L.A.Con II (42nd Worldcon)

(Don - 30th)[Don - 10th Worldcon]

(Thomas - 14th)[Thomas - 2nd Worldcon]

1984: 30 August - 3 September

Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA

GOH: Gordon R. Dickson
Fan GOH: Dick Eney

Attendance: 8365

The second L.A.Con, with 8365 fans in attendance, is the largest Worldcon to date. It certainly was quite a bash. By now, there was in fandom a catchphrase for describing Worldcon: "A weekend party with five thousand of your closest friends." The L.A.Con was like that.

Don and Mary Mand flew through Atlanta to Houston where they met Thomas, who had been visiting family all summer. Then all three continued on to Los Angeles, arriving about 7:00 pm California time.

Convention literature had warned them that shuttle buses from the airport were erratic, so they decided to take a cab. How much could it cost? Twenty or thirty dollars? They piled into the taxi, then spent a rather painful hour watching the meter move while they sped on through the night. $30 . . . $40 . . . $50. Surely they'd get there soon? $60 . . . $70 . . . finally, at just about $75.00, they reached the Hilton hotel.

They reached their rooms -- they had two connecting rooms -- and unpacked, relaxing after the hectic trip. Somewhat later, the phone rang: it was Lisa and Melissa, who had just arrived at the airport. As one, the three shouted: "TAKE THE SHUTTLE BUS!!!" -- and then the line went dead.

The ladies, who'd had a long, late flight, reached the hotel safely and had no trouble checking in. When they asked Don, Thomas, and Mary why they'd shouted that strange advice, they related the story of the taxi fare . . . and all agreed that the essential bit of information was relayed.

With a Worldcon right across the street from Disneyland, the committee knew that they had to do something. So they arranged for discount tickets, and Wednesday September 29th was officially designated "Fan Day at Disneyland." Thousands of fans converged on the park, and they had a spectacular time. The folks at Disneyland, however, were a little disconcerted by some of the fans' antics. (The con committee, responsibly trying to cover all bases ahead of time, asked Disneyland what the policy was on people wearing costumes. It turned out that there was no policy . . . this was the first time that anyone had asked. The Disneyland folks were a little puzzled, in fact, as to why someone who wasn't an employee would want to wear a costume into the park . . . .)

For another example, the five Cedar Grovers went on the "Rocket to Mars" ride. It was great, up until the point when the ship approached Mars. There was a sudden meteor storm, and the pilot threw the vessel into hyperdrive.

At once the protests rose from the Cedar Grove Movement: "Damn fool, he's gonna kill us!" "You can't go into hyperdrive this deep in a gravity well!" "And in the middle of a meteor storm?!" "And the ship was spinning! There's no telling where we'll come out."

Well, the pilot was better than they thought, for they arrived safely back on Earth. But all of them agreed that next time, they wanted one of their own number at the controls . . . .

After Disneyland, the L.A.Con was bound to be a little anticlimactic. Don was on one panel, a Friday afternoon one titled "Making Your First Sale." The con also featured the first-ever showing of all three Star Wars movies in one night-long Trilogy; after taking one look at the line (which started forming that morning), all of them decided to give it a pass.

A young lady who had worn a mermaid outfit in the Masquerade showed up at the pool with the suit on and some helpers; lifting her very carefully, they put her into the water and she proceeded to prove that the costume was functional as well as beautiful.

At the LACon Don had his first-ever lunch with an editor: Betsy Mitchell of Baen was intrigued by an early version of The Eighth Angel Trumpeted and she wanted to talk to him about it. While she did not end up buying that particular book, Don did sell her The Leaves of October quite a few years later.

The Thought Police Gazette relates the following tidbit from the convention bulletin board: "DeAnn Iwan says, `The real reason that WSFS changed the site bidding from a 2-year lead time to a 3-year lead time is so that there will be time to finish the masquerade!"

On the In Memoriam page of the program book were A. Bertram Chandler, Zenna Henderson, Leonard Wibberly and Mike Wood.

All in all, the seocnd L.A.Con left all with happy memories and warm feelings.

Evelyn C. Leeper's LACon 2 report