Margaret Austin

Margaret's first contact with fandom was in 1974 when she responded to a plug in the British publication "Radio Times" from the person running the Star Trek Action Group.  This led to attending Britain's first ST con in Leicester where she became a steward in order to get a room as the hotel was full.  Rather curiously Martin Easterbrook, who later became her partner, was a gatecrasher at this con although she never met him at the time.  He and his friend were evicted when found sleeping in the art show.  As a steward she was warned to watch out for him! The story only came to light at a dinner party Margaret attended with Martin many years later. 

Close encounters of the second kind was later in 1974 when Margaret visited Andromeda (an SF bookshop) to purchase a copy of The Making of Star Trek and met Rog Peyton who told her all about SF cons and suggested she come to Birmingham's Novacon in November.  Close Encounters of the third kind was with Gerry Webb in 1975.  Both worked at the Science Research Council's Appleton Laboratory in Slough and met when Margaret brought in a 16 mm print of a ST episode "Empath", banned by the BBC, to screen in the office studio.  Gerry also encouraged her to attend Novacon which she did with a bunch of (female) Trek fans.  This was the beginning of the end as far as male domination of UK SF cons was concerned. 

In the same year she chaired her first con, a Star Trek Con in a village hall in Richmond with an attendance of around 100.  Margaret's mother did the catering and very good it was too.  Margaret's first Eastercon was Mancon in Manchester in 1976 and her first international con,Bicentennialcon in New York the same year - a Star Trek con with an attendance of 8,000.  She first met Martin at Skycon in 1978 where he dropped his wallet.  Margaret picked it up and gave it back to him.  She attended Seacon in 1979 but missed the opening ceremony owing to the car she'd borrowed from Gerry Webb breaking down outside Brighton fire station, mere yards from the convention centre.  Margaret abandoned Trek cons around 1980 when they started to bring over the big name actors and began charging extortionate membership rates to fund the actors' expenses.  She attended Conspiracy in 1987 and worked a Green Room shift.  She was Director of Administration and Deputy Co-Chair to Intersection in 1995.  Margaret has been going to Smofcons most years since 1996.  Nippon will be her 12th worldcon. 

Margaret used to write Star Trek fan fic back in the 1970s and was a contributor to the hugely popular UK zines Alnitah and Grope.  At that time she also secretly wrote Starsky and Hutch slash fic under a pseudonym and has more recently written Buffyverse slash fic (under the same pseudonym). 

If you need further evidence of Margaret's media geekishness she “collects” movie locations, in the last few years having visited Stargate's Abydos, the place where Buffy met her spirit guide in season 6 BTVS and the site of Kirk's fight with the Gorn (Vasquez National Park).  She's also stood on the very spot where Butch said to Sundance "Who are those guys?" and once met a guy in Udaipur who'd had Roger Moore in the back of his rickshaw.  She's followed in Indiana Jones' footsteps when he went in search of the Holy Grail and hopes to visit Tattouine in the near future.