The 62nd World Science Fiction Convention

  • Sept. 2-6, 2004
  • Boston, MA

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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.