SwanCon 18: The Wrap-up Publication! (Don’t say we didn’t warn you!)

A summary, brought to you by Chris Creagh

Inside the front cover can be found the Contents and a “sketch portrait” by Craig Hilton of Terry Pratchett as a dog.


Terry Pratchett’s G.o.H. Speech at SwanCon 18 3
Where your money went! 11
Demographics 12
Craig Hilton’s Con Report 13

The content is obviously not for 40+ fans as the font size makes the idea of a magnifying glass acceptable. However the concept of a wrap-up publication may be of interest to new con-goers so I will persist.

Terry Pratchett’s G.o.H. Speech at SwanCon 18
The speech is around 6.5 pages long and begins…
First, let me define my terms. This is always the last refuge of a rat in a corner, ie, me. I’m going to talk about the ecology of the fantasy universe, using traditional methods such as poor research, unsupported opinion and wild assertion. Just like normal literary appreciation, in fact.

And I’ll start off with a footnote. I’m always puzzled by the low grade image of fantasy, specifically that it is suitable only as reading matter for fourteen-year-old boys called Kevin, among people who don’t read it. I get invitations to lit festivals couched in terms that suggest that the Roman Senate is being forced to send out a dinner invitation to Attila the Hun.

The sub-text is, “Dear Mr Hun, we personally wouldn’t read your kind of stuff if it was pushed under the door after three weeks sensory deprivation, but our son Kevin says you’re ace and so we were wondering if you might come along and do whatever you chappies do…play the banjo or something.”

The rest of the speech continues in this general lighthearted way, strewn with gems of wisdom such as “Our fantasy tells us a lot about ourselves. Somewhere deep in our soul is the desire to make worlds which, however apparently complex, bizarre and downright dangerous they may be, have graspable rules and probably also a moral basis.

It ends by saying “The whole boiling of ’em*–trolls and dwarves and elves and dark lords–they’re just another way of looking at ourselves. They’re not out there, they’re in here. Here be dragons, in here with us. They’re much more interesting that way.

Pages 11 and 12 give the receipts, expenditure, and budget, which on a turnover of over $26,000 resulted in a net surplus of $221. Well done that treasurer!** Their final membership list had 377 names!

Page 13 has a sketch portrait of Craig Hilton as a rat. This is then followed by 7 pages of cartoons (also by Hilton) which sum up the con.

The last page has an adaptation of the song “We Didn’t Start The Fire” which captures the comings and goings of the Con “whales in elevators”, “morris dancers”, “filking parties” and more!

** (comment by Chris, who has been a SwanCon treasurer and knows).

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