Seacon '79 (37th Worldcon)

(Don - 11th)[Don - 5th Worldcon]

1979: August 23-27

Metropole Hotel, Brighton, England

GOH (British): Brian Aldiss
GOH (American): Fritz Leiber
Fan GOH: Harry Bell
Toastmaster: Bob Shaw

Attendance: 3114

In Don's memory, Seacon '79 is inseparable from his first trip to London (as an adult). He enjoyed the con immensely...but it paled in comparison to the excitement of being free and alone in London.

Seacon '79 was a return, in a way, to the single-track programming of past Worldcons. Each day of the Programme was sponsored by a different British publisher, and the panels were a bit more serious than those at previous Worldcons. The opening ceremonies were stunning: thunderous music, and a screen showing the logos of the other Worldcons of the 70s. Heicon...Noreascon ...LACon...Torcon 2...DisCon II...AussieCon...MidAmeriCon... SunCon...IguanaCon...and then, with the greatest fanfare of all, Seacon '79!

The Star Wars folks were showing film clips from The Empire Strikes Back, and Christopher Reeve from Superman was actually at the con.

At Seacon '79 Don got Arthur C. Clarke to sign his copy of The Fountains of Paradise. He also got a John Brunner autograph for a friend at home.

The art show contined one of Don's all-time favorite cartoons: A Star Wars Imperial Stormtrooper walking along with a face-hugger from Alien clinging to his faceplate. He's thinking to himself: "'Sure, I'll walk your pet, Lord Vader.' Me and my big mouth."

Brian Aldiss was the host for an evening dance; the music was good, Aldiss' jokes were great, and the dancing was fine. Later, Don passed by the film room, where he saw a sign cautioning: "DUCK DOWN. Projector beam is carrier for a 4000 watt microwave laser, so you better DUCK."

On Sunday afternoon Don went to a local pub for a "Gay Fans" meeting. The total attendance (six people) voted that Worldcons needed more gay programming, and appointed an American fan to take care of it for Noreascon II. Guess who was the only American there?

The most inspiring part of the con was a speech by Theodore Sturgeon, who explained his philosophy of "ask the next question."

The "In Memoriam" page listed Richard C. Meredith, Eric Frank Russell and Mort Weisinger.

Early Tuesday morning Don caught a train back to London, and then to Heathrow where he said goodbye to England for eight years.