ConFederation (44th Worldcon)

(Don - 41st)[Don - 11th Worldcon]

(Thomas - 28th)[Thomas - 3rd Wodlcon]

1986: 28 August - 1 September

Hilton & Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, GA

GOH: Ray Bradbury
Fan GOH: Terry Carr

Attendance: 5811

Don & Thomas drove to Atlanta as part of a four-car convoy, along with Marty Gear, Sharon Palmer, and other GCFCG folks. The Van, of course, was leaking oil and running a bit slow -- somehere near the Georgia border Thomas & Don lost the others, and continued through to Atlanta after searching for them. Still the boys arrived before they did . . . they had searched longer for the boys than they boys did for them. This says something, but neither Thomas nor Don wants to contemplate it too closely.

The Marriott Marquis was perhaps the best Worldcon hotel ever, as far as physical design goes: its 30 floors were all balconies that opened over an immense central atrium that looked like something from the movie Alien. The con suite was the entire tenth floor.

The Cedar Grove Movement had asked the Marriott to give them three rooms near one another: one for Lisa & Melissa, one for Thomas and Don, and one for Bruce Barnett. Well, the rooms were all in one line -- a vertical line. Don & Thomas were on the sixth floor, Lisa and Melissa were directly above them on the twelfth, and Bruce was directly above them on something like the 27th floor. It made for some interesting moments when they went to visit Bruce, since Don is a confirmed acrophobe.

Don was on two panels at ConFederation. Friday noon was "Fifty Million Monkeys," the obligatory word processor panel; Saturday afternoon was a far more interesting "Space Adapted Organisms," in which Greg Benford, Hal Clement, and Don made some very good points about the handicapped in space.

Thomas, Mary, and Don were in the Masquerade as "The Chernobyl Clean-Up Crew" -- an expansion of Thomas' glow-in-the-dark outfit from Balticon 19. The crowd went absolutely wild, and Thomas won an award for "Most Humorous."

This was Melissa's second year nominated for the Campbell Award. During an awards ceremony ably hosted by Bob Shaw, Don thinks he was just as nervous as Melissa herself. Well, she won the award, and the rest is history. (It was after the ceremony that Bruce's puppet bear charmed Harlan Ellison.)

Here's a picture of Thomas, Mary Mand, and and the back of an unknown fan at the ConFederation.

Articles of ConFederation, the daily newsletter, had this heartwarming article: "Fans are truly wonderful people! For those of you fen who do not yet know, I got my clutch purse and check book stolen yesterday. I'm sure there are not many of you who do not know because I feel like fully 2/3 of the attendees of the con have come up to me and given me hugs or reassurance. These mean more to me than you know. However, were this not enough to buoy my faith in fandom . . . some of the staff have made a material gesture by taking up a collection in my behalf . . . I am happy to inform you that some wonderful unnamed fan apparently found the clutch purse and checkbook in a men's room after they had been discarded by the thief and they have been returned to me. THANKS AGAIN -- Wanda Reed."

Another article warns: "GENERAL DISREGARD for elevators' weight limits has caused genuine, dangerous slipping. For once in your lives, believe the signs -- TEN PEOPLE and NO SMOKING."

Members of ConFederation got the chance to vote site-selection twice: the two-year rotation was changed to a three-year rotation, and so New Orleans won the 1988 Worldcon while Boston won 1989.

The In Memoriam page lists (among others) Walt Liebscher, T. L. Sherred, Jack Gaughan, and Taylor Caldwell, as well as Orson Welles and Yul Brynner.

All things considered, ConFederation was perhaps the best Worldcon yet.

Bruce Barnett, Mary Mand, Thomas, Melissa, and Lisa at ConFederation

(not a posed shot)

Evelyn C. Leeper's ConFederation report

Janice Gelb's ConFederation report