Zencon

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Convention
Name: Scorpio
Dates: ?-1988
Frequency: annual
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Type: fan con, fan-run, with featured guests
Focus: science fiction and media
Organization:
Founder:
Founding Date:
URL:
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Zencon was a series of fan-run science fiction and media conventions held in Australia.

Zencon I

Zencon II

Zencon II was held in October 14-16 1988 (It was originally to be held 9-11 September at Clunies Ross House, 191 Royal Pde, Parkville) at the Carlton Social Club (day) and Clunies Ross House (night) in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Blake's 7 guests were Paul Darrow, Michael Keating and Janet Lees Price.

The costume parade was held at Clunies Ross.

This con was the media natcon for that year.

One co-convenor was Geoffro.

There is a con report for this con in Avon Newsletter #35.

Fan Comments Regarding the Second Zencon and "The Blake's 7 Wars"

It was this second convention that played a role in The Blake's 7 Wars. NOTE: please keep in mind that this was a very complicated issue, and that there are many versions of what happened; the comments below illustrate some of the differing telling of events.

As to your comments re Gareth Thomas and Paul Darrow - there is a very long story behind all of that, and I don't have all the details, but I can tell you a little bit of it. When Paul came to Australia, someone gave him a slash zine to autograph (there are some totally brain dead morons in fandom!). [...] For a long time, Paul did not attend conventions (I don't know if he does now, think he does), and it's taken a long time for him to regain his faith in fandom. I think the zine was given to him at Zencon, in about 1988, I won't mention the zine publisher's names. [1]
I understood that the convention where Paul was given (or saw, it depends on whom you talk to) a slash story was in America, though I may have misunderstood. [2]

Darrow was quite convinced that his story, Avon: A Terrible Aspect was "canonical." In fact, Mrs. Darrow was fond of telling folks in letters that once Paul's book was published there would no longer be any "need" for fans to write stories about Avon's background, etc. because Paul's version would be the one true version. She was utterly convinced that everyone would accept Paul's version as the absolute truth and no one would be compelled to ever write a fan story again.

In 1988 I nearly went to ZenCon II in Melbourne, Australia, unfortunately I missed it. However, during that convention (not necessarily because of the convention, but I think I have some documentation somewhere if anyone's interested) a great upset occurred between the Darrows and some fan writers who wrote slash fiction. Most unfortunately I think this included Annie. I wonder if there's a link? Maybe Avon: A Terrible Aspect was about Darrow re-affirming his heterosexual manhood in no uncertain terms. What do you reackon? As I've written before, I didn't like what he showed me. [3]

The information I had came from when he attended a convention here in Australia. Zencon. Some bright fan handed him a slash zine, which had Darrow/Thomas slash in it and asked both he and his wife to autograph it. This is the one that led to the court case that I know of, I wasn't actually referring to the one I think you were which went no where, but the one where he tried to copyright his face and lost on that basis. I was actually at this con, and was aware of all the shouting and screaming that was going on, so I am accurate in my news there.

As far as I know, this was also an Australian zine, but I've done research and it wasn't Blake's 7 The Other Side, which is one of the one's he mentioned in his case. Oh, he lost on every count, as the makers of B7 wouldn't support him. Neither would Thomas, who was making money out of the cons and the fans and really couldn't have cared less about the whole business.

[...]

Anyway, I got my stuff autographed, being about 6 people ahead in the line before the daft fan with the slash zine, so I'm happy. [4]

References

  1. from a fan in Late For Breakfast #25 (spring 1995)
  2. from a fan in Late For Breakfast #26 (September 1995)
  3. first comment by Annie, second comment in reply by Sarah at Lysator (May 7, 1996)
  4. comments at Virgule-L, quoted anonymously (April 11, 1995)