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An autobigraphical note


In 1979 I went to my first convention: Seacon ’79, the third British Worldcon, in Brighton, in 1979.

The man at the till at the London specialist sf bookshop Dark They Were and Golden Eyed said, when I asked for a particular book: “We don’t have it. Try Seacon.”

I was confused. What was a Seacon?

Shortly, I had my answer: a Seacon was a place where all the sf booksellers in the world would gather to sell books. That was enough for me.

So I did not go to my first con for the Guests (Brian Aldiss, Fritz Leiber, and Harry Bell) or the panels. I did not go for the Masquerade, or the film programme, or the Art Show. I did not go to see the Hugos awarded. I did not go to meet fans. I knew nothing about any of these things. I went to Seacon ’79 to buy books.

I found there a Book Room that to my dazed eyes filled a whole great hall, and its gallery, with tables laden with books. And all else that I have done in and around fandom has followed from there.

Including my relationship since 1982 with my partner, Brian Ameringen, who has been trading in second hand sf, fantasy and horror as Porcupine Books since 1997, and at conventions for longer than that.

Including this article.

Including the workshop that we are running at Novacon to discuss these issues and what they mean for sf conventions in the UK. Please come and contribute.



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
21st Nov, 2009 17:22 (UTC)
I've never been to an sf/fantasy con, but that image of a great hall and gallery filled with tables laden with books is my idea of heaven!
Thanks for the friending - have reciprocated. "The Star Beast" is one of my all-time favourite stories, and I adore Nicholas Stuart Grey. Wish he was better known.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


Caroline M

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