B. Wilkinson, Ground Floor Flat, 8 West Avenue Road, Walthamstow, E17 9SE, Great Britain
bjw[at]cix.compulink.co.uk fax: 0181-925-7126
'At the Edge of Empire' was the first ever SF con in Portugal. It took place in the seaside resort of Cascais, near Lisbon, in late September right at the end of the summer holiday season. Guests and participants included many of the usual suspects: David Pringle, Christopher Priest, Brian Aldiss, Joe Haldeman, Joan Vinge, Charles Brown, Pierre-Jean Brouillaud, Jaroslav Olsa, and others.
The talks etc, took place in the town theatre, recently restored, while two marquees on the main square down by the seashore held book stalls, a cybercafe (no coffee...), a role playing games workshop run by the importers, Magic (the card game) sessions also run by the importers, videos, Manga, and other items. As far as I could ascertain, entrance was free! The meeting had been sponsored by the local council and the dealers in the tents. Both sides seemed to be very happy with the arrangement: the computers, games, and other items were always full – well, that's one way to get rid of the kids when they get bored with the beach... This meant lots of sales for the dealers who were looking forward to the next year and talking about increasing their sponsorship!
Panels also included some of the usual topics – how to keep Portuguese authors in print, how to hold back the onslaught of Anglo-American SF, etc. Despite their fears, they are actually doing a better job at this than many other European countries – having a second readership in Brazil may be a help here, despite Brazil's poverty.
One of the items available at the con was a Portuguese/English dos-a-dos anthology of local short stories, one of which had a nastiness that I still cannot get out of my head. The translations were excellent, often an Achilles heel of such compilations,... quite a shame that they didn't bother to mention who'd done them!
Apart from the 'dealers room in a tent', by far the most striking item was the 'art show'. Errm..., Well..., there were some dungeons below a fortress, some distance from the theatre, along the side of the harbour. Some fantastical/surrealist artists had set up displays in the coaverns and passages in the rock, lit by the odd bulb and candle. Not for the unfit, as the passages descended and descended. Items included bulls head masks, naked human hindquarters buried in sand, skeletons in S&M fetishistic garments, and other weird images, many of a type which would have the British tabloid press foaming at the mouth... I'm glad I didn't miss it.
Cascais intends to repeat the festival. The cheapest way to do it from Britain (and elsewhere?) would be to take a package holiday in Cascais itself, or in Estoril which is in easy commuting distance by train, and spend some time in Lisbon, some on the beach, and some at the con.
Hispacon: Spanish national Con, 4-6 October, Burjassot, Spain. GoH: Joe Haldeman. Toastmaster: Gay Haldeman. Contact: Hispacon, c/o PO Box 2061, Principado de Andorra (e-mail: bemjmo[at]filnet.es)
Octocon: 12-13 October, Dublin, Ireland. Att. 16IP 'til 16/10, then 20IP. Contact: 30 South Circular Road, Dublin 8, Eire (tel. +353-1-453-9502, email: mmmchugh[at]tcd.ie)
Penta-Con: 18-20 October, Dresden, Germany. Att. 30DM 'til 15/9, 35DM after. Contact: Carsten Hohlfeld, Herbststr. 20, 01139 Dresden, Germany (tel. +49-(0) 1723586447, fax +49(0)351-2752834)
Masque 4: Costume Convention, 18-20 October, West Bromwich, UK. Att. 25UKP 'til 9 April, then 30UKP. Cheques payable: "Masque Four" Contact: Alan Cash, 130 Hamstead Hall Road, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, B20 1 JB, UK.
Hansecon: 24-28 October, Luebeck, Germany. Contact: Eckhardt Marwitz, Postfach 1524, 22905 Ahrensburg, Germany. (email: edmarwitz[at]texbox.lahn.de)
Novacon 26: 8-10 November, Birmingham, UK. Att. UKP27. Contact: Carol & Tony Morton, 14 Park Street, Lye. Stourbridge, West Midlands, DY9 8SS, UK.
Con-Fetti: 15-17 November, Carlton Beach Hotel, The Hague, Netherlands. GoH Bridget Wood, Martin Lodwijk, Leo Kindt. Att. DFl 55, supp. DFl 20. Contact: Annemarie van Ewijck, Obrechtstraat 4, 2517 VS The Hague, The Netherlands. e-mail: n.veenkamp[at]wkths.nl
Nordcon: 28 November – 1 December, Gdansk, Poland. Att. $10, Accom. $6/night, Food $8/day. Contact: Gdanski Klub Fantastyki, PO Box 76, 80-325 Gdansk 37, Poland (tel. +48-58-531073).
Dracon: 6-8 December 1996, Brno, Czech Republic. Contact: Dracon, PO Box 36, 612 00 Brno, Czech Republic (http://WWW.FI.MUNI.CZ/~ZRUSTEK/DRACON.HTML)
Swancon 22: 24-27 January, Fremantle, Australia. GoH Howard Waldrop, Stephen Dedman & David Cake. Au$60 'til 1/10/96. Contact: PO Box 318 Nedlands WA 6009, Australia
* TrinCon2: 21-23 February, Dublin, Ireland. GoH – vast numbers... Att. 15 IP prebooked, 20 IP on the door. Contact: TrinCon2, 40 Daniel Street, Dublin 8, Ireland. (email: sfsoc[at]maths.tcd.ie, http://www.esc.tdc.ie/-sfsoc/trincon)
9th SF Days NRW: 8-9 March, Dortmund, Germany. Att. 30DM 'til 31/8/96, 35DM 'til 30/11/96, 40DM 'til 28/2/97, 45DM on door. Cheque to: Konto 1555 95-500, BLZ 370 100 50, Postbank Koln. Contact: ScienceFiction Tage NRW Komitee, c/o S. Vockenberg, Hoevelstrasse 46, 45326 Essen, Germany.
* Intervention: Eastercon, 28th-31st March, Liverpool, UK. GoHs: Brian Aldiss, Jon Bing, Octavia E Butler, David Langford. Att. 30 UKP 'til 30/11/96 then 35 UKP 'til 1/3/1997 then 50 UKP, Supp. 20 UKP 'til 30/11/96 then 20 (Cheques payable to 'Intervention') *NO* on the door memberships for security reasons. Membership closes 17/3/1997. Contact: Intervention, 12 Crowsbury Close, Emsworth, Hants, PO10 7TS, UK. (e-mail: intervention[at]pompey.demon.co.uk, www: http://ds.dial.pipex.com/minerva.tech/interven.htm)
Conspiracy: 18 NZ National SF con, 28-30 March, Wellington, New Zealand. GoH Pat Cadigan. Att. NZ$60/AU$54. Contact: PO Box 10104, Wellington, New Zealand. Email: concom[at]sans.vuw.ac.nz
* SFerakon 97: national con, 20-22 April, Zagreb, Croatia. Theme: Communication. Att. 20$, Contact: Igor Mrkoci, Brace Cvijica 21, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia. (or email: Vlatko Juric-Kokic <vkokic[at]r101.com.hr>)
Ratzecon: SFCD Con & Baltcon. 27-29 July, Ratzeburg, Germany. Att. 30Dm 'til 31/12/96, 35DM in 1997. Contact: Eckh. D Marwitz, Postfach 1524, D-22905 Ahrensburg, Germany. (tel. +49-(0)4531-86106, email: edm[at]texbox.lahn.de, http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepage/EDMarwitz)
2nd Northern Tolkien Festival: 8-10 August, Oslo, Norway. Info: http://www.uib.no/it/pers/edmmb/ntf97/
Lonestarcon 2: 28 August-1 September, San Antonio, TX, USA. Worldcon. Contact: LoneStar 2, Box 27277, Austin, Tx, USA, 78755.
Coachcon: 23&27 October, London-Portmeiron-Dublin-Portmeiron-London, UK/Ireland. SF con on coach to Euro-Octocon. Send SAE. Contact: Dave Lally, 64 Richborne Terrace, London, SW8 1AX, UK.
* Euro-Octocon: (Eurocon) 25-27 October, Dublin, Ireland. Att. 20 IP, Supp. 10 IP Contact: Eurocon'97, PO Box 5130, Dublin 4, Ireland (email: rde[at]irelands-web.ie, http://www.irelands-web.ie/users/rde/eurocon.html)
World Fantasy Con: 31 October-2 November, London, UK. Contact: World Fantasy Con, PO Box 31, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 4YL, UK.
Intuition: Easter, Manchester, UK. Att. 25UKP. Contact: 43 Onslow Gardens, Warrington, Surrey, SM6 9QH, UK. (email: intuition[at]smof.demon.co.uk)
INFINITY: 10-12 July, Cardiff, UK. SF/Media Con. Contact: (SSAE) Swn y Nant, 12 Stuart Street, Treherbert, Treorchy, Wales,
UK, CF42 5PR. (email jonjo[at]hotmail.com, WWW – http://www.cf.ac.uk/ccin/main/ents/sffc/infinity.html)
Bucconeer: 5-9 August, Baltimore, MD, USA. Worldcon. Contact: PO Box 314, Annapolis Junction, MD, 20701, USA.
Fans Across the World Many thanks for information etc. to: Vlatko, Joan Manel Ortiz, John Bark, the Cascais committee, Robert Elliot, Dave Lally, David Stewart, and others for help and information.