The 62nd World Science Fiction Convention

  • Sept. 2-6, 2004
  • Boston, MA

At-Con Weblogs

« April 2003 | Main | August 2003 »

July 31, 2003

Thousands to invade Boston by sea

Aquatic invasion has Boston on high alert; supertankers, sailors make way for ducklings

A "floating flock of bathtub toys," including the battered, salt- and sun-bleached remains of a flotilla of 29,000 rubber duckies, is expected to wash in to the shoreline of New England over the next few weeks, note oceanographers.

The duckies, which escaped from a container ship on a China to Seattle run in 1992, have made an 11-year trans-Arctic journey to reach Boston -- only to discover they are more than a year early for Noreascon Four.

Floating along the Alaska coast, through the Bering Strait, wafting past Iceland, and drifting over the sink point of the Titanic, the yellow avian tub-buddies have continued their arduous journey, only to be disappointed at the end.

"We left in 1992, when we heard from our buddies at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando that Boston had started a new bid for a Worldcon," quacked one anonymous fannish floater. "I don't think you understand how long a trip that is for a rubber duckie with no bubble bath."*

Curtis Ebbesmeyer of Seattle, a retired oceanographer who has been tracking the toys' progress, told CNN that "Some kept going, some turned and headed to Europe." Ebbesmeyer did not speculate on whether the small contingent of European-bound duckies was hoping to reach Glasgow in time for Interaction in 2005.

Although the duckies might be early, they will be able to get Noreascon Four memberships before the next rate increase, due October 1, 2003.

Any wayward rubber duckies arriving at Torcon3, the 2003 Worldcon in Toronto next month, will be able to buy their memberships at the Noreascon Four table in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Boston-bound ducks, fans, alien life forms, and others with a credit card may purchase memberships online at the Noreascon Four web site.

And, of course, everyone can feel free to write us at our postal address: P.O. Box 1010, Framingham, MA 01701 USA.

Any rumor that Noreascon Four plans to deliberately re-release the stalwart duckies into the Gulf Stream in 2005, aimed at the United Kingdom, is a base, um, canard.


* Okay, so rubber duckies can't talk. But if they could, they might have said that.

July 15, 2003

Progress Report 4 is on its way!

We've just mailed Progress Report 4 to all supporting and attending members (save only those who requested no duplicate PRs to multiple-member addresses), and we're pretty sure you'll find interesting things to read about Noreascon Four and our plans to amaze and delight you.

Please do note, however, that we send the Progress Reports (except the very last one in 2004) bulk rate mail to save money on postage (more to spend on you!). Progress Reports will arrive over the next few weeks, at the whim discretion of the postal system.

If you live outside of the United States, your progress report was shipped international bulk rate. This usually means that our Australian members get their progress reports before our chairman in Massachusetts!

Please see our searchable membership database if you're not sure you are a member of Noreascon Four.

July 02, 2003

Bostonians "Dig" the Central Artery

The Central Artery/Tunnel Project (lovingly referred to as the "Big Dig" by locals and tourists) has resumed "The Big Dig Tours." These are extensive walk-throughs of parts of the project, complete with information, commentary, and a chance to wear a hard hat.

If you're 18 years of age or older and happen to be interested in really big engineering projects, this is the summer sensation for you.

To sign up for a tour, please call 617-951-6400 or send an email to

You can also find the Big Dig online at (and see how far we've come).

Part of the Big Dig project that Noreascon Four members will find particularly beautiful is the new Leonard B. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge. The Zakim Bridge is now open to north-bound traffic, and we're told it will go both ways by the end of the year. This is the first "hybrid" cable-stayed bridge in the United States.