Loncon 3 Opens With Record-Breaking Numbers

By Francis Hamit and Leigh Strother-Vien: The Press Briefing immediately before the Opening Ceremonies of Loncon 3, the 2014 World Science Convention, featured all of the Guests of Honor (though Chris Foss was on the program opposite the briefing) except the late Iain M. Banks, who is sorely missed and was named Ghost of Honor. The two committee chairs, Steve Cooper and Alison Lawson, said that this is the largest World Science Fiction Convention in history, with more than 10,000 members, and may prove to have the largest number of attending fans due to a last minute surge of locals that account for a 20% increase. Final figures will be posted Sunday.

GOH Malcolm Edwards said “It is a great honor to be here.” He added that at his first Con the total number of attendees would have fit in the 20 by 20 room where this briefing was being held.

GOH John Clute remarked that “a convention like this combines all the (science fiction) things that came before and all that would be.”

And it is truly an international affair. Over 1,500 fans come from 62 other nations than the UK and USA. The USA has about 2,400 members and the rest are UK residents.

There are over 200 dealers tables, and 80 artists exhibiting works worth more than a combined total of £350,000. The atmosphere is cordial and friendly, unlike some American WorldCons of recent years, where rivalries and fan politics marred the events.

Programming is so extensive that many attending are being forced to pick and choose between competing interests they hold. Notable is a sercon Academic track that rivals those presented in the Mundane spaces.

The Opening Ceremonies were also notable. More about that in our next report.

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3 thoughts on “Loncon 3 Opens With Record-Breaking Numbers

  1. <i.Programming is so extensive that many attending are being forced to pick and choose between competing interests they hold.

    Isn’t this statement pretty standard for Worldcons? I know it was my stated goal when I was programming Chicon 2000.

  2. It’s true of every con that isn’t running single-track program. And if the program items all exist (contra Chicon 7) that’s even better.

    (Though even if they all exist a con can still make them hard to find — I believe people ended up with three schedules to choose between at Nolacon II, the one on the hotel monitors, the one in the pocket program, and the one on the daily pink sheets. For my part in that feel free to throw stones, preferably not too big and pointy…)

  3. There were many complaints about the long queue for registration today (Thursday), which extended much of the length of the large room that registration was in, then continued at the top of a staircase, and doubled back on itself. There was a single queue for everyone, whether pre-registered or not.
    Registering on Wednesday, we had no queue at all.

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