Yorcon 2

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Eastercon 32, Yorcon 2 (not II), was held at the Dragonara Hotel in Leeds, UK over Easter (April 17-21) 1981. The GoHs were Thomas M. Disch, Dave Langford, and Ian Watson. Mike Dickinson was toastmaster.

The committee were David Pringle, Graham James, Alan Dorey, Simon Ounsley, Kate Jeary, and John Colick. There was no formal chairman.

In The Story So Far, the 1987 Worldcon fan room publication that was the precursor to THEN, Rob Hansen reported

YORCON II, the 1981 Eastercon, was held in the Leeds Dragonara Hotel as its predecessor had been and was, if anything, even more relaxed; which was part of its trouble. Though it was another enjoyable convention there were accusations that the committee were taking things too easy, were resting on their laurels, and some complained that it was underprogrammed. What really caused a storm of protest, however, was the size of the profit the convention made and what they decided to do with the money. They used it to set up an SF magazine. In retrospect it’s difficult to see what all the fuss was about, because while conventions are traditionally non-profit-making affairs an unexpectedly large number of walk-in members or an over-cautious committee will inevitably generate more income than was originally budgeted for, and this money has to be disposed of somehow. By common agreement any money made by a convention should be ploughed back into fandom, but in what form? It’s long been accepted practice to make donations to fan funds such as TAFF and GUFF from convention profits, but the odd £50 or so this usually involves hardly made a dent in some recent surpluses. SKYCON got over the problem by using the money to provide a free bar for members on the final night, while ALBACON bought various pieces of equipment for use by future conventions. YORCON II chose a different course and funded Interzone, a non-profit-making SF magazine run by an unpaid editorial collective that initially included people such as Roz Kaveney, Malcolm Edwards, Simon Ounsley, Graham James, Colin Greenland, and others. As a magazine set up to further the cause of SF in Britain rather than to line the pockets of the publishers, it might have been expected to cause rather less controversy than it did."

(Much later more details emerged: the profit at the root of the kerfuffle was £1400, though at the time this was a substantial sum.)

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