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GenreScience fiction
CountryUnited Kingdom

Eastercon is the common name for the annual British national science fiction convention. The convention is organised by voluntary self-organising committees, rather than a permanent entity.


Eastercon attracts 800-1200 fans of science fiction, fantasy and similar genres. Programme events usually include panels, workshops, talks, quizzes, competitions, an art show, and a Dealers room selling books and other items. Events range from hard science through writing workshops to the fun and silly. People are encouraged to take part.[1]


The very first British science-fiction convention was held in Leeds on 3 January 1937. Similiar events were held in London on 10 April 1938 and 21 May 1939, Leicester as "Midvention" over the Easter bank holiday weekend of 23-26 April 1943, and in London over the Easter weekend of 8-9 April 1944.[2]

Eastercon sees its first official convention as being held in 1948 in London. It was held over the three-day Whitsun bank holiday at the end of May with an attendance of 50 people. The conventions were held annually over Whitsun until the 1960s, when the decision was made to move the event to the four-day Easter holiday.

The pre-1960s conventions are generally considered to have been "Eastercons" even though they were not held over Easter.[3]



Eastercons are fan-run/not-for-profit events, with the money raised by membership, advertising, etc., spent on running the convention. It is traditional that any surplus is used for the benefit of the convention members, fandom in general or donated to charity. This may include sponsoring items at other conventions, buying equipment for use by other conventions, donating to the RNIB to get works of SF literature converted to talking books for the blind, donating to the Science Fiction Foundation to fund a variety of educational projects relating to science fiction, and funding international fan visits (often through The League of Fan Funds).

Two-year bidding[edit]

Groups of fans (typically 5-8 in number) get together to form "bid committees" and plan where they want to hold the Eastercon, who they want to be their guests of honour, what the theme of the convention will be, etc. They circulate their proposals and the winning bid is chosen by a vote among the people who attend the bid session at the Eastercon two years in advance, or one year if no bid was successful at the bid session two years out. Until the early 1990s, there were commonly several bids to hold the Eastercon, but organising this event involves a lot of resources, and now it is normal for there to be only one serious bid - Reclamation in 2022 saw the first contested bid (for 2023) in some 30 years.

Eastercon traditions[edit]

The Doc Weir award is voted on and presented each year at Eastercon to an "unsung hero" of British fandom.[4]

The George Hay Memorial Lecture, a presentation on a scientific topic by an invited speaker, has been held every Eastercon since 2Kon in 2000. The lecturer and subject are selected and paid for by the Science Fiction Foundation who offer this programme item to each year's Eastercon. Since 2009 the British Science Fiction Association has presented a similar lecture and an award, drawing speakers from the arts and humanities.[5]


In 2003 at Seacon, a fan offered to obtain the UK trademark for "Eastercon" on behalf of UK fandom and this was agreed by that year's convention. This trademark was subsequently obtained, meaning that any group that now wants to use the "Eastercon" name must obtain permission from the trademark holder first.[6]

List of Eastercons[edit]

Year Location Name Guest(s) of Honour Size Web
1 1948 London Whitcon Bertram Chandler ?
2 1949 London Loncon William F. Temple ?
3 1952 London London SF Con ?
4 1953 London Coroncon ?
5 1954 Manchester Supermancon John Russell Fearn ?
6 1955 Kettering Cytricon ?
7 1956 Kettering Cytricon II ?
8 1957 Kettering Cytricon III ?
9 1958 Kettering Cytricon IV ?
10 1959 Birmingham Brumcon Ken Slater ?
11 1960 London London E.J. "Ted" Carnell, Don Ford ?
12 1961 Gloucester LXIcon Kingsley Amis ?
13 1962 Harrogate Ronvention Tom Boardman ?
14 1963 Peterborough Bullcon Edmund Crispin ?
15 1964 Peterborough RePetercon Ted Tubb ?
16 1965 Birmingham Brumcon II Harry Harrison ?
17 1966 Yarmouth Yarcon Ron Whiting ?
18 1967 Bristol Briscon John Brunner ?
19 1968 Buxton Thirdmancon Kenneth Bulmer ?
20 1969 Oxford Galactic Fair 1969 Judith Merril ?
21 1970 London SCI-CON 70 James Blish ?
22 1971 Worcester Eastercon 22 Ethel Lindsay, Anne McCaffrey ?
23 1972 Chester Chessmancon Larry Niven ?
24 1973 Bristol OMPAcon '73 Samuel R. Delany ?
25 1974 Newcastle Tynecon Bob Shaw, Peter Weston c415
26 1975 Coventry Seacon Harry Harrison c.550
27 1976 Manchester Mancon 5 Peter Roberts, Robert Silverberg ?
28 1977 Coventry Eastercon '77 John Bush ?
29 1978 Heathrow, London Skycon Roy Kettle, Robert Sheckley ?
30 1979 Leeds Yorcon Graham and Pat Charnock, Richard Cowper ?
31 1980 Glasgow Albacon Jim Barker, Colin Kapp ?
32 1981 Leeds Yorcon II Tom Disch, Dave Langford, Ian Watson ?
33 1982 Brighton Channelcon Angela Carter, John Sladek 815
34 1983 Glasgow Albacon II Marion Zimmer Bradley, Avedon Carol, James White ?
35 1984 Brighton Seacon '84 Pierre Barbet, Waldemar Kumming, Josef Nesvadba, Chris Priest, Roger Zelazny ?
36 1985 Leeds Yorcon III Gregory Benford, Linda Pickersgill ?
37 1986 Glasgow Albacon III Joe Haldeman, John Jarrold ?
38 1987 NEC, Solihull BECCON87 Chris Atkinson, Jane Gaskell, Keith Roberts c.800
39 1988 Liverpool Follycon Gordon Dickson, Gwyneth Jones, Greg Pickersgill, Len Wein ?
40 1989 Jersey Contrivance Avedon Carol, Rob Hansen, M. John Harrison, Don Lawrence, Anne McCaffrey ?
41 1990 Liverpool Eastcon Iain Banks, Anne Page, SMS 1100
42 1991 Glasgow Speculation Robert Holdstock ?
43 1992 Blackpool Illumination Geoff Ryman, Paul J. McAuley, Pam Wells ?
44 1993 Jersey Helicon John Brunner, George R. R. Martin, Karel Thole, Larry van der Putte ?
45 1994 Liverpool Sou'Wester Diane Duane, Neil Gaiman, Barbara Hambly, Peter Morwood ?
46 1995 London Confabulation Lois McMaster Bujold, Roger Robinson, Bob Shaw ?
47 1996 Heathrow, London Evolution Jack Cohen, Colin Greenland, Paul Kincaid, Bryan Talbot, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Vernor Vinge ?
48 1997 Liverpool Intervention Brian Aldiss, Octavia Butler, David Langford, Jon Bing ?
49 1998 Manchester Intuition Ian McDonald, Martin Tudor, Connie Willis ?
50 1999 Liverpool Reconvene Peter S. Beagle, John Clute, Jeff Noon ?
51 2000 Glasgow 2Kon Guy Gavriel Kay, Katherine Kurtz, Deborah Turner-Harris ?
52 2001 Hinckley Paragon Stephen Baxter, Claire Brialey, Lisanne Norman, Mark Plummer, Michael Scott Rohan ?
53 2002 Jersey Helicon 2 Brian Stableford, Harry Turtledove, Peter Weston ?
54 2003 Hinckley Seacon03 Chris Baker (Fangorn), Christopher Evans (author), Mary Gentle ?
55 2004 Blackpool Concourse Mitchell Burnside Clapp, Danny Flynn, Sue Mason, Christopher Priest, Philip Pullman ?
56 2005 Hinckley Paragon 2 John Harvey, Eve Harvey, Ken MacLeod, Robert Rankin, Ben Jeapes, Richard Morgan ?
57 2006 Glasgow Concussion M. John Harrison, Brian Froud, Elizabeth Hand, Justina Robson, Ian Sorensen ?
58 2007 Chester Contemplation c.450
59 2008 Heathrow, London Orbital 2008 Neil Gaiman, Tanith Lee, China Miéville, Charles Stross, Rog Peyton 1300+
60 2009 Bradford LX Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Tim Powers, David Lloyd, Bill Burns, Mary Burns 850
61 2010 Heathrow, London Odyssey 2010 Alastair Reynolds, Iain M Banks, Liz Williams, Mike Carey, Fran Dowd, John Dowd 1300+
62 2011 NEC, Solihull Illustrious David Weber, Peter F. Hamilton, David A. Hardy, Vince Docherty, Roz Kaveney 956/877
63 2012 Heathrow, London Olympus 2012 Paul Cornell, Cory Doctorow, George R.R. Martin, Tricia Sullivan, Margaret Austin, Martin Easterbrook 1400
64 2013 Bradford EightSquaredCon Walter Jon Williams, Freda Warrington, Anne Sudworth and Edward James 800[7]
65 2014 Glasgow Satellite 4 John Meaney, Juliet McKenna, Jim Burns, and Alice and Steve Lawson, Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Terry Pratchett 777
66 2015 Heathrow, London Dysprosium Jim Butcher, Seanan McGuire, Caroline Mullan, Herr Döktor 1185
67 2016 Manchester Mancunicon[8] Aliette de Bodard, Dave Clements, Ian McDonald, Sarah Pinborough ?
68 2017 NEC, Solihull Eastercon 2017/Innominate Pat Cadigan, Judith Clute, Colin Harris ?
69 2018 Harrogate Follycon Kieron Gillen, Kim Stanley Robinson, Nnedi Okorafor, Christina Lake 949
70 2019 Heathrow, London Ytterbium John Scalzi, Frances Hardinge, Sydney Padua, DC 1119
71 2020 (online) Concentric convention cancelled except for bid session 846*
72 2021 (online) Confusion Dan Abnett, Nik Vincent, Dave Lally 466
73 2022 Heathrow, London Reclamation Zen Cho (cancelled), Mary Robinette Kowal, Philip Reeve, Tasha Suri, Nicholas Whyte 797*
74 2023 Birmingham Conversation Zen Cho, Niall Harrison, Jennell Jaquays, Kari Sperring, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Ursula Vernon [1]
75 2024 Telford Levitation Jackie Burns, Genevieve Cogman, Michelle Sagara /(Michelle West), Tade Thompson [2]
76 2025 Belfast Reconnect Lauren Beukes, Derek Landy, (Jeannette Ng), Rebecca Roanhorse, Will Simpson (comics), Ian McDonald (British author) [3]

[9] Notes:

  • Early conventions did not always have a particular name, and sometimes were given a name retrospectively when another Eastercon was held in the same town, eg, Brumcon only acquired its name when Brumcon II was held.
  • The 1957 convention held in Kettering has acquired a semi-mythical status among British fandom, as there does not appear to be any surviving contemporary documentation from the con itself; however, there is just enough evidence from fanzines of the time and other fan memorabilia to suggest that it did, in fact, take place.
  • The official numbering of the conventions has been somewhat adjusted, following the naming of the 1972 convention as "Eastercon 22" which necessitated the counting of 21 previous Eastercons, which is why the 1951 Festivention is not counted.
  • Convoy, the 2007 Eastercon elected by members of Concussion, was cancelled at the end of October 2006. Contemplation was formed at the 2006 Novacon by Chris O'Shea and Fran Dowd as a very short notice emergency replacement. Convoy's guests of honour were invited to attend, and Sharyn November initially accepted, but she was ultimately unable to attend due to work commitments.
  • Pasgon was elected at Dysprosium to be the 2017 Eastercon to be held in Cardiff, but had to be cancelled in March 2016 due to issues with its planned venue. Eastercon 2017/Innominate in Birmingham was elected in its place at Mancunicon.
  • The 2020 convention, Concentric was cancelled less than a month before it was scheduled, due to recently announced UK Government guidelines related to the coronavirus pandemic. An online bidding session was held, with ConFusion selected for the 2021 Eastercon. 846 members had registered before the convention was cancelled.
  • The 2021 Eastercon, ConFusion was originally planned as an in person event, but was converted to an online event when it became clear that an in person convention would not be possible. 466 people took part in the online convention.
  • The 2022 convention, Reclamation had 797 registered members.[10] 659 were physically present. 80 people viewed streamed panels, 41 of those were not present at the convention.

Future Eastercons[edit]

  • 2024: The 2024 Eastercon, Levitation, is planned to be held from the 29th of March to 1st of April weekend, at Telford International Centre. This is the first time the convention will be at that location, and marks a divergence from tradition, in that the convention will be in a conference centre rather than in a hotel.[11]
  • 2025: The 2025 Eastercon, Reconnect, is planned to be held in the Hilton Lanyon Place in Belfast, Northern Ireland; this is the first time the convention will be held on the island of Ireland. Guests announced include Lauren Beukes, Rebecca Roanhorse, Jeannette Ng, Derek Landy, Will Simpson and Ian McDonald.[12][13]


  1. ^ https://conversation2023.org.uk/what-is-eastercon/
  2. ^ SF Encyclopedia website
  3. ^ SF Encyclopedia website
  4. ^ "Doc Weir Award".
  5. ^ SF Encyclopedia website
  6. ^ "Case details for trade mark UK00002330357". Intellectual Property Office of the UK Patent Office. 26 September 2003. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Membership Numbers" (PDF). Four Cubed. 1 April 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  8. ^ Glyer, Mike (6 April 2015). "Two Future British Eastercons Selected". File 770. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  9. ^ SF Encyclopedia website
  10. ^ David, Langford (1 May 2022). "Ansible 418, May 2022". Ansible. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  11. ^ "Levitation 2024".
  12. ^ https://file770.com/belfast-wins-eastercon-uk-2025-site-selection-vote/
  13. ^ Eastercon Belfast website, Retrieved 2023-04-13

External links[edit]