Ditto is "the other" fanzine convention, with a flavor and traditions somewhat different from Corflu. In 1998, the 10th anniversary Ditto is being held in Newport, Rhode Island, from the 6th to the 8th of November. Newport is an easy driving distance from New York City or Boston, a short shuttle ride through beautiful scenery from Rhode Island's all-weather airport, and reachable by bus (or rail to Providence and use the frequent bus service between Providence and Newport from there). Our hotel is a short walk from the bus station in Newport.
Ditto was started in 1988 in Toronto as a one-shot response to some fans' inability to attend Corflu. It was such a success that it became a repeating event held in the fall of each year. Ditto strives to be as affordable as possible while finding interesting sites which promote conversation and fun.
Rhode Island (known as "The Ocean State" and "America's Ocean Playground") is a particularly appropriate place for Ditto, a convention for fanzine fans who need more than one fanzine convention a year. The state was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, a puritan who found his coreligionists in the Massachusetts Bay Colony a little too mundane. Since then, Rhode Island has been home to countless amateur publishers and fanzine fans, including H.P. Lovecraft, Don D'Ammassa, Ed Meskys, and Ditto 11's own George Flynn. We're not quite sure why the smallest state in the USA should produce such a high proportion of fanzine fans: maybe it's something in the water, not impossible since the US Industrial Revolution started in Rhode Island in the 18th century.
Newport, where we're holding Ditto this year, is built at the entrance to Narragansett Bay. This bay is sometimes referred to as the "Cradle of the American Navy." On 12 June, 1775, Rhode Islanders decided that the acts of the British crown in pursuing deserters and repressing smuggling were intolerable, and the state legislature created a navy. This navy, with its home in Newport Harbor, consisted of two armed sloops, Katy and Washington. Their mission was to lift the blockade imposed by Britain and exemplified by the frigate HMS Rose (24 guns). Although this effort was not entirely successful, the Katy successfully engaged the sloop HMS Diana and drove her ashore. The success of the Katy encouraged the Continental Congress in the construction of further warships.
In the 19th century, Newport became the playground of the super-rich, who competed in building "summer cottages" in Newport, costing up to a billion 1998 dollars. These mansions are spectacular (like the Brighton Pavillion, but more elaborate and perhaps a bit more tasteful), and many of them will be open for tours during Ditto 11.
Today, Newport is probably best known for the Newport Jazz Festival and as a yachting center and former home of the America's Cup race. Thanks to the summer recreation in Newport, Ditto 11 will be well supplied with many kinds of food within a short walk of the convention hotel.
Here's a Ditto 11 Membership Form.