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What Is a Worldcon?
Imagine getting together with a few friends to talk about something you all lovescience fiction and fantasyin all its myriad forms.
Imagine bringing together those of us who:
- read books, comics, and graphic novels
- see the movies
- watch the stuff on TV
- play games
- dress up like characters on book covers or from films or anime
- create magical costumes out of their own imaginations
- meticulously re-create costumes from an historical perspective or from a particular film
- sing, act, dance, play musical instruments
- write, paint, sculpt or otherwise create visions of other universes,
and put us all in the same place for 5 days
Then What Happens?
Some of us are an appreciative audience for the knowledge and creativity of our writers, artists, costumers, film-makers, singers, and other members of our community.
Some of us like to provide the backstage and technical support that help keep the whole show going.
Some of us just like to talk. A lot. Fortunately, we have lots of listeners in our community too.
Some of us like to party.
And there's opportunities to do all of those things.
But one of the pleasures of getting together with friends is to meet some of their friends So when we get together with some of our friends, and they invite their friends, and then we also invite a few of the people who create the works we're talking aboutthe authors and editors, the artists, moviemakers and others involved in the creation of the science fiction and fantasy we all appreciate, the party begins to grow.
And the next thing we know, when we've get everybody together (maybe 6,000 of us or so, from all around the world), we've got something special. That's a Worldcon.
In 2004, we're calling our special get-together Noreascon Four, and we're holding it in Boston. We hope you'll join us.
There's a Lot Going On
These days, lots of people know about science fiction and fantasy. It's hard not to, with Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. But at Noreascon Four, science fiction and fantasy open the door to much more. We can't give you an exhaustive listthere's too much going on in too many diverse areas for us to do that, but as a start:
- Five days of talking about SF, with panels and readings and autographings all day and special events every night
- Exhibits on the history of science fiction and science fiction fandom
- Examples of each year's Hugo Award trophy (or as many of them as we can find!)
- Grand champion costumes on display
- A huge Art Show with original art by many of the major SF cover artists (and many fan artists too) [and most of it available at auction!]
- An immense Dealers' Room with
- tables full of new, used, and rare books
- cool jewelry
- videos, DVDs, laserdisks, and other kinds of recordings
- funny buttons and bumper stickers
- clothing you can't find at your local department store
- just plain weird stuff
- and much much more.
- Science programming
- Literary programming
- Programming about the art and business of publication
- "Big weird programming" (we're not sure what it is, but you'll know it when you see it!)
- Dancesa Regency dance, a sock-hop/swing dance, maybe even a time-travellers' ball ....
- Special interest group meetings, kaffeeklatches, and "Literary Beers"
- Special programming just for kids
- A Masquerade, a staged series of costume presentations
- A video game exhibit from the early days of video games into the future
- And much much more
Why Does it Cost So Much?
Why should you pay good money to attend this convention? And more money than you'd spend on your average local or regional convention, at that?
Because you'll have a massively good time. (But we're biased!)
Look at it this way
Worldcons are, essentially, one-off conventions. It's been 15 years since the Worldcon was last in Boston, and few people at any of our facilities remember what Noreascon 3 was like. We don't have an on-going relationship with our facilities and suppliers, the way most local cons do. We also didn't start out with much of a financial cushion.
Overall, we think moving the Worldcon around is a good thing, tooit gives different local groups the chance to get involved, brings new people in, and lets attendees check out different cities around the world.
And if you're willing to jump in and give us some help (minimum number of hours still to be determined), there's a good chance that the amount you paid for your membership will be reimbursed to you after the convention, once all our bills are paid. Your memberships pay for the facilities and services we're all going to use, not for event promoters or honorariums for TV and movie stars.
The Worldcon is put on entirely by volunteer laborwe pay for the services and things we can't supply ourselves (like hundreds of tables, chairs, couches, and display cases, or projection equipment so that people in the back of the auditorium can still see what's going on in the front).
We even feed you! (Well, granted, it's mostly soda and chips , but it's there for you anytime you want to visit the Con Suite.)
Worldcon is part of the "total immersion" school of convention-going: for five days, you're going to live, breathe, walk, and talk science fiction, with thousands of other fans who are interested in the same stuff.
Worldcon is the gathering of the tribes of fandomand there's a place waiting here for you, if you're willing to come join us. Come for a day (we'll have one-day rates available), or come for the weekend, but join our fannish family reunion.
Because when we've get everybody together Labor Day week-end 2004, we're going to have something special it's called Noreascon.