Chapter Seven: conventions



* Westercons
  - 1960, Westercon XIII (Boise, Idaho) (really??) (July 3-5, 1960)
    > GoH was Roger Phillips Graham (a.k.a. Rog Phillips)
  - 1961, Westercon XIV (Oakland)
    > site was Hotel Leamington
  - 1962, Westercon XV
  - 1963, Westercon XVI (San Francisco) (July 4-7, 1963)
    > site was Hyatt House Motel near San Francisco airport
    > chairman was Ben Stark
    > GoH was Kris Neville
      -- gave a humorous and entertaining speech about his views of the
         science fiction genre
    > Fan GoH were F.M. and Elinor Busby
    > programming
      -- fan panel "Relation of Fandom to Science Fiction" featured F.M.
         Busby, James Blish, Dick Ellington, Karen Anderson, Ron Ellik, and
         Leland Sapiro
         >> Sapiro took control of panel with what was described by Ron Ellik
            as "a bombastic tirade" where he criticized gab-fests that clutter
            up apas and denounced the current state and paucity of critical sf
            reviews in fandom
    > Bjo's Project Art Show made its second appearance at Westercon
      -- featured drawings and paintings by Karen Anderson, George Barr,
         Cynthia Goldstone, and Don Simpson
      -- included an art auction and art show awards (10 categories)
    > costume contest top award went to Bruce Pelz, as a trooper from Jack
      Vance's "Dragon Masters"
      -- Bruce's costume featured four feet of real broadsword
      -- other winners included Bjo Trimble, Bill Roberts, and Karen Anderson
    > convention also featured poker games that lasted through the nights and
      well into the days
      -- Anthony Boucher and Barney Bernard befuddled other participants with
         their combination of luck and skill with the cards
      -- the second day of the convention, a scurrilous but entertaining rumor
         started up that Fred Pohl lost GALAXY to Bernard in a game of
         showdown, but it proved to be false to the disappointment of many
  - 1964, Westercon XVII
    > combined with the 1964 Worldcon, in Oakland
  - 1965, Westercon XVIII (Long Beach, CA) (July 3-5)
    > site was Edgewater Inn
      -- for a change, there were very few complaints about the hotel, mostly
         slow service in coffee shop and an atrocious musical group in the
         dining room
    > GoH was Frank Herbert
      -- spoke on writing novels from haiku and the possibility of reducing
         all novels to haiku
    > other notables attending included Hal Clement, Lester del Rey, Sam
      Moskowitz, Ray Bradbury, Fritz Leiber, Harlan Ellison
    > attendance?
      -- was augmented by several fans from New York's Fanoclast club, who
         drove out to promote their bid for a Worldcon in New York in 1967
         >> included Ted White, Rich Brown, Mike McInerney, Dave Van Arnam,
            and Arnie Katz
         >> came by way of Midwestcon, where a few other Fanoclasts as well
            had been in attendance
    > program
      -- speeches by Bradbury and Leiber
      -- panel on "1964: Science Fiction in Retrospect"
      -- panel of pro authors titled "There I Stood in My Sense of Wonder"
         >> panel turned into Harlan Ellison vs. Ace Books
    > Art Show judging featured two innovations
      -- panel of judges included two local art instructors
      -- each of five judges selected his own Judges Choice award, instead
         of trying to all agree on one choice
    > auctions
      -- $400 in sales achieved by second day of convention
         >> all auction material disposed of, so on Monday some material from
            Art Show auctioned
      -- special auction featuring Harlan Ellison netted $35
         >> he wrote a short story using the name of the winner (Larry Niven)
            as protagonist, and used three words supplied by the Niven in the
            text
         >> Niven was to get 10% of proceedings of any sale of the story
    > site selection
      -- San Diego beat Burlingame by 4 votes
      -- other bidders, real and hoax, included Lake Tahoe and New York 
         (presumably the west side of New York)
  - 1966, Westercon XIX (San Diego)
    > site was Stardust Motel
      -- fans overcharged on rooms
      -- motel failed to block the convention rooms, resulting in noise
         problems with other guests at the motel
      -- coffee shop had bad prices, food, and service
      -- hotel manager seemed disgruntled that fans provided their own
         entertainment, rather than utilizing the services of the youg ladies
         who appeared around the pool every evening
    > GoH was Harlan Ellison
    > fan GoHs were Bjo and John Trimble
    > MC was Ted Sturgeon
    > (how many?) attended
      -- for second year in a row, fans from the New York Fanoclasts club 
         drove out for the convention to support their 1967 Worldcon bid
         >> included Ted White, Arnie Katz, Mike McInerney, and Dave Van Arnam
         >> once again, came via the Midwestcon the weekend earlier
    > inexperienced concom
      -- had only scheduled Opening Ceremonies, Banquet, Ellison's "Dangerous
         Visions" panel, and the masquerade
         >> masquerade was totally unplanned in manner of judges & categories
      -- Ed Wood helped organize some panels to help fill out the program
    > masquerade featured a seven-fan "Wizard of Id" group, with Tom Gilbert
      as Rodney, Jerry Jacks as the Wizard, Fred Patten as Bung, and Len
      Bailes as the King
    > preview of STAR TREK pilot was shown to rave reviews
      -- this was first fan showing of the pilot
    > poor banquet food resulted in a filk song
      -- "Bouncing Potatoes" by Poul Anderson, sung to the tune of "Waltzing
         Matilda"
    > at business meeting, Los Angeles/LASFS won rights to next Westercon
      -- defeated bids by Burlingame, CA and Berkeley 
  - 1967, Westercon XX
  - 1968, Westercon XXI
    > was combined with the 1968 Worldcon
    > an unofficial substitute Westercon was held July 4th weekend in Los
      Angeles
      -- as Bruce Pelz later recalled, "When Donaho, Rogers, and Stark won the
         Westercon for 1968, they said they would not combine Westercon with
         the 1968 Worldcon, should they also win the latter.  They were
         underdogs for it, but the Trimbles, who were favored to win, spent
         too much time at NYCon 3 on their own projects, and not enough time
         on politicking.  So DR&S won the 1968 Worldcon, and promptly combined
         it with the Westercon anyway."
      -- this left the west coast without a now-traditional 4th-of-July
         weekend convention, but the vacuum was promptly filled thanks to L.A.
         fan Chuck Crayne
         >> came up with the idea for a substitute convention, and a group to
            run it
      -- new convention was called F-UNCon, after the newly-formed fan group
         Future Unbounded
         >> organization consisted of Crayne, Bruce and Dian Pelz, Thompson,
            and Ken Rudolph
      -- convention immediately received blessing by Donaho, Rogers, and Stark
         >> they became first three members
         >> however, Future Unbounded was not without future controversy
  - Future Unbounded Science Fiction Show and Convention (July 4-7, 1968)
    > became known as the F-UNcon
    > chaired by Chuck Crayne and Bruce Pelz
    > attendance was (how many?)
    > program book proclaimed the following: "Future Unbounded is an
      autonomous organization and has no connection with any other science
      fiction, fantasy, or similar convention."  The proclamation went on to
      say that the committee "has no interest, financial or otherwise, in any
      other past, present or future convention or convention bidding group."
      -- However, an advertisement in the program book announced that the
         committee was bidding for the very next year's Westercon
    > there was another bit of controversy: the existing Westercon/Worldcon
      directorate of Donaho, Stark, and Rogers had given their blessing to
      this non-Westercon, but the F-UNCon program book contained several small
      advertisements from fans who used the space to complain about DR&S
      -- Bjo's read: "I have NEVER been a member of the Baycon committee."
      -- George Scithers had two adverts: "If it helps, I don't believe
         ANYTHING they say, any more." and "The Baycon Committee is Ted White
         in a clever plastic disguise." (reference?)
    > the F-UNcon committee's intention was to prove that a bigger convention
      could in fact be better
      -- the site, the Statler Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, had a level of
         luxury that fans were not used to in convention hotels
      -- Chuck Crayne, in an editorial in the program booklet, wrote that
         "Every F-UNcon attendee is participating in a unique experiment which
         may help determine the future of science fiction fandom in general
         and fannish conventions in particular.  The F-UNcon is an attempt to
         show that -- when properly planned -- the larger a convention, the
         better the convention."
      -- besides the much better-than-average hotel, there were other
         innovations attempted
         >> to raise money that would help keep costs to fans down,
            advertisements were solicited from non-fannish sources
         >> they published a "Fan Hunters Guide" that explained fandom's 
            in-group references and jargon to newcomers
         >> the art show was expanded to include special exhibits
            --- Walt Daugherty put together a photographic exhibit of the
                science fiction genre and its personalities
            --- Fred Patten asembled an exhibit of classic comic books
            --- a third exhibit featured models and props used in the filming
                of the TV series STAR TREK
    > GoH was Harry Harrison
      -- Harrison's Guest of Honor speech dealt with science fiction as
         philosophy and religion
    > Toastmaster was scheduled to be Bob Bloch
      -- he could not attend, as he was unavoidable detained in England
      -- toastmaster duties were filled by Karen Anderson
    > program booklet contained an original story by Larry Niven, "Wait It
      Out"
      -- during the convention, Ray Bradbury read an unpublished story about
         the last man in England
    > the theme of the convention was `40 years of tomorrow'
      -- this was reflected in GoH Harry Harrison's talk, "The Year 2000",
         which opened the convention
    > other program events included meetings of the Tolkien Society of
      America and the Hyborean Legion, a slide show by George Forbes on what
      extraterrestrial life forms might look like, and a report by Ray
      Bradbury on the making of the movie version of THE ILLUSTRATED MAN
    > there were also some pro and fan panels
      -- Harrison, Harlan Ellison, Kris Neville, and Phil Farmer spent an hour
         discussing "Science Fiction and Censorship"
      -- a filk song panel featured Pelz and Ted Johnstone was actually more
         of a demonstration of filk songs than a discussion of them
      -- Bjo Trimble led a panel discussion on STAR TREK
    > there were several other speeches by science fiction notables
      -- Larry Niven gave a talk on organ banks, which were featured in some
         of his stories at that time
      -- Norman Spinrad's speech, "The New Wave in SF" was timely, as his
         novel BUG JACK BARRON was being serialized in NEW WORLDS
      -- at the banquet, Harrison's gave his second speech of the convention,
         "Science Fiction as Philosophy and Religion", and Ellison talked
         about editing
    > the convention was both a financial success and a strategic success
      -- the convention was, in effect, a model for the worldcon the group
         was bidding for (in 1972); they ultimately succeeded in bringing the
         forst worldcon to the Los Angeles area since the 1958 Solacon
    > apparently, the goal of bigger *and* better was realized; LOCUS
      characterized the FUNcon as a Fun-con
  - 1969, Westercon XXII (Los Angeles) (July 3-6, 1969)
    > convention was known as FUNcon II
      -- site selection had been held at the 1968 Worldcon, which doubled as
         the Westercon; the Los Angeles bid had easily defeated a semi-serious
         bid by Bill Rotsler and Earl Kemp for Tijuana, Mexico
    > chairs were once again Bruce Pelz and Chuck Crayne
      -- once again, Future Unbounded was sponsor organization for the
         convention
      -- they went on to head up successful bid for 1972 Worldcon, which they
         also co-chaired
    > GoH was Randall Garrett
    > Fan GoH was Roy Tackett
    > TM was Harlan Ellison

* Midwestcons (Cincinnati)
  - Midwestcons had no programing to interfere with fans having a good time
    > only convention event was the Saturday night banquet
  - 1963 (Midwestcon 14); June 29-30, 1963
    > held at North Plaza Motel, on Reading Road outside of Cincinnati
    > attendance was 70
    > weekend featured "much swimming, gabbing, and drinking" according to
      attendees
    > featured a late-night swimming pool party
    > other partying was rampant
      -- San Francisco bid party was dispensing liberal amounts of free liquor
      -- Howard Devore summed up the weekend by saying that this was the best
         Midwestcon since 1959
  - 1964 (Midwestcon 15); June xx-xx, 1964
    > usual crown of midwesterners in attendance, including the Coulsons, the
      Kemps, the Lavenders, Howard DeVore
      -- out of area fans included the Kyles from Potsdam, New York; Bob
         Chazin from Berkeley; and newlyweds Bob and Peggy Rae (McKnight)
         Pavlat from College Park, Maryland
    > Tucker emceed smorgasbord banquet, which featured slides of the Discon
    > featured singing by Juanita Coulson and Janet Hunter
    > ended with a drunken swimming party at 4am
  - 1965 (Midwestcon 16); June 25-27, 1965
    > held at Holiday Inn North in Cincinnati
    > featured an appearance by many from the New York Fanoclasts club, who
      were there to promote their Worldcon bid
      -- were involved in the "First Midwestcon Open", a miniature golf event
         in which the team of Rich Brown and a nearly legally blind Arnie Katz
         won a stunning victory over the favored Ted White-Andy Porter teamup
  - 1966 (Midwestcon 17); June 24-26, 1966
    > held at Carrousel Inn on north side of Cincinnati
  - 1967 (Midwestcon 18)
  - 1968 (Midwestcon 19); June 29-30, 1968
    > fans converged on the North Plaza Hotel for a pleasant weekend of fun,
      fresh air, and water
    > attendance was 225, plus several beach balls
    > the swimming pool was apparently the guest of honor, as there were pool
      parties all weekend, at all hours of the day and night
    > worldcon bidders from Columbus and St. Louis were highly visible with
      their bid parties
      -- fan groups from Pittsburgh, Boston, and New York were there as well
    > the convention lived up to its reputation as a meeting place for fans of
      all regions and eras
      -- fans attending who had gained prominence in previous decades included
         Dave Kyle, Bob Tucker, Lee Hoffman, and Fritz Leiber
      -- fans attending who had become prominent during the 1960s included Ted
         White (who also fell into the previous category), Jay Kay Klein,
         Alexei Panshin, and Earl Kemp
      -- the convergence led to an enormous amount of SMOFing (topics?)
    > the one major event of the convention was the banquet on Saturday night
      -- a novelty this year was a mind reading act (details?)
      -- after that, there was a short speech by Tucker (topic?) and a very
         long series of introductions of all the notables who were there
    > the other notable occurrance was the presence of "an immense number of
      people peddling an even more immense number of fanzines", according to
      LOCUS; it was taken as a sign that fanzine fandom was recovering from
      its mid-decade doldrums
  - 1969 (Midwestcon 20); June 28-29, 1969

* Lunacons (New York City)
  - sponsored by the Lunarians
  - Lunacon VII (April 21, 1963)
    > took place in room 10D of Adelphi Hall on 5th Avenue in Manhattan
    > attendance was about 125
    > program included panel on Burroughs and his works
    > according to attendees, it was "a quiet but enjoyable day"
  - 1964 convention was cancelled
  - 1965 convention
    > a one-day affair, on Sat. April 24
    > at Hotel Edison in Manhattan
    > GoH was Hal Clement
      -- did a talk about sciences in science fiction
    > could have been called the Artist's Lunacon due to significant amount of
      art-oriented programming
      -- Sam and Chris Moskowitz gave slide show of art of Hannes Bok
         >> SaM refrained from commenting on the art, instead talked about
            science fiction
      -- Jack Gaughan followed with well-received discussion of Bok and his
         technical abilities
      -- Steve Stiles led a panel that talked about fan art
    > editors panel featured Don Benson (Pyramid), Don Wollheim (Ace), Fred
      Pohl (Galaxy), and Ted White (an ass't editor at F&SF)
      -- discussed the relationship of magazines to paperback books
  - 1966 Lunacon
    > two day affair (April 16-17, 1966)
    > Charlie Brown & Marsha Elkins (later Marsha Brown) chairs
    > held in the 7 Arts Room of the Hotel Edison in New York City
    > GoH was Isaac Asimov
      -- for GoH speech, spoke for an hour on his favorite topic: Isaac Asimov
    > other speakers were Hal Clement, Lester del Rey, Fred Pohl, James Blish,
      Gray Morrow, Lin Carter, and Terry Carr
    > chairman was Charlie Brown
    > 180 in attendance
    > Sunday panel featured Sol Cohen, Fred Pohl, and Doc Lowndes
      -- resulted in roasting for Cohen from the audience
  - 1967 Lunacon (April 29-30, 1967)
    > attendance was 275
    > GoH was James Blish
      -- gave speech mostly about STAR TREK, both the series and book
         novelizations he had been contracted to do
    > Samuel Delaney gave talk on his novel THE EINSTEIN INTERSECTION
    > dialog panel between Roger Zelazny and Alexei Panshin was well received
  - 1968 Lunacon (April 19-21, 1968)
    > site was Park Sheraton Hotel
    > attendance was about 400
    > GoH was Don Wollheim
    > although a schedule of events had been printed in the convention's
      program booklet, the actual program bore only a passing resemblance, as
      the actual topic most discussion panels sooner or later became the
      recently-released film, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
      -- there was often vehement disagreement about the movie, not only *if*
         it was or wasn't a good movie, but also on *why* fans did or didn't
         like it
      -- Arthur C. Clarke attended and spoke about the movie on the Sunday of
         the convention, but refused to explain anything about the movie,
         other than immodestly describing it as "a masterpiece"
         >> he described some of the differences between the movie and his
            novel of the same name, and provided some information about the
            special effects used in the filming
         >> his only substantive comment about the meaning of the film was for
            people to see it at least twice and form their own interpretation
    > other events
      -- bid parties required a convoluted procedure to obtain drinks, due to
         arrangements with the hotel to keep prices down
         >> the committee had bought bottles of liquor from the hotel directly
            and sold drinks from them at cost to the party-goers
  - 1969 Lunacon (April 11-14, 1969)
    > site was Hotel MacAlpin
    > GoH was Robert A. Lowndes

* Eastercons (New York City)
  - New York City conventions sponsored by FISTFA and the Fanoclasts
  - usually held on same weekends as Lunacons
  - mostly partycons, as opposed to Lunacons which were very sercon
  - 1965 convention (Friday, April 23)
    > was room party held in Room 232 of Loew's Midtown Motor Inn in Manhattan
    > by all accounts, a boisterous affair
      -- Ron Ellik reported that "by 10 pm the place was jumping"
      -- George Heap on guitar could not be heard more than two paces away
    > other attendees included Hal Clement, Lee Hoffman, Terry & Carol Carr,
      Ted White, Jack Gaughan, Charlie Brown, Lin Carter, Frank Dietz, Calvin
      Thomas Beck, John Boardman, Ken Beale, Pat & Dick Lupoff, Fred Lerner,
      and Will Sykora
  - 1966 convention (April 16-17)
    > held at same hotel as the Lunacon that year
    > over 100 in attendance
      -- 235 total at combined Lunacon and Eastercon
  - 1967 convention consisted of fan parties the nights of April 28 & 29
    > combined their membership fee with Lunacon
  - 1968 convention was essentially part of the Lunacon
  - convention was eventually discontinued after Lunacon became more than a
    one-day event
    > the Lunacon organizers saw that when there were parties, more people
      wanted to stay over for them, so Lunacons became more extended events

* Disclaves (Washington, D.C.)
  - no Disclave in 1963, due to the 1963 Worldcon which consumed time of Bill
    Evans and other D.C. fans
  - Disclave 1965 (May 7-8, 1965)
    > site was Howard Johnsons Motor Inn in Wheaton, Maryland
      -- for people who couldn't afford a sleeping room, Ron Ellik promoted
         that "Beds in the hospitality suite are $5 a night and floor space
         $1.  No charge to pass out under the poker table."
    > convention began Fri. night, May 7, with First Friday meeting of WSFA
      -- met in con-com suite to elect officers
      -- partying began immediately after business session adjourned
         >> Party Administrator was Ron Ellik, who held forth in the
            hospitality suite
            --- reported that degree of wildness about the same as the Discon,
                even with lower attendance and budget
            --- apparently parties passed a certain threshold, because hotel
                management closed down many of them early
    > Sam Moskowitz was Guest of Honor
      -- this was apparently not publicized prior to the convention
      -- SaM's slide show on the history of ANALOG magazine well received
  - Disclave 1966 (when?)
    > managed by the Baltimore sf group
    > held in hotel tested by successfully throwing a room party to 3:00am
  - Disclave 1968 (May 10-12, 1968)
    > held at Regency Congress Inn, in Washington, D.C.
    > Guest of Honor was Robert Silverberg
    > program and other events
      -- Jay Kay Klein gave a humorous slide show, "The Decline and Fall of
         Practically Everybody", the first (true?) of many, many showings of
         that this slide show would have in future years
      -- Ted White startled everyone by appearing without his trademark beard,
         having long sideburns instead
      -- Alexis Gilliland announded that he had sold an article to PLAYBOY
      -- there was also plenty of music at the convention, in the form of late
         night singing by fans and an appearance by a Bavarian Brass Band
  - Disclave 1969 (May 9-11, 1969)
    > held at Skyline Inn, not far from the U.S. Capitol building
    > GoH was Lester del Rey
    > the weekend was succinctly summed up by Tony Lewis, "All in all,
      Disclave was a normal type con.  Lester spoke, Silverberg spoke, they
      got into an argument.  We went to a great restaurant.  Yum!"

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