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Name: EmpathicCon
Dates: 1983-1984
Location: Liverpool, England
Type: fan run with media guests
Focus: Star Trek and other media
Founder: co-chairs: Dot Owens, Keith Jackson
Founding Date: 1983
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EmpathicCon was a Star Trek and other media con held in Liverpool, England. There were two of them.

While TerraCon never returned, and other “official” British conventions took its place, [ Dorothy Owens] did return to event organizing with another committee member, Keith Jackson, for a final two conventions dubbed EmpathicCon.

The first event was held in Liverpool in April 1983 and was originally planned to be a smaller and more intimate convention from the start. While the event had Star Trek at its heart, it also celebrated science fiction as a whole and featured guests Thom Christopher (from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century) and, once again, Anne McCaffrey. With her health declining, it was also to be Dot’s last event, although she would go on to make arrangements for a gathering the following year.

Dorothy Owens passed away from cancer in the late hours of February 1st 1984. Despite difficulties with her illness, she continued to work to arrange her final convention, EmpathicCon II. Upon her request, her collection of Star Trek magazines were donated to a convention auction further down the line, with the amount raised going to a nearby children’s hospital. The event continued in her memory, organized by the Empathy committee, stewards, and her family.

On the convention program’s first page, which was usually reserved for community creations reads simply a paraphrase of Irish poet, William Butler Yeats, “There are no strangers here - only friends you have yet to meet.” With these words dedicated to her memory, Dot’s spirit was ensured to live on. [1]


cover of the 1983 con program
inside page of the 1983 program

EmpathicCon I was held in Liverpool on April 3–6, 1983. Guest of honor was Thom Christopher. The con com included Keith Jackson and Dot Owens.


cover of the 1984 con program
inside page of the 1984 program

EmpathicCon II held in Liverpool in 1984. Guests were Thom Christopher, returning after his triumphant appearance the previous year, and Anne McCaffrey. At this con, there was a writing contest in which The Exhibit was the winner and Lady of the Dawn a near-winner.

Con Report: 1984

My first Con was everything I had expected and hoped for and more, from the opening ceremony I knew I'd arrived home at last. There was a welcoming aura about the hotel from the moment I arrived, as a Trek fan I had at first expected to be out of sorts but none of it from the crowds in the reception onwards.

The video room catered for everyone, at first I was disappointed that there was only a couple of Trek episodes to be shown but I was actually glad later there was too much to do and see to bother with videos. The guests - Thom Christopher and Anne McCaffery - were marvellous. I particularly noticed how relaxed they appeared and would stop to talk to anyone who approached them. In the evening there was the Fancy Dress which I loved, and the disco where I was introduced to the Trek records 'In the Starfleet' and 'I lost my Heart to a Starship Captain'. I can't help but feel elated whenever I hear these records. I'11 never be able to listen to the Village People or Sarah Brightman in the same way again. It's such a pity that both these records are now out of print. Sunday's fashion show was an eye-opener, to say the least, and I enjoyed it immensely. I will admit to a few tears at the closing ceremony, I never knew or met Dot Owens but she leaves behind a legacy that I hope will continue to flourish. Lastly I'd like to say a heartfelt thanks to my local PARSEC group, without whom I'd still be living in a closet, and to everyone at Empathy who made this con the

sheer high that it was for me. I can't wait for UFP.[2]