The first NOVACON was organised by the University of Aston SF Group in 1971. At that time there was only one annual SF convention in the UK which took place over Easter weekend and the ASFG in its youthful exuberance realised that there was more than enough support for another one to be held midway between these.
After a year or so of hard work and worry NOVACON (NOV- November, NOVA - New) was held during the first weekend of November 1971, taking over a small hotel in the centre of Birmingham with the programme running from lunchtime on Saturday to lunchtime on Sunday, although most fans stayed from Friday to Sunday evening to meet and chat with old friends.
The weekend proved such a success that its members voted to make it an annual event so the ASFG formally handed it onto the recently formed Birmingham Science Fiction Group to ensure continuity from year to year. Since then NOVACON has developed into a fan centred rather than academic convention, based around a single stream structured Programme and intended to let its members circulate and talk to one another if they wish as well as attend programme items.
NOVACON attendees are drawn from all over the UK while a fair number come from Europe, to provide an eclectic mixture of SF knowledge and opinions. Although there is a Programme of science fiction orientated panels, talks and other items there is also a Book Room with a variety of booksellers and other dealers, an Art Room to view and buy, an Art Auction and a Book Auction while a licensed Bar serves as a centre for discussions or just relaxing.
The NOVACON 50 was posponed from 2020 due to covid and will now run from Friday night to Sunday night 12th to 14th November 2021. The event will take place at The Palace Hotel in Buxton, Derbyshire.
Interested? Then look at the website:
Or get more information at a BSFG meeting.
THE NOVACON SPECIALS – Limited edition chapbooks published by the Birmingham SF Group each year celebrating work by their Guest of Honour. Unless specified otherwise the cost of the item also includes the Programme Book for the event which includes bibliographies and articles on the GoH. The Specials all have cover art in colour by David A Hardy. (There are only limited numbers of these titles available other years are already sold out)
NOVACON 36 (2006) - Ken MacLeod, THE INVASION DREAM, 2 short pieces - 23pgs. 300 numbered copies. £8.00
NOVACON 39 (2009) - Justina Robson, ERIE LACKAWANNA SONG (STORM FRONT). 24pg story. 250 numbered copies. £8.00
NOVACON 41 (2011) – John Meaney, STUDY IN SHADOW. Short story, 41pgs. 300 numbered copies. £8.00
NOVACON 42 (2012) Jaine Fenn THE SHIPS OF THE ALEPH 45pgs 300 numbered copies £8.00
NOVACON 43 (2013) Jo Walton TURNOVER 21pgs 250 numbered copies £8.00
NOVACON 44 (2014) Kari Sperring STRONG BROWN GOD 14 pgs 300 numbered copies £8.00
NOVACON 45 (2015) Stan Nicholls EVENTS, Anne Nicholls HEATWAVE 50 pgs 250 numbered Copies £8.00
NOVACON 46 (2016) Juliet McKenna TRACE ELEMENTS 34 pgs 250 numbered Copies £8.00
NOVACON 47 (2017) Adrian Tchaikovsky PRECIOUS LITTLE THINGS 30 pgs 250 numbered Copies £8
NOVACON 48 (2018) Chris Beckett SONS OF EDEN 34 pgs 250 numbered Copies £8
NOVACON 49 (2019) Mike Carey ALL THAT’S RED EARTH 60 pgs 250 numbered Copies £8
(Novacon 49 cover by Alex Storer)
We also have very limited numbers of the following:
NOVACON 18 (1988) Gary Kilworth TRIVAL TALES 16 pgs 500 numbered copies £10
NOVACON 20 (1990) Jack Cohen ARE YOU CONTENT IN YOUR CONTEXT? 12 pgs 450 numbered copies £8
NOVACON 21 (1991) Colin Greenland IN THE GARDEN 16 pgs 500 numbered copies £10
NOVACON 23 (1993) Stephen Baxter CHIRON 12 pgs 400 numbered copies (signed by author) £18
Please note that these can only be purchased from Durdles Books by PayPal, cheque or credit card. Postage is extra. Price and availability may have changed. Please contact [email protected] for current details.