From This Never Happens 10, edited by Lilian Edwards and Christina Lake. Reprinted by permission of the authors.
Extract from Rob Hansen's fanhistory for Conspiracy 87.
Chapter 14: After Seacon 79
...as might be expected after an event of such expectation, of such devastation and sheer size, Seacon left the face of British fandom in a very different shape. The romantic liaisons of a weekend had transmogrified into relationships of permanent significance. Bushy-tailed Linda Karrh from New Orleans set up home and quickly married Alan Dorey in a whirlwind con romance and before Alan woke up after the honeymoon in Rochdale she had seized control of the BSFA. She and Alan went on to coedit Matrix which became famous for its wit, biting edge, topicality and spelling mistakes. D. West approached softly spoken California fan Linda Strickler in the foyer of the Metroploe, with the unrefusable invitation "Wanna fuck?" And the rest is history (and dirty diapers). Over the years that followed, D. grew close to Linda Strickler West's teenage son by her previous marriage, Michael Ashley, who mysteriously transformed from a happy hamburger-munching all-American boy to a miserable unemployable sod and editor of the notorious KTF fanzine, The Pepsi Cola of Human Misery.
Jail-bait comics fan Lilian Edwards was swept off her feet by hunky American Rich Coad, giving him the opportunity to fulfill his lifetime's ambition of settling in Britain (and an opportunity to avoid buying leather underpants for Dave Pringle). Before long they were co-editing their Nova-award-winning fanzine with the snappy title This Never was a Piece of Spacejunk. In a fourth Transatlantic coupling, anglophile Rochelle Reynolds found her British stud in Joseph Nicholas, whose subsequent fan activity was drastically reduced by the pressures of creating and bringing up their three children Che, Sandinista and Justin.
In sharp contrast to all this coital turmoil, Greg Pickersgill and Simone Walsh's relationship remained stable during Seacon. Unfortunately in early 1980, they were forced by Simone's career development to move to Glasgow, delivering a body blow to London fandom, and introducing Simone to the charms of fresh-faced convention dynamo Ian Sorensen. The attraction could not be denied and, in 1981, they moved in together.
Glasgow fandom was in a vibrant state post-Seacon, due primarily to the efforts of the easy-going Bob (reproduction) Shaw and his good friend Jimmy Robertson, who had already begun to co-edit the seminal fannish fanzine Celtic 4 Tappen 23, named after a well-known football score. Aided by the arrival of Greg and Simone, and the improved opportunities in the Scottish information technology explosion, brought about by the initiatives of the David Own led Labour government, which swept to victory over Maggie's defeat in the Pitcairn Islands war, Glasgow had become the hub of fandom Every Eastercon after 1980 was held there, with the exception of the disastrous Yorcon II which was responsible for the bankruptcy of treasurer Simon Ounsley.
The only opposition to Glasgow as a centre of fanzine andom in the immediate post-Seacon period was the activity of the newly revived Fifties fans, attracted back by the ballyhoo surrounding Seacon. Walt Willis began publication of his frequent and well-punctuated newszine The Enchanted Ansible and Mal Ashworth, as well as getting drunk a lot, published several issues of his fanzine Rot in between frequent and noisy gafiations which were welcomed by his dumpy anti-fannish wife Hazel.
Depressed by the failure of Yorcon II and of the Conservative government to be re-elected, and obsessed by wanderlust, Mike Dickinson took his HGV license hoping for international travel, but could only get a job as a bus driver in Sheffield, where he settled down with Dave Bridges, who had recently won a sex-change operation in a TV Times competition.
The first attempt to revive the British apa was The Women's Periodical, the brainchild of Eunice Pearson, but it unaccountably folded after three issues when someone noticed that all the members were cats. Abi Frost bowed out in disgust with her widely distributed protest zine Cats 3 Lin Morris 0 (named after a well-known Scottish fanzine). It was left to Malcolm Edwards (who had gafiated immediately after Seacon following the surprise appointment of Dave Pringle as Gollancz sf editor, only to be brought back a few years later by a chance meeting with Terry Hill) to restore the fortunes of the apa genre with the highly successful PAPA whose regular contributors incldued budding fannish stars like John Clute, Alan Dorey, Colin Greenland, Andrew Kaveney, Graham James, Simon Ounsley and Dave Pringle. There followed an apa explosion including a shirts apa run by Pam Wells and her washing machine, a beards apa run by the Beccon committee, and a fiction apa called Interzone.
Controversy raged in PAPA over the membership of Dave Bridges, now Deirdre, whose expulsion plunged all fandom into war, until peacemaker Richard Bergeron healed the rift with his placatory fanzine Why don't you all shut up and talk about something else instead? On the crest of the popularity following this, Richard Bergeron was swept to victory in the TAFF race, and on his subsequent trip to Britain he struck up a relationship with trendy socialite Helen Starkey, a long-time admirer of his fanzines. Helen, ever impetuous, threw up her job and flat to return with him to Puerto Rico, but came back two weeks later because she didn't like it very much.
The return TAFF race the following year was won by Owen Whiteoak against the stiff field of Brian Ameringen, Brian Burgess and Brian Stableford. Swept to victory by the anti-Brian vote, he toured America an won the heart of ballsy Armenian Avedon Carol. In 1985, interest in TAFF dipped with the election of all-around popular fan Martha Beck, only to swell again the following year with the race between trufan Simon Ounsley and Greg Pickersgill. Greg, following the departure of Simone into the arms of Ian, had found solace with Ian's old girlfriend, Anne Page, and had become closely involved with costume fandom. He was a focal point at media cons, usually dressed as Conan the Barbarian and hitting people over the head with his sword. In a close-fought competition, Greg won narrowly on the back of the U.S. constume voe, causing widespread disaffection with TAFF and the fannish community.
GUFF was always an anticlimax compared to TAFF, especially as it only ran once in the entire post-Seacon period. There was an attempt in 1982, but the money ran out in Hawaii and the unfortunate seventeen Australians had to thumb a lift home with Douglas Adams. The British-Australian race, won by Malcolm Edwards, was more successful, and resulted in another foreign liaison with elfin Tolkien fan Judith Hanna. They settled in Canberra and took to putitng out enormous quantities of very boring blue fanzines.
Back in Britain fandom was still dominated by the Glasgow axis. In an attempt to revive the fortunes of London fannish fandom, the newly married couple Pam Wells and Rob Hansen (me) began to publish PULP, the first weekly fanzine, with regular fanzine reviews from mealy-mouthed Martyn Taylor. On the convention front, Caroline Mullan and her paramour Geoff Ryman (the notorious ladies man and unpublished sword-and-sorcery writer) started the popular series of Chilicons, inspired by their love of Mexican food, which were intended to reintroduce the ingredients of charades and other silly games which had been lacking in the more literary-based Glasgow programmes. Meanwhile Simon Ounsley and Christina Lake got married because they hadn't done much of anything else, and co-edited the also Nova-award-winning fanzine This Still Never Happens.
Which brings us bang up to date with Conspiracy, known to our Russian friends as BoringConNothingToDoWithDissidentsAtAllHonestComradeCon (or ComradeCon for short, named after a little-known Welsh convention) and in the capable hands of the Glasgow mafiosi, led by Simone Walsh, Ian Sorensen and their three charming daughters...