By Jonathan Cowie: SF Concatenation’s co-editor, SF fan and my close friend for over four decades, Graham Connor has died.
This is the mini-obit we will be using in the next edition:
Graham Connor, the British physicist and SF fan, has died aged 61. He graduated only with a 2:1 as – not only was this decades before university funding privatisation and its grade inflation – his lecturers said that they did not give firsts to students who never attended their lectures in the final year; though arguably this was another reason he should have received a first. As a result, he had a career in aerospace building communication satellites: it was not rocket science (well it was) and not the career researching gravity he wanted, his physics passion. If ever you have made an international phone call in Europe, then most likely your signal will have gone through a microwave guide designed by Graham onboard the communications satellite. But before that, and since, Graham was an SF enthusiast. He entered fandom, while a student, in 1976. He was a runner-up at the Unicon 1 short story competition (claiming he should have won) and won the short story competition at Unicon 2 (claiming he should have come second against what he considered another’s more worthy story). He was on the committee of a couple of the Hatfield PSFIFA Shoestring cons (now rebranded as Hertfordshire University PSIFA). He was one of the film projectionists for the London area BECCONs of the 1980s and the BECCON Eastercon in 1987. That was the convention that SF² Concatenation was launched with Graham as co-editor: he was the issue editor of its 1989 paper edition. His last major contribution to SF² Concatenation was the creation of the now-running series of articles by scientists who are SF authors on their favourite scientists. He was a regular at Eastercons in the late 1970s though to the 1990s. He attended other conventions including the 1979, 1987, 1990 and 1995 Worldcons and the non-British 1994 Eurocon. In the mid-1990s he began attending Manchester’s Festival of Fantastic Films (founded by a friend of SF² Concatenation, the late Harry Nadler) and attended the Fest most years through to the late 2000s. Following an episode, ill health prevented his attending conventions after 2008. For the past few years, a few old PSIFAns met regularly near his home for a reunion, as did the past couple of years the former BECCON team, and these gave him a convention fan bar experience. We really had hoped for more time with him.