Harry Harrison's Seacon '79 Reminiscence

1979Seacon '79, Brighton
by Harry Harrison
From the Noreascon Three PB

Forty years; fandom and myself still going strong. It rained every day so we started out soaked each morning walking along the front from our hotel. The American fans could not believe this was the English summer and people paid to go to the beach. And sit in covered bus shelters watching the storm waves crash onto the beach. I saw many familiar faces so I asked Forry to look around with his eidetic fannish memory to look for other fen who had been to the first Worldcon. I forget the exact number, over 13; fandom is a way of life. Brian Aldiss used the fact in his GoH talk at the banquet. Which cost something like $35 a head and was the very worst banquet meal I had ever eaten. Now I know that every con fights for bottom place in this contest. None ever came close.

For some reason food occupies my memory. I lied, it rained every day except the first. All the restaurants were full so I remember that a half-dozen got fish and chips and ate it on the beach in the sun. A Yugoslavian fan — I won't mention his name since lawsuits might still be pending — produced a bottle of homebrew slivovitz to wash the food down. Now this specie of plum brandy is pretty terrible at best — but this bottle!! In a lifetime of drinking revolting drinks this was the absolute worst. Made mao tai, grappa, hornitos mezcal (with the worm in it) all appear as harmless as Coca-Cola.

The program? I'm sorry. After 50 years of con-going I can no longer tell one from the other; they blur and run together. In the tradition of all cons I can simply say that if they call my name respond with the correct and classic answer: "He's in the bar!"