Swancon 1

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AKA Duckcon 13 - The first West Australian Science Fiction Convention, held on October 9th-11th 1976.

The Convention


Maureen Smith was probably a guest rather than a full member. She may have been present only on the Saturday afternoon for her talk and the subsequent discussion. She was doing a literature PhD around SF at Murdoch, which she completed in 1978.


Anthony and Gloria Peacey's house in Milne Street, Bayswater.

All efforts to have the house listed as a World Heritage Fannish Shrine having failed it was sold to mundanes in 2002.


  • Anthony Peacey (Chairman)
  • Wally Blackburn
  • Grant Stone
  • Cliff Wind


Membership may have been $5. There seems to have been a supporting membership. In a letter dated 12 September 1976 to Dave Oldman, an SFnal friend in the UK, Anthony Peacey wrote:

We are using my address for SWANCON (indeed to Gloria's disgust it will be held here) and I keep geeting[sic] odd little items of mail, mostly from fandom over east. I think they all wonder what might be stirring in hickland. "...if you've got a thriving fandom over there we want to know about it." wrote Allan Bray, president of the South Australian SF Society. If we've got a thriving fandom over here we want to know about it too, Allan. However, he also offered to pay a supporting membership, which offer we shall not decline.


1. Anthony Peacey   21. Michael Alder
2. Wally Blackburn 22. Maureen Smith
3. Nancy Blackburn 23. Roy Ferguson
4. Grant Stone 24. Damian Brennan
5. Cliff Wind 25. Robert Goug
6. Carl Peacey 26. Geraldine Lockyer
7. S. W. Szymonek 27. L. Martin
8. J. Gartland 28. Larry Dunning
9. Graham Gough 29. S. Gunnell
10. Peter Parkinson 30. K.J. Rieder
11. Adam Jenkins 31. A. F. J. Bray
12. Andrew Harvey 32. Lyn Errington
13. Jim Dick 33. Tony Errington
14. Tony de Groot 34. Paul Lowthorpe
15. Yvonne Coombs 35. Una Gajadhar
16. Judith Hanna 36. Meg Howroyd
17. Ken Youngson 37. Robin Heckler
18. Stuart Burnfield 38. Maureen Gell
19. W. M. Hand 39. David Greely
20. Jean Horner 40. Lincoln Fowler

Movie Screenings

In keeping with the elevated and intellectual tone of the proceedings (vide Cygnetures passim) there were no actual SF movies; instead several documentary movies procured by Grant Stone through the good offices of Murdoch University Library were shown, about the science fiction genre and SF authors. The program lists the titles as:

Science Fiction
Ideas in Science Fiction
Plot in Science Fiction
New Directions in Science Fiction
Story of a writer : Ray Bradbury
Icarus Montgolfier Wright
Lunch with John W. Campbell
Science Fiction Films
Werner von Braun
Stranger than Science Fiction

Who and what did we see in these films? Cliff Wind wrote:'Films of SF figures, Campbell, Ellison, Knight, Anderson, Sturgeon, Harrison, Clarke, Dickson, Clarke, Bradbury, and 4E; NASA films, The Eagle, Skylab' (Cygnetures Page 11). Using the following scheme (Cygnetures Page 8) Damian Nite awarded them scores of relative merit(?):

****** - Deleted expletive *** - Let's do something else
***** - Let's have tea ** - Let's do anything else
**** - Let's have lunch * - R.S.

The only film to score 6 stars - 'Tarzan' (Simba Productions Ink) - did not appear on the printed program, possibly because it compromised the 'elevated and intellectual tone'. For this little gem Nite obviously found the usual 5 stars insufficient. It would be interesting to know what expletive he deleted. But alas! the mists of time... The characters in 'Tarzan' were played by Anthony Peacey's kids, and the lion by his dog. The tape exists but at the moment is unplayable, requiring as it does an antediluvian reel to reel videotape player. Efforts are being made to have this peerless production converted to DVD; as of now (20 January 2011) it looks as if the tape must go to Sony in Japan, or a lab in the Netherlands. Stay tuned.


The perpetrators of SWANCON 1 were Wally Blackburn, Gary Hoff, Anthony Peacey (your present chronicler), Grant Stone, and Cliff Wind. These five met together for the first time at Aussiecon 1 in Melbourne, in August 1975. Grant and Cliff may have known each other before that, likewise Grant and Wally.

At some central point (a stair landing?) there was a blackboard and chalk. Anthony put up a notice inviting any other West Australian fans to meet, and we five found each other. Somebody, at some point, suggested running a convention in Perth. For many years I thought it was me, but perhaps it was not. In his con report in Cygnetures Rob McGough writes 'Cliff owned up to being the master mind behind the whole thing while Grant admitted equal complicity in the event and Tony confessed to having been used by the other two'. While Cliff writes 'Tony blames me for the conception. I only mumbled something, a passing fancy of a Perth Convention, envisioning perhaps four or five sharing quarters for a couple of days, a minicon. I'm not to blame if Tony's eyes then glazed as his lips went into high gear spitting out plans--advertising, posters & newspapers, programs, films & lectures, and fen, even the overeastern type. I just laid back, going, uh, sure Tony'. Allowing for flexible memory and literary licence, something like this most certainly happened.

We met a few times over the next year and laid our plans. We aimed a little higher than Cliff's minicon, but when a news paper got wind of the thing and phoned me the guy said that the last time he had written up some such event the response had been good--a couple of hundred enquiries. He thought he would be doing us a favour. I said 'Please don't' and he didn't. It was too late in the day to plan accommodation etc. for any such crowd. As it was, the venue was filled cosily, and rooms cost $0 per night for those that wished (to share) them. I seem to remember many in their own sleeping bags, and others who stayed up all night playing Dungeons & Dragons.

Probably on the Sunday the committee raised the question of Swancon 2, and indicated that they wished someone else to take it on. Eager volunteers were forthcoming. As it turns out, it was like pushing a tiny snowball from the top of a hill. I have always been very happy for my part in it.

Publications and Productions


Cygnetures is a strange beast, a cross between a fanzine afire with naiveté and enthusiasm and a con report. It is an omnium gatherum of musings, stories, accounts of the con, personal journeys to the con or to SF - even a poem; typed with a variety of type faces, Gestetnered onto white and yellow paper of varying sizes. In form and content it reflects the nature and mood of the auspicious gathering that gave it birth.

Most of the texts were written or started at the Fanzine Factory event of the con itself. Some of these were possibly finished later, some apparently never finished. Dave Underwood co-ordinated the editorial effort. This took maybe a year. (Dave was not at the con, but picked up the job afterwards.)


External Links

Largely material from the Australian Science Fiction Distributed Archive Project (ASFDAP) blog - This!