A MATTER OF CONVENTION
Some few months ago in a valiant attempt to settle the conventional
disagreements that have been making fandom rather an unhappy place,
Vince Clarke brought out, "Initiative Incorporated", a circular
addressed to the folk who do things in British Fandom. The object of
"I.Inc." was to air and settle the grievances about who should hold
the two-day conventions in the years to come, and what system of
voting or rota should be used. Unfortunately, due to the fact that no
two people could agree on any one thing, "I.Inc." was a failure.
However, this question of Convention sites is still to be settled, and
whilst we do not intend to give ST over to comment and argument on the
matter, we should like to know what you think is the answer to the
There you have the three main points that must be decided upon. Let's
have your opinions. As there is nearly half a page of editorial space
remaining, you are now going to get ours. Let it be understood here
that those are the opinions of the Editor, and not necessarily those
of any other member of the Space-Times Staff.
- The London fans, with few exceptions, are against the idea of a
major convention being hold outside London.
- Northern Fans, again with few exceptions, do not believe that they
should have to travel to London every Whitsun and think it only fair
that Conventions should be held elsewhere.
- How should the next Con site be chosen???
At the Convention last year, an announcement regarding the Mancon was
made, at the same time people who lived in London, but who were
prepared to travel up to Manchester for the day, were asked to raise
their hands. Some thirty people did so....YET, only one person from
London actually showed up that day...More aunts died that day than
ever before in history. We agree that (as, several London Fans pointed
out) Manchester is a long way from London. However, we might point
out that it is the same distance both ways... We know, we have attended
the last two London Conventions. The first one we thoroughly enjoyed,
the second tho' was not so hot, most of the visitors from abroad who
helped to make the '51 show go with a swing, were absent in '52. And
the organisers showed themselves to be lacking in new ideas, in fact
not one new idea was instituted at this show. This is one of the
reasons why we are in favour of a different Con' site each year, because
this would (or should) mean a fresh viewpoint each convention.
It has been claimed that London, because it has a large floating body
of Fans (anyone got a pin ?)and SF authors, is the logical place to
hold a convention. That it's the place where all the big names live!!
This is pure hokum. We can think of only eight people in London
sufficiently well-known to deserve this tag. AND, only because we are an
inveterate fan, can we think of those. IF, as is suggested by the London
circle, "It's the big names who attract the fans", then the North
of England Who can muster far more active fans (as has been admitted
by London) and just as many name author, is the obvious site for a
We might mention here that we believe that fans do not go to conventions
just to see the 'high mukka-muks', but rather to meet the people with whom
they correspond and to find out what's new and what can be bought in the
publishing world. The science-fiction reading public (as distinct from rabid
fans) might well attend a conventicn to hear the mighty words from the big
man's lips, BUT to the British reading public the Big Names are King Lang,
Gill Hunt et al. At what convention do you find these names mentioned ??????
Lack of space, rather than invective must now bring this diatribe to a close.
If it has provoked you in any way, I am pleased, because if you are a Fan who
lives in the North, it is as much in your interest as ours that these matters
be decided upon. Or would you rather sit in a chair and just read about
from SPACE TIMES vol 2 no 4 Apr '53