Eastercon

Tagged: Community | Fan

The generally used nickname, originating in Fan Language, of the UK national sf Convention. This is traditionally held over the Easter bank holiday weekend, though not in the early years. In fact the first event in the consensus list below took place on a single day of the slightly later Whitsun holiday weekend, 15 May 1948, and although the 1949 event was genuinely an Eastercon, Whitsun was the usual choice until 1955. After that year, Easter became the invariable date. There was no 1950 event.

British conventions prior to the main listing were held in Leeds in 1937, London in 1938 and 1939, Leicester ("Midvention") at Easter 1943, and London again ("Eastercon") in 1944. The last of these is the first for which a guest of honour is recorded – Professor A M Low – although in fact he was unable to attend.

For decades, the location of Eastercon was traditionally chosen by vote at the previous year's convention. In 1987, Worldcon-style bidding – two years in advance – was introduced, since many prospective organizers felt a longer run-up time was necessary for proper preparation. Unlike the Worldcon, Eastercon has no written constitution or formal rules, and transfer of responsibility from one committee to the next is regulated only by custom and goodwill. However, the Term "Eastercon" has been trademarked (by an individual, since there is no permanent organizing body) for fear of its pre-emption by commercial interests.

Some Eastercon names or nicknames were acquired retrospectively: the London "Coroncon" of 1953 was not at that time named for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and the Birmingham "Brumcon" of 1959 was not so called until its 1965 successor Brumcon II was mooted. The traditional numbering of Eastercons, reflected in the 1971 name "Eastercon 22", proved to have gone astray by this time, since owing to imperfect records the 1957 event (the third of four held in the same town and hotel) was thought not to have taken place. The numbering anomaly was overcome by recognizing the 1951 London event (named for the Festival of Britain) as the international convention it actually was rather than the UK Eastercon it had been listed as, so 1971's convention could still be called Eastercon 22. The 1951 event was in fact a proto-Eurocon: names considered for it beforehand had included "Eucon" and "the European International Convention". The 1958 Harrogate "Ronvention" was named for its chairman, Rob Bennett.

Attendance was initially very small – about fifty people in 1948 – but has generally risen over the years; the highest recorded figure is something over 1700 in 1984, when the convention was combined with the pan-European Eurocon. No Eastercon was held in Scotland until the 1980 Glasgow convention, and the event first went offshore to the Channel Islands (Jersey) in 1989. So far there has never been an Eastercon in either Northern Ireland or Wales; the 2017 event was initially scheduled for Cardiff but had to be cancelled.

Awards traditionally presented at Eastercon include the British Science Fiction Association Awards and the Doc Weir Award; the latter, named for a once prominent UK fan, is given for services to Fandom or Convention-running which fall outside the scope of normal sf awards. [DRL]

Eastercons and their guests

  • 1948: Whitcon (London) – A Bertram Chandler
  • 1949: Loncon (London) – William F Temple
  • 1951: Festivention (London) – Forrest J Ackerman, Wendayne Ackerman, Lyell Crane
  • 1952: Loncon (London) – no known guest
  • 1953: Coroncon (London) – no known guest
  • 1954: Supermancon (Manchester, England) – John Russell Fearn
  • 1955: Cytricon (Kettering, Northamptonshire) – no known guest
  • 1956: Cytricon II (Kettering, Northamptonshire) – no known guest
  • 1957: Cytricon III (Kettering, Northamptonshire) – no known guest
  • 1958: Cytricon IV (Kettering, Northamptonshire) – no known guest
  • 1959: Brumcon (Birmingham, England) – Kenneth F Slater
  • 1960: London (London) – John Carnell, Don Ford
  • 1961: LXIcon (Gloucester, Gloucestershire) – Kingsley Amis
  • 1962: Ronvention (Harrogate, North Yorkshire) – Tom Boardman
  • 1963: Bullcon (Peterborough, Cambridgeshire) – Edmund Crispin
  • 1964: RePetercon (Peterborough, Cambridgeshire) – E C Tubb
  • 1965: Brumcon II (Birmingham, England) – Harry Harrison
  • 1966: Yarcon (Yarmouth, Norfolk) – Ron Whiting
  • 1967: Briscon (Bristol, England) – John Brunner
  • 1968: Thirdmancon (Buxton, Derbyshire) – Kenneth Bulmer
  • 1969: Galactic Fair (Oxford, Oxfordshire) – Judith Merril
  • 1970: Scicon 70 (London) – James Blish
  • 1971: Eastercon 22 (Worcester, Worcestershire) – Ethel Lindsay, Anne McCaffrey
  • 1972: Chessmancon (Chester, Cheshire) – Larry Niven
  • 1973: OMPAcon (Bristol, England) – Samuel R Delany
  • 1974: Tynecon (Newcastle, Tyne and Wear) – Bob Shaw, Peter Weston
  • 1975: Seacon (Coventry, Warwickshire) – Harry Harrison
  • 1976: Mancon 5 (Manchester, England) – Peter Roberts, Robert Silverberg
  • 1977: Eastercon '77 (Coventry, Warwickshire) – John Bush
  • 1978: Skycon (Heathrow, London) – Roy Kettle, Robert Sheckley
  • 1979: Yorcon (Leeds, West Yorkshire) – Graham and Pat Charnock, Richard Cowper
  • 1980: Albacon (Glasgow, Scotland) – Jim Barker, Colin Kapp
  • 1981: Yorcon II (Leeds, West Yorkshire) – Thomas M Disch, David Langford, Ian Watson
  • 1982: Channelcon (Brighton, Sussex) – Angela Carter, John T Sladek
  • 1983: Albacon II (Glasgow, Scotland) – Marion Zimmer Bradley, Avedon Carol, James White
  • 1984: Seacon '84 (Brighton, Sussex) – Pierre Barbet, Waldemar Kumming, Josef Nesvadba, Christopher Priest, Roger Zelazny
  • 1985: Yorcon III (Leeds, West Yorkshire) – Gregory Benford, Linda Pickersgill
  • 1986: Albacon III (Glasgow, Scotland) – Clive Barker, Joe Haldeman, John Jarrold, Pete Lyon
  • 1987: BECCON 87 (Birmingham, England) – Chris Atkinson, Jane Gaskell, Keith Roberts
  • 1988: Follycon (Liverpool, England) – Gordon Dickson, Gwyneth Jones, Greg Pickersgill, Len Wein
  • 1989: Contrivance (St Helier, Jersey) – Avedon Carol, Rob Hansen, M John Harrison, Don Lawrence, Anne McCaffrey
  • 1990: Eastcon (Liverpool, England) – Iain M Banks, Anne Page, SMS (Nigel Kneale was to have been a guest but withdrew before the convention)
  • 1991: Speculation (Glasgow, Scotland) – Robert Holdstock
  • 1992: Illumination (Blackpool, Lancashire) – Geoff Ryman, Paul J McAuley, Pam Wells
  • 1993: Helicon (St Helier, Jersey) – John Brunner, George R R Martin, Karel Thole, Larry van der Putte
  • 1994: Sou'Wester (Liverpool, England) – Diane Duane, Neil Gaiman, Barbara Hambly, Peter Morwood
  • 1995: Confabulation (London Docklands) – Lois McMaster Bujold, Roger Robinson, Bob Shaw
  • 1996: Evolution (Heathrow, London) – Jack Cohen, Colin Greenland, Paul Kincaid, Bryan Talbot, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Vernor Vinge
  • 1997: Intervention (Liverpool, England) – Brian Aldiss, Octavia Butler, David Langford, Jon Bing (see Norway)
  • 1998: Intuition (Manchester, England) – Ian McDonald, Martin Tudor, Connie Willis
  • 1999: Reconvene (Liverpool, England) – Peter S Beagle, John Clute, Jeff Noon
  • 2000: 2Kon (Glasgow, Scotland) – Guy Gavriel Kay, Katherine Kurtz, Deborah Turner-Harris
  • 2001: Paragon (Hinckley, Leicestershire) – Stephen Baxter, Claire Brialey, Lisanne Norman, Mark Plummer, Michael Scott Rohan
  • 2002: Helicon 2 (St Helier, Jersey) – Brian Stableford, Harry Turtledove, Peter Weston
  • 2003: Seacon03 (Hinckley, Leicestershire) – Chris Baker (Fangorn), Christopher Evans, Mary Gentle (unable to attend)
  • 2004: Concourse (Blackpool, Lancashire) – Mitchell Burnside Clapp, Danny Flynn, Sue Mason, Christopher Priest, Philip Pullman
  • 2005: Paragon 2 (Hinckley, Leicestershire) – John Harvey, Eve Harvey, Ken MacLeod, Robert Rankin, Ben Jeapes, Richard Morgan
  • 2006: Concussion (Glasgow, Scotland) – M John Harrison, Brian Froud, Elizabeth Hand, Justina Robson, Ian Sorensen
  • 2007: «Convoy» (Liverpool, England: event cancelled) – Judith Clute, Robin McKinley, Peter Dickinson, Sharyn November
  • 2007: Contemplation (Chester, Cheshire: replacing Convoy as above) – Sharyn November (unable to attend)
  • 2008: Orbital 2008 (Heathrow, London) – Neil Gaiman, Tanith Lee, China Miéville, Rog Peyton, Charles Stross
  • 2009: Eastercon LX (Bradford, West Yorkshire) – Bill and Mary Burns, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, David Lloyd, Dirk Maggs, Tim Powers
  • 2010: Odyssey 2010 (Heathrow, London) – Mike Carey, Fran Dowd, John Dowd, Alastair Reynolds, Liz Williams
  • 2011: Illustrious (Birmingham NEC) – David Weber, Peter F Hamilton, David A Hardy, Vince Docherty
  • 2012: Olympus 2012 (Heathrow, London) – Paul Cornell, George R R Martin, Steph Swainston (who stepped down before the event), Tricia Sullivan (replacing Swainston), Margaret Austin, Martin Easterbrook
  • 2013: EightSquaredCon (Bradford, West Yorkshire) – Walter Jon Williams, Freda Warrington, Anne Sudworth, Edward James
  • 2014: Satellite 4 (Glasgow, Scotland) – John Meaney, Juliet E McKenna, Jim Burns, Alice and Steve Lawson
  • 2015: Dysprosium (Heathrow, London) – Jim Butcher, Seanan McGuire, Herr Döktor, Caroline Mullan
  • 2016: Mancunicon (Manchester, England) – Aliette de Bodard, David L Clements, Ian McDonald, Sarah Pinborough
  • 2017: «Pasgon» (Cardiff, South Wales: event cancelled) – Jo Walton, Judith Clute, Lyndon Evans, David "DC" Carlile
  • 2017: Innominate (Birmingham NEC: replacing Pasgon as above) – Pat Cadigan, Judith Clute, Colin Harris
  • 2018: Follycon (Harrogate, North Yorkshire) – Kieron Gillen, Christina Lake, Nnedi Okorafor, Kim Stanley Robinson
  • 2019: Ytterbium (Heathrow, London) – Frances Hardinge, Sydney Padua, John Scalzi, DC

links

These include the websites of the most recent and forthcoming Eastercons. Older Eastercon websites have as a rule served their purpose and been allowed to lapse.

Previous versions of this entry

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