News

1939 Retro Hugo Award Winners

4 January 2015 - the Loncon 3 Artist Showcase is now available to download in PDF format.

1939 Retro Hugo Award Winners

14 August 2014 - Loncon 3 is delighted to announce the 1939 Retro Hugo Award winners.

Record Hugo Participation

7 August 2014 - Loncon 3 is proud to announce that it received 3,587 valid ballots for the 2014 Hugo Awards. More details here.

Cosmonaut at Loncon 3

6 August 2014 - Cosmonaut Anatolii Artsebarskii will be at the whole convention and speaking on Sunday 17 August, more details here and press release here.

Programme now available

24 July 2014 - The schedule is now available through our programme guides here.

Hugo Ceremony Hosts announced

17 July 2014 - The 2014 Hugo Ceremony will be hosted by leading science fiction and fantasy authors Justina Robson and Geoff Ryman. More details here

Fantastic partnership with BFI

17 July 2014 - Loncon 3 has joined forces with the British Film Institute to celebrate the UK's long heritage of science fiction and the fantastic on television. More details here

Access services

08 July 2014 - LAST CALL: all requests for accessible accomodation must be received no later than midnight Thursday 10 July. More details here

PEN/H G Wells lecture

08 July 2014 - Audrey Niffenegger will give the first PEN / H G Wells lecture at Loncon 3. More details here

Access services

06 July 2014 - We're offering a service for booking mobility scooters. More details here

Theatre programme announced

04 July 2014 - We have released full details of our exciting theatre programme. Full details here

Childcare at Loncon 3

03 July 2014 - Please book your childcare by 14 July. Details available here. To help you plan, some programme highlights are listed here

Progress Report 4 Now Available

02 July 2014 - Download your electronic copy of our last Progress Report here. Full of essential information for getting to and enjoying the convention.

Help wanted

02 July 2014 - We have a number of specific tasks for which we're seeking volunteers. In most cases no prior experience is needed and it's a great way to meet people and be a part of Loncon 3. Details here

1939 Retro Hugo Voter Packet

01 July 2014 - The 1939 Retro Hugo Voter Packet is now available

Hall passes

20 June 2014 - For a taste of Loncon 3 at a low price, we are offering a limited number of Hall passes for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Programme participants

15 June 2014 - We are today sending emails to all our programme participants with a first draft of their schedules. It's going to be an amazing programme!

Membership rates to increase on 14 July

10 June 2014 - Loncon 3 membership rates will rise on 14 July: Adult rates increase to £135 (US$225); family rates become £300 (US$500); all other attending rates also rise. Join now to beat the increase! Full details here

Additions to 2014 Hugo Voter Packet

10 June 2014 - The voter packet has been updated to include new material in the following categories: Fan Artist, Related Work, Short Story, Novelette and Novella. Members can download the packet here.

Hugo Voting Now Open

06 June 2014 - Cast your ballot for the 2014 Hugo Awards here and for the 1939 Retro Hugo Awards here.

Worldcon Philharmonic Orchestra

03 June 2014 - The highlight of Loncon 3's music programme will be a concert by the Worldcon Philharmonic Orchestra

Masquerade and costumes at Loncon 3

03 June 2014 - If you love costumes and costuming, check out our new information about the Masquerade and Hall Costumes at Loncon 3. You can register today! More details

 

Previous Worldcons

The first World Science Fiction Convention was held in New York in July 1939, coinciding with the New York World’s Fair. The guest of honour was artist Frank R Paul, and about 200 people attended including John W Campbell Jr, Isaac Asimov, L Sprague de Camp, Edmond Hamilton, Ray Bradbury and Harry Harrison. At the time it was billed simply as “World Science Fiction Convention” although it became known as Nycon I. A second Worldcon was held in Chicago in 1940 (Chicon) and a third in Denver in 1941 (Denvention). The 1942 Worldcon was to have been held in Los Angeles but it was deferred because of American involvement in the Second World War, and was eventually held in 1946. The Worldcon has been held annually ever since.

In 1948 the Worldcon (Torcon) went to Toronto, leaving the United States for the first time. There had been a spur-of-the-moment attempt to secure the Worldcon for the UK in 1954, and the fact that it did surprisingly well may have helped a more formal presentation in 1956 which brought the Worldcon to London in 1957. Loncon, as it became known, was the fifteenth Worldcon and attracted some 260-odd people to the King’s Court Hotel, including fans from the USA and mainland Europe.

The second non-North American Worldcon was in 1965 and again in London, attracting some 350 people this time. The US Worldcons were getting considerably larger, often with memberships in the high hundreds, and in 1967 Nycon 3 much surpassed all its predecessors, attracting 1,500 people to the Statler-Hilton Hotel. It also turned out to be (to date) the last New York Worldcon.

Into the 1970s the Worldcon began to become a little more global. Heicon ’70 in Heidelberg was the first Worldcon outside an English-speaking country, and Australia staged its first Worldcon, Aussiecon, in 1975. Both had memberships in the hundreds while the North American Worldcons kept getting bigger: over 2,000 members for Los Angeles in 1971, over 3,000 in Washington DC in 1974, and over 4,000 in Kansas City in 1976. A third British Worldcon, Seacon ’79 in Brighton, attracted some 3,000 members.

Membership numbers were to peak in 1984 when over 8,000 people attended LAcon II, four times the number that had attended LAcon I twelve years earlier. Denver hosted a second Worldcon in 1981, forty years after its first, while Nolacon II in New Orleans was a mere thirty-seven years after Nolacon I. The Australians staged their second Worldcon in 1985 and the UK its fourth, and a second time for Brighton, in 1987. It was here that the Netherlands made a successful bid to host the 1990 Worldcon in The Hague, only the second Worldcon outside the (formally) English-speaking world.

The last couple of decades have mixed familiar and unfamiliar locations. There have been two more Worldcons in the UK (1995 and 2005), both in Glasgow, and two more in Australia (1999 and 2010), both in Melbourne. The first Asian Worldcon was in 2007, with over 3,000 people in Yokohama. And the 2012 Worldcon was in Chicago, the seventh in that city meaning it’s hosted more Worldcons than any country other than the USA. Recent years have also seen Worldcons in San Antonio, Reno, Montreal and Denver.

This is the tradition that has led to Loncon 3, the third London Worldcon, the seventh British Worldcon, the seventy-second Worldcon, and the seventy-fifth anniversary of that first 200 person gathering in Caravan Hall, New York in 1939.

You might also want to see the long list of Worldcons, produced and maintained by the WSFS Long List Committee.