Melbourne

At the Awards Ceremony of Continuum 8 in 2012, it was plausibly stated that Melbourne has long been at the centre of Australian fandom, and that the Melbourne Science Fiction Club (MSFC) has been at the centre of Melbourne fandom. It was noted that members of the MSFC had been prominently involved in bidding for and running all four Australian Worldcons.

The MSFC claims to be the oldest continuously active science fiction club in Australia. The Futurian Society of Sydney was formed earlier, but was officially disbanded for some years.

The first four Australian Natcons were in Sydney, but the next six were in Melbourne. Melbourne has continued to host Natcons once in a while, whereas Sydney has gone twenty years without hosting the Australian Natcon. Perth has hosted the Australian Natcon once in a while since 1980, and has a long-running annual convention, but has yet to take a Worldcon bid to the voting stage. However, that seems likely to change. A bid for Perth, Australia in 2025 has been reported.

Melbourne now has an annual convention, Continuum.

Some History

Date Event
1940, June Austra-Fantasy first published
1940, Nov Melbourne Bulletin first published
1952, May 9 First official meeting of the Melbourne Science Fiction Club (as the Melbourne Science Fiction Group)
1953, Mar 1 Etherline first published
1956, Dec 8-9 Olympicon (Melbourne's first Australian Natcon)
1958, Apr 5-6 Sixth Australian Science Fiction Convention (i.e., sixth Australian Natcon)
1966 Australian Science Fiction Review first published
1966, Easter Seventh Australian Science Fiction Convention
1968, Easter Melbourne Science Fiction Conference
1969, Jan SF Commentary first published
1969, Apr 4-6 Eighth Australian Science Fiction Convention
1969, Apr Ditmar Awards first presented
1970, Mar The Somerset Gazette first published.
1970, Mar 27-30 Ninth Australian Science Fiction Convention
1970, Aug First meeting of Nova Mob
1971, Jan 1-2 Tenth Australian Science Fiction Convention
by 1971 Space Age Books opened, as The Space Age Bookshop, on 7th floor of the Beehive Building at 96 Elizabeth Street
1971, July 6 Space Age Books moved to Swanston Street
1971, Apr 9-11 Mini-Melcon
1972 Eastercon '72
1974 Space Age Books moved to 305 Swanston Street
1974, Aug Ozcon (Natcon)
1975 Norstrilia Press began publication
1975 First Unicon convention
1975, July Austrek founded
1975, Aug Void first published
1975, Aug 14-17 Aussiecon
1976, Aug 13-15 Bofcon (Natcon)
1976 Australian Science Fiction Foundation established
1976, June 10 Valhalla Cinema opened in Richmond
1978 Australian Science Fiction News first published
1979 Australian Science Fiction Review revived
1979 Doctor Who Club of Victoria formalized
1980 Minotaur comics shop opened at 23 Tattersalls Lane
1981, May Minotaur moved to Mid-City Arcade
1982, Apr 9-12 Tschaicon (Natcon)
1983, March Minotaur moved to 251 Swanston St
1984 Minotaur started stocking science fiction novels
1984, Apr 20-23 Eureka!con (Natcon)
1985, Aug 22-36 Aussiecon 2
1985, Dec Melbourne Science Fiction Club moved to St. David's Uniting Church Hall, West Brunswick
1985, Dec Space Age Books closed
1986, Mar 7-10 Galactic Tours Convention (Media Natcon)
1987, May Star Wars 10th Anniversary banquet held at Townhouse Hotel
1987 Valhalla Cinema moved from Richmond to Westgarth
1987 Minotaur opened a separate shop for comics in Flinders Lane
1988, Oct 14-16 Zencon II (Media Natcon)
1988, Oct 14 Star Walking (club) officially launched
1989 Minotaur (apart from comics shop) moved to 128 Elizabeth St
1990 Aurealis first published
1990 Minotaur (comics and all) moved to 220 Bourke St
1990, Apr 13-16 Danse Macabre (Natcon)
1990, Nov 23-25 Huttcon '90 (Media Natcon)
1991, Oct 11-13 Vampiricon (Media Natcon)
1992 Christmas at the End of the Universe party held
1993 Slow Glass Books shop opened upstairs
1993, Oct 29-31 CupCon
1994, Jan 21 The Australian Science Fiction Bullsheet first published
1994, Apr 1-4 Constantinople (Natcon and Media Natcon)
1995, Jan 27-29 Concinnity 95
1995, Oct 21 Basicon (Media Natcon)
1995, Nov 25 First Multiverse convention
1996, June 10 Valhalla Cinema closed (became Westgarth Cinema)
1997, June Star Wars 20th Anniversary Banquet held in an aircraft hangar
1997, Sept 27-28 Basicon 2 (Natcon and Media Natcon)
1997 Slow Glass Books shop opened downstairs
1998 The MUP Encyclopaedia of Australian Science Fiction & Fantasy published
1999, Sep 2-6 Aussiecon 3 (and Spawncon II)
1999, Dec First MiDFur fur meet
2000 Minotaur moved to 121 Elizabeth St
2000 First Manifest
2002, June 7-10 Convergence 2002 (Natcon)
2002, Oct 22 Slow Glass Books shop at 305 Swanston Street closed
2003, Jul 11-13 First Continuum convention
2006, May 20 First Melbourne Zombie Shuffle
2007, Feb 9-11 First Nullus Anxietas convention
2007, June, 8-11 Convergence 2 (Natcon)
2008, Dec 12-15 First MiDFur convention (MiDFur X)
2009, Aug 14 Chronos Awards first presented
2010, Sep 2-6 Aussiecon 4 (and Dudcon III)
2010, Nov 14 The Writer and the Critic (podcast) first published
2011 Melbourne Browncoats became New Melbourne Browncoats
2011 Victorian Quidditch Association founded
2012, Mar 6 Notions Unlimited Bookshop opened
2012, June 8-11 Continuum 8 (Natcon)
2013, June 8 Valhalla Social Cinema held its first 24-hour sci-fi movie marathon
2013, Aug 16-18 Last Manifest
2013, Oct 6 First Melbourne Zombie Convention
2013, Dec 13 Melbourne Science Fiction Club farewelled St. David's Uniting Church Hall, West Brunswick
2014, Jan 10-12 First ConFurgence
2014, Jan 24 Melbourne Science Fiction Club met at St. Augustine's Anglican Church, Coburg
2014, Feb 1-2 PonyCon AU 2014: Marebourne
2014, June 6-9 Continuum X (Natcon)
2015, Mar 7-9 Con 70
2017, Mar 11-13 Con 80
2017, May 20-21 ThronesCon
2017, June 3 Star Wars 40th Anniversary banquet
2017, June 9-12 Continuum 13 (Natcon)

For some more information on the history of conventions in Victoria, see the Convention page of the archived Continuum Foundation wiki.


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