Levitation Read Me

An Easter egg with unicorn and rocket patterns

Telford International Centre

29th March – 1st April 2024

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Eastercon2024

X: @Eastercon2024
Bluesky: @easterconuk.bsky.social
Instagram: @eastercon2024
Mastodon: @eastercon2024@wandering.shop





Welcome to Levitation!

We are delighted to welcome you and our guests Jackie Burns, Genevieve Cogman, Michelle Sagara, Elsa Sjunneson, Dr. Srinihari and Tade Thompson to Telford for the very first time.

Telford and the Coalbrookdale valley is the official UNESCO recognised cradle of the Industrial Revolution, and we have tried to reflect that in our programme. But it’s also next door to Shrewsbury, with an abbey and castle founded in the eleventh century, and the gateway to Wales so expect to see some mediaeval Welsh history on the programme. And as we’ve been lucky enough to land on a space race anniversary, we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Mariner Mercury Flyby on Friday night.

It’s the 75th Easter Convention, which means we are officially old, and celebrating our Diamond Jubilee. We don’t have any members who have been attending all of those, but notables long serving attendees include Edward James (1964), Bill Burns (1965), ½r (1966), Mary Burns (1971). You can find out more on the eastercon fandom wiki, or come to The best and worst memories of Eastercon Chairs panel.

Alternative formats

You will be able to get a paper copy, either regular or large print, at the convention. You can also download a pdf version below. However, any updates to the Read Me will only appear in this online version.

PDF Version

Updates to the Read Me

The following updates have been made to this online version since the PDF and print versions:

  • Added details of the European Fan Fund
  • Fan funds can be voted for at the fan tables in the Dealers’ room, not at the Ops Help Desk



Convention Opening and Closing Times

Remember, the clocks go forward on Saturday night. All times for Friday and Saturday are GMT, and Sunday and Monday are BST.

Telford International Centre

Friday: 9:30am–11pm

Saturday: 9:30am–11pm

Sunday: 9:30am–midnight

Monday: 9:30am–11pm

The closing times reflect when the doors will be locked. People will need to start leaving earlier.

Registration Desk

Friday: 10am–8pm

Saturday: 10am–8pm

Sunday: 10am–noon

Monday: Closed

When closed, go to the Ops Help Desk for assistance.

Ops Help Desk

Friday: 9:30am–11pm

Saturday: 9:30am–11pm

Sunday: 9:30am–midnight

Monday: 9:30am–11pm

Dealers’ Room

Friday: 2pm–6pm

Saturday: 10am–6pm

Sunday: 10am–6pm

Monday: 10am–2pm

Art Show

Friday: Preview 4pm–5pm, sales open 5pm–7pm

Saturday: 10am–6pm

Sunday: 10am–5pm (collection of purchased art, 4pm–6:30pm)

Telford International Centre Food

Friday: 11am–9pm

Saturday: 9:30am–9pm

Sunday: 9:30am–9pm

Monday: 9:30am–2pm

Telford International Centre Bar

Friday: midday–10:30pm

Saturday: 10am–10:30pm

Sunday: 10am–11:30pm

Monday: 10am–2pm

Hotel Bars

The bars at the hotels will remain open in response to demand and at the discretion of the hotel.



Questions and Problems

If you have any questions, problems or concerns during Levitation:

  • Your first port of call should be the Registration Desk.
  • When the Registration Desk is closed, go to the Ops Help Desk or call them on +44 7392 576 798.
  • For a Lost and Found, go to the Ops Help Desk.
  • For a medical emergency, speak to one of the venue’s stewards in the hall. If you need help finding them, ask at the Ops Help Desk. If things are very serious and you need to call 999 straight away, tell the convention centre, who need to know where the emergency is so they can direct the paramedics.
  • A member of the committee will be acting as the Duty Committee Member (DCM). This person will be wearing a green hi-vis vest.
  • If the matter you’d like to discuss is serious or confidential, please contact the Listener team who can either take your report, or sit in with you while you talk to the Chairs as you choose. You can contact the Listener team on +44 7388 430 090 or on the online Discord through Server Guide > Listeners.
  • For virtual members, or if the problem is not urgent, you can post the problem in the #help-desk channel of the online Discord or call the Ops Help Desk on +44 7392 576 798.

Please remember that everyone is a volunteer (and we have roles for more!) and be patient with us.

How to identify key people

On Duty Committee Member (DCM): Green Hi-Vis

Ops and other Area Heads: Orange Hi-Vis

Head of Volunteers: Purple Hi-Vis



Guests of Honour

A photograph of Jackie Burns, a white woman with light hair, looking at the camera and smiling.

Jackie Burns is our guest artist this year, and has generously donated her artwork for our newsletters, social media streams and other publications (and if you volunteer, you can get a t-shirt with one of her illustrations on it). Jackie is a Fellow of the International Association for Astronomical Artists, a science communicator, and engaged with a wide range of materials. Appropriate for a convention taking place in the heart of the materials’ revolution she has worked in canvas, fibre, glass, metal and digital. Her recent exhibitions include NASA 60th Anniversary Art Exhibition at Houston, Texas (2018) and a one-woman aerospace and astronomy art exhibition at the Well House Gallery in Essex. You can find out more about her and her art on website https://1-jackie-burns.pixels.com/

A photograph of Genevieve Cogman, a white woman with dark hair, looking to the right of the frame.

British writer Genevieve Cogman has many strings to her bow. She’s the Sunday Times bestselling author of the popular Invisible Library series (published by Pan MacMillan in the UK and Ace Roc in the US), exploring alternate realities, time-travel, magic, power, and the nature of fiction itself. Her latest book, Scarlet (from the same publishers) is the first in a new trilogy, which reimagines the Scarlet Pimpernel in a world of vampires and enchantment. She’s a successful creator of source books and scenarios for multiple role-playing games, including In Nomine, GURPS Vorkosigan, Exalted, Orpheus, Magnum Opus, and The Dresden Files. She’s a statistician who specialises in medical applications. Her latest book, Elusive, will be published in May 2024. You can find her online at http://www.grcogman.com/

An photograph of Michelle Sagara, an Asian woman with dark hair, looking into the camera.

Michelle Sagara/Michelle West is an author, reviewer and bookseller based in Toronto, Canada. As Michelle West, she is the author of the Essalieyan series, focused upon how power affects people at all levels of society, and the bonds this makes between them. As Michelle Sagara, she writes the urban fantasy/mystery series The Chronicles of Elantra, The Wolves of Elantra, and the Lessons of the Academia; as well as the YA series The Queen of the Dead. Her first series, The Sundered, has been reissued under the name Michelle Sagara West. She reviews regularly for the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and served as a judge for the World Fantasy Award in 2002. She has twice been nominated for the John W. Campbell award. Find her at https://michellesagara.com/



A photo of Elsa Sjunneson, a white woman with dark hair, an occluded cataract on her right eye, and a purple hearing aid, looking at the camera from behind a tree.

Professor Elsa Sjunneson is an author, editor, historian, critic and activist, who writes fiction and non-fiction and has won the Hugo, Aurora, British Fantasy Award, and the D. Franklin Defying Doomsday Award, and was a finalist for the Best Fan Writer and Best Semiprozine Hugos and Best Game Writing Nebula Award. She has published across multiple venues, including Uncanny, Fireside, CNN, The Boston Globe and Tor.com. As a game designer, she worked on Changeling, Wraith, The Fate Accessibility Toolkit, and Dead Scare, and was part of the team for the audio comic Jessica Jones: Playing with Fire. Her editorial credits include Fireside, Uncanny, and Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction. She founded and wrote the ground-breaking blog Feminist Sonar (2011-2016). Her memoir, Being Seen: One Deafblind Woman’s Fight to End Ableism was published in 2021. Find her at https://www.snarkbat.com

A photograph of Dr. Srinarahari, an Asian man with dark hair, looking into the camera.

Dr. Srinarahari is a critic, academic, writer and fan who has changed the face of Indian Science Fiction studies. He is the Secretary-General of the Indian Association for Science Fiction Studies®, Bangalore, India and the Vice President of the Asian Science Fiction Association. He has organised national and international Science Fiction Conferences as well as writing sf and contributing to Locus. He was the first person in India to run an SF Writing Short Story Workshop for children aged 13-15; and has conducted similar workshops for many other groups, including scientists, sf writers, women writers, working women, students, and senior citizens. His doctoral research focused on the works of Asimov. Several of his articles, reflecting his holistic approach to the Indian Science Fiction Studies can be found on Academia.org

A photograph of Tade Thompson, a black, bald man, looking into the camera.

Tade Thompson is the critically-acclaimed author of the Wormwood trilogy, the Molly Southbourne novella series, and the stand-alone novels Making Wolf and Far from the Light of Heaven, and the novella Jackdaw, as well as many short stories. The first volume of the Wormwood series, Rosewater, won the Arthur C Clarke Award, the Prix Utopiales and the Nommo Award. He won the Kitschies Golden Tentacle Award (for Making Wolf) and the Prix Julia Verlanger for The Murders of Molly Southborne, and has been a finalist for John W. Campbell Best Novel award, the Locus awards, the Shirley Jackson Award and the Hugo Awards among others. In 2023, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives and works on the south coast of England. 



The On-Site Venue

The Convention Centre, including the vending machines, are cashless.

There is no way to access the building or car park overnight, not even in an emergency.

Please do not stick any posters or similar to any part of the convention centre. We will put a board for A4 posters near the Registration Desk.

Late night social space

All members of the convention are welcome in the Holiday Inn Bar after the convention centre closes, although only residents of the Holiday Inn and the International can purchase drinks after 11pm (this is the law).

There will be a late night Games Room in the Holiday Inn.

Parking in the Convention Car Park

Car parking charges: £5 a day for members, Gate A, directed to car park 1, areas E1 and E4, and pay at gate 1. Card only.

The car park closes each evening when the building is locked. There is no pedestrian access. This means that from town you have to walk around the car park to get to the hotels.



The Virtual Space

We are a fully hybrid convention. We will be streaming as much of the programme items as possible, and programme participants may be on-site or virtual.

The online virtual portion of the convention is open to all our members, both virtual and on-site.

We are using a platform called RingCentral Events to stream programme items and make them available for catch-up afterwards. RingCentral Events works in your browser both on desktop and mobile.

For online chat, both text and audio/video, we are using Discord. Here you can chat with other members, discuss programme items, and take part in the social events. Discord works in your browser or via their app on desktop and mobile.

You can get access to both through our member portal.

When we open up the member portal we will send you an email with a link to sign in to the portal. You can request a new link by going to https://members.eastercon2024.co.uk/login/ and entering the email address you gave when registering for the convention.

Thank you to the Glasgow 2024 Worldcon for allowing us to use their RingCentral Events licence and covering part of the costs.



The Hotels

The Convention Hotels are The Holiday Inn and the International. Note that while we will do our best to help if any issues arise at other hotels, we have no formal relationship with any other hotel. The main late-night social space is at The Holiday Inn when theTelford International Centre is closed.

Parking in the joint hotel car park is free for all hotel residents in either of the two convention hotels.

If you are staying in the Premier Inn or Travelodge use the Southwater car park: both hotels have a deal in which you are charged a low fee for each entry/exit. Travelodge has 4 accessible parking bays on site.

The hotels can store residents’ luggage: please ask at hotel reception.

There is also a cloakroom in the convention centre next to the Registration Desk, which is £3 per item.

Food and Drink

In the convention centre

Food will be available to buy in the convention centre from opening to 9pm (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) and to 2pm on Monday. The menu includes breakfast rolls (£4.50), vegan chilli (£12), burgers (£12), 9” pizzas (£12.95), baked potatoes (£8.50), sandwiches and salads (from £5), and cookies, muffins, donuts from £3.50. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and meat options are available across the range. The convention centre also has a small Costa’s and vending machines with crisps and snacks. You may bring in your own food.

There is a bar serving a range of alcohol, and Shropshire brewery Salopian offering four real ales (Shropshire Gold, Darwin’s Origin, Hop Twister and Lemon Dream). Non and low alcoholic drinks are also available. The bar will be serving from midday to 10.30pm on Friday, 10am to half an hour before the venue closes (subject to demand) on Saturday and Sunday, and from 10am to 2pm on Monday.

The convention centre, including the vending machines, are cashless.

In the hotels

The two convention hotels are the Holiday Inn and the International. The off-site bar is at the Holiday Inn. There is a beer garden at the back of the Holiday Inn that does not allow smoking. Note that the indoor bar has a dog friendly section towards the back of the bar.

After hours, the hotel can only serve alcohol to residents of either of the convention hotels. The bar will remain open in response to demand and at the discretion of the hotel.

The bar in the Holiday Inn offers Guinness, Stella, Bud, Corona, Camden IPA, Becks and Magners on tap, and a range of bottled beers, spirits, wine and soft drinks.

The lunch menu includes sandwiches from £6.75 with gluten free bread on request, veggie burgers and vegetarian sandwiches; the dinner menu has vegetarian and gluten free options.

The nearby Travelodge does not have a bar or social area.

The Premier Inn closest to the convention centre has alcohol available on request in the breakfast area, but does not have a full service bar.

Local cheap eats

Telford town centre has a lively range of restaurants within walking distance as well as large supermarkets, sandwich shops and bakeries.


Levitation is entirely run by volunteers, all of whom have paid for their memberships, and if you’ve already offered to help, then thank you! If you haven’t already volunteered, it’s not too late.

We will need volunteers for Move in from Thursday 10am.

We will need volunteers for Move Out from Monday afternoon to Monday evening (we do not have a tear down day on Tuesday).

And we have plenty of other roles to fill.

Please come to the Ops Help Desk to sign up with the head of Volunteering, Emjay. You will be able to identify her via her purple hi-vis jacket.

One of the ways we thank our volunteers is with groats. Each is worth £2 when used in the convention and hotel bars, on convention food or in the Dealers’ Room.

We also have a T-shirt! It’s available to those who volunteer for 8 or more hours for the convention. If you volunteered in time you will be able to pick it up at the convention. For everyone else they will be posted after the convention.

Come to the Volunteer Induction Session to find out more.

If you have groats from Conversation that you were unable to exchange at the time you may exchange them with the Treasurer in Ops for Levitation Groats. Note, you must exchange them for Levitation Groats – the venue and dealers will not accept Conversation Groats.

Dress-up day

We are having a dress-up day on Saturday, though you are of course more than welcome to dress up on the other days if you would like.

“Dress up” can be many things:

  • Cosplay
  • Costume on the theme of Science & Industry
  • Any other costume you like
  • Or just your fanciest outfit

We do have two rules:

  1. Please bear in mind the convention Code of Conduct
  2. No weapons

Everyone: When you collect your badge from registration you’ll be given two Hall Costume Tokens; you can use these to vote for your favourite costume by giving them to the person wearing it.

Costumers: Take any tokens you are given to the Ops Help Desk.  Write your badge number on the back of all of them and what your costume is on the back of at least one of them and post in the box provided.

Workshops and other sign-up items

Please sign up at the Registration Desk unless otherwise indicated. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Art show

The art show is an opportunity for members of the convention to display and optionally sell their art. The paintings, sculptures and crafts will be on display through most of the convention for members to look at and buy if for sale. The art show will be in-person only.

We aren’t doing any auctions this year, so make sure to come to the preview at 4pm on Friday to scope out what you want to buy before it gets snatched up.

In the art show you will also find an exhibit from Michelle Rosenblum. Michelle Rosenblum presents convention material from the collections of her late father, Howard Rosenblum, and grandfather J. Michael Rosenblum, a member of the first Eastercon. This is a unique opportunity for the Eastercon community to have access to this material collected over a period of more than seventy years. At time of writing, the fanzines presented here are from the 1950s and the convention material covers the 1965 London Worldcon to the 1984 Eastercon/Eurocon in Brighton. Michelle continues to catalogue this extensive collection and is delighted to share part of her family’s inheritance.

The Many Things to Vote For

When you picked up your badge from the Registration Desk, you should have received an envelope containing Hall Costume Tokens and ballot forms for the Doc Weir Award and the BSFA Awards.

The Doc Weir Award celebrates the unsung heroes in fandom, those who do the work behind the scenes every year. You can vote online through the members portal, or find Claire Brialey at the fan funds table in the Dealers’ room for a paper ballot. Voting closes at 11am Monday.

The BSFA Awards are voted on by members of the British Science Fiction Association and the Eastercon. You can vote online through the members portal. Vote by noon on Saturday online (there are no paper ballots). The winners will be announced on Saturday at the BSFA Awards Ceremony.

On Saturday we are having a dress-up day, where people can dress up in cosplay, a costume on the theme of science and industry, or just plain dressing up. You will be given Hall Costume Tokens when you register, which you can give to people whose outfit you think is amazing.

There are several fan fund races, some of which close shortly after the end of the convention:

  • Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund – which sends fans between Europe and North America
  • Going Under Fan Fund – which send fans between Europe and Oceania
  • European Fan Fund – which enables fans to travel within Europe to attend the Eurocon

You can cast your vote at the Fan Fund Table in the Dealers’ room.

Letter from the 2023 Doc Weir Award winner and current administrator

Do you know someone in fandom who helps make things happen, contributing time, effort, ideas and support – often behind the scenes? That might mean that they’ve already won the Doc Weir Award (you can see a list of winners, and what they’ve done, on efanzines). But it might mean that you just think they must have won, until you check.

Named in memory of Dr Arthur Rose ‘Doc’ Weir and first presented in 1963, the Award offers some recognition for the community activities that can seem to go unnoticed. It’s been won by authors, booksellers and many fans: fanzine editors, convention runners, club organisers, and other people who just do stuff; winners have included specialists who contribute in a particular role at every opportunity, people who help out all over the place in a variety of ways, and most points in between. It’s not necessarily an award for conrunning in general or Eastercon-running in particular, although it often has been.

As an on-site or virtual attending member of Levitation, you can vote from Friday 29 March until 11 am on Monday 1 April. (Only one vote per member in that period will count towards this year’s award.) Votes can be cast through the member portal; if you’re there in person and have a question or prefer a paper ballot form, come to find me at the fan funds table in the dealers’ room. The 2024 winner will be announced at the closing ceremony.

– Claire Brialey

Activities in Town

There are several programmed items that involve going outside of the convention centre, including The Long Walk to Ironbridge and Visit to RAF Cosford museum. You will need to sign up for these in advance at the registration desk. See the programme for more details.

Park Run

Meets in Telford Town Park at 9am on Saturdays.

Other town and park activities

Other town and park activities include: a tree top walk, a climbing wall, bicycle hire, ten pin bowling, skate rink, a children’s scooter/cycle track (behind the pond) and several walking routes of different lengths. The park is about 85% wheel accessible, with alternative routes on the occasions it’s not.

Activities further afield: Shrewsbury (mediaeval) and Coalbrookdale and Ironbridge (eighteenth century) are both worth visiting. If you are staying on after the convention.

Getting around

The local Taxi App is Veezu. The local bus service is run by Arriva, who take contactless payment.



Code of Conduct

We will always assume that you have read the code of conduct, and related policies. Please make sure you have familiarised yourself with it.

Our Code of Conduct applies on-site, in virtual spaces and on social media.

Reporting an incident (which may have taken place on site or on line)

Please take incident reports to the Ops Help Desk, Registration, or via the Discord complaints channel. Contact them as soon as you can if a situation arises. The complaint will be heard, in confidence, in a private place by a member of the Listening Team, and an appropriate response agreed upon with the complainant.

If you need to speak with the Listening Team directly, call: +44 7388 430 090 (or have someone from the Ops Help Desk call for you – you do not have to explain).

See our complaints procedure for more details.

Disease Mitigation Policy

The full disease mitigation policy is available online. We know we cannot achieve perfection but we ask you to be mindful of the needs of all attendees and to consider this as a matter of community care. While some people shrug off viruses easily, for others it can lead to months and sometimes years of consequences.

Please wear masks in programme items, while registering, and in the Dealer Hall (where masks and hand gel will be available at the door).

Please consider wearing masks if you are in crowded spaces (although we have chosen this site because it supports social distancing).

Please think twice before hugging that friend you’ve not seen for six months without checking for consent.

The convention venue meets the Covid ventilation requirements: ventilation is built into the venue, and air is not recirculated.

Thank you to Dave Clements who has provided the Air Monitors we will be using in this convention.



What to do if you feel unwell

If you have a covid test kit please use it. The Ops Help Desk will have a small number available on request.

If you are ill and need help, in the first instance please contact NHS 111 for medical advice and assistance, or your hotel for assistance with obtaining food, extending your stay, etc. If you have difficulties that they can’t resolve, please let the Ops Help Desk know via the #help-desk channel in the online Discord or through the Listener team on +44 7388 430 090.

You should not report other people’s conditions unless they ask you to, or if you are concerned that they are too unwell to act on their own cognisance. Announcing on social media that someone is ill without their permission is a GDPR breach and a breach of the Code of Conduct.


Mobility: People in larger mobility scooters may need to use the large goods lift indicated on the map. If there is not anyone there to operate the lift, call the main switchboard on 01952 281 500 and they will send someone. If there are any issues/ delays, please let us know at the Ops Help Desk or in the #help-desk channel on the online Discord.

Microphone: All panels and talks are microphoned. All presenters must use the microphone.

Silent spaces: this is a room intended for sitting in silence, where no activities are allowed (including reading or using your phone). This will be available each day from 11am. Note, there may be noise leaking from neighbouring rooms, and the aircon makes some noise, so do bring noise cancelling headphones if you need complete silence.

Quiet spaces: these are places where you may do a jigsaw or read a book/electronic item, but may not make phone calls.



Priority seating: We will mark some seats as reserved for those who have access needs. If you are able to stand or move to a different seat, please give up a priority seat if asked.

Allergies: Please avoid bringing nuts into the public spaces of the convention (your own room is fine). Be aware that nut allergy is one of the most serious allergies and if you have been eating nuts, make sure you have washed your hands and face afterwards (in the most extreme cases, even this level of contact can cause a reaction).

We ask all attendees to refrain from applying scented products while in the convention spaces, including toilets. (It is fine to wear scented products, but please apply them in your own hotel room or outside).

You can find more information on our access policy.

In Memoriam

It is right that we remember, with respect and love, those whom we have lost.

Brian Stableford — Author
Christopher Priest — Author
Vernor Vinge — Author
Jennell Jaquays — Game designer and artist
Karen Kelly — Fan (part of the Cambridge group), gamer and con runner (Follycon 1, two Unicons)
Roger Perkins — Conrunner for BECCON conventions, including 1987 Eastercon, Doc Weir Award 1990
Smudge — Frequent member of the Eastercon tech crew

The names will also be displayed during the Closing Ceremony. If there are any names of people who have passed since Conversation 2022, please add them to the list using the In Memoriam form.

Lost Property

Lost property should be taken to the Ops Help Desk. No other option is acceptable, however helpful it may seem. If you think you know who it belongs to, take the item to Ops and let that person know — do not try to deliver it directly.

Weapons Policy

No actual weapon, or any item that can be mistaken for one, may be carried either openly or concealed at any time on properties being used by or for Levitation. This includes weapons as a part of costumes. Any actual weapon, or any item that can be mistaken for one, that you have purchased from a Dealer must be wrapped and immediately transported to your hotel room or vehicle. Any item that is used in a threatening or harmful manner may be confiscated and the carrier may be asked to leave the convention.

The Team


Chair: Farah Mendlesohn (they)
Deputy & Facilities: Mike Scott (he)
Accessibility: Karen Fishwick (she)
Communications: Sue Dawson (she)
Guest Liaison: Phil Nanson (he)
Hospitality: SJ Groenewegen (she/they)
Inclusion: Leo Adams (he)
Programme: Nicholas Jackson (he)
Secretary: Andrew January (he)
Tech: James Turner (he)
Treasurer: David Cooper (he)
Volunteers: Emjay Ameringen (she)

Bid team

David Cooper
Eleanor Roberts
Emjay Ameringen
Farah Mendlesohn
John Coxon
Leo Adams
Pat McMurray
Steve Lawson



Telford map

The marked route from the station passes through the indoor shopping centre, and so is only available when the shopping centre is open (09:00-18:00 Mon-Sat (to 20:00 on Thu), 10:30-16:30 Sun, 09:00-18:00 bank holidays).

Map from https://openstreetmap.org/ used under the Open Data Commons Open Database License.