Honorary President John Brunner
B. Wilkinson, 17 Mimosa, 29 Avenue Road, Tottenham, N15 5JF, Great Britain
In an edition in the spring I noted that Germany appeared likely to have more SF conventions in 1992 than Britain. Not only was that true for 1992, it also appears to be very likely for 1993 (see over). This is partly because it is a bigger country, but also may be signs of overambition on the part of British conrunners.
Many of the German cons are smaller than ours, they use cheaper premises, they rely on people staying with friends – rather than paying for expensive hotel rooms, they also have a lower level of organisation. This has both good and bad sides. It is quite possible for a convention of under a hundred people to be organised by a handful of fans with little outside help, and indeed many (not all) of the German cons are run in this manner by local groups with visiting fans simply enjoying the fun. Yes, when problems occur they may be more difficult to deal with, but you don't get the feeling that there are more people running the convention than going to it. Even, that it is more important that the programme runs on time than that it contains anything worth going to.
A persistent feature of recent British cons has been the redundant Green Room, the redundant Ops Room. Yes, efficiency is worth having – but is this efficiency? and at what cost? Why are a large section of fans coming to cons, not to see the programme but simply to run the con, leaving a programme that barely goes through the motions? Sure, the past didn't work, but what have we got now?
Still, on to next year. Germany is flourishing but will host no really large convention, the SF Days NRW are probably the most accessible (both in geographical and linguistic terms) to British fans. Lituanicon will clash with Parcon, this is unfortunate. Intercon will clash with Finncon, this is daft. Finncon hopes for 4000 despite this, so we aren't the only country with large cons (neither are we the only country with few of them for that matter).
Helicon will be the first major convention of the season. May and June are again the most popular months, though November/early December is also frequently chosen (I will expect another Chumatsky Shlyah, at least two Romanian conventions and probably one or more German conventions to appear in the meantime). Despite the Intercon/Finncon clash and the placing of the French National Convention and Deepseacon opposite ConFrancisco, August is again very quiet, July even more so, though Russian, Ukrainian and Romanian SF camps will almost certainly take place during this period. I have yet to hear anything from Poland.
High points? Helicon, Confuse, SF Days, either undergo binary fission for Lituanicon/Parcon or give up, Intercon/Finncon likewise. Deepseacon becomes local, but going to Orleans would probably be cheaper than buying two Harwich-Hook fares. Good travelling!
SF publishing in Britain is fairly severely depressed, going on the new issues noted in The Bookseller. Given that fantasy and "slipstream" are often missing, and definitions are fuzzy, the situation is probably bad rather than dire.
Also, the fan reading this newsletter will have access to specialists selling American and second hand books they didn't get in the past.
Catching up on the past was something I talked about with fans in Czechoslovakia and Romania this year. An attitude in Romania was that they had to catch up on the past before they could fully participate in the future (though the idea of recapitulating Hugo Gernsback makes my blood run cold, and anyway they re-ran a version of our 60s during the 80s), while the Czech attitude (very roughly) was that our liking for old Heinlein and Asimov was nostalgia, their readers couldn't tolerate astrogators using slide rules or log tables.
This was brought home again by a list of the Romanian publications of 1991, it included 1984, We and several Rosny Aines ('tho our old friend copyright no doubt has a part to play here too), 1992 saw Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and other more modern works, but also included Animal Farm... They'll probably overtake us in about three years...
Cosmos 2000, 17 rue de l'Arc de Triomphe, 75017 Paris, France
FNAC Montparnasse, 136 rue de Rennes, Paris, France
FNAC Forum, 1 rue Pierre Lescot, Paris, France. (Very good SF department, including some English language)
Ailleurs, 28 rue Pharon, 31000 Toulouse, France
Malpertuis, 18 rue des Eperonniers, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Brentano's, 37 avenue de l'Opera, 75002, Paris, France. (Tel. 42 61 52 50). (Brentano's is launching an SF club – 50 francs for life membership).
Tea and Tattered Pages, 24 rue Mayet 75006, Paris Metro Duroc, Paris, France. (Tel. 40 65 94 35). Second hand bookshop with an SF section.
(Information from Jean Pierre Moumon and Pierre Jean Brouillaud. More needed!)
Interpresscon'93: February, St Petersburg. Details t.b.a.
Pentatonic: 5-7 February, Weston-Super-Mare, UK. Filk con. Contact: Pentatonic, 3 West Shrubbery, Redland, Bristol BS6 6SZ, UK.
Helicon: Eurocon'93: 8-12 April, Hotel de France, St Helier, Jersey, UK. Cost UKP25. Contact: Helicon, 63 Drake Road, Chessington, Surrey, KT9 1LQ, UK.
Smofcon: 16-18 April, St Helier, Jersey. Conrunner's con. Contact: see Helicon.
Italcon: 29 April-2 May, Italy. Contact: Adolfo Organti, Cooperativa Il Cerchio, Via Cairoli 85, I-47037 Rimini, Italy (0541)786382
Saarcon: 8-9 May, Merzig, Germany. Contact: Arno Weber, Harlingerweg 32, 6640 Merzig, FRG. (06861) 75062
Lausitzcon: 21-23 May, Hoyerswerda/Woyerecy, Germany. Contact: Stefan Bielewald, O-Nagel-Strasse 50, D-O-7700 Hoyerswerda, FRG.
Mexicon: 28-31 May, Scarborough, UK. Contact: Mexicon V, c/o Bernie Evans, 121 Cape Hill, Smethwick, Warley, Westmidlands, B66 4HS, UK.
ColoniaCon: 30-31 May, Cologne, Germany. Contact: Achim Mehnert, Mauritiussteinweg 1, 5000 Koeln 1, FRG.
Confuse: 11-13 June, Linkoeping, Sweden. Contact: ConFuse, c/o Bjoerklind, Fanjunkaregatan 9, S-58246 Linkoeping, Sweden. (13)274463
Lituanicon: 24-27 June, Kaunas, Lithuania. Contact: Rolandas Maskoliunas, Siaures pr 29-13, Kaunas 42, Lithuania.
Parcon: Czechoslovak national con: 25-27 June 1993, Sumperk, Czechoslovakia. Contact: SFK Makropulos, Petr Konupcik, Na Vyhlidce 1, 787 01 Sumperk, Czechoslovakia.
6th SF days NRW: 3-4 July, Duesseldorf, Germany. Contact: Heinrich Sporck, Am Sonnenberg 38, W-4630 Bochum 5, FRG.
Tulum: 5-9 July, Zagreb, Croatia. Enquire before going to: Krsto Mazuranic, D Zokalja 1, 41430 Samobor, Croatia.
Intercon'93: 6-8 August, Oslo, Norway. Contact: Intercon'93, Postboks 121 vinderen, N-0319 OSLO 3, Norway.
Finncon'93: 7-8 August, Helsinki, Finland. Panels, films, masquerade, bar etc. topics: SF, fantasy, horror, books, comics, RPGs etc. NO membership fee. GOHs Terry Pratchett & Bryan Talbot. Programme mostly in Finnish. Crash space in homes for foreign fans if good notice given. Contact: Toni Jerrman, Viljelijantie 4-6 D 103, 00410 Helsinki, Finland.
French national convention: 27-29 August, Orleans, France. Theme "Women and SF". Contact: Danielle Martinigol, 1 rue Gabrielle-Jaillard, F91070 bondoufle, France.
Deepseacon: 27-29 August, Hamburg-Harwich-Hamburg on luxury cruiser "Hamburg". c. 150 DM attending, inc. journey & cabin. Contact: Ralf Lorenz, Kottwitzstrasse 38, 2000 Hamburg 20, Germany. (NOTE DATE CHANGE)
Confrancisco: 3-6 September, San Francisco. (Worldcon) Contact: Confrancisco, PO Box 22097, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA.
Wetzlarer Tage: 9-12 September, Wetzlar, Germany. Contact: Magistrat der Stadt Wetzlar, Postfach 2120, D-W-6330 Wetzlar 1, FRG. (06441) 405-570, fax (06441) 405-395
Frustcon: 1-3 October, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. Contact: Uwe Mayer, Bahnhofstrasse 5, D-W-7333 Ebersbach, FRG. (07 163) 6996
Hansecon: 28 October-1 November, Luebeck, Germany. Contact: Eckhard D. Marwitz, Postfach 1524, D-W-2070 Ahrensburg, FRG. (04531) 86106
Novacon: 5-7 November, Birmingham, UK. Contact: Bernie Evans, 121 Cape Hill, Smethwick, Warley B66 4SH, UK.
Con-Yak: 26-28 November, Amsterdam, Netherlands. (BeneluxCon) f45 'til 1/2/93, f60 'til 3/10/93 (CRC f25) Contact: Richard Vermaas, James Wattstraat 13, 1097 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands.
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 111, 612 00 Brno, Czechoslovakia. fax(05)755639
Nordcon: early December, Gdansk, Poland. Large Polish con, films, panels, live action role-playing, etc. Contact: Gdanski Klub Fantastyki, PO Box 76, 80-325 Gdansk 37, Poland.
Sou'wester: 1-4 April, Liverpool, UK. (Eastercon) Contact: 3 West Shrubbery, Redland, Bristol BS6 6SZ, UK.
Comeback-Con: 30 Apr-1 May, Antwerp, Belgium. (BeneluxCon '94) BF650 'til 31.12.93, BF750 'til 31.3.94 (CRC BF400). Contact: Alfons J Maes, Zankdapelweg 18, B-2200 Noorderwijk, Belgium (tel. 014/26 14 45)
Hamburg Phantastic: 3-5 June, Hamburg, Germany. Contact: Achim Sturm, Woltersburger Muhlenweg 10, DW-3110 Uelzen 5, FRG.
Mutation: 1st weekend in July, Teplice, Czechoslovakia. (Parcon'94: Czechoslovak National Con) Candidate for the 1994 Eurocon. Contact: Frantisek Hlous, SFK Duna, Leninova 233, 417 31, Teplice-Novosedlice, Czechoslovakia.
Conadian: Winnipeg, Canada. (Worldcon) Contact: Unknown at present, try the Instersection address, it should get through.
Intersection: Glasgow, UK. (Worldcon) Contact: Intersection, c/o Bernie Evans, 121 Cape Hill, Smethwick, Warley, Westmidlands, B66 4HS, UK.
Fans Across the World the current people involved are: Bridget Wilkinson (coordinator), Fiona Anderson (Treasurer), Cyril Simsa (Czechoslovak contact), Maureen Speller, Roger Robinson, Karen Kelly, Rob Meades, James Steel (artist) and Piotr Cholewa. Volunteers urgently sought, also offers of money, books, addresses, overseas conventions, and other news. Thanks to: Catalin Grosu, Pierre Jean Brouillaud, Toni Jerrman, Aurel Carasel, Dan Mazilu, Gintaras Aleksonis, Roelof Goudriaan, Fiona Anderson, Roger Robinson, Alexander Vasilkovsky, Yuri Savchenko, Mike & Alison Scott, Gediminas Beresnevicius and Eva Hauser.