Unicon IV

The 17th Australian National Science Fiction Convention, and the second Unicon convention run by the Melbourne University Science Fiction Association. It was held 24-27 March 1978 at the Melbourne Town House Hotel, Swanston Street, Melbourne.

It was not the first Australian Natcon to have an overseas Guest of Honour, but was the first to have two such guests: Roger Zelazny and Brian Aldiss. (The chairman, Roger Weddell didn't quite understand how to invite Guests of Honor and wrote to all of his possibilities at once. Two of them accepted immediately. The third, Samuel Delany wasn't checking his mail regularly and was too late. It was expensive, but made for a wonderful convention.)

Issue 54 of SF Commentary includes transcripts of a Brian Aldiss question and answer session and a "Special Guest's Speech" from Roger Zelazny (the former reprinted from Yggdrasil and the latter reprinted in Yggdrasil). The programme item for Roger Zelazny's speech in the programme book for the convention does indeed call Zelazny a Special Guest, whereas that for Brian Aldiss's speech calls Aldiss a Guest of Honour, but earlier in the same programme book is a biography headed "Guest of Honour: Roger Zelazny" preceding one headed "Guest of Honour: Brian Aldiss".

The programme book says there was "no committee as such", whereas SF Commentary attributes the tape(s) of the Roger Zelazny speech (transcribed by Bruce Gillespie) to "Alan Wilson, Terry Stroud, Kevin Noonan, and other members of the Unicon Committee".

The clubzine of the Melbourne University Science Fiction Association, Yggdrasil, was on the ballot for the Ditmar Award for Best Amateur Australian Publication, and received the most votes, but the award was reassigned to the runner-up, Enigma.


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