Denvention 2 (39th Worldcon)

(Don - 16th)[Don - 7th Worldcon]

1981: September 3-8

Denver Hilton Hotel, Denver, CO

GOH: C. L. Moore & Clifford Simak
Fan GOH: Rusty Hevelin
Toastmaster: Ed Bryant

Attendance: 3792

With six previous Worldcons under his belt, Don was beginning to feel like an old-timer.

Mary Mand and Don flew to Denver on a long trip that was constant up-and-down. They recovered, but they weren't particularly anxious to repeat the trip.

The second Denvention had one of the most enlightened weapons policies of any con: all weapons are peacebonded, where " defined as the fixing of such weapons, models, or blades in scabbards, cases, holsters..." Peacebonding was a gentleman's agreement not to behave irresponsibly with weapons -- unfortunately, later Worldcons did not pick up on the practice.

(The unofficial Denvention weapons policy was far more interesting, and consisted entirely of the rule: "If you kill it, you eat it.")

The Denver con committee went belly-up about two weeks before the con, from what Don understood. Apparently NESFA was called in on an emergency basis to run the Worldcon; they did a great job, since it all worked well.

Although Lisa and Melissa could not make it to Denvention, there was quite a bit of activity by the nascent Gay Fandom organization. They held an organizational meeting, and during the con Don palled around with Tim Gill (a Denver fan) and John Jackson from California. Of course, other members of the organization were also present, most notably Jerry Jacks, Charlie Belov and Denys Howard. (Jerry Jacks was later to die of AIDS; at last report, both Belov and Howard were still doing well.)

At the message board, Mary and Don saw a folded message addressed to Michael Dunn. "Oh," said Mary, "He'll never see it up there," and she moved it to a position about three feet off the floor. Unaware of who Michael Dunn was, Don found this terribly hilarious -- only later did he learn that Michael Dunn was the actor who played Dr. Loveless on The Wild Wild West, and he was shorter than Harlan Ellison.

Baltimore won the bid for the 1983 Worldcon. When Don talked to his parents on the phone, they said that the Baltimore TV news carried the win as one of their top stories for the night -- the Worldcon was one of the very first large groups booked into Baltimore's Convention Center.

The Muppet people were at the Denvention with promotional material for their upcoming movie The Dark Crystal, and Don was very impressed.

One afternoon a group of us, led by Tim Gill, took an actual car trip to a Mexican restaurant in the suburbs. It was the most Don had seen of a Worldcon city since he toured Boston with Lisa & Melissa.

The Denvention's "In Memoriam" page had Compton Crook, James H. Schmitz, George O. Smith and Susan Wood.

Don remembers absolutely nothing of the Denvention II programming. This may have been the first Worldcon at which he attended no panels at all.

Janice Gelb's Denvention 2 report