British national science fiction convention, Eastercon, cancelled for 2020 – along with the rest of your year (news).

Sad news, no happier for being totally expected, the British national science fiction convention, Eastercon, has been cancelled for 2020 with the UK’s new upgraded pandemic measures – no bars, eat-in food, etc, effectively shuttering hotels, bars, pubs, and restaurants.

Vanessa and John, the co-chairs over at Concentric 2020, said,

“Further to our last communication, we along with the hotel have been closely monitoring the PHE and UK Government guidelines as they have evolved over the past week. As we know, the situation with regard to COVID-19 changes on an hourly basis.”

“We have now taken the hard decision in conjunction with the hotel to cancel Concentric 2020 for the health and safety of all of our members. This is not a decision we have taken lightly as there has been a lot of hard work put into the planning thus far, however the committee and the hotel feel that this is the right thing to do. The recent mandate to close restaurants and bars made it impossible for the hotel to continue to use their meeting and conference space.”

“As you can imagine it will take time to unwind all of the preparations for the convention. We will be in touch with you regarding membership refunds and also about some of the traditional Eastercon business such as bid sessions, award ceremonies, etc. We ask that you bear with us as we work our way through this. We will continue to communicate with you as we have information to share.”

“The Hilton will be in touch with those members who booked with them in regard to those room bookings. We realise that some of you may receive multiple copies of this. We apologise for this but we want to ensure we reach all of our members. In the meantime, please look after yourselves and each other and we look forward to seeing you at Eastercon next year wherever that may be. Thank you for your support.”

SFcrowsnest warned about what we feared would happen in an article published on January 27th and were snowed on the socials with “It’s just the Flu” by fans who couldn’t process what happens when an R Nought disease of up to 7.0 (e.g. you might as well try stopping the wind) generates a hospitalization rate of up to 20% (e.g. there isn’t a health care system in the world that can cope with this unless your country goes into total lockdown).

Shit, we do so wish SFcrowsnest had been the ones who were wrong, and our”It’s just the Flu”-readers had been proved right.

For countries leading the way in showing how to battle through this, Singapore and Hong Kong are shining lights in their test-test-test to the gunnels methodology, early border closures, and geo-app-based intelligence systems backing up distancing measures. Ditto, Germany, with a health service with 29.2 ICU beds per 100,000 people; compared to the UK which has just 6.6 ICU beds per 100,000 people (hence the low German fatality numbers to date).

Still, we would rather be in the UK than inside the USA. Apparently patients there are being left with an average $36,000 bill for a Coronavirus stay. And any insurance market is based on the rare distributed possibility of risk, not the Italian-style certainty of a mass wave attack of sick patients. How pissed off would you be if you had been paying many thousands into your nice diddly middle class health plan, you arrive at a hospital in the States, and they can’t treat you because they have no beds and respirators left? Answer – f%$%%^&ing furious.

We suspect Trump’s almost guaranteed second term based on the economy might just have been flushed down the crapper unless he can turn this tanker around. Hello world-wide recession, likely hyper-inflation, and anyone for a Democrat with an NHS-USA plan?

Sadly, by May 2020, we’re all going to be looking like the Italian shit-show, with some nations suffering worse than others.

On the plus side, we are coming through this eventually, and 80% of those infected will just suffer something comparable to a bad cold/nasty flu (and thank God our kids aren’t dying from it).

It’s also a shot across the bows by nature. If asteroids are God’s way of asking how your space programme is coming along, a Coronavirus pandemic is God’s way of warning you that next time the viral payload could be an Ebola-like 60-80% mortality rate, and maybe you might want to take this shit a little more seriously in future.

It’s also a timely reminder that the fight isn’t right versus left, or woke versus un-woke, or sunni versus shia, or a thousand other divisions that only exist in our imaginations. Earth is our shared lifeboat and we’re all brothers and sisters descended from the same 150,000-year-old woman, Mitochondrial Eve, from the bankers of Wall Street through to the Inuits of Greenland and the Maori of New Zealand. All related to each other.

Stay safe, brother, and look after each other, sister … no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

British national science fiction convention, Eastercon, cancelled for 2020
See you next year, cosplaying buddies


Colonel Frog is a long time science fiction and fantasy fan. He loves reading novels in the field, and he also enjoys watching movies (as well as reading lots of other genre books).

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