Chapter Eight: Worldcons of the 1960s

* 1964 Oakland (Pacificon II)  (Sept. 4-7, 1964)
  - suffered the sad fate of being completely overshadowed by a controversy
    that nearly tore fandom apart, which had occurred before the convention
    was even held
  - The Breendoggle (a.k.a. The Boondoggle)
    > Walter Breen accused of child molestation prior to convention
      -- (mini-bio of Breen here to provide background)
      -- earlier in 1960s, had assumed publication of Carr & Ellik's FANAC
         after they had tired of it
    > Breen banned from attending the convention by the con committee
      -- (summary of what Breen had allegedly done)
      -- banning was done at the advice of the con's legal advisor
      -- felt they had a legal as well as moral obligation to prevent him
         from attending
         >> "The Pacificon II Committee has cancelled Walter Breen's
            membership in the Pacificon II, not because of his morals, but
            because, knowing his general reputation, we are legally liable if
            his actions damage anyone at the convention.  We are not liable
            for the usual fannish peccadillos and misdemeanors or even for
            most crimes.  We have not considered this action with any other
            member or potential member.  We do not consider any fan's morals
            to be committee business or any fan's actions to be committee
            business unless they affect the welfare of the convention, its
            members or the committee."
    > Bill Donaho, perhaps the most vocal member of the Pacificon committee,
      set the stage for the what was to follow, in a letter to Tom Perry which
      was printed in QUARK #7: "Yes, lines are going to be drawn very firmly
      on this situation.  There is no necessity for anyone taking sides who
      doesn't want to do so.  However, many people will take sides --
      violently. I also expect that some fans will leave fandom because of
      this."  Donaho went on to say that in his opinion, this was more than
      just the committee vs. Breen: "It's going to go into `What should fandom
      be like?'"
    > fandom was divided over the Breen affair. Some thought expulsion was
      essentially the act of a kangaroo court; others stood firmly behind the
      committee's actions
      -- John Boardman attempted to get Donaho expelled from The Cult
         >> claimed that the worldcon committee had no authority to "try"
            Breen, and their actions amounted to character assassination
      -- 14 members of FAPA had blackballed Breen's membership application,
         only to have blackball overturned by 41 other FAPA members in a 
         special, unprecedented vote
      -- a Breen Defense Fund was set up
         >> Bob Lichtman (others?) donated material to be auctioned for it
      -- 3rd progress report (May 1964) carried advertisement on back cover:
         "We Support the Pacificon Committee's RIGHT to limit membership for
         >> signed by many well-known fans of the time, including worldcon
            committee members
            --- included (who?)
      -- Don and Maggie Thompson resigned from the Cleveland 1966 bid
         committee over a disagreement with chairman Ben Jason over the Breen
      -- special fanzines were published
         >> THE LOYAL OPPOSITION, a symposium defending Breen
            --- (contents?)
         >> THE REPORT, from the Pacificon committee
            --- (contents?)
      -- Ron Ellik was one of the seemingly few fans who took a more
         dispassionate view of the matter, as he wrote in the 35th issue of
         his newszine STARSPINKLE: "I've tried to clarify facts through
         brevity, but by no means am I trying to appear neutral.  Even now I
         don't wish to open STARSPINKLE to debate but I consider that: Breen
         was legally and deservedly stamped `NG' by the committee; Donaho most
         deplorably mixed a personal attack with this; and a convention with
         or without Breen will be neither more nor less enjoyable to me.  The
         current muck stirred by Breen's defenders, none of whom deny his
         sexual interest in children, is more than annoying; au contraire, the
         campaign to blackball him from FAPA has convinced me that FAPA needs
         to get rid of its present blackball system, to prevent such a use. 
         I'm not neutral, and I'm not fence-sitting: I'm strongly biased
         against Breen as a fan, and in many respects I'm on *both* sides of
         the fence."
    > the crusade against Breen eventually expanded to the point where Bill
      Donaho made the statement that Breen should not just banned from
      attending the Pacificon, he should be "surgically removed from fandom"
      for the good of all ((note: want exact quote on this one, and it's
      -- this caused a response that perhaps it should be Donaho who should be
         `surgically removed' ((note: want better info on this: who said it?
          where was it said?))
      -- across the Atlantic, Walt Willis, his fan activity on the wane,
         observed the situation with great sadness
         >> the front cover of the 7th issue of Tom Perry's fanzine QUARK
            featured a letter to fandom from Walt: "EMERGENCY!  Multiple
            surgery is now being performed on Fandom, without anesthetics.  
            The extent to which any part of the operation is justified is not
            a question on which I can offer any special insight.  What I can
            see clearly from here is that there is too much blood.  I think
            the patient's life is in danger.  As one who has known and loved
            the patient for 16 years, I appeal to everyone for less cutting
            and more healing.  Fandom is bleeding to death before our eyes. 
            The ironic thing is that the operation is showing how healthy it
            was.  If it weren't healthy it wouldn't bleed so much.  Virtually
            everyone embroiled is acting from altruistic motives, concerned
            solely with what they regard as the good of fandom or loyalty to
            friends or justice.  All I ask is that each of them recognize the
            motives of others as clearly as their own.  Fandom is friendship. 
            If we can't argue as friends, it will die at our own hands."
    > fall-out was that much bitterness remained in fandom afterwards
      -- some U.S. fanzines folded (which ones?)
    > in the aftermath, it turned out that no lawsuits were ever filed against
      Breen, and no charges brought against him by any of his detractors
      -- Breen, later in his life, was in fact twice convicted of pedophilia,
         and died of cancer in 1993 while awaiting trial on yet another charge
      -- almost lost in the midst of the fracas, Breen and Marion Zimmer
         Bradley got married
  - Ben Stark and Al haLevy, co-chairs
  - Leigh Brackett and Edmond Hamilton, Pro GoHs
  - Forrest J Ackerman, Fan GoH
    > speech at Awards banquet was characterized as well-executed and
      dignified without ponderous solemnity
  - 523 in attendance, with total membership about 860
  - Hotel Leamington
    > previously the site of the 1956 and 1961 Westercons
  - Programming and other events
    > convention actually got underway Thursday evening with informal parties
      for early arrivals
    > first official programming was Friday morning, with introduction of pro
      attendees by Tony Boucher and well-known fans by Ron Ellik
    > con had barely gotten underway when it was announced that three
      paintings had been stolen from Bjo's Project Art Show
      -- artwork by Barr, Prosser, and a Japanese entry
      -- were never recovered
    > John Brunner appeared at convention
      -- substituted for Doc Smith in panel "How to Write a Story Around
         an Idea"
         >> Smith had previously recovered from eye cataracts surgery, only to
            be diagnosed with lung cancer and have lung surgically removed not
            long before the convention
    > appearance by Dr. Josef Nesvedba of Czechoslovakia
      -- had written book, Vampires Ltd.: Stories of Science and Fantasy
      -- book was being marketed at convention by Bill Donaho, $7.50 each
    > Harlan Ellison gave a talk on "Adapting Science Fiction to the Visual
      Arts", on writing for TV and the movies
      -- Ellison referred to his speech as "My Two Years in Clown Town"
      -- included segments of an OUTER LIMITS episode for which a story of his
         ("Soldier") was adapted
    > fan panel included Dick Lupoff, Earl Kemp, Wally Weber, Arthur Thomson,
      Dave Van Arnam, George Scithers, and Ron Ellik
    > masquerade winners included Don Glut as Captain America, which won one
      of the Judges Choice awards
      -- other winners were Earl Kemp, Blake Maxam, Jon & Joni Stopa, and Dian
         (Girard) Pelz
  - Hugo Awards Banquet
    > the food was worse than usual, even for a convention banquet
      -- everything was luke-warm
      -- main course consisted of chopped beef in bad gravy that masqueraded
         as beef stroganoff
    > Big Heart Award went to Bjo, who just before the convention ceased being
      eligible for the Big Tummy Award, by giving birth to a daughter
    > Novel:  WAY STATION by Clifford Simak
    > Short Fiction:  "No Truce With Kings" by Poul Anderson
    > Professional Magazine:  ANALOG
    > Professional Artist:  Ed Emshwiller
    > SF Book Publisher:  Ace Books
    > Amateur Magazine:  AMRA (ed. George Scithers)
    > earlier, the committee had withheld a Best Dramatic Presentation
      category because too few votes had been received for any nominee, and
      many nominators had nominated "No Award"
  - almost lost in the tumult was another controversial topic, the proposed
    site for the 1966 Worldcon, even though site selection was still a year
    > Dave Kyle, Jay Kay Klein, and Dick Wilson pushed a bid for Syracuse (New
      York), even though the site for that year's worldcon was supposed to be
      in the midwest, assuming that London won its uncontested bid for the
      1965 worldcon
    > Syracuse bid wanted a vote taken to set aside the Rotation plan
    > as expected, London did win its uncontested bid for the 1965 Worldcon
  - convention made sufficient money to be able to distribute $1,300 to
    various causes, including TAFF, the 1965 Westercon, and the 1965 and 1966

* 1965 London (Loncon II) (Aug. 27-30, 1965)
  - Ella Parker, chair
  - Brian W. Aldiss, GoH
  - 350 in attendance
    > 70 fans gather at the Globe the night before convention opens
    > last convention appearances for Willis and Chuck Harris in more than a
  - Mount Royal Hotel
    > located on Oxford Street, short distance from Hyde Park
  - Programme
    > Harry Harrison's speech "SF-The Salvation of the Modern Novel"
    > panel "All Things to All Fen"
      -- what fandom meant to fans
      -- Charles Platt, Beryl Henley, Dave Busby, Doreen Parker, Irene
    > trans-Atlantic SF quiz
      -- U.S. loses to Rest of World, score: 26 - 20
    > Ted White's panel "How to Plot Your Way Out of a Paper Bag"
  - Hugo Awards event
    > E.E. Evans Big Heart Award went to Walter Ernsting of Germany
    > Novel:  THE WANDERER by Fritz Leiber
    > Short Story:  "Soldier, Ask Not" by Gordon R. Dickson
    > Magazine:  ANALOG
    > Artist:  John Schoenherr
    > Publisher:  Ballantine
    > Fanzine:  YANDRO (ed. Robert and Juanita Coulson)
    > Special Drama:  DR. STRANGELOVE
  - Business Meeting
    > preferential ballot proposed and agreed on for deciding Hugo winners
  - Site Selection
    > Cleveland selected
    > Moskowitz visits editor friend instead of going to business meeting
      -- his vote (and a couple of friends, who also didn't stay) would
         have made difference for Syracuse, where SaM would have been GoH
      -- Dave Kyle had submitted an out-of-rotation bid for Syracuse, which
         was technically legal because, since the Worldcon was in London, any
         U.S. bid was a "foreign" bid as the rules then in place were
         interpreted, and foreign bids could be proposed any time
         >> many people felt Kyle's bid was mainly intended as an attempt to
            prevent the Fanoclasts from succeeding in their 1967 bid for New
            York City, as it would have disrupted the zone rotation
            --- Kyle, who chaired the 1956 NyCon, had taken umbrage to
                Fanoclast claims that their convention would not be "a fiasco,
                like 1956"
  - Other happenings
    > Order of St. Fantony held induction
      -- Initiated were Tom Schluck, Dick Eney, Ethel Lindsay, Tony Walsh,
         Ted Carnell, Ken Cheslin, Harry Nadler, Phil Rogers, and Ken Bulmer

* 1966 Cleveland (Tricon)
  - Ben Jason, chair
  - Howard DeVore, Lou Tabakow associate chairmen
    > tripartate bid: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit
  - L. Sprague de Camp, GoH
    > gave an amusing anecdotal speech at the Hugo Awards banquet
  - Isaac Asimov was Toastmaster
  - 850 in attendance
  - first worldcon for Jerry Kaufman, Mike Glicksohn
  - Sheraton-Cleveland Hotel
    > hotel also hosting another convention at same time (war veterans)
      -- stuck elevator story (Fred Pohl): fans calm while war vets were
  - start of Baby Fandom
    > (need info on this)
  - Program
    > John Brunner gave speech on "Interference on My Wavelength"
    > panel on special fandoms and their relation to SF fandom did not come to
      any conclusions, because time ran out just as the discussion was just
      starting to become interesting
  - Hugo Awards banquet
    > 401 Hugo ballots received, the best turnout ever to that point
    > Asimov was presenter for all but last Hugo
    > both E.E. Evans Memorial (Big Heart) Award and First Fandom Hall of
      Fame Awards were presented to the late Dr. David H. Keller, M.D.
    > Novel:  ...AND CALL ME CONRAD by Roger Zelazny; DUNE by Frank Herbert
    > Short Fiction:  "`Repent Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman" by Harlan
      -- Harlan presented with bag of black jellybeans with his Hugo
    > Professional Magazine:  IF
    > Professional Artist:  Frank Frazetta
    > Amateur magazine:  ERB-DOM (ed. Camille Cazedessus, Jr.)
    > Best All-Time Series:  the "Foundation" series by Isaac Asimov
      -- presented by Ellison
      -- Tricon committee had previously stated that even though LotR was 
         eligible in the `Novel' category, they were restricting it to the
         `Series' category to make room for other Best Novel nominees
    > special plaques also given out to STAR TREK and the film FANTASTIC
      -- publicity man for the TV series TIME TUNNEL tried to send out a
         press release stating that the show was also getting an award from
         the convention
         >> no such award was made
  - Business meeting
    > John Trimble appointed to Hugo study committee
      -- in 1967 published a fanzine titled HUGO REPORT #1 which contained an
         article by Ted White supporting the creation of an award to be known
         as the "Pong", which would replace the Fanzine Hugo
         >> this would soon be the cause of much uproar in fandom
    > standard word lengths adopted for defining fiction Hugo categories
      -- short story defined as less than 10,000 words; novelette between
         10,000 and 35,000 words; novel over 35,000 words
      -- provision made for allowing concom to shift story into a "more 
         appropriate" category if word count was within 5,000 words of the
         other category's limit
      -- if a story published in more than one version (e.g., shorter work and
         an expanded novel version), author allowed to designate which
         version eligible for Hugo competition
      -- also, novels serialized would be eligible for the year in which the
         final installment appeared, as defined by the magazine's cover date
    > Site Selection
      -- four bids (New York, Boston, Baltimore, Syracuse)
         >> Dave Kyle once again headed a Syracuse bid, in hopes of derailing
            the Fanoclast New York City bid
      -- this time, the Fanoclasts had a secret weapon: Harlan Ellison, who
         orated for half an hour about the wonders of New York at the site
         selection meeting
      -- in the end, New York won, beating Syracuse on final ballot 250-201
  - Other happenings
    > Order of St. Fantony holds first induction in U.S.
      -- Initiated were Fritz Leiber (in absentia, represented by John
         Trimble) and Bjo Trimble
    > bid parties were like mob scenes
    > costume ball winners included Karen Anderson, (others)
    > two episodes of Star Trek shown

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