B Wilkinson, 2 Hobbs Close, Abingdon, Oxon14 3UX, Great Britain
The Spanish SF and newszine BEM has closed at issue number 75. It had been running for ten years.
The editors Ricard de la Casa, Pedro Jorge Romero, Joan Manel Ortiz and José Luis González consider that a printed bimonthly newszine is obsolete in the era of the internet, when news spreads within days. But BEM was much more than a newszine.
They intend maintaining the BEM website: http://www.bemmag.com/, and are producing a CD-ROM of all the issues of BEM, but the loss of BEM will leave a large hole in Spanish fandom, and they are well aware of that.
It is possible that the presence of that dinosaur, an excellent print magazine, has stopped new small mammalian ezines and webzines appearing. It is also possible that the ecological niche will remain unfilled. Yes, BEM was in part a newszine, and the awards listings, gossip, and book reviews will be as well served by a website, but BEM was also one of the very few Spanish markets for SF short stories and a source of first class essays on SF. These things are not ephemera.
This probably sounds pretty rich coming from the editor of one of the ezine/newszines that have profited from the internet: this particular collection of electrons, Ansible, The Australian SF Bullsheet, Paper Snarl, Contract, and several others. Yes, a printed edition of this is given out at the Florence Nightingale pub, but by far the majority of my readers get this over the internet. I have never met large numbers of them – I don't even know who some of them are (I gathered that my brother had been downloading this from the website a few weeks back... rather than asking me for a copy... Hmm...).
I don't just edit this. I have been involved for many years with the Science Fiction Foundation, not least because I believe that preserving SF history is important, and you can never predict which the most important things are. The early work of important authors is of value, even if it is of no literary merit. Its preservation is of even more importance if they try to suppress it! SF fans kept collections of the most horrendous old crudzines in times when academia had no interest in them. By the time I met Vinc Clarke's collection he had catalogued it, and it was a useful research resource. Now not only are there private collections like the Memory Hole lending library, but the Science Fiction Foundation is collecting old SF fanzines. I just hope the SF Foundation has a huge supply of magnetic tapes.
This zine is archived at Glasgow University, as is Ansible. I rather hope that Glasgow University is not a fly-by-night operation. Far too many ISPs are. I saw an appeal recently – had anybody got a copy of the Conadian (Winnipeg Worldcon in 1994) website? Their website was the first Worldcon website, and while it must have been held temporarily in the caches of thousands of computers, those caches have long since been emptied, leaving fewer remains than the lowliest of penny dreadfuls. At least nitrate stock lasted a few short years, even if it did cause one hell of a bonfire later.
So, in the information age we are losing information at a faster rate than ever before. And instead of collecting dead flyers with sketch maps scrawled on the back of them librarians and archivists must collect virus-ridden DOC, XLS, HTM, and other cleaner files. That is, of course, when they are not downloading an SF author's thousand year website – just before his ISP goes down the pan. Then again, perhaps the day we really need these things we will discover that the CIA, MI5, and their friends in other countries were quietly making the backups we all so badly need. Let's hope they preserve them if they have been.
BEM was part newszine, part SF journal – these now run at very different speeds. By current standards an email ezine is a swiftly produced permanent item – it can be saved to disk in a labelled directory. Try doing even that with a convention website. The other half of BEM, the stories and essays, were not in an obsolete format, although the method of distribution may have become archaic. The contained package of reading material up until now has been a book or magazine – it costs a lot to send it by traditional mail. A PDF, TXT, or RTF file is cheap and fast to send by email, and it can be easily stashed away. PDF in particular may become important in print-on-demand.
Perhaps the BEM collective should have slimmed down the zine to a PDF running stories, essays and long-term reviews, and at the same time tried to take advantage of the enlarged potential readership in Argentina, Mexico, other Spanish speaking countries – and the few weirdos like me who are able to read suicide notices on websites in the original Spanish. Sure, but it would no longer have been BEM.
Sorry to see it go guys. Keep in touch.
* = New or Amended entry
FilkCONtinental 2000: 29 Sep-1 Oct, JH Freusburg, Germany. Att. 55 DM 'til 20/7/00 (deadline). Contact: Rika Koerte, c/o Walker, 130 Old Road West, Gravesend, Kent DA11 0LZ, UK. (email: rika[at]filk.de; http://www.filk.de/filkcontinental/)
Elstercon: 6-8 October, Leipzig, Germany. Att. 55DM 'til 30/9, then 60DM 'til 1/10. GoH Dan Simmons, George R.R. Martin. Contact: Frank Rauschel, Sternwartenstr. 53, 04103 Leipzig, Germany. (http://apple.rz.uni-leipzig.de/FKSFL/ELSTERCO/elstercon2000/elstercon.html)
* NonCon 23: 6-8 October, Drumheller, AB, Canada. Travelodge, 101 Grove Pl. $69. Quad. Relaxacon. Att. $15. Contact: 9807-79 Ave, Edmonton, Ab, T6E 1R2.
* Zahcon: 6-8 October, Torun, Poland. Contact: Torunski Klub Fantastyki i RPG "Mithost", OPP Dom Harcerza, 87-100 Torun, Rynek Staromiejsi 7, Poland. Stanislaw W Czarnecki stan[at]eris.phys.uni.torun.pl; http://www.rassun.art.pl/zahcon
* Concept 2000: 13-15 October, Canada. CANCELLED. Contact: PO Box 415, Station H, Mtl H3G 2L1, Canada.
Ghoestacon 2: 13-15 October, Upsala, Sweden. GoH Dave Lally. Att. 150 SEK on door. Contact: Anna Akesson, Studentvagen 34:316k, SE-752 34 Upsala, Sweden. (Akesson[at]tsl.uu.se; m94aaa[at]student.tdb.uu.se; http://sfweb.dang.se)
Buchmessecon: 21 October, Frankfurt, Germany. Contact: Roger Murmann, Wilhelm-Leuschner-Strasse 17, 64859 Eppertshausen, Germany. (email:sftreffda[at]gmx.de)
Octocon: 21-22 October, Dublin, Ireland. Att. IP 15, Supp. IP5. GoH: Iain Banks, Michael Marshall Smith. Att. 15IP. Contact: Octocon 2000, c/o Evolver Media, 71 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2, Ireland (http://www.octocon.com; email: chairman[at]octocon.com) UK Agt. D Lally, 64 Richborne Terrace, London, SW8 1AX.
World Fantasy Con: 26-29 October, Corpus Christi, TX, USA. Contact: 26th World Fantasy Convention, PO Box 27277, Austin, TX 78755, USA (http://2000.worldfantasy.org/; fduartejr[at]aol.com; Fax: +1 512 835 7637)
Hansecon: 26-31 October, Lubeck, Germany. Contact: Heinrich R. Arenz, Burgstrasse 33, 60316 Frankfurt, Germany. (email: hra.hanse[at]freenet.de)
* Imladris: 27-29 October, Krakow, Poland. Contact: http://www.ggff.rpg.pl; http://konwenty.fandom.art.pl/imladris; gildia[at]ggff.rpg.pl; puszon[at]rpg.pl
ConTreaty/Beneluxcon 24: 17-19 November, Maastricht, The Netherlands.GoH: Christopher Priest, Jaap Boekestein, Peter Hamilton, Ricardo Pinto. Memb: Euro40, NFL 88. Contact: ConTreaty, Mozartlaan 38, 2253 HX Voorschoten, The Netherlands. (email: Contreaty[at]jimacred.demon.nl; http://homepage.eircom.net/~goudriaan/contreaty/Treaty-index.html
* NELCON a relaxcon:17-19 November, Port Stephens NSW, Australia. Att. $20. Contact: Edwina Harvey, c/- 12 Flinders St, Matraville. 2036 NSW, Australia. Email e.harvey[at]unsw.edu.au; http://members.optushome.com.au/aussff/Nelcon.html
DRACON: 8-10 December, Brno, Czech Republic. SF&F lectures, quizes etc. Contact: http://www.dracon.cz, email: dracon[at]dracon.cz
Fantabaires: 8-17 December, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Contact: franco_moreno[at]ciudad.com.ar; info[at]zonadeculto.com
ArmageddonCon: 27-31 December, Hotel Laromme, Jerusalem, Israel. GoH: Larry Niven, Joan Vinge, Paul McAuley, Ian Watson. Theme: Armageddon. Incl. End Of The World Ball on mount Tel Megiddo (Armageddon). GoH: Larry Niven, Joan Vinge, Paul McAuley, Jack Cohen, Jim Frenkel and Ian Watson. Org. Israeli Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy. Att. c 140$ 'til 1/11. Accommodation extra. Contact: Contact: Mishkenot Sha'ananim, PO Box 8215, Jerusalem 91081, Israel. 00 972 2 673 0003 (email: con[at]sf-f.org.il; http://www.armageddoncon.org)
Hogmanaycon: 29 December 2000 – 1 January 2001, Glasgow, Scotland. Att. 45 UKP. GoH: Spider & Jeanne Robinson, Sydney Jordan, Archie Roy, Vince Docherty, Oscar Schwigelhofer. Contact: Hogmanaycon, c/o 26 Avonbank Road, Rutherglen, Glasgow G73 2PA, Scotland. (tel. 0870 740 7530; email: andy[at]hogmanaycon.org.uk; http://www.hogmanaycon.org.uk/)
Roscon: 15-18 February, Moscow, Russia. Att. from $70 US all inclusive. Contact: Tel. (095) 1230177 ("Manufactura"); (095) 3356832 (Dimitri Volodikhin); email: convent[at]mcf.msk.ru; http://www.convent.ru
* Ad Astra 2001: 23-25 February, Toronto, ON, Canada. GoH: Connie Willis, David Hartwell. Contact: http://www.ad-astra.org; adastra[at]home.com 905-305-0827
* FilkOntario 11: Mississauga, ON, Canada. Filk. GoH: Bill & Brenda Sutton. Att: $42 'til 31/10/00. Contact: 145 Rice Ave, Unit 98, Hamilton, ON, L9C 6R3. Haymon[at]bserv.com
Swancon 2001 The Masquerade: Aussie Nat. SF Con, April 12-16, Perth, WA, Australia. Att. A$80, $100 on door. GoH Rosaleen Love, Marilyn Pride, Lewis Morley, Kate Orman and Sue Ackerman The Rydges Contact: Swancon 2001, PO Box 162 Nedlands WA 6909, Australia. (Email: swancon2001committee[at]egroups.com; http://www.sf.org.au/swancon2001)
Paragon: Eastercon, 13-16 April, Hinckley, UK. Contact: S. Lawson, 379 Myrtle Road, Sheffield, S2 3HQ, UK (email: members.paragon[at]keepsake-web.co.uk; http://www.keepsake-web.co.uk/paragon).
* OdysseyCon: New Zealand NatCon, 13-16 April, Auckland, New Zealand. GoH Mercedes Lackey, Larry Dixon, Lyn McConchie, Brian Howell. Att. NZ$ $60 'til 31/12/2000, NZ$70 'til 12/04/2001, NZ$80 on door. Contact: P.O. Box 74-013 Market Rd, Auckland New Zealand. Email: enquiries[at]odysseycon.sf.org.nz; http://www.odysseycon.sf.org.nz
* Lituanicon 2001: 3rd Millenium: Technology vs. Magic: 28-30 April, Kaunas, Lithuania. Att. 10LTL (c.2.5$). Contact: Vytautas Jonaitis (vytjon[at]pit.ktu.lt), Emilis Dambauskas lunatic[at]dokeda.lt, 8-286-07732)
Seccond: 25-27 May, Swindon, UK. GoH: Paul McAuley. Contact: seccond[at]sjbradshaw.cix.co.uk; http://www.seccon.org.uk/
13th SF Days NRW: June, Germany. Reputed cancelled. Check: http://www.epilog.de/sftagenrw; sftagenrw[at]epilog.de
Fantastika 2001(Swecon): 15-17 June, Stockholm, Sweden. GoH: Karolina Bjallerstedt Mickos, Bjorn Tore Sund. Att. 200 SEK 'til 1/01/01, then 250 SEK 'til 1/06/01. Contact: c.gomez[at]telia.com; tomas.cronholm[at]mbb.ki.se
PARCON: A Communication Odyssey – 20th Czech & Slovak nat con, 6-8 July, Czech Republic. SF&F, ST, Babylon 5, Discworld, games, contests, SF&F story competition "Karel Capek Award", videos &movies, party. Contact: londo[at]babylon5.cz
Finncon: (Baltcon) 14-15 July, Jyvaskyla, Finland. Contact: hirsjarvi[at]jkl.fi; 42[at]jyu.fi)
ConStruction: 27-29 July, UK. Con running. Contact: ConStruction, 32 Theobald Road, Cardiff, CF5 1LP, UK. (email: ConStruction[at]hotmail.com; http://members.xoom.com/con_struct/)
Eurocon 2001: During August, Romania. Contact: srepi[at]yahoo.com
Odyssee: Aug/Sept, Germany. Reputed cancelled. Check: http://www.epilog.de/sftagenrw; sftagenrw[at]epilog.de
Eboracon: 24-26 August, York, UK. Unicon. GoH: Douglas Hill, Stan Nicholls, Ann Gaye. Att. 25UKP (20UKP student). Contact: "sparks" Mike Rennie, 68 Crichton Avenue, Burton Stone Lane, York, YO30 6EE, UK. (email: eboracon[at]psych.york.ac.uk)
The Millenium Philcon (Worldcon): 30 August-1 September, Philadelphia, PA, USA. GoH: Greg Bear, Stephen Youll, Gardner Dozois, George Scithers. Contact: Suite 2001, 402 Huntingdon Pike Rockledge, PA 19046 USA. (email: phil2001[at]unix3.netaxs.com; http://www.netaxs.com/~phil2001/)
* Polcon 2001: Polish Nat Con. 13-16 September, Katowice, Poland. GoH Robert silverberg, Marek S Huberath, Dorota Malinowska, Andrzej "Bilbo" Kowalski. Att. 50 zl 'til 31/12/00, 55 zl 'til 15/06/01, 65 zl 'til 15/08/01, 75 zl 'til 15/09/01. Contact: Slaski Klub fantastyki, 40-956 Katowice, skr. Poczt 502, Poland. (Email skf[at]skf.from.hell.pl; http://www.skf.w.pl, http://www.skf.from.hell.pl)
Hypotheticon: 22-23 September, Glasgow, Scotland. Att. 15 UKP 'til 1/1/2001. Contact: Hypotheticon 2001, 25 Ravenscraig Ave., Paisley, PA2 9QL, UK (email: secretary[at]hypotheticon2001.co.uk)
HispaCon 'Salduba': Spanish National Con, 1-4 November, Zaragoza, Spain. Contact: jochu[at]ctv.es; salduba1[at]mundofree.com
Helicon 2 (Eastercon): 29 March – 1 April, Jersey, UK. Att. 30 UKP. Contact: Helicon 2, 33 Meyrick Drive, Wash Common, Berkshire RG14 6SY, UK (email: helicon2[at]smof.demon.co.uk)
Downunder con festival: 1-30 June. SF con every weekend. (Combined with a bid for Corflu) Contact: Eric Lindsay, PO Box 640, Airlie Beach, Qld 4802, Australia. (email: eric[at]wrevenge.com.au)
Convergence: 41st Australian NatCon: 7-10 June, Melbourne, Australia. GoH Joe Haldeman, Sean Williams, Gay Haldemandk, Lucy Sussex, Jack Dann, Race Mathews. Contact: http://www.vicnet.net.au/~converge/; contact-convergence[at]egroups.com
* Discworld Convention 2002: 16-19 August, Hinckley, UK. GoH: Terry Pratchett. Contact: send an SAE to Discworld Convention 2002, 23 Medora Road, Romford, RM7 7EP, UK. http://www.dwcon.org/; email: info[at]dwcon.org; mailing list http://www.dwcon.org/mailman/listinfo/2002/
Con Jose (Worldcon): 29 August-2 September, 2002, San Jose, USA. GoH Vernor Vinge, David Cherry, Bjo & John Trimble, Ferdinand Feghoot, Tad Williams. Att. $120. Contact: Con Jose, PO Box 61363, Sunnyvale, CA 94088-1363, USA. (Email: ConJose[at]sfsfc.org; http://www.conjose.org/)
World Fantasy Con: 1-4 November, Montreal, PQ, Canada. GoH:Fred Saberhagen. Contact: Bruce Farr, 7002 N.6th Ave,Phoenix, AZ, 85021, USA; 2001wfc[at]yahoo.com
* Torcon III (Worldcon): 28 August-1 September, Toronto, Canada. Att: $170. GoH: George R.R. Martin. Contact: PO Box 3, Station A, Toronto, ON, M5W 1A2, Canada, email: info[at]torcon3.on.ca http://www.torcon3.on.ca"
USA Boston in 2004 – Contact: info[at]mcfi.org; http://www.mcfi.org; or Tim or Marcia Illingworth; Charlotte in 2004: Contact: charlotte2004[at]earthling.net; http://scenic-city.com/charlotte2004/
Great Britain Worldcon Bid 25/8/2005-29/8/2005. Location: Glasgow. Pre-support: UKP5, Eur8, $8, A$12, NZ$15, Yen950. Contact: UK in 2005, 379 Myrtle Road, Sheffield, S.Yorks, S2 3HQ, UK. (email: uk2005[at]hotmail.com; http://www.uk2005.org.uk)
* There are rumours of an Australian bid for Worldcon in Melbourne: email Rose at mitchell[at]vicnet.net.au;get the gossip at http://www.egroups.com/invite/aussiecon4 Japan have officially announced for 2007 details at: http://www.nippon2007.org
* There are rumours that Australia may move to 2009...
Aussie events: Note that there is an annual calendar available on the Vicnet SF web site at http://www.vicnet.net.au/~sfoz/2000cal.htm