- Dick & Leah Zeldes Smith,
The Fan Concourse
Come to the Concourse! This fabulous area - housed in the Hyatt's
Columbus Hall and Grand Ballrooms E and F, near Registration, en route to
the Hucksters' Room and Art Show - offers a multidimensional look at the
world of fandom and science fiction, past and present.
To begin with, we offer the Fan Lounge. It's a good place for an
introduction to fandom of old, to discover the history of fanzines, to
renew old acquaintances and to make new ones. It's where the classics of
fanzine fandom are housed. New and old fanzines will be for sale. Fans
will be available to answer your questions. Plus, we'll have a few
Elsewhere in the concourse, photo and video displays present glimpses
of Worldcon events and personalities and other science fictional
activities from the past quarter century, including Alfred Bester, Robert
A. Heinlein, Bob Tucker, Bob and Anne Passovoy and many other professional
and fannish legends and hoards of SF enthusiasts.
One special display is the Fan Gallery of photographs, which tries to
give wider recognition to fans who have been prominent in regional fan
groups, as well as to those who've already won some measure of national
and international fannish fame or notoriety - chairs of Worldcons, fan
guests of honor of Worldcons, fan Hugo winners, and fan-fund winners.
The expected reaction is, "Oh, so that's what she, or he looks
Meanwhile, the History of Worldcons collection illustrates the
many changes the con has gone through in its six decades, through program
books and other publications of the Worldcons themselves, plus a
representative sampling of souvenirs, operations forms, press releases,
and other ephemera issued by and for the Worldcon. Another display
commemorates the hard work and creative promotions of those who've tried
to win the ultimate science fiction convention for their cities - both
successes and failures. (Bidders for 2004 and beyond would do well to
peruse these materials!)
But these are not just passive exhibitions. At the FANAC Interactive
Museum of Fanhistory, you can click your way through a computerized
collection of fan memorabilia, speak to a fan historian and view a variety
of artifacts and scan in your own fan photos and other fannish ephemera
You can sign up for tours of the various exhibits and hear tales told
by some of fandom's most distinguished raconteurs and experts (and some
other people, too).
You can also vote here on the site where the 2003 Worldcon will be
held. You can even talk with the future Worldcon bidders and gather
information to make your site-selection vote an informed one. (What a
And you can see what your favorite authors look like, and bring your
books to be autographed.
Besides all that, we present Planet Chicago - a look at the city of
Chicago and the people and places nearby that have left their mark on the
history of SF and fantasy - from L. Frank Baum and Edgar Rice Burroughs to
the Chicagoans of the next century. We highlight the appearances the Windy
City has made in notable stories, and we peek at the science fictional
aspects of the city itself.
Last, but not least, we have put together, with help from our friends,
a history of the fans who've called Chicagoland home from the early days
of fandom to the final Worldcon of the 20th century - the various
conventions, from one-shots to Windycons and Chicons; the numerous SF
clubs; and the many area fen, writers, editors and even bookstore owners.
Come by and pick up your copy of our oneshot fanzine featuring written
histories of local fanac.
We have a bit of science, and some razzle-dazzle, too. We know you'll
enjoy your visit with us.
Fan Concourse Docent Tours
Along with our displays, we also offer special tours of the various exhibits.
- History of Worldcons Tour:
There will four renditions of this tour. Space is limited. Sign up at the Fan Lounge. Meet in front of the exhibit in Columbus Hall.
- Thursday, 4 p.m.
Author and fan Mike Resnick leads a tour of the History of Worldcons exhibit. An avowed Worldcon lover, Mike attended his first con nearly 40 years ago and has scarcely missed fandom's annual extravaganza since. You haven't heard the story of the notorious Baycon in 1968 until you've heard this raconteur tell it.
- Friday, 2:30 p.m.
Roger "Teddy Bear" Sims, co-chairman of Detention, the 17th Worldcon in 1959, leads a tour of the History of Worldcons exhibit. Come and see what fanac looked like in the '50s, marvel at the slimness of the program books and the sparseness of the programs, and explore how Worldcon has evolved with someone who was there to see it.
- Saturday, 1 p.m.
Bruce Pelz - co-chairman of L.A.con I, the 30th Worldcon in 1972, one of fandom's premier collectors, and the curator of the History of Worldcons exhibit - leads a tour of the exhibit. Come and hear the secrets of the smofs and see what happens if you get bitten by the Kolektin Bug.
- Sunday, 4 p.m.
Author and fan Jack Chalker leads a tour of the History of Worldcons exhibit. A longtime Worldcon goer, and the man who coined the word smof, Jack knows where all the bodies are buried. Come and hear the stories he digs up.
- History of Worldcon Bidding Tour
Sunday, 1 p.m.
The annual contest for which city and group of fans gets to organize fandom's annual extravaganza is sometimes fast and furious, sometimes ho-hum, sometimes friendly and funny, and sometimes, frankly hysterical. Joe Siclari, chairman of MagiCon in in 1992, and curator of the History of Bidding exhibit, leads a tour through Worldcon bidding's memorabilia, with commentary on who lost, who won and why. If you've ever thought it might be fun to bid for a Worldcon, tour this exhibit first. Space is limited. Sign up at the Fan Lounge. Meet in front of the exhibit in Columbus Hall.
- The Faces of Science Fiction Tour
Sunday, 2:30 p.m.
So that's what he looks like! Members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America lead a tour, with commentary, of the Pro Portrait Gallery. Space is limited. Sign up at the Fan Lounge in Columbus Hall. Meet in front of the exhibit in Grand Ballroom F.
- The Faces of Fandom Tour
Friday, 1 p.m.
What's it take to be a Big Name Fan? Bruce Pelz, creator of the exhibit, leads a tour, with commentary, of the Fan Portrait Gallery. Find out who these people are and why their mugs deserve to be up there. Space is limited. Sign up at the Fan Lounge. Meet in front of the exhibit in Columbus Hall.
- FANAC Interactive Museum Tour
Sunday, 2:30 p.m.
Joe Siclari, curator of this exhibit sponsored by the Florida Association for Nucleation And Conventions, leads a tour through its fannish artifacts and into fanhistorical cyberspace. Space is limited. Sign up at the Fan Lounge. Meet in front of the exhibit in Columbus Hall.
- Planet Chicago: The Fandom Tour
Friday, 4 p.m.
In the 1959 Fancyclopedia II, Dick Eney wrote about Chicago: "Despite its … conventions, the Windy City has always been fairly quiet as far as fan activity goes. Of old, the Windy City Wampires existed there, but this was an informal group. The ChiCon I was put on by a special con-promoting organization." So is Chicon 2000. Has Chicago ever had a fandom to rival that of other cities'? Barry and Marcy Lyn-Waitsman offer a historical look into the various elements that have led up to Chicon 2000. Space is limited. Sign up at the Fan Lounge. Meet in front of the exhibit in Columbus Hall.
- Planet Chicago: The Fiction Tour
Thursday, 2:30 p.m.
Where did L. Frank Baum write The Wonderful Wizard of Oz? What did James Tiptree Jr. do in her day job? Where is Lower North Aufzoo? Where did Richard M. Powers learn to draw? What's wrong with 2323 N. Lake Shore Drive? Bill Higgins and Lindalee Stuckey trace the various people and places, real and fictional, that Chicago has contributed to science fiction. Space is limited. Sign up at the Fan Lounge. Meet in front of the exhibit in Columbus Hall.
- Planet Chicago: The Terraformed City Tour
Saturday, 1 p.m.
Chicago native Neil Rest takes you on a two- and three-dimensional tour to explore why Chicago is one of the world's most science-fictional cities. Space is limited. Sign up at the Fan Lounge. Meet in front of the exhibit in Columbus Hall.
- Slime printing and Other Lost Arts of Fandom
Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Fan Lounge, Columbus Hall
Dick and Leah Zeldes Smith conduct a demo of the archaic art of the hectograph (or Jell-O printer), the mimeograph and other methods by which fans used to communicate in the days before the Internet. This is a hands-on demonstration - don't wear white!
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