Transcription of pages 3-4 of the Swancon 17, Festival of the Imagination, November Progress Report. Which is apparently the one after the July Progress Report. This is one of the reports made out of folded A4 sheets. This is the introduction stuff.
This Progress Report is intended as a “getting you up to date” fact-rich publication which includes almost exclusively new material. For those of you who haven’t seen the July Progress Report, we’d be happy to send it to you if you write (or phone) and ask for it.
The big news since July concerns Guests. Basically, there’s lots of them. Without de-emphasising our Principal Guests Terry Dowling and Nick Stathopoulos, SwanCon 17 has managed to attract several other notable personalities to the ranks. Besides Dr Philippa Maddern (who was mentioned in the July Report), we now have three new Invited Guests.
There were three arrows on the left hand side, each pointing towards a paragraph with a specific guest.
Sean McMullen, Australian Writer and Bibliographer (soon to see his collection Call to the Edge released from Aphelion Publications), will be appearing on numerous panels and discussions throughout the Con.
Lucy Sussex, Author of My Lady Tongue and Other Tales will be assisting Phillipa at the Writers’ Workshop (before the Con) and will also be attending SwanCon as a guest and panelist.
Grant Stone – Perth’s own media-SF Superstar – will be attending as a guest at 17, in recognition of his service to SF over the years. We hope to see Grant even more heavily involved (if that’s humanly possible) this time around.
To top it all off, SwanCon 17 will feature a Special Gaming Guest in Paul Kidd, well-known Designer of Albedo and Lace&Steel and prominent member of “Furry Fandom”. Paul will be heavily involved in not only the gaming stream (PARSEC) but the Conference and social streams as well. We hope Paul’s wide-ranging interests (he’s also written and published fiction) will help to attract people across those “traditional boundaries” between the various parts of our genre, and we’re sure he’ll prove a fascinating and informative guest.
For those of you who are interested in such esoteric topics as MONEY, you’ll be pleased to know that SwanCon 17 is doing extremely well. Membership is way up (as you’ll see from the list later in the Report) with over 100 members as of publication – most of them attending – and we’ve been granted funding from the WA Department for the Arts. What does this mean to you as a member or potential member? Well, for a start, we’re able to hold down the membership cost to the existing $45.00 rate, at least until the First of January 1992. As well, we’re looking at all kinds of freebies at the Con itself – but more on that count later. Preliminary programming has reached an advanced stage, as you’ll notice in later sections of the Report. In particular the Anime Matsuri programme is looking great, with over 24 hours of fully subtitled or dubbed material to hand. This represents a wide selection of the finest of Japanese Animation currently available in English, and will show off the astonishing variety and quality of the sub-genre.
Nifty New Stuff:
SwanCon 17, in its quest for innovation and experiment, will feature a few surprising additions to the traditional attractions of a SF/F Convention. Besides our heavy emphasis on Discussions over Panels (our “Don’t just sit there – do something” theme) and the sophisticated multi-streaming (there will always be something to do at 17!), there’ll be a variety of other attractions to keep you away from sleep, social contact, eating and sanity.
Quasar (the “Live Action Space Game”) will run almost continuously through the evenings and nights of the Convention. Through the generosity of the management of Quasar Northbridge, equipment will be available for use by Convention members, and several organised sessions each evening will provide a marvelous introduction to the game.
For those of you who thought Cyberpunk was Science Fantasy, come along and try The Net first hand. OK, so it’s not a consensual reality yet, but the Internet (or Usenet as it’s also known) is certainly the first step on the path. This international network of computers provides access to fascinating folks world-wide, and discussions on what is effectively a giant conferencing system range from SF, Computers, Sport, and Jokes through the latest discoveries in Biotechnology, Physics and Artificial Intelligence to Forums on Women’s Issues, Atheism, Conspiracy Theory and Sex. There will be a Net-terminal located in the Fan Lounge for the duration of the Convention, with experts available to help you and answer questions. Why not Jack In and see what the future will be like?
For those of you more concerned with the “Literary” side of things, Aphelion Publications should be staging a Pre-launch of the forthcoming collections of two of our guests. Blue Tyson (the sequel to Rynosseros) by Terry Dowling and Call to the Edge by Sean McMullen will be officially launched at SynCon (the 1992 National Convention in Sydney in March), but SwanCon members will have a chance to see the cover art (by Principal Guest Nick Stathopoulos) and talk to the authors about their work at this exclusive event.
We think you’ll find a lot at SwanCon 17 that you’ve never seen before at a Con, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy the difference – if you’re not too busy enjoying everything else, that is.
What about this "Other NatCon" stuff, then? What are we trying to do – steal members from SynCon? No way! SynCon is the official Australian National Convention for 1992, and we’re not arguing; in fact it’s likely quite a few of us will be attending SynCon. It’s sure to be a great Convention. So, what, then, are we suggesting? Only that if you’re a keen Convention attendee, there’s more than one Con that’s worth attending – that you’ll kick yourself for missing – in 1992. SwanCon 17 is going to be huge. Just take a look at our guest-list, our membership list. Have a glance at the program, the video and gaming streams, the social stream, the outdoor stream. Have no doubts – this Con will be as “Nationally Significant” as any NatCon, and the fact that it’s not a NatCon isn’t going to hold us back!