at 3 am looking for a party. Let him in! He needs a room; he forgot to book one for himself.


Ian Nicholls: Programmer
It’s so hard to think about anything nice to say about Ian…that hasn’t already been said. This master of the masturbatory metaphor has been known to say that the stories you have heard about them are not true. They are.

Gina Goddard: Publication
“Subtle” is a word many have used to describe Gina, “…as a brick”, “…as a bomb” etc. Gina’s quiet unassuming manner and wall-flower-like dress sense means she often blends into the background at cons. We will be conducting a series of “spot the Gina” tours in an attempt to overcome this. Prizes will be awarded for the first sighting.

John Richards: Publicity
John has a unique perspective and outlook on the world. This explains his creation of such convention item as “Thomas the Tank Engine to Metropolis.” John’s involvement with media fandom means that he has a habit of pushing your nose when he wants to turn you off.

Daryl Colgan: Fund raising
Daryl may look like our average dull, colourless, boring miser who doesn’t want to have any fun or, more importantly, spend any money because he’s saving up for THE HOUSE. But…when the music starts clear that dance floor because Uncle Daggles Discos Down!!!


Elisabeth Poidinger: Fund raising
Do you know how to play bridge? You do but you need a fourth player for a game? No longer! Liz is the person for you! Liz is good at a lot of games; many common, some more esoteric. But she’s willing to play with anyone at any time. Liz is famed for being the only person ever to use the phrase “Runcible spoon” as a rhyme for moon in a game of Theatre Sports.

Grant Stone: Ditmar Awards
Grant Stone is a most interesting man, indeed. Indeed he is. Grant has indeed a habit of repeating a certain word during his “Faster Than Light Radio Show” indeed. See if, indeed, he does it in real life. Yes, indeed!

Annette Wilson & Dorothy Cantoni: Masquerade
Despite appearances to the contrary, Annette Wilson and Dorothy Cantoni are actually sisters. What’s more, they even appear to like each other. Dorothy is married, Annette isn’t. Annette is older; Dorothy isn’t. Both of them are demons with the needle, embroidery that is, and not bad cooks either. Dorothy has considerable skill at square and country dances; whilst Annette, if asked nicely, may just turn your membership page into a designer original, with a few swift strokes of the ever present rotring pen.


Jay Plester: Security
There is a badge, advertised for sale in a previous progress report, which says “I don’t like violence, but I’m very good at it.” There is little doubt that this was aimed at Jay. He is, he says, meek, mild and shy. He is definitely a softy. Just hug him and see. Go on, I dare you.

At this point in time the Chairthingy would like to energetically thank previous members on the committee, who, for various reason were unable to continue to contribute to the chaos. These sensible people are Barbara de la Hunty, Bob Ogden, Julian Warner and Brad Memphes

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Swancon 14, Programme book — a summary

Descriptions 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 Programme Book for Swancon 14 was 48 pages (plus yellowish card cover) A4, saddled-stapled. The cover has a drawing of what appears to be a one person flying car/spaceship in front of what is, quite possibly, the Bankwest tower in the Perth CBD.

Inside front cover is an advert for From Sea to Shining Star, a collection of short stories by A. Bertram Chandler edited by Keith Curtis and Susan Chandler, illustrated by Nick Stathopolous. This is followed (p2) with the Chairthingy Welcome, which will be transcribed later.

Pages 2 & 3 are the acknowledgements and index. Companies and people who supported the convention were ANSETT — Elizabeth Hunt; GOLLANCZ — Malcolm Edwards; WESTERN AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT FOR THE ARTS; TACTICS — Mike Page; WESTERN AUSTRALIAN CONVENTION BUREAU — John Kruiskamp; KINGS AMBASSADOR HOTEL — Shirley Lin, Nathan Giles. Artwork is credited to Jeremy Reston (front cover), Ian Gunn (Urban Spacemen, Spaceships, etc) and Annette Wilson (Dead Dogs).

‘The Cream Pie List ‘ (or, The Committee members exposed) (pp 4 – 7) and Discon III advertising (pp 8-9) will be transcribed later. Three pages (pp10-12) about John Varley written by Spider Robinson most likely won’t be; ditto the following 3 pages of bibliography and awards info on Varley, which is probably more readily available elsewhere. A short piece on Bob Shaw written by Greg Turkish (p16) should be transcribed later; while a page of bibliography (p17) won’t. Information on Fan Guest of Honour, Paul J Stevens, is on p19, and will quite possibly be transcribed later.

Page 18 contains a full page advert for what appears to be four books from four different publishers — a David Eddings, a Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman; a Jonathan Wylie; and one (“Dungeon, Vol 2”) where the author’s name is not in large enough type on the cover to be visible in the low res picture of the book. More full page adverts are seen on pp 20 (Century Hutchinson, Victor Gollancz), 21 (Peregrine Imports), 27 (Allen & Unwin), 42 (The Australian Science Fiction Foundation), 47 (The Faster Than Light Radio Show), and the inside back cover (Slow Glass Books). On the back cover, VICTOR GOLLANCZ welcomes BOB SHAW to Australia in very large type, and announces his new book ‘Dark Night In Toyland’, due for release in May. (none of these will be transcribed later, although we might just remember to scan them and put them up in Flickr).

Other things that won’t be transcribed include the programme (pp 22 through 26), the nominations for the 1989 Australian Science Fiction Achievement Awards Ditmars (pp32-33), the Eating Out list from p 40, the churches and other places of worship list from p 41, and the membership list (now spread out over nearly 3 pages, being pp 43-45). (Also, pages 46, which is blank, and 48, which has a map of the convention venue, don’t provide anything of interest to transcribe)

There are a few other pages that will probably be transcribed later — assorted information on happenings at the convention (Masquerade, Auction, etc; pp 28 through 30), the Weapons Policy (p31), ‘A Pint of GUFF’ (p34), information about the GUFF award (p35), introductions to John D Berry (p36) and Brian Howell (p37) being the DUFF and FFANZ guests, Gina’s Glitter Guide (or, Things to see, people to do; pp38-39. P39 has a half page ad of the front half of an Ansett branded aeroplane with the words ‘No airline aims higher’ written below it).

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Swancon 14 – Progress Report 4 – Summary

Descriptions and transcriptions by Elaine Walker this time. As ever, typos faithfully replicated, and layouts and formats approximated only as much as can be done with trivial amounts of html.

As with the second and third progress reports for SwanCon 14, the fourth progress report is a 12 A4 page saddle stapled booklet. In addition, there are a number of inserts:

  • White/cream A4 single sided Hotel Booking Form. ($79/night single, double and twin and $89/night Triple room) since apparently we were doing the hotel booking stuff back then.
  • White/cream A4 single sided General Booking Form – for becoming a member, booking a banquet ticket, reserving a huckster’s table, entering the art show, submitting a programme item or academic paper.
  • White/cream A4 double sided 1989 Australian Science Fiction Achievement Awards Ditmars Voting Form. May record this information elsewhere

The actual booklet itself has artwork on the front cover (which I am calling page 1, no actual pages are numbered) of what looks like a man with a ray gun and a pith helmet coming across a futuristic looking set of buildings with the caption:
Distinguished Urbanologist Discovers New City on Tau Ceti 5
This, along with most of the artwork was apparently done by Annette Wilson, there is also a picture of a -Dead Dog Party- Monday Night (dogs lying on floor or acting as coffee table, guests appear to be cats). And on page 11 a Gulliver commits urbicide! with a giant pointing a big cannon at a town of tiny people. There is also a serpentine looking creature on page 3 and a unicorn on page 8, both drawn by Kiera McKenzie.

Inside the front cover has the current membership rates ($70 for attending; $20 for supporting; $5 for voting and if you turn up at the door $80 for full and $20 and $10 for day and night memberships respectively); advertising rates for the programme books, rates for the Huckster tables, and who is on the committee, which I’m pretty sure has been covered already.

Page 3 had a report on a quiz night, advance notification about the Theatre Sports to run on the Friday of the Con, information about the Auction(s) and an announcement about a Lucasfilms Display (stills from various Lucasfilms productions to be displayed during the con).

Pages 4-5 contained information on The Fan Dance; The Banquet; The Masquerade and the Masked Ball (which are all apparently different things this convention) as well as information about costume weapons. Some of these may be described in later posts.

Pages 6-7 had the Programme so far, from which I gather there were streams in a Main Hall and Second Hall, the Video Room, and some reference to the Games Room.

Page 9 was devoted to Hotel Booking information, Parking information, and the information that there was a swimming pool available, but that access may be revoked if the congoers made nuisances of themselves. Also an advert for a fanzine called ‘Get Stuffed #3’

Page 10 had to do with the art show. Page 11 with the ‘how to get there’ for interstate attendees using an airline that no longer exists.

Pages 12 and 8 contained the membership list which is now up to 185 people. (The first 170 are listed on page 12, and the final 15 are listed at the top of page 8.)

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Fannish History Panel – Continuum 13 – 2017

by Elaine Walker

I went to the panel on Fandom History at Continuum 13 (Triskaidekaphilia) in Melbourne in 2017. Originally it was meant to be a panel on Fandom: Where Did We Come From? Aussiecon 1975, but they had some extra people there who remembered earlier, so the focus of the panel was mostly on Fandom in Australia in the 1950s. The panelists, as far as I can remember, were: Rob Gerant – Assistant editor of Australian SF review; Dick Jenssen – founding Australian SF club (meteorologist?) fond of games, inventor of Ditmar; Lee Harding – involved in fanzines and Leigh Edmonds – former fanzine writer, now writing a history on fandom 1956-1975.

This panel did appear to be recorded, but as yet has not appeard on the continuumcon youtube channel (though I do recommend the GoH speeches which are on there). So this is based on the brief notes that I made during the panel.

Leigh mentioned iOTA which is an efanzine about his project  to write the history of fandom. The supplement Australian Fandom Adventures in Time of iOTA 7can be found at the above link and was available in hard copy at the panel. It contains the timeline from 1927-1966 and some photos.

There was some discussion about how the panelists had got into SF fandom. Leigh Edmonds was stuck in bed for a number of weeks with pneumonia and his parents gave him Dan Dare comics which introduced him to SF. He remembered that George Turner was grabbed by Amazing Stories.

Dick couldn’t remember a time when he wasn’t interested in the strange and usual while his father was a SF fan but pretended he wasn’t. Race Matthews grew up with SF and he pointed out to Dick that the school library had SF books and that the History of Time and Space was buyable in the city. In those days it was not cool to be a nerd (drongo, wet weed, dill)… it was a non-technological society and SF was not approved of. In the 1950 very little SF was to be found in bookshops but the library bound SF american magazines and loaned them for 6p a time.

Melbourne Science Fiction Club (MSFC) was discussed. It was considered to be strange by the generl population  and a comparison was made to jazz clubs in the 1950/1952 era according to Australian Fandom Adventures in Time.

Lee Harding felt like an outsider and found a niche in SF Fandom.

Franklins (the library mentioned above) had fanzines and letter columns. Operation Fantast Magazines got sent to Ken (Jeffreys) by American fans and then distributed from there.

Dick considered that MSFC was the best therapy / support group for someone not sure of their place in the world. He did some basic physics and apparently used the first computer at university to do weather modelling.

Rob, a more recent convert (1966) found out about the Australian SF Review when McGills went to find it and Merv Binns was there. Rob had scientific interests at home while his library had the yellow Gollancz SF hardback classics. The literature that he read was mostly about family and people interactions, but SF helped him look at a bigger part of the world.

Dick stated that in the 1950s and 1960s he was in to very subversive literature – e.g. the Lovers by JSF Human ( alien insect love). The books encouraged acceptance of each other, while the normal world view around that time was restrictive.

There was a discussion about the signs of creativity in fans with the two main ones being producing fanzines and wanting to write Science Fiction.

Etherline was an early magazine/fanzine and a stack of which were sent around the room for people to look at and keep, provided they promised not to dump it in the bin larter. I took Issue 72.

In the initial SF meetings nearly everyone had, or wanted to write science fiction. Lee had been reading New World etc. and ended up writing, in same place as JG Ballard

Blue air mail letters were used for international correspondence as there were no local SF markets.

It was noted that it was important to have your own inbuilt shit detector to enable you to read your own work critically because there was no one else around who could.

There was a mention of Space Age Books run by Merv Binns, which was opposite the library of the university. The university itself proving to be a very good source of customers for the bookshop.

Dick tried writing and decided five pages in that he couldn’t write another 200, so he produced  a couple of SF stories for Perhaps(sp?) but found that he prefers drawing.

Rob did some writing. Bruce had written a lot on Philip K. Dick with his first book being published by Australian Press. At that point they set up the first Australian SF press which included such writers as Greg Egan and Damien Broderick. Together they produced a book on Australian SF from the 50s up.

Rob thought that the snobbery of the establishment was the reason fans had to set up their own publisher / press because the main publishers were not much interested. It appears this has not changed a great deal. For example Penguin are not hugely interested but Harper Collins are now doing a fair bit.

Dick said that SF changed his life, without it he would not have gone on to do physics and use computers. His interest only fell away when his job became more fun.

Lee got solidarity and support for his work but stopped writing and reading 30 years ago. He felt that SF had done its job for him.

Rob thought that SF had enriched his whole life, not just when he sold part of his collection. *grins*

Short summary of Etherline Issue 72

Etherline Science Fiction Journal was published by AFPA (Amateur Fantasy Publications of Australia). It had agents in USA, West and East Coasts, and the UK. It cost 6 pence (6D). A specific date was not given but based on the contents it was published sometime in the last half of 1956.

Issue 72 had on its cover a picture of a crashed spaceship with a robot and a human who was aiming a gun at the robot.

Featuring: (hand written note)
Fletcher Pratt Dies in USA
Nova Novels Suspended
New Mag From Ziff Davis?
Adelaide and Brisbane News

Internal page (2) was an advert for the 5th Australian Science Convention in Melbourne, December 8th and 9th, 1956.

Page 3 was Adelaide News.
Pages 4-9 was an Author Story Listing (32) for Fletcher Pratt compiled by Donald H. Tuck, apparently Fletcher had passed on recently.
Page 9 – the latter half was a short note on the irregularity of Etherline of late and how they hoped this would be fixed soon.
Page 10 had the first instance of Nova News, by E. J. Carnell and also had information about a Convention in London, and the suspension of Noval Novels. There was also an Illustration by McIntyre.
Page 11 – Advert for what was currently in at McGills
Pages 12-13 contained information on a new quarterly magazine called Tomorrow: the World of Science Fiction.
Page 14 had information about the Blue Centaur Book Company and Operation Fantast.
Page 15-16 had Book Reviews (Deep Space by Eric Frank Russell; Escape to Venus by S. Makepeace Lott)
Page 17-18 had Magazine Reviews (Fate; Science Fiction Monthly; Astounding Science Fiction)
Page 19 had a Global Round Up which contained information on fiction sales locals had made, incoming books, magazines that had ceased publishing, and rumoured new magazines.
Pages 20-21 had the Brisbane News.
Page 22 had Fanzine Reviews (A Minus Z Infinity; Peon 36; Umbra 12)
The final internal page, 23, had adverts for the Melbourne Science Fiction Group and someone who apparently did binding of SF collections, presumably magazines. The back page had the contact information, and a 3d Australian stamp.

Posted in Fan production, Fans, fanzines, Miscellaneous | Tagged , , | Leave a comment