Chapter Seven: conventions

* Balticons
  - 1967 Balticon (Balticon 1) (when?)
  - 1968 Balticon (February 9-11, 1968)
    > site was Holidayland Hotel in Baltimore
    > GoH was Samuel Delany
  - 1969 Balticon (February 14-15, 1969)
    > site was Lord Baltimore Hotel
    > as with previous Balticons, was lightly programmed
      -- a big party on Friday night, fueled by free liquor
      -- Saturday had a few panels and speeches, then another big party that
         lasted as long as there were people to party
    > co-Guests of Honor were L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter
      -- this fit in with the convention's theme: "Modern Fantasy in the Space
    > other attending pro authors and editors included Lester del Rey and Ted

* Boskones (Boston)
  - first four Boskones occurred in the 1940s
    > occurred in the years 1941, 1942, 1943, and 1945
      -- it was not until beginning of the 1970s that the newer generation of
         fans found out about the 1940s Boskones
      -- in an attempt to minimize confusion, the older Boskones were
         designated as `First Series' and latter-day Boskones were designated
         as the `Second Series'
  - new Boskone series was at first intended to be a twice-per-year convention
    > however, only year this happened was 1966
  - Boskone I (Sept. 10-12, 1965)
    > sponsored by Boston Science Fiction Society
    > site was Statler-Hilton Hotel in Boston
    > attendance was 70 (registered), actual attendance was 66
    > chairman was Dave Vanderwerf
    > GoH was Hal Clement (a.k.a. Harry Stubbs)
    > TM was Boston fan Tony Lewis
    > Science Speaker was Dr. Robert Enzmann
    > committee presented the `oguH Award'(a crashed, spray-painted rocket
      ship) to Alma Hill as "the person who had done the most to Boston Fandom
      during the past year"
  - Boskone II (March 12-13, 1966)
    > sponsored by Boston Science Fiction Society
    > site was Statler-Hilton Hotel once again
    > attendance was between 60 and 80, depending on the source of the info
    > chairman was once again Dave Vanderwerf
    > GoH was Fred Pohl
      -- Pohl received the first annual Skylark Award (a.k.a. the E.E. Smith
         Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction)
         >> award itself was a lens mounted on a wooden base, with an
            inscribed brass plaque
            --- some years later, Jane Yolen left her award on her kitchen
                table on a sunny day, and sunlight focused through the lens
                caused her best winter coat to catch fire.  From then on,
                winners of the Skylark were told to "put the award where the
                sun never shines"
    > Science speakers were Dwight Wayne Batteau, Prof. Igor Paul, and Prof.
      Oliver Selfridge
  - Boskone III (October 1-3, 1966)
    > a solo production of Erwin "Filthy Pierre" Strauss, who was chairman
      -- ostensibly was run under sponsorship of M.I.T. Science Fiction
         >> convention site was at M.I.T.
         >> unlike other Boskones, this one was intended to be a convention
            intended mostly for local fans, to acquaint them with the fans and
            fan activities of the area
      -- after two conventions, Strauss was one of the few fans there who
         actually thought two Boskones a year was still a good idea
    > attendance was 68
    > Principal Speaker was John W. Campbell, Jr.
    > Science Speaker was Oliver Selfridge once again
    > the convention did manage to turn a profit, and the surplus money went
      to support Boston's (unsuccessful) 1967 worldcon bid
    > one lasting creation from this convention was the appearance of the
      fanzine HELMUTH, which was a post-con report after this and succeeding
  - Boskone IV (April 1-2, 1967)
    > chaired by the Paul Galvin
    > sponsored by the Boston Science Fiction Society, the last Boskone they
      would sponsor
    > site was Statler-Hilton
    > attendance was 72
    > GoH was Damon Knight
    > Science Speaker was Dr. Marvin Minsky
      -- this was the beginning of Minsky's long association with Boston
    > Skylark Award was presented to Isaac Asimov
  - Boskone V (March 23-24, 1968)
    > sponsored by the New England Science Fiction Society, which had been
      born from the ashes of the Boston Science Fiction the previous year
    > chairman was Paul Galvin
    > site was Statler-Hilton
    > attendance was 155
    > GoH was Larry Niven
    > Science Speaker was Prof. Warren McCulloch
    > Skylark Award went to John W. Campbell, Jr.
      -- Isaac Asimov both presented the award, and accepted it for Campbell,
         who couldn't be at the convention
    > it was at this convention that Larry Niven met his future wife, Marilyn
      Joyce "Fuzzy Pink" Wisowaty
      -- she had gotten the nickname "Fuzzy Pink" from her roommate Frannie
         Dyro when they had attended M.I.T. earlier in the decade
         >> "Fuzzy Pink" being short for "Fuzzy Pink Roommate"
  - Boskone VI (March 22-23, 1969)
    > chair was Leslie Turek
      -- an alumnus of MITSFS, who later went on to chair the 1980 Worldcon,
         and win a Hugo Award in 1990 for the fanzine THE MAD 3 PARTY
    > site was Statler-Hilton
    > attendance was about 250
    > GoH was Jack Gaughan
    > Official Artist was Stephen Fabian
      -- this made Boskone the first convention to officially honor SF artists
         with their own GoH spot
    > Science Speaker was Dr. Louis Sutro, who described NASA's Mariner
      Project for sending space probes to other planets in the solar system
    > Skylark Award was presented to Hal Clement
      -- NESFA members did not exactly give great support to the award,
         however, as only 13 ballots had been received
      -- at the same presentation, Asimov was re-presented with the Skylark
         he had received the previous year, after some repairs had been made
         to it to fix some loose parts
    > other happenings
      -- Isaac Asimov was there, and opened the convention by answering some
         questions from the audience
      -- Anne McCaffrey appeared on a panel with Hal Clement, Marion Zimmer
         Bradley, and Larry Niven about female protagonists in science fiction
      -- Tony Lewis, Fred Lerner, and Elliott Shorter tried to make sense of
         some of the plans proposed for revising the worldcon site rotation
      -- Jack Chalker presided over an auction that netted about $100; in it,
         he `sold' Asimov to the Brookline High School SF Club for $23
      -- parties at the convention were spectacular in their consumption; on
         Saturday night, the Boston and Washington, D.C. bid parties went
         through a total of quarts of liquor, 30 quarts of tonic, and several
         cases of beer.  But there was still some left over.
    > there was also a Tolkien Society of America meeting held in conjunction
      with the Boskone
      -- program for that included a panel on the economics and technologies
         of Middle Earth, a speech by Dainis Bisenieks on "Games Hobbits Don't
         Play", and a speech by Dave Erdreich on "Sauron as Hero" that put new
         light on the evil force in LORD OF THE RINGS

* Philcons (Philadelphia) (sometimes refered to as `Phillycons')
  - 1963 convention (Saturday, November 9th)
    > site was Constitution Room of Sheraton Hotel
    > Fred Pohl was Principal Speaker
    > about 70 fans attended, from as far away as Connecticut and Virginia
    > programming
      -- James Blish, L. Sprague de Camp, and Lester del Rey in panel on topic
         of their recent work and the current sf field
         >> they were heckled by Judy Merril
      -- Judy Merril spoke on some of the prominent types of bad sf
         >> she was heckled by Fred Pohl
      -- Fred Pohl talked about editing GALAXY and IF
         >> he was heckled by everybody
      -- a fan panel appeared and heckled each other
  - 1964 convention (November 14-15, 1964)
    > site was Philadelphia YMCA
    > convention preceded by meeting of PSFS on the previous day
  - 1967 convention (November 12-14, 1967)
  - 1968 convention (November 9-10, 1968)
    > held once again at the run-down Hotel Sylvania
    > attendance was about 300, the most ever at a Philcon to that point,
      which was almost too large for the decrepit hotel facilities
      -- this prompted Charlie Brown to write: "It was obvious that the
         conference has outgrown the Sylvania both in size and stature.  I
         hope the committee realizes this before next year.  In a way, it will
         be sad to leave the Sylvania.  After all, where else can you get
         collapsing furniture, keys bent to fit the locks, unworkable
         cigarette machines, soda machines that steal your money, and water
         faucets that run hot water on one side of the stream and cold on the
    > GoH was James Blish
      -- his speech was the highlight of the convention (details?)
    > other programming
      -- a panel on science and society featured Ted Thomas, Ben Bova, and Hal
      -- Ben Bova also gave a speech on weather control
      -- popular panel on "Sex in SF" featured Robert Silverberg, de Camp,
         Joanna Russ, and Alexei Panshin
    > convention was also enjoyable for the large number of bidding parties on
      Friday and Saturday night
  - 1969 convention (November 14-16, 1969)
    > site was Warwick Hotel
    > GoH was Anne McCaffrey
    > attendance was about 300
    > hosted a meeting by the Science Fiction Writers of America
      -- a meet the authors party happened Saturday night

* PghLANGE (Pittsburgh)
  - sponsored by Western Pennsylvania SF Association
  - first Pghlange in 1969 (June 6-8)
    > GoH was Robert Silverberg
    > unofficially co-chaired by Ginjer Buchanan and Suzanne Tompkins
    > attendance was about 80
    > little programming
    > held at a very small motor lodge in Pittsburgh
      -- huckster area was outside the hotel; luckily, weather cooperated
    > one of con attendees was a STAR TREK fan named Lois McMaster
      -- years later went on to win Hugo Awards for science fiction published
         under her married name, Lois McMaster Bujold

* Marcons (Columbus, Ohio)
  - name derived from the month the convention was held, March
    > the name was kept in later years, even though the convention eventually
      moved out of March
  - Marcon 3 (March 30-31, 1968)
    > sponsored by Olentangy SF Society
    > GoH was Fred Pohl
  - Marcon 4 (March 28-30, 1969)
    > site was Holiday Inn East in Columbus

* Minicons (Minneapolis/St. Paul)
  - Minicon I (January, 1968)
    > held in Men's Lounge at Coffman Memorial Union at University of
    > a Saturday afternoon event
    > Jim Young was chairman and organizer
      -- however, Young was not a University student (he was still in high
         school), which caused committee to create the fiction that Frank
         Stodolka, who *was* a University student, was in charge
    > by different accounts, anywhere between 30 and 60 people present
    > three pros present: Gordy Dickson, Cliff Simak, and Charles DeVet
      -- a fourth pro, Carl Jacobi, was unable to attend because of the flu
    > the convention's main event was the writers panel
      -- Stodolka and Young took turns moderating; Dickson, Simak, and DeVet
         sat at a long table and discussed science fiction with each other and
         the audience
    > another attendee, Mark Olson, compared the convention to a large room
      -- later, Dickson became center of attention, with people sitting on
         floor around his chair listening to him
    > other things that happened
      -- Jim Young played the piano after the authors panel had concluded
         >> music was to become an established part of future Minicons
      -- there was even a small art show, which included illustrations by Jack
         Gaughan and some original comic book art by Carmine Infantino
  - Minicon II (April 4-6, 1969)
    > site was Andrews Hotel in Minneapolis
    > Chairman once again was Jim Young
    > about 40 people were pre-registered, including John Kusske who was
      stationed in Okinawa at the time with the military (but did not attend)
      -- in all there were 120 registered, with 105 in attendance
    > Guests again were Dickson, Simak, and DeVet
    > official opening of convention took place on Saturday afternoon,
      immediately followed by a panel discussion with the guests on "How Did
      You Discover Science Fiction?"
    > featured event of the convention actually took place before the
      convention officially opened: a Friday night showing of the classic
      silent film METROPOLIS, to the piano accompaniment of Jim Young
    > convention was concentrated into two areas of the hotel
      -- the `Welcome Room', which opened Friday night, was the program area
         >> was a place for fans to meet the guests
         >> offered old radio dramas and readings throughout the weekend
      -- a Minn-Stf hospitality room opened for general partying about 10pm
         each night
    > music was an unscheduled but well-remembered part of the convention
      -- Haskell brought his 6-string and 12-string guitars, and played in the
         evenings in a small sleeping room just off the convention's
         hospitality suite
      -- Dickson also spent his evenings in the music room, playing a guitar
         he had borrowed from Haskell and singing with fans
    > other events
      -- the three pro guests sat on an informal discussion panel on Saturday,
         which had the topics money and editors, the economics of writing, and
         the `new wave' in science fiction
         >> Simak said that the evolution in science fiction to new wave was
            less significant than the earlier change from `mad scientist'
            stories to `people' stories; he believed that the new wave would
            merge into the main body of science fiction and after another five
            to ten years, another new wave would arise
      -- Ruth Berman hosted a STAR TREK slide show on Sunday afternoon
      -- moving to a hotel for the convention meant that there was also room
         for a combined art show and huckster area for booksellers
         >> an art show award was presented Sunday (to who?)
    > by all accounts convention was a good one
      -- Joyce Fisher later remembered it as "very small, intimate, and just
      -- the unseasonably warm early spring weather seemed to add to people's
         enjoyment of the weekend
    > convention received good writeup in MINNEAPOLIS TRIBUNE afterward
      -- headline to the story read "Science Fiction Fandoms Convene"
         >> apparently, the story's writer didn't quite understand fan
            terminology; story described Jim Young as a "fandom", Ken Fletcher
            as another "fandom", and Fred Haskell as yet another "fandom"

* DeepSouthCons
  - first DeepSouthCon was the MidSouthCon of 1963
    > held weekend of July 4th
    > hosted by Dave and Katya Hulan at their home in Huntsville, Alabama
      -- was described as "a very enjoyable party"
    > five other people were there
      -- Al Lewis came all the way from Los Angeles. as part of a cross-
         country trip he was on
      -- other attendees were Rick Norwood, Bill Gibson, Bill Plott, and Marty
  - DeepSouthCon II (Anniston, Alabama); August 21-23, 1964
    > site was Van Thomas Motel
    > chair was Larry Montgomery
    > attendance was again 6
      -- others were Rick Norwood, Dick Ambrose, Al Andrews, Bill Gibson, and
         Lee Jacobs
    > a one-shot fanzine CONGLOMERATION resulted, and reports indicated that
      everyone seemed to have a good time
  - DeepSouthCon III (Birmingham, Alabama); August 6-8, 1965
    > site was Downtowner Motor Inn
    > attendance was 19
    > first Rebel Award given to Al Andrews
      -- award decided on by the committee; wanted to honor Andrews for his
         service to Southern fandom
      -- set a precedent; subsequent Rebel Awards also given out for service
         to Southern fandom in later years
  - DeepSouthCon IV (Huntsville, Alabama); weekend before Tricon in 1966
    > originally was scheduled for Durham, NC
    > second Rebel Award was presented to Dave Hulan
      -- would not be another Rebel Award until 1970
  - 1967 DeepSouthCon
  - DeepSouthCon VI (New Orleans); August 23-25, 1968
    > chairman was John Guidry
    > GoH was Daniel F. Galouye
    > attendance was about 65
    > programming included a panel on sf films and a panel on Heinlein
  - 1969 DeepSouthCon (Knoxville, Tennessee)
    > GoH was Rachel Maddux
    > site was a Ramada Inn in west Knoxville
    > chair was Janie Lamb
      -- Janie was a fan very active in the NFFF
      -- somewhat less known is that she was also politically active, and held
         a fair amount of power via the governor's office
         >> this would become important as the weekend progressed
    > was beset by troubles caused by over-exuberant fans that nearly closed
      the convention down, which resulted in convention becoming almost
      legendary in southern fandom lore
      -- first incident occurred the first night of the convention, when an
         Viking-clad Ron Bounds acted out the costume, carrying off one of the
         waitresses from the hotel bar, much to the consternation of the
         >> although waitress was immediately released, and it was meant all
            in fun, motel did not see it that way, and its relationship with
            fans that weekend started to become adversarial
      -- the next evening, a contingent of fans from Atlanta caused much
         greater trouble
         >> included Joe Celko, Glen Brock, Steve Hughes, and Mark Levitan
         >> to save money, they combined their resources to rent a small
            second floor sleeping room that overlooked the motel's outdoor
            swimming pool
         >> the Saturday night of the convention, a lull in the activities
            created the opportunity for trouble: Levitan found in his suitcase
            a small vial of water-soluble industrial-strength red dye, which
            had apparently been left in there by his father
            --- using an empty cola can, they dissolved some of the dye in hot
                water, attached a toilet tissue wick, then launched the can
                into the middle of the pool
            --- fortunately, the can floated like a buoy and no harm was done;
                it might have ended that way except that the motel manager's
                son picked that time for a midnight pool party with some
                friends, and when he pulled the wick out in a fit of
                curiosity, the dye turned him and the water around him bright
         >> by next morning, red color had permanently turned the pool's
            marine concrete into a plum color, and the motel struck back,
            demanding to know which fans were responsible
            --- Janie Lamb had to line up as much of convention as she could
                find, in motel lobby, and after giving harsh speech denouncing
                the incident for benefit of manager, asked for guilty party to
                step forward
            --- no one did, much to Lamb's relief, but motel retaliated by
                confiscating Lamb's luggage until she paid for the pool
            --- Lamb used her political connections to reciprocate, arranging
                for the state police to find underage people in the motel bar
            --- faced with loss of liquor license, the management suddenly
                remembered where that had put her luggage, apparently deciding
                that a purple pool looked just fine
            --- apparently manager's son came through tribulation as well,
                since nothing further was heard from him
                >>> Celko speculated that his lower-body discoloration,
                    temporary as it would be, may have held some advantages:
                    "Crimson privates would not have been a real problem. It
                    would have meant entertaining the young lady he brought
                    with him with something she had never seen before."
         >> Celko later apologetically summed up the fracas, "Our moral
            character was much weaker in our youth, our time horizon was much
            shorter, and we healed much faster in those days."

* Ozarkons (St. Louis)
  - Ozarkon I (July 29-31, 1966)
    > attendance was 60 (80 members total)
    > site was Downtowner Motor Inn in St. Louis
    > GoH was Ted White
    > one of co-chairs was Chester Malon
      -- he arrived at the convention on Friday afternoon, spotted a girl he
         liked, and didn't come out of his room for the rest of the convention
    > convention was only lightly programmed
    > RATATOSK reports that the con was "quite enjoyable from all reports"
    > success of convention moved committee to bid for 1969 Worldcon
  - Ozarkon II (July 28-30, 1967)
    > GoH was Roger Zelazny
  - Ozarkon III (July 27-28, 1968)
    > site was Ben Franklin Hotel in St. Louis
    > Chairman was Ray Fisher
    > about 100 attending
      -- included Leif Anderson from Sweden and Darroll Pardoe from England
    > GoH was Harlan Ellison
      -- read two of his stories, much to the enjoyment of his fans
  - Ozarkon IV (1969) was combined with the 1969 Worldcon
  - Two other Ozarkons in the 1970s
    > Ozarkon V, in 1970, had Alexei Panshin as GoH
    > Ozarkon VI, in 1971, was scheduled to have Larry Niven as GoH
      -- convention was cancelled, but unfortunately, no one informed Niven
         who showed up in St. Louis only to find there was no convention
         >> Niven used this incident in some of his subsequent stories

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