This is CONRUNNER 6, the fanzine for people interested in organising conventions. It is available (as are issues 3-5) on request from Ian Sorensen, 304a Main St, High Blantyre, Glasgow, G72 0DH, UK. Published in April 1987.
|The Hunting of the Site||Steve Davies|
|Conferring in Leeds||Maurice K Hanson|
|NICON Remembered||T Ferguson & E Doherty|
|Conspiracy Corner||The Editor|
Editorial 1 - Mostly Eastercons
This issue will be distributed at Beccon which will be the 38th Annual British Eastercon. Coincidently, it will also be my 38th convention (I took a sudden notion to count them the other day - I would have guessed at around 30). In this issue there is a lengthy article by Steve Davies detailing the route by which the Contrivance bid ended up choosing the Channel Islands as their site. It contains a number of useful addresses and ideas, well worth careful reading. The opposition to Contrivance for 1989 was Yorcon 4, but due to hassles with the Queens Hotel in Leeds the bid has had to be withdrawn. I've not got the full story yet, but I believe it had something to do with the hotel not being willing to make a firm arrangement two years in advance. I never liked the idea of two year bidding! No doubt we'll find out more at Beccon, but it looks like there won't be any opposition to the Channel Islands in '89.
Of more immediate import there are the two bids for '88: Follycon (Liverpool) and Norwescon (now in Blackpool). Of the two, Follycon has had more of a presence at conventions and has put out more information. Both have excellent hotels, though the Blackpool Pembroke is as yet untried (and I'd like to try it). But I have a strong suspicion that Follycon will win. The Adelphi in Liverpool is a fabulous hotel for a convention, with a huge central lounging area and function rooms off it on three sides.
The losing bid for '86, Contravention, has been resurrected for 1990. This can only be described as a Good Thing. I hope they win this time round. If Contravention don't use the NEC I will definitely vote for them. (I was going to last time too, but as I presented the opposing bid I reckoned it wouldn't go down very well with the rest of the Albacon mob!) By the way, I keep getting phone calls asking me about things to do with Albacon - I have officially retired from any Albacon activity now, so phone Vince Docherty (041 882 3006) or Mike Molloy (041 445 4316) if you want any info. Vince keeps trying to stir up support in Glasgow for an Albacon bid in 1991. No final decision has been reached as far as I know.
Other conventions that I have heard about include: CONCERT in Edinburgh, a mixed media/SF con in Oct '88 (you heard it here first): WINCON in Winchester, a bid for Unicon 9 by the South Hants SF Group: CONGREGATE in Peterborough, June '88: NICON II in Belfast Oct '88, see article on page 16.
Helen McCarthy, chairperson of the Gerry Anderson fan organisation Fanderson and all round wonderful lady, says she is willing to distribute flyers for conventions with their mailings which go out to 1000+ members. If you give her details she will also mention your con in their newsletter. Further information from Helen at 147 Francis Rd, London, E10 6NT.
Editorial 2 - Committee Power
Novacons are returning to the Royal Angus, a hotel that was abandoned because it was too small for the 500+ members that Novacon attracts. Novacon was always slightly different from other conventions; being the most ancient regional con, the convention the "right" people went to, and possessing that wonderful lounging area in the Angus. Then Novacons "weren't what they used to be" and a second programme was added, a new hotel was tried and finally a new city. By this stage it was hardly surprising that a small convention at the Angus last year was "the best Novacon for years", that one was, of course, Fifteencon. So Novacon is returning to it's spiritual home. But to speed the return to its spiritual values the committee has decided to restrict membership to 350. How dare they! Rank elitism! Megalomania run riot! It's a convention, not just a private party for old fans! How dare they! etc. etc. Well, how dare they? It's quite simple: a committee decide where they want a convention, what they want to happen at it, and who they will take memberships from. There is no other way to do it - even the much discussed Eastercon Charter/Constitution will not change the legal position of the organising committee - they can do whatever they damn well please as it's their event. If you don't like what they are doing then don't attend. Write to CONRUNNER saying why you don't like it. Cancel your subscription to Interzone. Stop eating pork pies.
As I said after the outcry at Tony Berry's (admittedly abrasive) warning about correct behaviour at the De Vere, the committee has to carry the can for everyone at the convention and answer for their actions, drunk, sober and psychotic. (The members, that is!) As for charges of megalomania and elitism; they are simply preposterous as the Novacon committee have made it quite clear that they are restricting numbers to avoid overcrowding, a very sensible idea at the Angus. And they're not caring who you are, BNF or neo so long as you have a badge number below 350. I have always championed the cause of getting newcomers into conventions and, obviously, the newcomers at Conspiracy will almost certainly find that the next big convention after Worldcon is already fully subscribed. But I don't think that the putative requirements of neophyte congoers should overrule the carefully considered policy of the Novacon committee. On the day, I expect that anyone rolling in will be welcomed with gruff Midland's hospitality, given a badge and told it's their round. I will only worry if a neo gets turned away and a known fan is let in. All of which reminds me, I must take out a Novacon membership.....
Editorial 3 - Who Attends Science Fiction Conventions?
As part of the Conspiracy '87 information pack sent to potential advertisers Anne and I thought it would help to give a profile of SF fans to help generate advertisers' interest. After all, they only want to advertise to people who have money to spend, and if we can all go for weekends to 4 star hotels we must be loaded! Let me know how accurate you think these totally invented figures are.
80% 18 - 35 years old.
80% had or having Higher Education
35% professional or semi-professional grade workers
Right, just room left to say that CONRUNNER 7 will most likely appear at Easter 1988 as there will be a "Best of" edition out at Conspiracy. I might manage a special Worldcon post-mortem edition for Novacon, but it will depend on how exhausted I feel. Please keep writing to me anyway! Have a great summer and I hope I'll see you at some convention or other soon.