(Did you mean the New Zealand Natcons?)
Conspiracy '87, the 1987 Worldcon, was held August 27 to September 1 in Brighton, England, at the Metropole Hotel and the Brighton Conference Centre. GoHs: Doris Lessing (UK), Alfred Bester (US) (did not attend due to poor health), Arkady Strugatsky (USSR), Boris Strugatsky (USSR), Jim Burns (artist), Ray Harryhausen (film). FGoHs: Joyce & Ken Slater and David Langford (special fan). Chairman: Paul Oldroyd. Brian W. Aldiss was Toastmaster. Its program book was Frontier Crossings.
Malcolm Edwards was chairman until about nine months before the convention when he resigned from the committee for personal reasons. To minimize possible bad publicity from this, he agreed to remain as titular chairman and presided at some at-con ceremonies. Paul Oldroyd took over all of his duties, but under the title of "Coordinator". Both Malcolm and Paul agree that Paul was the de facto chairman at the time of the convention.
The Metropole Hotel proved to be an unusually unpleasant venue, with the hotel's General Manager evidently having a personal dislike for the convention. Read the Hotel Manager Wall for some of the juicy details. At night, the hotel -- the main convention hotel, mind you -- was closed to non-guests, with room-key checking at the front door. Some people were climbing up to the balconies on the bar side to get into the hotel after hours.
Conspiracy was also marred by a heavy Scientology presence at the convention, and by Business Meeting chair Tim Stannard, who fuggheadedly thought it would be funny to conduct the BM in full WWII Nazi uniform. On the other hand, Los Alamos Fandom staged a very enjoyable fireworks display on the beach one night.
The Hugo nominating ballots were extremely late, with many fans not getting their ballot from the convention until after the deadline had passed. None-the-less, there were 1987 Hugos. Conspiracy '87 also conducted Worldcon site selection for 1990: See 1990 Worldcon Site Selection.
Bidders: Britain in '87, Phoenix in 1987. See 1987 Worldcon Site Selection.
- Conspiracy '87 publications and photos on fanac.org.
- David Kyle's Conspiracy '87 Reminiscence.
- Susan Stepney's conrep.
- Dave Langford conrep.
- TVS News footage featuring Brian Aldiss, Paul Kincaid, Alison Cook, 42nd Squadron, Geetha North, Ken and Joyce Slater, Kate Solomon. Doris Lessing is mentioned and there’s a glimpse of Art Widner.
Hotel Manager Wall
Conspiracy '87's main hotel was the Metropole Hotel in Brighton. The hotel's General Manager, for unknown reasons, seems to have taken a personal dislike to the convention and to fandom, and went out of his way to make life miserable. (For example, at one point the staff was instructed to only allow people with rooms in the hotel to enter, in spite of a major part of the convention being held in its spaces. In another case it is reported that, apparently drunk, he harassed fans.)
During the Dead Dog Party, held at the Metropole, fans started posting hotel manager jokes on the walls in the area. (They were mostly variations of lawyer jokes, but why not re-use a good thing?) E.g., "Q: What's the difference between a hotel manager and a bucket of shit? A: The bucket."
Many hotel employees found reasons to walk through the area to enjoy the decorations...
Some years later, when British con-runners were negotiating with the GM of another hotel, the manager brought up Conspiracy '87 and mentioned that he'd heard that fans were abusing the Metropole's GM. The con-runners who were negotiating said to themselves, "oh, shit! There goes our chances!", and admitted that there had been some hard feelings. The GM said, "I'm not surprised...I used to work for him." They got the hotel.
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