'Star Wars' Fraternity by Mark Skulley

Transcribed by Chris Creagh

This is a newspaper clipping from The West Australian Friday August 15, 1980.

Have you ever wanted to own a facsimile script of “The City on the Edge of Forever” an early “Star Trek” episode?

If you spend any time at Swancon 5, you could start wanting, and buying, things like an autographed copy of “The White Dragon” by Anne McCalffrey, or early Buck Rogers comics.

Swancon 5, the 19th Australian national science fiction convention, is being held at a Perth hotel this weekend and is expected to attract more than 180 Australian and overseas delegates.

Talking to two Swancon organisers, Joanna Masters and Zebee Johnstone, gives an impression of the depth of their interest or “fandom” in SF.

“We really enjoy things like ‘Star Wars’ and Buck Rogers, because they are fantasy and good fun,” said Mr Johnstone.

But the favoured material of people attending Swancon includes more serious books such as “Dune” by Frank Herbert, and films like “Twilight’s Last Gleaming”.

The convention starts tomorrow and will run until Monday.

It will include discussions on the teaching of SF writing in schools, the writing of SF in Australia and specific SF themes.

The themes include the anthropomorphism of aliens, the pros and cons of organ banks, and the conflict of science and mysticism.

Most of the convention will revolve around people with an interest in SF who will be meeting and talking.

Swancon’s special guest is international SF writer, Anne McCaffrey. Australian SF authors Lee Harding and George Turner are also attending.

Other Swancon attractions are discount book sales, SF auctions, SF movies, a science fiction and fantasy art competition, masquerade hall, and the Australian SF achievement awards.

It is planned to screen at least 17 episodes of “Star Trek” and some “blooper reels,” or film clips of “Star Trek” that did not make the final show.

The blooper reels include a scene where Mr Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy, breaks up laughing, along with several practical jokes on the set.

Although delegates to Swancon are light-hearted about their fandom, they resent people making fun of it.

Mr Johhnstone said many members of the media “played it for laughs” when they covered a recent Australian SF convention in Adelaide.

Australian SF enthusiasts plan to make a bid to hold the 1983 world SF convention in Sydney.

Swancon’s special guest is international SF writer, Anne McCaffrey,


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