This section of Conrunner is designed to keep those of you interested in Conspiracy '87 informed as to the progress being made. "But, hold hard!" I hear you cry, "Isn't that what these expensively produced Progress Reports are meant to do?" Well, yes and no. They are the official information organs for members of Conspiracy. This is more an informal "behind the scenes" preview of the activities of the committee. I hope you will understand that, because we are still 10 months away from the convention, there are a number of things that are not yet finalised, so anything I tell you about here is liable to change. The main message is that things are happening and the convention is running to schedule (and budget). Many of you have already started working for Conspiracy, but there will be a need for even more help to be recruited as the convention approaches. As I go through each of the areas of activity I'll mention the main requirements at the moment in terms of help required.
I'll start with my own department - Publicity. There have been a number of flyers produced for conventions but soon we should see the publication of the new all-purpose poster which will be available for anyone who thinks they can distribute a few, or a few hundred, around this or any other country. I'd like to see a poster in every public library, bookshop, college and university in Britain. So, if you'd like some, let me know. Steve Jones and Jo Fletcher will be getting the press and media campaign started soon, so look out for features in magazines etc. (I'd appreciate it if you cut them out and sent them to me so that I can build up a picture of our overall success in getting media coverage.) If you have any good ideas for publicising the con, let me (or Anne Page) know please! The address is that of Conrunner. (Phone 0698 826207).
The Programme is slowly taking shape. There will be three major programme streams plus film, fan, computer and gaming programmes. The programme is much more like a good British convention than the American worldcons: fewer spaceflight items and many more items about SF literature (approx 50%). Authors who have already consented to appear on items include Silverberg, Niven, Pournelle, Wolfe, Zelazny and Gibson. Geoff Ryman will be putting on a play based on a Bester story. Rather than relying on panels of talking heads, Chris and Paul have arranged for more items to take the form of discussion/argument between two participants eg Fred Pohl interviewing John Gribben (New Scientist writer) on his views on cosmology. There will be a rock concert by big (and I do mean BIG) name artists, hopefully. There is still a fair bit of negotiation to complete before names can be publicised. Any rumours you hear - about Bowie, The Stones etc. should be ignored: the committee don't want to raise false hopes so we won't say until we've got them! The event will be paid for by Brighton Council as their gesture of civic hospitality. Brighton council are also helping out with provision of the Brighton Theatre for an event, possibly an opera based on one of Doris Lessing's books. Anne Page has managed, by use of her great charm, to get one of Britain's top audio visual presentation directors - John Levine (remember him as Sergeant Benton of UNIT in Dr Who?) - to do the opening ceremony. One of his videos has just won half a dozen industry awards. He is planning a multi-media extravaganza for us (the sort that he normally charges £10000 for) at a much reduced rate (about 50p).
Generally speaking, the programme staff will need "people finders" to round up panellists etc. Names to Chris Donaldson or Paul Oldroyd. (Phone 01 808 1559).
One of the major problems with thinking big is that it costs a lot, so sponsors are needed for some programme items and major items of equipment. If you have any ideas then contact Malcolm Edwards, (Phone 01 340 9983)
To facilitate communications Operations and Programming will share the same command centre, so staff will be needed for that. Jan Huxley's operations team (John Fairey, Dermot Dobson, John Stewart) will be organising the equipment for the whole show, so if you know which end of a soldering iron to pick up they'd like to enlist your help for all or part of the con. Kim Campbell is in charge of security though uniformed security staff are being hired to guard the dealers' room and exhibition areas 24hrs a day.
The Fan programme will take place in two adjacent rooms in the Metropole. The fan room will have a Video Box where you can shoot your mouth off about the convention or life in general, and a Cafe Society section for free-fall posing. Linda Pickersgill wants pictures of British fans for a photo display. The repro room, bossed by Maureen Porter, will require multo-help in collating newsletters etc. So again volunteers are requested.
The next two Progress Reports require artwork - especially medium to small cartoons and fillos - so get your sketchpads out and send Rob Jackson some good stuff. Eve Harvey is compiling a history of British worldcons so any memorabilia from the past would be most welcome. The programme book (Souvenir Book) will be a hardback publication brim full of articles by top writers on the theme of Frontier Crossings as well as the more usual convention articles. Again, artwork is needed.
Well, that about wraps it up for Conspiracy Corner, and Conrunner 5. If you have any enquiries about Conspiracy write to me or any of the committee c/o PO Box 43, Cambridge, CB1 3JJ. We will do our best, but as the convention approaches we will need more and more help. Volunteer now - it saves press-ganging you later!
This has been CONRUNNER 5. Published (with a whole week to spare) November 1986 by Ian Sorensen, 304a Main St, High Blantyre, Glasgow, G72 0DH, U.K.