Chicon 2000


Rev. 21-Aug-2000
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- 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 surprises.

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 like!"

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 for posterity.

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 concept!)

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.
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