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.

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Swancon 14 – PR2 – Fandom in Perth

being a sequence of short summaries of fan activities, covering pages 7 and 8 of the second official progress report for Swancon 14. As ever, typos faithlessly reproduced; note that all contact details have been omitted, even if we think that they are defunct.


Fandom in Perth

One of the most common requests we receive is to provide information on SF-related groups and activities in Perth. We hope that this list will go some way towards fulfilling such requests. If you know of other groups or or activities not listed below, please write to us with details, and we’ll include them in the next PR.

The Cappuccino Club.

On the first Thursday of every month a large portion of the Cappuccino Bar (149 James St, cnr of James and Lake St., Northbridge) is taken over by a group of local SF fans. Here they settle down to an informal chat session, fuelled in no small way by the incredible sundaes which are the speciality of the house. This writer would like to thank the Cappuccino Bar for making the likes of the “Luna Blu” available to the general public.
Contact: Cindy Evans xxx xxxx.

The Curtin Imagination Association (C.I.A.)

The CIA is a Science Fiction and Fantasy group, based at the Curtin University of Technology.
Contact: Greg Colgan Liaison Officer CIA, [address omitted].

Dark Star.

A recently formed group, meeting on the third friday of each month from 7:30 pm at the Kid’s Open Learning School, [address omitted]. Each meeting has a central theme and feature a video of some sort with related discussion panel (eg. sex in Blake’s Seven) and group activities (e.g. pin the eyepatch on the Travis). The emphasis is placed upon enjoyment. Admission is $3.00, which also includes wine and cheese.
Contact: John Richards xxx xxxx

FM.

Standing for “Fannish Monthly”, this is a social gathering of local SF fans, usually held at members’ houses. These meetings are held on the second Saturday of each month, beginning 8pm. FM also publish The Epistle , a regular newsletter containing useful information about upcoming fannish events as well as future FM meetings.
Contact: Ann Griffiths xxx xxxx

The Faster Than Light Radio Show

Hosted by Grant Stone, this half-hour , award-winning programme can be heard every week on Tuesday at 6.30 pm and repeated on Thursday at 11 am. Tune your radio to 6UVS FM (92.1 FM). Each programme contains book and film reviews, interviews, music as well as information from the SF world.

The Grey Company

Founded in 1984, this is Perth’s Dark Ages pagentry group. The Grey Company meet every Sunday from 9am in the park beneath the Charles St exit ramp ( in Aberdeen St, opposite City Motors). This is a training session at which the group practice (non-lethal) combat with period weapons and armour. Grey Company perform combat exhibitions at schools and fairs and for charity. The traditional festivals of Midwinter and Midsummer are celebrated with feasts in the style and featuring the cuisine of the Dark Ages.
Contact: Bill McConnell xxx xxxx.

The University Science Fiction Association (UniSFA)

UniSFA has a club room on the second floor of the Guild Building at the University of Western Australia. This serves as an informal on-campus gathering place for members and is open every weekday of the University term. The club room also houses a large library of SF titles which may be borrowed by members.
Contact: Julia Copeland xxx xxxx

The Westlodge.

The local Dr. Who club, Westlodge meet on the first Saturday of each month from 1.00 pm in the Social Sciences Lecture Theatre 2 at The University of Western Australia. Admission is $1.40 which covers the day’s activities and afternoon tea.
Contact: William Duffy xxx xxxx

At the bottom of page 8, there is a mostly black square drawing, with a human figure on a unicorn on top of a bluff, looking towards the moon in a blackened sky, with irregular white grids reminiscent of suburban roads.


ed: and thus ends our transcriptions from Swancon 14 official PR 2.

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Swancon 14 – Progress report 3 – page 6

Transcribed by Chris Creagh.

The Urban Spaceman

Now, in the last PR there was an attempt to explain the idea of the Urban Spaceman. John Richards, Terry Chilvers and Gina Goddard all had a go, in response to a query from Guy Blckman. Nice. But Now The Real Story.

Frank Reginald Quill (FRQ to his friends) was born many years ago into a humble family of circus roustabouts and neo-Hegelian philosophers. In his early years, he learned tumbling, how to put up tents and feed elephants cinnamon buns, high-wire and trapeze work, and the rejection of Immanuel Kant, whom he had met one night at a drunken party, and who had propositioned him. His more formal education consisted of a doctorate from the university of Basle in the field of the Semiotics of Aristotelian Ethics and its implications for caged animals. This, naturally, lead him into the real estate.

FRQ began his real estate career with an examination of the terms of reference: why is this termed “real” estate? If this form of property is real then, employing the principle of ‘differance,’ there must be another form of property which is unreal. He argued that, since one must first possess real property in order to sell it, it is far more profitable to sell unreal property which, by its very nature, cannot be possessed. He argued further, following the ideas of Jacques Lacan, that it is, in fact, the action of selling the unreal property which gives it a form of quasi-existence, dependent upon the relation between buyer and seller.

This at least, was the defence he used when he was brought to trial on charges of fraud, laid by people who had paid him a great deal of money to buy city properties which did not exist. Fortunately for FRQ, the jury was, due to a computer malfunction, composed entirely of members of the Modern Language Association. After a trial which lasted two hours and a debate in the jury room which lasted three months, FRQ was acquitted, and simultaneously elected to the presidency of the MLA and the Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame.

After a time, and particularly since FAQ sold his unreal estate at extremely modest prices, it became fashionable to own blocks of property in the city which only existed as a relationship between buyer and seller. People felt that it reaffirmed their existence, and FRQ became very rich selling city space that wasn’t there. Thus it was that he became the first and most succesful, Urban Spaceman.

 

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SwanCon 14 – PR2 – ‘So what the hell is an urban spaceman’

being a query and three response on the topic of the Urban Spaceman, covering most of page 6 of the second official progress report for Swancon 14. A small amount of space at the bottom of the page has been filled in with line drawings. On the left, there are three near identical ‘spaceman’ suits. The one on the left is the plainest, and is labelled ‘Spaceman (Generic)’; the one in the middle is standing at a bus-stop and is labelled ‘Spaceman (Urban)’; the one on the right is smoking a cigarette and saying ‘Sterling idea, what?’ and is labelled ‘Spaceman (Urbane)’. On the right, there is a different style of spaceman suit, with the individual leaning on a pole of some kind, and connected up to some big boxy thing. 

As ever, typos faithlessly reproduced


So What the Hell is an Urban Spaceman?

Guy Blackman recently wrote to us with the following complaint:

“. . . my complain concerns your theme of Swancon 14 – The Urban Spaceman. This is a very vague title and I am not sure of all that it entails. An explanation would bring great gratification. ”
Guy is, I am sure, not alone in his uncertainty. ‘The Urban Spaceman’, it’s a great theme, but what the hell does it mean? we asked some of our committee members.

John Richards

My ideas on the Urban Spaceman are unfortunately (and probably predictably), a little cynical. This is ‘cos I’ve heard that song by Neil Innes. After singing the praises of this wonder of today (“I’m a supersonic guy”) he concludes with “I’m the Urban Spaceman, here comes the twist, I don’t exist.”
I think the Urban Spaceman is the hero; taller, stronger, braver, smarter, faster and more blonde than any other. A wit, yet deep, cheery, yet with an inner understanding – upright and laidback at the same time (and not recommended by the Surgeon General). And there are hundreds who believe that they are this sex-god et. al., but they’re not. They don’t exist. There are no Urban Spacemen. Not one. It’s a myth. Zilch. (I think I’m going to cry  – ed).
But if they do exist, I’d love to meet you. Come to the ‘con, we’ll do lunch . . .

Terry Chilvers

The Urban Spaceman is one of those cleverish-sounding phrases that don’t actually mean anything in particular (except that in this case it is also the title of a song). I rather like it as a theme – I just dunno what it means. Two ideas: (1) Urban, modern settings for stories (as opposed to starships and the far future). Other Days, Other Eyes and “Press Enter ◼︎ ” rather than Orbitsville and The Ophiuchi Hotline.
(2) Armchair adventurers – frustrated wishful thinkers.
That may not be much help in suggesting masquerade costumes however . . . .

Gina Goddard

To me, the notion of the Urban Spaceman is one which is of particular interest to today’s society. The world’s population is becoming increasingly centred in urban areas and because of this new methods and styles of living are becoming necessary. As man affects his environment more and more we are also (finally) becoming aware of our impact on our world. This is the future that many SF writers have seen and already considered. We are the Urban Spacepeople.
As for masquerade costumes why not ignore the theme completely if you wish? Or, come as a piece of high density housing.

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Swancon 14 – Progress report 2 – Convention news and information (part 3 of 3)

being a sequence of small news articles, covering page 4 of the second official progress report for Swancon 14. As ever, typos faithlessly reproduced


Badge Making Service

We would like to extend our badge-making services to provide made-to-order badges to our members. If you have a slogan or design you’d like to be able to wear as a badge, just send it to us, and we’ll incorporate it into a badge for $1.50 (plus postage). Better yet, send us an appropriately sized blank (see below), save us the trouble of designing the badge and we will convert your design to a badge for only $1.00 (plus postage).

DIY Badge Designs

Almost any design can be converted to a badge, so long as it can be contained within the following dimensions: The blank must be a circle 70mm in diameter cut from paper or cartridge. Any design must fit within a central 59mm circle (do not mark this circle on the blank as it will show in the final product).

Standard Badges

We also have a series of standard designs as shown below. These are available in red, yellow, green blue or white and cost $1.00 each (plus postage).

The remaining half page consists of an array of circles, 4 circles high, and 6 wide. Each circle represents a single badge. There are two with images — a female like figure riding a zebra like animal with text “Virgin — on the ridiculous”, and two silhouetted cats on a black blob with text “Perfect harmony” — and the rest are text only. These include (but are not limited to:

  • Kylie Who?
  • REVENGE has no use by date
  • I am a honorary GUMBY
  • This is a Bicentennial road project
  • I feel a bit NORMAL today
  • Question authority – you can ask me anything
  • I’m a teapot
  • I’ve been seduced by the CHOCOLATE side of the FORCE
  • I’m a COSMIC QUOKKA

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Swancon 14 – Progress report 2 – Convention news and information (part 2 of 3)

being a sequence of small news articles, covering page 3 of the second official progress report for Swancon 14. As ever, typos faithlessly reproduced


Swancon Port.

We will once again be offering bottles of Swancon Commemorative Port. Bottled by Gallifrey Wines of Western Australia and featuring a distinctive “Tin Duck” label, these were very popular at Swancon 11 (the last WA NatCon).
You can reserve your bottle(s) by writing to the convention address, the price is yet to be determined.

And Then There Were Two…

Most recent highlight of Perth fannish activity were the nuptial celebrations of convention chairthingy, Cindy Evans, and Matthew Clarkson on Saturday, November 5th. Those of us lucky enough to attend the celebrations can tell you that we honestly haven’t seen the two of them look happier. They couldn’t stop smiling (or drinking champagne). The best wishes of all of Perth fandom (and much of Australian fandom) go with Cindy and Matthew. This is the first in a spate of approaching committee marriages. What some people will do to get a week off working on the con…

Wanted: More Art. More Programme Items

Thank you to those who have written suggesting programme items. We are always open to suggestions – so don’t stop writing! Thank you also to Lewis Morley, Robert Phillips and Guy Blackman for providing the artwork for this issue. All we need now is artwork for the remaining PRs and the Programme Book !

[here on the page, there is a small black portrait orientated rectangle with a white drawing, reminiscent of chalk on blackboard drawings. At the top, a stereotypical flying saucer, at the bottom right a humanoid figure with antennae, looking up at the saucer, and at the bottom left the words “oh no an alien!!” ]

Conspire ’89

The 1989 SF and Fantasy Media convention will be held in Canberra at the Metro Inn Canberra Rex Hotel between March 17 and 19 1989. Attending membership is $50 until January 1989 and $60 until March 1989, supporting membership is $10. The theme is Mystery, the official charity Foundation 41.
Fan guest of honour is Robert Jan, Pro GoH is yet to be announced.
Convention address: GPO Box 2080 Canberra ACT 2601 Australia.


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