Honorary President John Brunner
B. Wilkinson, 17 Mimosa, 29 Avenue Road, Tottenham, N15 5JF, Great Britain.
If you look over the page you will find the conventions crammed in tighter than ever. That would initially suggest a healthy situation, the actuality is very different. The increase in numbers is almost entirely an improvement in information collection, not an increase in the numbers of actual cons. The real picture is much more depressing. Reading the (by now) very small print you will come across several entries saying "this con has been cancelled" and others telling you to check. Now, you'd have to be daft to travel to the Crimea for a fan camp without checking, the consequences could be so drastic if it had been cancelled, and I wouldn't advise turning up at any of these conventions just on the off chance, but the number of cancellations is unusually bad. As in publishing, after the political changes of 1989 there was an explosion in the number of SF conventions. In many countries there had been strict limits on the numbers and types of meetings that could be held. Once meetings could be held freely the number of conventions mushroomed. 1990 was a boom year for cons, 1991 not so good, 1992 will be dire. In Russia Aelita, the national SF con, which has been running for many years is in financial trouble and may have to be cancelled. Chumatsky Shlyah, the Ukrainian national convention should run, but is being heavily down scaled. The status of the island on which the month long fan camp Komarinaya Plesh is run is uncertain and the camp may have to be cancelled. This would be the death of another long established event. In Romania the national convention has also run into trouble, it was supposed to be being held in Galati and had obtained sponsorship, but the country is in a deep financial crisis, many potential attendees may be unable to afford it and in current circumstances the committee may have overeached themselves. In most of the rest of central Europe the results have not been as spectacular, Hungarian fandom has been badly hit, but Czechoslovakia and Poland have simply had to shelve all ideas of expansion rather than suffered the collapse of established conventions. West Germany carries on much as ever, X-con folded from a grand attack of overcaution rather than what we would consider insurmountable problems. Over the (ex) wall however the pattern of boom and bust, familiar from much of the rest of Eastern Europe, has been repeated on a more subdued scale. No SF cons had taken place during the Honecker years. The only western country to share this disease is Britain, and we have got a very bad attack. Illumination will survive, so will Novacon, but within the last year many cons have folded and a lot more have lost money. 1992 will see about a quarter of the number of cons that we had last year, Germany will easily out do us. Numerically we have done worst of all, but then we had so much further to fall. Enjoy Illumination!
I wrote the last edition past midnight. It shows. Apologies to Nicolae Ariton, I did my sums wrong. One fifth of a month's salary is what a good condition English or French SF paperback costs in Romania, a Romanian SF paperback costs 1/30th of a month's income – if you can find it... Apologies also to you, the reader. I got a new printer, a DeskJet. Trouble is, I can only get it to print out from this package by telling it to think it's a nine pin dot matrix – it does it – reluctantly. I'm looking for a Atari ST Fleet Street Publisher DeskJet printer driver... "I think fans are like bears, they hibernate in winter..." ...or future events. Gloom and doom apart, things are beginning to move. God, transport and HM Immigration permitting, Illumination should have members from Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia and possibly Russia and the Ukraine. Freucon promises to be a regular Tower of Babel. The Tolkien Centenary conference has managed to get British Council funding for some Polish Tolkien translators. More about this later, but THANKS British Council.
Illumination: 17-20 Apr, Blackpool, UK œ25 Eastercon Contact: 379 Myrtle Road, Sheffield, S2 3HQ, UK.
Freucon: Eurocon 1992. 24-26 April, Freudenstadt, Germany. German Natl Con. GOH: N Spinrad, J Brunner, I Banks, D Walther. DM 60. Special rate for non EEC/EFTA nationals and currency restricted countries. Contact: Achim Sturm, Woltersburger Muhlenweg 10, DW-3110 Uelzen 5, FRG.
Recontre de SF: 1-3 May, Cadiz, Spain. Contact: Ricard de la Casa, PO Box 2061, Principado de Andorra.
3rd Kongress der Phantasie: 15-17 May, Passau, Germany. Contact: Gustav R. Gaisbauer, c/o EDFC eV, Postfach 1371, W-8930 Passau 1, FRG. Aelita: 22-24 May Ekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk in your atlas), Russia. Contact: Radiant club, Igor G Khalymbadza, Gastello 28B-15, 620023 Sverdlovsk, Russia. (There are problems, check before going.)
Inconsequential: 22-25 May, Derby, UK. Att. œ 20. Contact: 12 Crich Avenue, Littleover, Derby DE3 6ES, UK.
Elstercon: 29-31 May, Leipzig, Germany. 35 DM 'til 30/4 then 40 DM. Contact: Thomas Braat, Kommandant-Prendel-Allee 104, O-7027 Leipzig, FRG.
Confuse 92: 12-14 June, Sweden. Contact c/o Bjorklind, Fanjunkaregatan 9, S-582 46 Linkoping, Sweden. KAndrocon: 18-21 June, Noerdlingen, Germany. THIS CONVENTION HAS BEEN CANCELLED.
Protoplasm: 19-21 June, Manchester, UK. Att. œ 14. Contact: 1 Shoesmith Court, Merchant's Place, Reading, Berks RG1 1DT, UK.
Lituanicon-92: 25-28 June, Kaunas, Lithuania. Lectures, discussions, films, masquerade, banquet. Contact SF club 'Dorado', Planetarium, Ukmerges 12a, 232005, Vilnius, Lithuania.
Atlantykron SF Creation Camp: July/August, nr. Cernavoda, Constanta, Romania. Fan camp: writer's workshop/relaxcon on island, some accomm or bring tent. 2 weeks notice to Str. M Sadoveanu, nr. 10, bl.10, ap.2, Loc. Cernavoda, Jud. Constanta Cod. 8625, Romania (tel. 912-37705).
Sucidava SF fan camp: late July (1 week), nr. Cernavoda, Romania. Accomm on boat or in tents, spartan. Contact: Federatia Nationala de Tineret pentru Science-Fiction Stiinta Prospectiva si Impactul cu Viitorul, Calea Grozavesti, No 82, Sector 6, Bucuresti, Romania. (These two last may be different reports of the same event, then again they may not...)
Komarinaya Plesh (Mosquito Spot): 1-31 July, Tuzla, Kertch, Crimea, Ukraine. Relaxcon Ukrainian style, bring your own tent, food, spoon, plate etc. Annual since 1984, 80-100 attendees. Contact: "Poslezavtra" Club, c/o Andrey Tzemenko, Borzenko 25-45, 334514 Kertch, Ukraine. PLEASE NOTE, THE ISLAND OF TUZLA IS IN THE PROCESS OF BEING PRIVATISED. THE ORGANISERS HOPE TO RENEW THE CONTRACT, BUT DON'T JUST TURN UP ON THE OFF CHANCE.
Polcon'92: 2-5 July, Bialystok, Poland. Polish national convention: films, panels, masquerade, live action role-playing game. Cost 50,000 zl. (may rise with inflation) Contact: Polcon, Podlaskie Towartzystwo Milosnikow Fantastyki, ul. Piastowska 11a, D.K. 'Zacheta', 15-207, Bialystok, Poland. (Closing date for membership was 31st January 1992! – 'tho they might still be able to squeeze the odd person in)
5th SF Days NRW: 4-5 July, Duesseldorf, Germany. GOH Brian Aldiss. 30 DM. Contact: Heinrich Spork, Am Sonnenberg 38, 4630 Bochum 5, FRG. (NOTE COA)
Hobbit Games: end July-early August, Baskir taiga near Ufa, Russia. The usual Dosheletz relaxcon will be replaced by these open air live action games – these are for ordinary SF fans not specialists. Bring own tent etc. Contact Azat Ismagilov, pr-t Oktyabrya 65/4-44, 450083 Ufa, Russia.
Norcon 11: 7-9 August, Oslo, Norway. Contact: Norcon 11, c/o Ellen T. Anderson, Waldemar Thranes gt. 62 B, N-0173 Oslo 1, Norway.
Phantastische Tage 1992: 7-9 Aug Hannover, FRG. Contact: IGPT, c/o Sven-Olaf Gloege, Graudenzer Weg 17, W-3000 Hannover 51, FRG.
Hungaricon'92: 8-10 August, Hungary. Contact: Hungaricon'92, c/o Vega SF Society, Box 514, Budapest 5H-1374, Hungary.
Fantastika'92: 14-16 August, Stockholm, Sweden. Contact address unknown, try: c/o Bjorklind, Fanjunkaregatan 9, S-58246 Linkoping, Sweden.
HamaCon: 21-23 August, Yokohama, Japan. Contact: Hamacon, 37-1-607 Imaikami-machi, Nakahara-ku Kawasaki-shi, 211 Japan (Fax +81-44-733-3603)
French national convention: 3-6 September, Redu, Belgium. Held in the Belgian Hay on Wye! Contact: Serge Delsemme, 8 rue des Vingt-Deux, B4000, Liege, Belgium.
Magicon: 3-7 September, Orlando, USA. Contact: Peter Weston, 14 St. Bernard's Road, Sutton Coldfield, W. Midlands, B72 1LE, UK.
Parcon: 4-6 September, Ostrava, Czechoslovakia. (Czechoslovak National Convention) Contact: SF klub KLF, Jiri Pilch, Svazacka 17/2205, 704 00 Ostrava-Zabreh, Czechoslovakia. (This is the address for the club, not the con, but the message should get through)
Chumatsky Shlyah: 1-4 October, Kiev, Ukraine. Ukrainian National Convention. Contact: Alexander Vasilkovsky, Poste Restante, General PO, 252001, Kiev-1, Ukraine.
Octocon: 17-18 October, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. Contact: Helen Ryder, 30 Beverley Downs, Templeogue, Dublin 16, Ireland.
Beneluxcon: Late November, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Contact: Larry van der Putte, Kotter 5, 1186 WH Amstelveen, Netherlands.
Nordcon: 3-6 December, Gdansk, Poland. Large Polish con, films, panels, live action role-playing, etc. Fully inclusive cost for westerners for the weekend US$ 84. Contact: Gdanski Klub Fantastyki, PO Box 76, 80-325 Gdansk 37, Poland.
Dracon: early December, Dum rekreace, nr Brno Lake Dam, Brno, Czechoslovakia. One of the major Czech cons, a yearly event. Contact: Dracon, P.O. Box 36, 612 00 Brno, Czechoslovakia.
Helicon: Eurocon'93: 8-12 April, Hotel de France, St Helier, Jersey, UK. Contact: Helicon, 63 Drake Road, Chessington, Surrey, KT9 1LQ, UK.
Intercon'93: 6-8 August, Oslo, Norway. Contact: Intercon'93, Postboks 121 vinderen, N-0319 OSLO 3, Norway.K French national convention: 27-29 August, Orleans, France. Theme "Women and SF". Contact: Danielle Martinigol, 1 rue Gabrielle-Jaillard, F91070 bondoufle, France.
Confrancisco: 3-6 September, San Francisco. (Worldcon) Contact: Confrancisco, PO Box 22097, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA.
Conadian: Winnipeg, Canada. (Worldcon) Contact: H. McCarthy, 147 Francis Rd., London, E10 6NT, UK.
Fans Across the World: the current people involved are: Bridget Wilkinson (coordinator), Cyril Simsa (Czechoslovak contact), Maureen Speller, Roger Robinson, Karen Kelly, Colin Fine, Steve Linton, Rob Meades, James Steel (artist), Piotr Cholewa. Volunteers urgently sought, also offers of money, books, addresses, overseas conventions. Thanks to Nicolae Ariton, Alexander Vasilkovsky, Catalin Grosu, Roelof Goudriaan, John Stewart, Barbara Stewart, Bernie Peek, Alexandru Mironov, Christina Scull, Marcus Rowland, Cyril Simsa, Rhodri James, Oliver Gruter, Hermann Ritter, and others for help and information.