Dysprosium, The British National Science Fiction Convention, 3-6 April 2015, Heathrow (London)


    Dysprosium is the 2015 Eastercon, the British National Science Fiction Convention.

    Eastercon is the common name for the British national science fiction convention. From 1948 until the 1960s, the convention was held over the three-day Whitsun bank holiday at the end of May. It has taken place over the four-day Easter holiday weekend ever since then. The pre-1960s conventions are generally considered to have been “Eastercons” even though they were not held over Easter.

    Eastercon has been held over the Easter weekend each year since 1955, and is a gathering place for science fiction fans from around the UK and elsewhere. Dysprosium will build on that long tradition, and, we hope, bring something new, as well. Covering books, film, TV, art and costume over a wide range of science fiction and fantasy, the programme will include talks, discussions, exhibits, quizzes, workshops and entertainment. Look around the site, follow us on Twitter or Facebook, and find out more. We hope to see you there !

    All parts of the convention will take place within the convention hotel: Park Inn, Bath Road, Heathrow, London

    Dysprosium has four outstanding Guests of Honour. All of them will be playing an active part in the programme throughout the weekend, as well as in the usual guest interviews and other items. Find out more about them here !


    Dysprosium at the Park Inn Heathrow has shattered the mould of previous Eastercons by turning “convention” on its head. 

    Delivering something completely unique, Dysprosium has a new venue, new setup and has changed the way the programme is run. It will feature pop-up publisher rooms for smaller publishing houses, a veritable ‘Diagon Alley’ of traders, a 3D feature artist, and writing workshops, all set around four days of talks about hard science, fantasy, steampunk, gaming, sci-fi, literature and filking.

    Dysprosium will feature the first European appearance of Jim Butcher. Among his body of works across steampunk, high and urban fantasy, Butcher’s Dresden Files books were chosen to be turned into a television series. Jim Butcher’s appearance at Eastercon will be both to promote his books in the UK to an avid book-reading audience but also to celebrate the 66th annual Eastercon with attendees.

     A varied programme that caters to old and new members alike, and a very broad range of interests as well as ‘classic’ SF. In addition to some of the ‘old favourites’, we’ll be including many new items. An eclectic programme that hopefully will both attract new members to Eastercon and also introduce regular attendees to new items and ideas. But don’t worry, neither are we ignoring traditional themes! We want everyone to find something to enjoy, and we hope you will.

    One of our aims is for a more ‘hands-on’ programme: more workshops, ‘how-to’ items, things people can get their hands (or brains!) dirty with, and panels with space for discussion. Many items will be serious, such as writing workshops. Some, like Dalekdrome, not quite so much!

    Programme Book

    The printed programme book will be included in registration packs, but we know that you’ll want to start planning the weekend in advance. Download it now, and let the planning begin!

    Dysprosium Programme Book (8MB PDF) (Updated 29th March to include fixed table of contents and bookmarks to help navigation)



    Judi Hodgkin –
    Treasurer of Concussion in 2006 as well as hands-on for other aspects of the convention. She has been involved in fandom since her childhood in Australia where some early Swancons might not have happened if her family hadn’t provided the venue.

    Deputy Chair

    Tim Kirk
    Tim started going to conventions through gaming and comics events in the late 80s. 1990 saw him going to Eastercon and turning up early to help. The final PR had a call for volunteers, and said that was a good way to make new friends. It proved to be so. Since then he has been at almost every Eastercon. Generally helping with green room and art show, and putting in various stints elsewhere in conrunning. Outside SF fandom Tim is a cyclist, gamer and regular sleeping place for cats.

    Secretary and Web site

    Paul Taylor –
    Paul usually does his best to remain in the background, but seems to have failed on this occasion. He has worked on web sites and other administration for Redemption and several Eastercons, and was deputy head of Promotions for Loncon 3.


    Sarah Shemilt –
    Sarah’s first experience of conventions was over at The Witching Hour in 2005 where she was Deputy Chair of Accounting & Legal. After that, the bug had bitten and in 2009, Sarah attended her first Eastercon, which she has attended ever since (broken ankle or not). She is normally to be found in Ops being “polite yet assertive”, which includes Loncon 3, her first Worldcon.

    Hotel Liaison

    Hunting Osprey (Sarah Brider) –
    Drawn into convention going via the Dr Who fandom in 2004, Sarah (Hunting Osprey) is a relative newcomer to Eastercons. Her first was Odyssey and she has attended all Eastercons and Redemptions since. She committed the mistake of performing an act of competency in a public place at Odyssey, she’s been incarcerated in Ops for every convention since. Making a bid for freedom, she has joined her first ever committee as Hotel Liaison.


    John Harold
    He has been doing things at conventions since he walked into the 1987 Worldcon in Brighton and asked if he could help; 36 hours later he was helping to run the gopher hole and help out anywhere possible. Since then he has done most things at cons except be a chair, or work in the green room. Mostly doing Ops but helping tech out at times. Art Shows mainly in the last few years and moving things when needed on this side of the pond. Con work has taken him as far as Japan and (as with Dysprosium) about five miles down the road, all of it interesting and he hopes he has been of use to those he has worked with. One of the good things about working at cons has been the friends garnered from many parts of the world just from that simple “Can I help?” In the real world he is supposed to be retired, but he still works at an FE college as a sensory-needs learning assistant, which is a bit of a change from many years as a site engineer in strange places and then a short period with the education side of the probation service. When that was privatised he ended up in academia, where he has in many classes learnt at least as much as those he was supporting and trying to make the experience good for them. He is looking forward to Dysprosium and with luck meeting new people and recruiting them to cons.


    Judith Lewis –
    Judith used to be evil. In her past she has: ‘borrowed’ a member badge to attend a con; slept 6 in a 2-person room; and not volunteered. Since then she has reformed her evil ways and volunteered for numerous conventions as well as running some small ones. She is an expert in online marketing so ideal for Communications.

    Legal/Assisting with Programme

    Peter Harrow Esq, LLB (Hons), V.S.S.
    Attending Eastercon first with Concussion, Peter then went on to staff as part of the Programme Team for Contemplation. Peter put together the bid and was Co-Chair of LX. In real life a solicitor, Peter has the soul of an artist (amongst several he has collected) and his sculptures are well known to habitués of the Art Show.

    Head of Programme

    Dave Row –
    Dave has been attending Cons since… well, if he were younger he could probably remember when. His first convention was a Novacon memorable for the (oddly unique) decision to hold the fancy dress competition around the swimming pool, with the expected result. He has been responsible for running a number of anime conventions, including the first one held in the UK, but has so far managed to evade the consequences.

    Advisors to the Committee

    John Naylor and Karen Grover
    John and Karen (Major Tinker and Lady Elsie) are exceedingly busy people. Without them, Steampunk in the UK would be vastly poorer and possibly, non-existent. They
    bring a wealth of experience of running conventions and ideas that will make Dysprosium one of the most memorable Eastercons ever.


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