The Voice of the Platypus Number 1, March 1998

Transcribed by Chris Creagh

This bright yellow A3 sheet folded to A5 size, is the AussieCon Three, 57th World Science Fiction Convention official newsletter. The convention was held in Melbourne, September 2 to 6, 1999.

Perry Middlemiss was the chair and gave a report on the front page… Mention was made of how good the last 2 AussieCons had been (1975, 1985), how valuable the work of the volunteers (committee) had been and that he wanted Worldcon to be remembered “as a convention that included all aspects of Australian science fiction fandom, that met the highest standards for organisation, that was a joy to work on as well as to attend, and which attempted to show the world what Australia is really like. In short I want a convention that we can all say, when it’s over, that we enjoyed.”

Inside the “booklet” the membership types are described… Attending ($200), Supporting ($45), Child in Tow ($45), and Infants (free).

The next “page” asks “What is a Worldcon?” “Everybody’s view of what makes us a Worldcon is different from everyone else’s. A general reader may view it as a way of getting close to authors they admire or other readers of like minds, authors and editors may see it as their main annual get-together, and film and media fans as a market-place to purchase rare or interesting memorabilia. But all of them, in one way or another, would see it as a large party – a celebration of the science fiction world. Each, and all, of these views of the convention is accurate enough in itself but only tells a small part of the true picture.” They expected 2500 people to attend over the 5 days with half of them coming from overseas.

Inside the “booklet” is the Pre Registration form, the volunteers form and information about the convention site, nearby hotels and the Guests of Honour (Gregory Benford, George Turner, Bruce Gillespie). “Bruce Gillespie is one of  Australia’s and the world’s best known science fiction fans. He first encountered fandom in 1966 through the pages of John Bangsund’s Australian Science Fiction Review and within 3 years had commenced publication of SF Commentary. That fanzine is still being published some 28 years later and stands out in the history of science fiction as being one of the best serious constructive criticism (or “sercon”) fanzines ever published. Bruce received his first Ditmar Award and his first Hugo-nomination for the fanzine in 1972.”

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