Noreascon 2 (38th Worldcon)

(Don - 13th)[Don - 6th Worldcon]

1980: August 29-September 1

Sheraton Boston Hotel & Hynes Auditorium, Boston, MA

GOH: Damon Knight & Kate Wilhelm
Fan GOH: Bruce Pelz
Toastmaster: Robert Silverberg

Attendance: 5850

The second Noreascon was a Worldcon of legend.

Don was to have travelled with Mary Mand, who was attending her first-ever Worldcon -- but just a month before the con Don got a fulltime job with the Anne Arundel County Public Library, and was told that he couldn't have any leave time. He had to change my to Boston Friday night and return Monday.

The Sheraton wouldn't allow him to change his room reservations, so Mary had to sign for Don's room Thursday night -- then Don paid for that night even though no one stayed in the room. It took months to straighten out that little transaction . . . .

Don arrived Friday night after registration closed, wandered around getting thrown out of function rooms because he didn't have a badge -- then settled in at the Baltimore in '83 bid party. Baltimore had bheer. A little later he wandered down to the Chicago in '82 suite -- Chicago had both bheer and popcorn. Pretty soon, all his resentment against the world had vanished.

Noreascon II was a well-run convention, which is a good thing: officially the attendance was 5850, and that many people couldn't have had a good time if it wasn't well-run.

Don was even on the program at Noreascon II. He'd requested time and space for a "Gay Fandom" meeting, and sure enough, they gave it to him. Saturday at 2:00 pm, about two dozen people filled a smallish meeting room in the Hynes, and the first organizational meeting for Gay Fandom was held. (The exact same organizational meeting would continue to be held at other Worldcons...they were still doing it in Atlanta in 1986).

That event was the genesis of the Cedar Grove Movement, for it was there that Don met Lisa Barnett and Melissa Scott. The three were to be the ruling triumvirate of Gay Fandom...except that no one else co-operated, and it soon collapsed under general apathy. The Cedar Grove Movement, happily, fared somewhat better.

The "In Memoriam" page of the program book listed Alfred Hitchcock, George Pal, Kay Tarrant and Immanuel Velikovsky.

Another fannish tradition that began at Noreascon II, unfortunately, was that of the early-morning fire alarm that dragged everyone out of bed.

Noreascon II ran four tracks of programming, named for the four Tarot suits (the Fan Tarot Deck debuted at Noreascon II).

At a party Sunday night Don spent more time with Lisa & Melissa, and also with artist Jim Faulkenberg. None of them know at the moment what's happened to Jim....

At the Hugo Awards, Lin Carter did not appear when Silverberg summoned him to give out the Gandalf Award. Silverberg, searching the podium to find the envelope, turned up a magic marker and immediately pronounced "Magnum Marker 44" as the winner of the 1980 Gandalf. Next day in the Huckster's Room, a dealer was selling the markers with a sign that said, "Buy the winner of the 1980 Gandalf Award!"

After a showing of Life of Brian, Don took a taxi to the airport and said goodbye to Boston for the first time in his life. It was not to be the last . . . .

Janice Gelb's Noreascon 2 report


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