B. Wilkinson, 17 Mimosa, 29 Avenue Road, Tottenham, N15 5JF, Great Britain.
When the Berlin wall came crashing down last year it became immediately obvious that all of the experience Fans Across the World had gained at Conspiracy was totally out of date, and that we were in a different ball game. As estimates of numbers started coming through in the early months of this year it became apparent that as many as six hundred Eastern Europeans might come, but only if everyone who wanted to made it. In the event we were very lucky to get a quarter of that number. The Chair at the time, Karen Naylor, wrote many letters and tried negociating for visas, but doing this across the English Channel was difficult, the Dutch government had weird and wonderful regulations of its own, Kees van Toorn was in danger of being held financially responsible if all x hundred decided that they preferred Holland to home. The Dutch government seemed sure that they would.... Another problem was exit visas from the Soviet Union, Colin Fine and Anne Page collected a lot of money for them, this helped Soviet fans to get to the Con. And it was fans, as well as pros, who wanted to come. They had got hold of the strangest stories. The Con could pay all expenses for anyone on the programme. The Con could help out in X number of different ways. Fans Across the World was a commercial trading organisation. ... ... ... It seemed that the further information travelled, the more distorted it became. Soviet fandom had myriads of home produced, small run fanzines, each of which copied, and subtly distorted, news from the last. We helped those we could, but there were so many hoops, placed so close together, (eg. letters between Holland and Britain seemed to take a week) that many who wanted to come fell by the wayside. Better luck next time, at least we have the contacts now. We booked a table in the fan market with Annemarie for Eastern Europeans to sell fanzines, club badges, T-shirts, etc. to bolster their funds. This turned out to be one of the successes of the Con, the table was always full, but never ludicrously overcrowded. Most of the Eastern European fans had more money than We had thought they might, many had enough to get by on, more had enough for day to day expenses but not enough to get into the Con. Several people had given memberships: they had been unable to attend the Con themselves. Numbers of these memberships were transferred to Eastern Europeans, although sometimes it was easier to pay cash as crisis piled on crisis. Fans from eight different countries were helped, in one way or another, including US and UK fans! We helped with accommodation and emergency funds for victims of thefts etc, including Betty and Michael. Fans travelling into Europe were supplied with ready made contacts, all nations mixed in at parties contributing to the most international Worldcon ever. Many thanks to all who helped!
Fans tend to be organised in clubs, that was the best way to get around the authorities, and to get grants, in the past. Most of the clubs have libraries. They might be interested in fanzines, they would almost certainly be interested in books. Fans Across the World is sending books to the clubs, if you wish to send books either do it through us, contact me at the address above, or contact a club yourself. If you send anything at all valuable, including books, register it. You'd be surprised how many customs officers are apparently closet SF fans. This list is incomplete. I have the names of other clubs, I have tried to provide a reasonable spread of countries, there are other groups, but I have not yet got their addresses. Please tell us if you make contact.
Poland. Podlaskie Towarzystwo Milosnikow Fantastyki, ul. Piastowska 11a, D.K. "Zacheta", 15-207 Bialystok, Poland. (The mail address for the UBIK, TAURUS, ORION and GANDALF clubs. Orion and Gandalf are for teenagers and children respectively, there is also a Role Playing Games section to this club) Silesian Science Fiction Club, 40-956 Katowice, P.O. Box 502, Poland.(The oldest of the Polish SF clubs) Gdanski Klub Fantastyki, P.O. Box 76, 80-325 Gdansk-37, Poland.(A federation of 7 clubs)
Czechoslovakia SF klub KPVPVF, Boris Porosin, Svermova 25, 974 00 Banska Bystrica SF klub Gea, Jaromir Formanek, Komenskeho 13, 680 01 Boskovice SF klub MOGES, Milan Gazdik, Lackova 3, 841 04 Bratislava SF klub Lulungamena, Josef Peterka, Dukelskych hrdinu 21690 02 Breclav SF klub Malevil, Frantisek Moravec, Brezova nad Svitavou 47 569 02 Brezova nad Svitavou SF klub SOUFAN, Eliska Konecna, Mikulcicka 3, 627 00 Brno SF klub Bonsai, Jiri Matys, Ujezd 2222, 470 01 Ceska Lipa SF klub, Stanislav Komarek, U mlekarny 12, 737 01 Cesky Tesin SF klub Sfinx, Milos C Podpera, Ksidlisti 398, 250 67 Klecany SF klub Trifid, Bedrich Gaidarus, Lazebnicky vrch 5, 460 01 Liberec SF klub Ariadna, Jiri Fidra, K. Marxe 1124/23, 277 11 Neratovice SF klub Duna, Frantisek Hlous, Leninova 233, 417 31 Novosedlice SF klub Futurum, Pavel Konecny, V. Rezace 10, 771 00 Olomouc SF klub Hepterida, Hana Pechulova, Hradecka 33, 746 01 Opava SF klub KLF, Jiri Pilch, Svazacka 17/2205, 704 00 Ostrava-Zabreh SF klub Andromeda, Karel C Jedlicka, Nepomucka 15, 317 04 Plzen SF klub Laser, Tomas Jirkovsky, Olsova 18, 307 07 Plzen SF klub Time machine, Zuzana Reblova, Prachovice 166, 538 04 Prachovice SF klub R.U.R., Ivan Adamovic, Hlavni 2725, 141 00 Praha 4 SF klub Spectra, Filip Skaba, Pod leskikem 363/4a, 109 00 Praha 10 SF klub P'01, Frantisek Franko, KHAP Revolucna 17, 080 01 Presov
SF klub Slan, Ladislav Peska, dr., Na dolikach 503, 274 01 Slany
SF klub Castor, Miroslav Butora, Tkacska 4/5, 052 01 Spisska Nova Ves SF klub Tresk, Frantisek Pleskac, Netolicky 1124, 674 01 Trebic SF klub Nasca, Ladislav Cibulka, Picassova 549, 400 01 Usti nad Labem SF klub Mobius 2061, Miroslav Fiser, Vyskytna 33, 588 41 Vyskytna nad Jihlavou SF klub Atrass, Jan Fabian, Tajovskeho 32/40, 965 01 Ziar nad Hronom
Club "Ivan Efremov", Boris Basmadjiev, 1463 Sofia, 28B Dospatsir,Bulgaria Nicolay Bliznacov, 4 Vasil Marcov str., 7000- Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Savchenko, Ju. O. (KLF MGU), Moscow University SF Fan Club, MGU, Leninskye Gory, Moscow, USSR, 117234 Anatoly Tatchkov, Alley Trudast, 54/3 – 72, Komsomolsk, USSR, 681003 infoSFera (Bulletin of the Vilnus Science Gediminas Beresnevicius club "Dorado" and Kaunus clubAntakalnio 65-33 "Phoenix")Vilnius, 232040, Lithuania, USSR.
This list is incomplete, please contact us for more names and places if you need them, particularly if you are travelling east. Tell us about your contacts too please!
Some way into the con it was discovered that an old established Eastern European convention was going on right under our noses, alongside the Worldcon. Area P on the Ockenburg campsite contained Poles, Czechs, Brits, Russians and others, campfire parties there went on 'til late. Apparently the daytime atmosphere was partly that of a Canvas Relaxcon, Eastern style, where those without memberships and those too tired to go in yet chatted on the beach. This is where some of the "missing" Czechs got to, those who got to Holland, but not the the Con. Fundraising The raffle raised 666fl., a lot more was raised by the Betty and Michael fund and the fund for the Russians, a donated Samizdat was auctioned, Albacon and Mexicon made substantial donations before the Con, as did Henk Langeveld's computer network party. Thanks to: Karen Naylor, Kees van Toorn, Annemarie van Ewijck, Sylvia Starshine and John Dallman for help in planning. Colin Fine and Anne Page for the Soviet visas fund. Miranda Aldham Breary and Richard Vine for organising the Betty and Michael fund. GWBooks in the form of David Pringle, Forbidden Planet, Fantast Medway, Andromeda Books, Sue Mason, BECCON Publications, Moscow University Science Fiction Society, Illumination and Critical Wave for raffle prizes. Roger Robinson, Rob Meades, Roger Perkins, Neil Rest, David Pringle, the Confacts... team, Roelof Goudriaan, Friends of Foundation, Cyril Simsa and Kurt Baty for help at the Con itself. Thanks also to: Tim Illingworth, Chris O'Shea, Robert Sneddon, Mike and Kathy Westhead, KIM Campbell, Edward James, Mark Plummer, Steve Linton, and last, but not least, the Czech Bus.
Cracon: Eurocon '91,Cracow, Poland, 9-12 May, 1991. Filking, masquerade, bookroom, artshow, banquet, etc. (contact Wiktor Bukato, P.O. Box 983, 00-950 Warsaw, Poland). 4th science fiction Days NRW,6/7 July 1991, Dusseldorf (contact Oliver Gruter, Physics Dept., RHBN College, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX) Barcon,Berlin, 6-8 September 1991 (contact Bernhard Kempen, Karntner Str. 29, D-1000 Berlin 62, Germany, or Wilf James).