Person Refused Membership by UK Eastercon and Escorted Out by Security

Reports circulated Friday that Dave McCarty had been refused admission to the UK Eastercon being held this weekend. McCarty had posted a flight itinerary to the UK on his Facebook page on March 27.

File 770 contacted the Levitation (UK Eastercon 2024) committee asking if they could confirm the story or put it to rest. Today Farah Mendlesohn, Chair, Levitation 2024 issued the following statement:

On Thursday the Levitation (Eastercon 2024) executive committee was informed that a person, whose presence we believed would cause significant interference with the operations of the convention, was intending to join on the door.

The Levitation (Eastercon 2024) executive committee took the decision to refuse membership to this person. 

An email was sent explaining our decision and referencing our code of conduct which states that we may revoke or refuse membership under these circumstances.  

When this person then chose to enter the convention the next day, we told them that they would not be allowed to buy a membership and asked them to leave the site. They repeatedly refused to do so. We explained that if they did not leave we would ask site security to escort them out. They did not leave, and security did therefore escort them from the premises.

A second person of concern who purchased a membership in 2022 was permitted to remain under specified conditions, and has abided by those conditions.

Farah Mendlesohn

Chair, Levitation 2024

N.B. Levitation is an unincorporated members’ society under UK law, and may refuse membership for any reason other than a person belonging to a protected group. 

The “second person of concern” is believed to be Ben Yalow, who is present at the convention.

2024 LA Vintage Paperback Collectors Show & Sale on 3/17

Many authors will be signing at the 2024 Vintage Paperback Collectors Show. Tim Powers, Larry Niven, Barbara Hambly, Laura Brodian Freas Beraha, John DeChancie, Steven Barnes, Mel Gilden, Craig Miller, Tim Kirk, Gary Phillips and Lisa Morton are just some of the more than 45 authors who will be there. The event takes place Sunday, March 17 at the Glendale Civic Auditorium (1401 Verdugo Rd.) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10. Mark your calendar!

Here is the full slate of guests and scheduled times of appearance.

There will be over 80 dealer tables. Dealers at the show have been spending the year looking in other places for inventory and are bringing their finds to this show to offer them to you.

Here is the list of vendors and a map of where you’ll find them.

Note: Since the following schedule was put together Ann Bannon, Peter Atkins, John Shirley, and Jonathan Maberry have had to cancel.

Loscon 50: “Celebrating 50 Loscons”

Loscon, the annual convention of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society and family reunion of the science fiction reading community, celebrates its landmark 50th event from November 29 to December 1, 2024. The guests of honor are beloved figures in sff community history:

AUTHOR GUEST OF HONOR: Spider Robinson, winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards, known for Telempath, Stardance (with his late wife Jeanne) and the Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon series.

MUSICAL ARTIST GUEST OF HONOR: Kathy Mar, singer, guitarist and songwriter, who shines as the guiding star of KINDNESS. Her indie “filk” works include award winners such as Velveteen, When Giants Walked, and Drink Up The River.

VISUAL ARTIST GUEST OF HONOR: Dr. Laura Brodian Freas Beraha, illustrator, costumer, and Regency dance enabler. Her cover and interior artwork has been published by TSR, The Easton Press, Analog, Weird Tales, and more. Her doctorate is in music education, and she is known to Los Angeles radio audiences as a classical music presenter.

GHOST OF HONOR: Frank Kelly Freas, illustrator of many science fiction books and magazine covers, known to the rest of the world for MAD Magazine’s character Alfred E. Neuman, his art on album covers for Queen and so very much more. He attended Loscon for years until his passing in 2005, and [super] naturally, he haunts us still with his gremlin smile.

FAN GUESTS OF HONOR: Genny Dazzo and Craig Miller, bicoastal fan “power couple” and longtime supporters of the LASFS and Loscon. Genny was a conrunner from New York, working on the early Star Trek conventions there, and moved out west to marry Craig Miller, a power in Loscon from the very start and publicity professional.

Nerd Mafia will return to host a cosplay costume contest for all ages on Saturday.

Loscon is held at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton, on Century Boulevard near Los Angeles International Airport. Weekend memberships are currently available at discounted rates.

For updates, follow Loscon on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and search for #Loscon.

Loscon 50: Nov 29- Dec 1, 2024 Los Angeles area’s longest running Science Fiction Fan Convention. Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel 5711 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

[Based on a press release.]

2024 Jack Williamson Lectureship

The 47th Annual Jack Williamson Lectureship, hosted by Eastern New Mexico University, will be held April 11-13 in Portales, NM with guest of honor Martha Wells and emcee Connie Willis.

  • Martha Wells is a science fiction and fantasy writer.  She has written novels, short fiction, young-adult novels, and non-fiction in addition to tie-in fiction for Star WarsStargate: Atlantis, and Magic: the Gathering. Her work has appeared on the USA Today Bestseller List, the Sunday Times Bestseller List, and the New York Times Bestseller List.  Her novella All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries ( won the Hugo Award for Best Novella, the Nebula Award for Best Novella, and a Locus Award. Artificial Condition: The Murderbot Diaries ( was a Nebula Award finalist, a Locus Award winner, and a Hugo Award winner. Exit Strategy: Network Effect ( was a Nebula Award Winner for Best Novel, a Hugo Award Winner for Best Novel, and The Murderbot Diaries as a whole won a Hugo Award for Best Series. System Collapse (, the seventh book in the Murderbot Diaries series, was released in November 2023. More information about Martha Wells can be found on her website: .
  • Connie Willis has been publishing science fiction and fantasy works for more than 50 years.  After her first novel was published in 1982, she was able to quit her teaching job and become a full-time writer.  She’s won multiple Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards, been inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, and named a Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Grand Master.  Themes in her works include time travel, romantic comedy, history, and Christmas – to name a few.  Her 2016 novel Crosstalk was named one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR. Her most recent novel is The Road to Roswell which was released in June 2023 by Random House. Click here to watch author Melinda Snodgrass interview Connie at the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe in 2017.  Click here to visit Connie’s blog.    

The annual Jack Williamson Lectureship includes a luncheon with presentations by the guest of honor and toastmaster, readings by guest authors, time for book sales and signing, and panel discussions on a variety of science fiction and fantasy topics. All events are open to the public and the luncheon is the only event that requires advance reservations and a fee.

The lectureship, named for the prolific sff author and academic, was established by the university when Dr. Jack Williamson retired from his position as professor of English at Eastern New Mexico University in 1977. Ever since then writers, editors, artists and other speakers have gathered at ENMU every spring to share ideas, insights and their work with students, readers, viewers, creators, collectors and fans.

SFWA Will Hold 2024 Nebula Conference in Pasadena and Online

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association today announced the 2024 Nebula Conference will be held June 6-9 at the Westin in Pasadena, CA and online. Registration will soon begin at

SFWA says the site was chosen “After an exhaustive, cross-country search that involved dozens of hotel proposals”, anticipating the pushback the announcement has already received from several writers who either hoped the site would move around to another part of the country, or feel Southern California sites are too expensive for them. The in-person component of last year’s hybrid event was held in Anaheim, CA, following three consecutive years of virtual Nebula Conferences (2020-2022).

The date chosen for the Nebula Conference also places it on the weekend following the Horror Writers Association’s StokerCon, another event being held in Southern California — in San Diego, from May 30-June 2.

Smofcon 40 Posts Worldcon and Smofcon Bidder Questionnaires

Smofcon 40, a convention for conrunners taking place December 1-3 in Providence, RI asked Worldcon and Smofcon bidders to answer a questionnaire.

The responses have been posted at Smofcon 40’s website. There are direct links below to the answers that have already been returned. Check back there for possible later submissions.

The con will also host a Q&A session on December 2 where bid representatives will make presentations and take questions.

Standing Worldcons

Worldcon bids

Smofcon bids

33rd Festival of Fantastic Films

By SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie: While many in the world’s science fiction community had eyes on from afar this year’s somewhat controversial Worldcon in Chengdu – as many were not there – a far smaller event was taking place in Manchester, Great Britain, with this year’s Festival of Fantastic Films.

It has to be said that in recent years the Fest has been through its trials and tribulations following the sad passing of its co-founder, Harry Nadler. For a number of years his succeeding principal organizer found it difficult to delegate, but at least the Fest continued. When he too passed in 2020, a new, broader committee formed composed of past Fest regulars and the first of this new incarnation of Fests took place in 2021 (the 2020 Fest itself was cancelled due to CoVID lockdown).

Fantastic Film logo 2022

Numbers attending the Fest had dwindled over the years to a few score but the 2022 Fest, under the latest management, saw numbers rise to around 100 – a good trend – and this year’s fest, word had it, saw a further increase to about 150 (a welcome trend continuation).

Yet, even before we knew of the increase in attendance, on arrival we could see that things were a little different. The programme book, compared to what it had been, pre-CoVID, five years ago, was a far superior production: it was a full color, A3 folded to A4, saddle stitched, 20-page affair with all the information you could want (including some welcome statistics to which I’ll refer shortly).

Despite the Fest’s small size there were a good few guests including: actor Andy Nyman (Kick Ass 2); Madeline Smith (actress in countless horrors and Bond’s Live and Let Die cf. the magnetic watch unzipping); Jenny Runacre (actress in many horror films and notably Miss Brunner in The Final Programme adapted from Michael Moorcock’s Jerry Cornelius novel of the same name and which was also screened at the Fest); Jane Wymark (actress in some horrors and Morwenna in the Poldark series as well as Joyce Barnaby in the Midsomer Murders series); David McGillivray (actor, producer, playwright); Toby Hadoke (actor, writer, comedian) and horror author Ramsey Campbell who is the longstanding president of the Fest (his 2022 novel is reviewed here).

Jonathan Cowie with Jenny Runnacre, right.

Of course, all SF film fests have their own respective foci – for example, Sci-Fi London’s forté is recent international, independent SF films – and the Fest of Fantastic Films is vintage horror, with much else of the fantastic film spectrum greatly diminished. Indeed, this last so much so – and in desperate need of a fix of quality, recent SF – Saturday morning saw a few of us abandon the Fest for the nearby Manchester’s IMAX (one of the largest in Europe) to see Gareth Edwards’ (whose break came with his short presented at Sci-Fi London film fest over a decade ago) latest film: the visually stunning, artificial intelligence, war film The Creator.

The Fest’s genre focus was reflected in the short film submissions to this year’s Delta Award competition: 40% horror; 38% fantasy; and 21% science fiction (ignoring figure rounding). (The Delta Award being named after the former Delta SF group that the Fest’s founders, the late Harry Nadler and the still extant, Knight of St. FantonyTony Edwards, belonged to and which made homemade SF shorts, including with SF luminaries such as the author Harry Harrison.)

Short film submissions for the Delta Awards this year came from: Britain; Canada; China; France; Ireland; Italy; Macedonia; Slovenia; Spain; Taiwan; and the USA. The winner of the Delta’s SF category was Sincopat (Spain). That offering looked at a new technology, on the verge of a mass roll-out, which transmitted sound/music directly into the brain. What could possibly go wrong…?

The Best Fantasy Delta winner was Opulence (France) and the Best Horror Family Night (Ireland). The judges’ Norman J. Warren Award (Norman being a cult director who had been a Fest regular) for Best Short in Festival went to the aforementioned Sincopat. The Audience’s Choice Award went jointly to The Script (Macedonia) and Voyagers From Eclipse Sea Coasts (Spain).

The Fest also saw a number of book launches including one about Nigel Kneale’s The Beasts series.

The Beast book launch.

The Fest ended Sunday night following the traditional quiz and curry. However, with the bar having closed, chat continued on in the hotel’s foyer lounge to 01.00 (at which point I retired, what with my stamina having the breaking strain of a chocolate Mars bar) and apparently beyond. The Fest has never embraced the SF convention tradition of the past few decades of having the bar open late on the last night (albeit with reduced staff) for a ‘dead dog party’. (Perhaps this is something the committee could consider for future years and it might encourage a few more to stay on for an extra night, which the hotel itself would like?).

The Fest was undoubtedly a success and has clearly turned a corner in its near one-third of a century history, even if there are a good few rough edges to knock off, including the registration process (reliant on EventBrite with the inherent data protection issues therein – a back-up alternate registration route for the digitally protective minority, as well as those who really do not want to have to create an EventBrite account, would be welcome) and for getting the hotel discount (a good few – a sizeable minority it would seem – didn’t: the linkage between the Fest’s web page and the correct hotel contacts I was told seemed to be the issue (the hotel’s booking page apparently takes you through to their London office who wanted to charge one couple in US$), though I myself, and at least a few others, used our respective, local, travel agents for the booking). But these are all fairly easy to sort out with a little thought and sensitivity to the digital diversity of attendees (one size does not fit all), especially now that the new committee has had a couple of years of experience bedded in. In short, the future looks bright if not – dare it be said – fantastic.

If You Love The Nasfic, Set It Free

By Tammy Coxen: It is time to remove the NASFiC from the WSFS constitution. But maybe something new and better can rise instead.

In 2014, I was chair of Detcon1, the highly acclaimed Detroit NASFiC. On the heels of that, I submitted a proposal to the business meeting to give Hugo nomination rights to NASFiC members, because I thought that creating a stronger and more supported NASFiC would ultimately help the Worldcon. Here’s what I wrote in 2014:

Because of its suitability for smaller markets that do not have the facilities or concentration of people necessary to bid for or run a Worldcon, NASFiCs have great potential to be a pathway for exposing new fans to WSFS, Worldcons, and international fandom. NASFiCs also play an important skill building role in running bids and in operating more complex organizational structures than many regional conventions. However, under the current model, there is limited formal connection to WSFS. Extending limited WSFS rights to NASFiC members would give those members a pathway for building engagement with WSFS and the Worldcon, ultimately strengthening the Worldcon.

At its best, everything I wrote about the NASFiC then is true. But since 2014, we have failed to see another NASFiC come close to living up to this potential.

Since then, both fandom and the world have changed dramatically. When the NASFiC was first proposed and selected, the vast majority of Worldcons were held within the United States. The vast majority of Worldcon attendees were American. International travel was more difficult and expensive. None of those things is true anymore.

In the last 10 years, fully half of Worldcons have been outside North America. Only two American locations have so far declared an intention to bid in the next 8 years. The largest Worldcons to-date have been held outside of North America. The Worldcon is international, and travel is more accessible for Americans than ever, so why is WSFS still carving out a special accommodation for North America? It’s unnecessary, and worse, perpetuates the idea that the Worldcon is really “an American thing” and Americans are most important to WSFS.

It is time to take the NASFiC out of the WSFS Constitution. One of the arguments made for keeping it in has been that if there was a US National Convention that ran annually, it would compete with the Worldcon. But I do not think Worldcon needs this protection.

I do think there is a role for an annual US National Convention. (Yes, that’s technically different from the NASFiC, but Canada already has a national convention, and the rest of North America was really only ever included as a technicality.) It could do many of the things I thought NASFiCs could do in 2014, like give people experience with bidding and running larger conventions, which American Worldcon bids could then draw on. But the current intermittent nature of the NASFiC does not help it build an audience of regular attendees and supporters.

So if you love the NASFiC, why not set it free and see if it can fly on its own?

Here’s what I’d like to see. Supporters of an American National Convention (let’s call it Americon for now) should come together and develop a plan for what future Americons should look like. I think a model where existing conventions bid to host the year’s Americon would be a great model, and help strengthen ties between US conrunning groups that have weakened considerably in the past decade. But it could also be a standalone convention, if the organization thinks that will have a better chance of success. I’m willing to be part of this group.

That group should bring a proposal to Glasgow in 2024 to remove NASFiC from the constitution and establish Americon. I’d envision it going like this:

2024 – first passage of constitutional amendment

2025 – ratification of constitutional amendment

2026 – The Worldcon (if in the US) or the NASFiC (if there is one) administers one last election to pick a site for the 2027 Americon

2027 – That site chooses locations for 2028 and 2029 (because if not tied to the Worldcon selection timing, a two-year lead makes more sense)

2029 onwards – each site runs site selection for the 2-year hence Americon

And then we see what happens. Hopefully we get a vibrant community forming around Americon, and getting excited by the new people it brings to their region. Hopefully we get US conrunning groups sharing best practices and learning from each other. Hopefully we get locations thinking “wow, it was really fun to have folks from around the country here, wouldn’t it be neat if we also had people from all over the world” and launching Worldcon bids. But WSFS isn’t needed for any of that, and it should get out of the way.

(With thanks to Michael Lee, on whose wall and with whose help a lot of these ideas were hammered out. And to Brian Nisbet, who says that that the timeline was his idea and I just don’t remember because there were cocktails at the time. Which is, you know, entirely plausible.)

Update 10/25/2023: Added new introductory paragraph.

Octocon 2023: The Irish National Science Fiction Convention

Octocon 2023 The Irish National Science Fiction Convention
Gibson Hotel, Dublin
October 7-8, 2023   

By James Bacon: Octocon has moved to a new venue, The Gibson Hotel, in Dublin city, and it felt really nice, and with 321 people attending it was a good amount present. The convention sold over 65 young adult memberships, and there was a youthful vibrancy and excitement that was really very welcome. The team attributed much of this younger attendance to promotional work and a table at Dublin Comic Con which saw many younger fans welcomed.

Paul Carroll and Sarah Rees Brennan

Sarah Rees Brennan was the Guest of Honour and she has an incredible way about her, so friendly and engaging but also encouraging with a wry insightfulness. I often find listening to her brilliant fun, and given how much Sarah has had published, and her success, her view as an established author can be refreshing, a real presence on panels and also engaging at the social aspects of the convention.

Jessica Thorne / Ruth Long (left), Sarah Rees Brennan (center),

The Glasgow 2024 team turned up in purple and tartan and were a welcome presence as they offered a gin tasting session that saw a fabulous crowd gather, while Funcon 1: Space Leopards will Eat your Face ( filled the workshop room with 25 people, all keen to make crochet Space Leopard coasters. The Eastercon Belfast reported strong uptake, exceeding expectations with 20 new members.

The Lost Girls of Foxfield Hall is a book that I have been looking forward to, a mixture of World War II historical fiction and a time travelling mystery that links to modern war and relationships, with a hint of the fantastic by Jessica Thorne/ Ruth Long. I was delighted to see Ruth after a very good panel and get this one signed. 

I was pleased to pick up Dave Green’s first book in the Empire of Ruin series. The second book in the series, Path of War was nominated for best novel 2023 for the British Fantasy Award as described: “David Green is a neurodivergent writer of the epic and the urban, the fantastical and the mysterious….  Hailing from the north-west of England, David now lives in County Galway on the west coast of Ireland with his wife and train-obsessed son.” Dave was great in person, and very engaging, and it was great to get a start on this series.

Dave Green

Jog Brogzin is a cartographic genius! He is a fantasy artist and mapmaker from Dublin and when his pen touches paper he becomes an intrepid explorer of worlds who has vowed to map the entire multi-verse in search of his long-lost immortal love. His clients include RPG publishers, boardgame designers and fantasy authors. He is also accomplished at drawing real world locations, often with a fantasy twist, including Dublin, Cork, London and various buildings on the Old Kent Road. Top-down maps, elevated maps, isometric maps, side view maps, hex maps, even made a few star maps.  His map of the Octocon site was an instant hit and everyone got one, which was amazing and also he helped with some fun mapping activities. and

Jog Brogzin

Local comic artist Leeann Hamilton had some really lovely new items available including a fun looking publication Eggy! and I was well impressed with her Edge of Spiderverse fusion print, which brought together a selection of characters that Leeann had sketched in a beautiful distinct piece. There is a history of comics being an active and integral part of Octocon and this was represented both by panels, but also the Trade Hall.  

I got the chance to chat with Michael Carroll. I am loving his work on Dreadnoughts and Proteus Vex for the Judge Dredd Megazine and 2000 AD respectively. I have been enjoying them as they develop with each new series and am hopeful that as the current run of Dreadnoughts comes to a close, and gosh is it wonderful in its near future insightfulness of law enforcement, that another installment of Proteus Vex will not be far away.

I took the opportunity during the day to go over to the Dublin Comic Arts Festival, which was taking place at the Richmond Barracks, which is now a lovely community cultural centre and library, and the Luas (tram) stop outside the con, led directly to DCAF, which was very handy. A full report on DCAF can be found shortly on Down the Tubes.

Máire Brophy’s second book Between the Sea and the End of the World was released during the convention. Leading on from After The World, this series is fascinating as it looks at what it is to be on the losing side of a war. As it describes itself, “An orc general struggles to come to terms with his role in the destruction of his people. Running and hiding from the humans and elves that hunt him down, he searches for other orc survivors.” (

Paul Carroll, the Octocon chair, and his team did a lovely job. Paul is also a writer and the editor of comic collections from Limit Break Comics. His previous titles include Turning Roads, which looked at Irish folklore stories, and Down Below comics based on Greek Myth noir. Next is Fractured Realms which is a Nordic Horror anthology and is on Kickstarter.

Conor Carroll

As Octocon came to a close, some time was given to Marguerite Smith and Brian Nisbet, co-chairs of the bid to bring Worldcon back to Dublin in 2029, who took the opportunity to update hundreds of fans present with their hopes and plans.

Marguerite Smith and Brian Nisbet

They said that pre-supports would be opening up in the future, and they called for support, demonstrating the international and national enthusiasm for the bid. They have a sneak peek of potential venues planned in the future and overall, this was met with great enthusiasm and excitement by all present.  

Paul has steered the convention well, the whole team worked well, the Pub Quiz and raffle had raised a fine amount for charity, there was a good vibe about the programme, and the move to this new venue while no small undertaking seems to have been appreciated by all concerned. There was much appreciation as the convention then came to a close and deservedly so, the team worked hard, to do things they feel are fun and many fans had really appreciated it. 

A very good Octocon.

Next year’s Octocon date was announced as the 5th and 6th of October 2024, and there are plans to come back to this successful venue. 

Harrisburg Comic Con 2023 Report

By Teresa Peschel: The Harrisburg Comic Con on August 26-27, 2023 was our second comics convention and it was overwhelming. Our first was purely by happenstance. We were visiting my mother and that weekend, the Dover DE comic con took place. I’d enjoyed what I’d seen there and so here we are.

Harrisburg Comic Con takes place in part of the immense Farm Show complex in north Harrisburg. Despite its size, it was still dwarfed by the building we were in.

We arrived soon after they opened at 11:00 a.m. We’d tried to buy tickets online — before the Thursday 9:00 p.m. deadline — but were unable to. So we stood in line with everyone else.

Inside, we were greeted by row upon row of booths. It was crowded with regular people and an amazing array of cosplayers. Despite this being a comics convention, I recognized very few of the cosplayers as being Marvel or DC characters. Dear Daughter, a dedicated gamer and manga and anime fan, identified about one third of the cosplayers. Maybe. I recognized maybe five percent. Ghostbusters, Stormtroopers, Princess Peach, and The Penguin and so forth. You know. Characters everyone can recognize.

Not being up on popular culture, I didn’t recognize any of the headliners either. But other people did!

As you’d expect there were multiple booths dedicated to comic books. There was also every possible ancillary product, including marshmallows, a chance to get filmed in three dimensions, dragon statuary, get service with a smile, and a chance to upgrade your game room. At one booth, you didn’t have to talk to the author if you felt shy.

We spoke with Jarred and Matt of “You Have to Watch This” podcast about a possible interview about Agatha Christie films. Maybe they’ll email me. It could happen.

Meet Jared and Matt

I also got to cross light sabers with Sarah B. of Life of Cosplay.

Meet Sarah B.

None of this sounds like it has anything to do with science fiction, fantasy, or genre-adjacent horror, but it was there. We always attend an event like this looking for indie authors and we found plenty. They’re all genre or genre-adjacent and willing to stand on their feet all day Saturday and Sunday. For you indie authors looking to build your fanbase, shows like this can give you a feel for whether or not the buying public will take a chance on your writing.

Let’s meet the authors and one artist. [Photo gallery and conclusion of report follow the jump.]

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