Chicon 2000

Basic Information

Rev. 05-Feb-2000
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See also: MCFI's [www] views on What Is the Worldcon? [www]

What is a Worldcon?

Imagine getting together with a few friends to talk about something you all love -- science fiction and fantasy. You all read the books, see the movies, watch the stuff on TV, play the games - you've got a lot in common. And you invite a few of the people who create these works, too - the authors, artists, and others involved in the creation of the things we all appreciate. And when you all get in one place you count heads and find out there are six thousand of you. What do you call it? Worldcon, of course.

What You Get

Five days of talking about SF, with panels and readings and autographings all day and special events every night.

History of science fiction special exhibits: photos of every writer the photographer has found so you can see what your favorite authors look like so you can buy them each a drink in the bar; examples of each year's Hugo Award trophy; past grand champion costumes on display; examples of 50 years of amateur fan magazines.

A huge Art Show with original art by many of the major SF cover artists, signed and numbered lithographs or photoprints of pieces you couldn't afford otherwise, and examples of original art by up-and-coming artists who may someday be major. All for sale at auction.

An immense Dealers' Room. Hundreds of tables of new, used, and rare books; cool jewelry; art prints; videos; laser discs; funny buttons; fan writings; comics; and just plain weird stuff.

A choice of video rooms, anime rooms, and a full film program.

Science programs; how to behave at a convention programs; how to be a writer (OK, how to sell what you've written) programs; The Masquerade, a full costume contest stage performance; a hall costume contest, a wandering-the-convention performance; Filking (SF for folk singing); The Hugo Awards ceremony (like the Oscars or Emmys, but all our own).

Dances from rock to Regency; Georgette Heyer high teas; Oz fan meetings; ERB fan meetings; gay fan meetings.

And besides all this you can VOTE. Yes, vote on what you think the 2000 Science Fiction Achievement Awards (Hugos) should be given to, and you can vote on where all this should take place in the year 2003. Not Chicago, because we'll be too tired to do it again that soon.

"Why do I want to go?

Why should you pay good money to attend this convention? Why should you join early? Because you'll have a massively good time. If you join early, you pay the lowest possible rate; the prices will go up several times before the convention starts, and membership rates will be higher at the door. You also have a hedge against a change in plans, in that memberships are transferable; in other words, if you find out in early 2000 that you can't come after all, you can sell your membership to someone else. (Lots of people use the newsgroup rec.arts.sf.fandom for just this purpose.)

The Worldcon is more expensive than a small or mid-sized regional convention, like TusCon or WindyCon, yes, but that's because it's bigger and longer. There's a lot going on at a Worldcon, and it keeps happening for five whole days. Chicon 2000 is going to be more like many little conventions put together. Consider also that what you're paying for are the facilities and services that you, yourself, will use - you're not lining the pockets of some television star on the stage and some promoters you'll never meet. The Worldcon is put on entirely through volunteer labor; if this were an industry trade show of some sort, you couldn't get in the door for five times the price. We even feed you! (Well, granted, it's mostly soda pop and chips, but it's there for you anytime you want to visit the Con Suite.)

Another reason for you to go is the "total immersion" feature - for five days, you're going to live, breathe, walk, and talk science fiction, with thousands of other fans who are interested in the same stuff. Worldcon is the gathering of the tribes of fandom - and there's a place waiting here for you, if you're willing to come join us.

And if you don't think you can afford it, try doing this. Try saving a dollar a day. If you get a weekly paycheck, set aside $7 each week in an envelope in the back of your dish cupboard or something. After two months, take $40 out and get your Supporting Membership; this will make sure that you get our publications in the mail. After three or four more months, send the balance of your membership fee; at the end of a year or so, buy your plane ticket. You can do it if you start now.

When and Where

The convention begins Thursday, 31 August 2000, and runs through Labor Day, Monday, 4 September 2000. Most things will start around ten in the morning and the joint will still be jumping in the wee hours every night.

Our headquarters hotel, the Hyatt Regency Chicago, has hosted two previous Worldcons and is enthusiastically waiting to welcome a third. And with 2000 sleeping rooms and 210,000 square feet of function rooms and exhibit halls, you never have to go out into the sun or rain unless you want to.

But you will want to go outside. One of the "most visitable" cities in North American, Chicago boasts leading museums, thousands of restaurants, classic architectural landmarks, a vast variety of stores and shops of all kinds, first-rate theater, cutting edge blues and jazz clubs, 20 miles of beaches, the Cubs and White Sox, and hundreds of acres of parks, zoos and arboretums. Our Worldcon site is in the center of it all. This is definitely not your stereotypical "downtown". (How many past Worldcons have been held within sight of a golf course?)

"What must I do in order to attend?"

You basically need to do four things.

See also: Science Fiction Convention Survival Kit for Newbies [www]

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