ConSpiracy '87 (45th Worldcon)

(Don - 49th)[Don - 12th Worldcon]

(Thomas - 37th)[Thomas - 4th Worldcon]

1987: 27 August - 1 September

Brighton Centre & Metropole Hotel
Brighton, England


Doris Lessing (UK)
Alfred Bester (US)
Arkady & Boris Strugatsky (USSR)
Ray Harryhausen (Film)
Jim Burns (Art)

Fan GOH:

Ken & Joyce Slater
Dave Langford

Attendance: 5300

The ConSpiracy, like SeaCon '79, was not just a Worldcon -- it was a Trip To England. Still, Thomas and Don were among 5300 fans who interrupted their vacation to go to Brighton for Worldcon.

We stayed at the Metropole, which had gone downhill since 1979. The lovely large rooms had been cut in half and now looked like something out of any Holiday Inn. Most of the programme was held down the street at the Brighton Conference Centre, which looked like every other convention center.

The entire con had an "unfocused" feel about it. People were scattered in hotels up and down the beach, the programme and events were haphazard, and the committee gave off a general feeling of being overwhelmed.

Alfred Bester, US GOH, was not able to make the con due to his poor health.

The daily newsletter, Plot, featured the following: "Local hostelries unlikely to receive personal recommendations from Conspiracy '87 members include the Devil's Head, where tourists were 'entertained' by a beerglass throwing contest on Wednesday evening . . ." "Although they may seem to do their best to hide them, the Metropole has several toilets for both men and women . . ." and " . . . author Iain Banks was enjoying a room party nearby, and in an excess of enthusiasm decided to scale the south face of the hotel. The police, not unnaturally, thought this was not a good idea. When last seen, Banks was being led away calling out: 'It was me, guv! I did it!'"

Despite some potential problems with late arrival of North American site-selection ballots, both committees (L.A. and Holland) agreed to abide by the official results -- so Holland won the 1990 Worldcon.

The Masquerade Friday night was a disaster -- the food was awful (cold chicken in plastic containers) and the view from the floor terrible (the stage wasn't elevated, so the audience "saw" the costumes through a sea of heads). Thomas competed in his family's coat of arms. After the Masquerade was a concert by Hawkwind, Michael Moorcock's band. It was . . . er . . . loud.

The Hugos went to Orson Scott Card for Speaker for the Dead, Aliens for Dramatic Presentation, and Terry Carr as Professional Editor. Karen Joy Fowler won the Campbell Award.

The In Memoriam page of the programme book lists Chesley Bonestell, Judy-Lynn Del Rey, Frank Herbert, Robert Holmes, L. Ron Hubbard, Thomas Scortia, Manly Wade Wellman, Terry Carr, Vernell Coriell, Gardner Fox, James Tiptree Jr., Patrick Troughton, Richard Wilson, and altogether too many others.

Don has a feeling that the ConSpiracy committee had planned for about 3000 fans, similar to SeaCon '79; instead they got 5300 and things seemed to go to pieces. As we'll see, this was to be a common thread in subsequent Worldcons . . . .

ConSpiracy Photo Gallery


Thomas on his way to the con.


Don playing in the water on Brighton Beach.


The lovely Hotel Metropole.


The (less) lovely Brighton Centre.


Thomas as Luke with an unidentified X-Wing Pilot.

Outside the Brighton Centre: (l-r) Dave Schirmer, Thomas, Henry Vivien-Neal, and Strider Pineo.


Dennis Glasser (in red) and Thomas (in coat of arms) with some other contestants in the Masquerade.

Evelyn C. Leeper's ConSpiracy report