SwanCon XV – Progress Report 3 – "Crystal Balls and Other Unlikely Prosthetics III"

by Stephen Dedman and transcribed by Chris Creagh

Guest of Honour: Jean M, Auel #77, Author of Earth’s Children V
January 26 to 29, 1505 AG*
Miss Maud’s Convention Centre, Australia, Sol III

Program: Friday

16:00 Transfer Disks turned on.
19:00 GoH Reading “Ayla invents ben-wah balls”.
20:00 Panel: “The Myth of the Pre-Hermaphroditic Era” – Is Earth only 900 years old? Are the SwanCon XV Videos forgeries? Could we have possibly have evolved from those?
21:00 1-g Dance.

* * *

Who are we, any of us, to predict the future? Did you expect holes to appear in the Berlin Wall overnight? Did you think Batman would become the fastest money-spinner in movie history (and the second most sucessful movie of a very lucrative year to boot)? Did you ever imagine that black bicycle pants could become even momentarily fashionable? And before you dismiss fashion as insignificant, consider: if Arch Duke Ferdinand hadn’t had himself sewn into his uniform in 1914, World War I might have been postponed and its course changed, affecting the Russian Revolution, the Treaty of Versailles, the Great Depression, World War II, the Space Race, et cetera, et cetera.

If the Chaos Theorists are right, meaningful, long-term prediction is virtually impossible – there are too many variables to consider – and the most unlikely forecasts of all are the “If this goes on …” type, favoured by politicians, economists and Cyberpunk writers. So please note, before you rush out to buy cliff-top real estate, that extrapolations about the Greenhouse Effect assume that the sun isn’t doing anything radical in the near future (astronomers still can’t agree whether or not it’s cooling down, and if so at what rate). No wonder many fans give up on the future altogether, turning instead to fantasies that are very like one another and bear no noticeable resemblance to history. Personally though, I still have great hopes for the future: after all, it’s a bit late to have great hopes for the past. We live in increasingly interesting times and it’d be a pity if none of us were interested. So come to


and let us astonish you.

*After Gorbachev

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