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One Year to Worldcon

17/08/2004. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Glasgow to welcome over 4000 science fiction fans in August 2005 - World Science Fiction Convention to boost local economy by 4m.

The largest conference to be held in Glasgow during 2005 will open to the public exactly one year from today. Interaction, the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention will host over 4000 fans of science fiction books, movies and other media from around the world. It is estimated that the event will inject over 4m into the Scottish economy, the majority into Glasgow itself, as visitors take the opportunity to holiday in the region before and after the event.

Interaction will be only the 11th World Science Fiction Convention or Worldcon to be held outside North America since the event was begun in 1939, and only the sixth to be held in the UK. In recognition of this, the organisers are pulling out all the stops to make Interaction a truly memorable event.

Guests of Honour for 2005 will be award-winning authors Christopher Priest, Robert Sheckley and Jane Yolen, critic and fanzine editor Greg Pickersgill and veteran Scandinavian fan Lars-Olov Strandberg. Over 300 other professionals (writers, editors, publishers and critics as well as artists, scientists and television and film-makers) are expected to attend, and to contribute to over 600 hours of programme activity.

Plans for the 2005 event are now well in hand with over 100 staff already actively involved. This highlights another unique aspect of the Worldcon - it is staffed entirely by volunteers making it one of the largest wholly volunteer run events in the world. The same goes for the many professionals who contribute to this unique international celebration of science fiction in all its forms.

The Worldcon will be the largest conference held in Glasgow next year, and has received strong support from the City of Glasgow authorities throughout the bidding process and in the run up to the event itself. The Worldcon generates a significant amount of economic benefit for each host city it visits, with the 2002 event in San Jose assessed by the city as producing an economic impact of almost $10m on the surrounding area.

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