The 62nd World Science Fiction Convention

  • Sept. 2-6, 2004
  • Boston, MA

At-Con Weblogs

« June 2004 | Main | August 2004 »

July 31, 2004

Committee News Weblog

We've started a new Committee News weblog to share some of the activities, both serious and silly, that are keeping the committee busy during this last month of planning for Noreascon 4. Check it out if you'd like to see some of the nuts and bolts (and twine and bailing wire) that will be holding this convention together.

Progress Report 7

Progress Report 7 is in the mail and should be arriving soon. This is our last Progress Report and contains an overview of the schedule, travel details, and other last-minute information about Noreascon 4.

July 28, 2004

Mended Drum in Search of Characters

The Mended Drum (our Pratchett-themed tavern located in the Convention Center Concourse) would love to encourage colorful characters in costume visit the premises throughout the day and evening, especially on First Night (Thursday night). If these same characters would like to act as hosts in the evening, they can get volunteer hours, too. (Hosts greet customers, answer questions, and pick up the occasional empty plate or bottle.) To volunteer or get more information, please write to Jennifer White.

Preliminary Program

A preliminary list of program items is now available here.

July 27, 2004

How to get a Hugo PIN

If you're trying to get your online Hugo vote in before the July 31 deadline, and you're having trouble finding your last Progress Report (or just sent in your membership and haven't gotten your first Progress Report), you can send email to and we'll send you your PIN number.

July 24, 2004

New Hotel Block Available

We've added a new block of hotel rooms at the Radisson Hotel Boston. For information on this, and other nearby hotels, see our hotel information page.

July 23, 2004

Waldrop on the Retro Hugos

Howard Waldrop, perhaps best known for the wonderful story The Ugly Chickens, and next year's Capclave GoH, has a fine review of this year's retro-Hugo nominees. Remember, the deadline for submitting ballots for both the Hugos and Retro-Hugos is July 31!
(Thanks to Elspeth Kovar for the link.)

July 22, 2004

Advance Membership Rate Ends July 31

This is just a reminder that the advance membership rate of $180 is good only through the end of this month; thereafter the at-the-door rate of $200 will be in effect. So if you (or your friends) haven't joined Noreascon 4 yet, this might be a good time to do it. For more information and links to our online registration system, go here.

July 21, 2004

Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Boston

Boston is a great city for kids. During N4, if you have:

1-2 hours

Top of the Prudential Center to the Skywalk (accessible from inside the Prudential mall). Cost $2 kids, $3 adults.

Christian Science Center's Mapparium. Located in the The Mary Baker Eddy Library, view an inside-out version of the world in 1938, done in stained glass; cheap and nearby.

Ride the T. Historic displays are at Boylston & Park Streets. Adults $1.25 (exact change in coins if you use the Prudential stop in the mall), kids 5-12 half-price.

Half a day

Go to the park. There are 3 parks only a short distance away. You can go 2 blocks north to Commonwealth Avenue, go about 6-8 blocks east on Boylston to Arlington (or take the T) to Park St and visit the Boston Common, or from the Boston Common go 4 blocks north on Charles Street to the Charles River Esplanade.

Swan Boats. Take the T to Arlington St, and walk about a block to the Public Gardens. After the boat ride (about $2 for adults, $1 for kids) take a walk over the world's smallest suspension bride, and walk around the pond, past the duck island (as seen in “Make Way for Ducklings”), and visit the statues of Mrs. Mallard, Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Oack, Pack & Quack.

Visit a playground. There's one at the Common near the Frog Pond (Arlington St or Park St stops) (bring a change of clothes--the kids will wade), and one by the ocean (Columbus Park)and near bocce courts (Haymarket or Aquarium, plus a bit of a walk), amongst others. If you're flying in/out, visit Kidsport at Logan.

A full day (and a bit more money to spend)

Walk the Freedom Trail. Start at The Boston Common, and follow the red line in the pavement. If you're not up to walking, choose a few spots: Paul Revere's House & the
Old North Church (North End), the USS Constitution, aka Old Ironsides (Charlestown Naval Yard), or the State House.

Visit a museum. (We have plenty; this is only a small sampling.)

Children's Museum, 300 Congress Street, Boston, MA, across the Fort Point channel from the South Station T stop (look for the giant milk bottle).

New England Aquarium, Central Wharf, Boston, MA. It has it own T-stop (Aquarium) on the Blue Line.

Museum of Science, Science Park, Boston, MA. It has it own T stop (Science Park) on the Green Line.

Franklin Park Zoo, 1 Franklin Park Road, Boston, MA.

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain, MA

Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA.

Institute for Contemporary Art (across the street from the Hynes), 955 Boylston St., Boston, MA.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 280 The Fenway, Boston, MA. If your name is Isabella, then your admission is FREE.

The Sports Museum, Fleet Center, Boston, MA. Take the Green or Orange line to the North Station

Bug Bugs exhibit, at the Garden in the Woods in Framingham. Sculptures of 12 different insects, in humungous sizes, are scattered along the woodsy Big Bugs trail. You'll need a car to get to this one.

Go shopping:

Faneuil Hall Marketplace (aka Quincy Market). It’s a historic site, and a
place to shop and eat.

Filene's Basement, 426 Washington St., Boston, Take the Orange or Red line
to Downtown Crossing. The first & original offprice store, bargain galore!

Barnes & Noble, 395 Washington St, Boston, MA. Books.

* Many thanks to Lisa Hertel for this list of things to do in Boston with your family

July 20, 2004

One-Day and At-the-Door Rates Announced

If you want to travel from Middle Earth to the far reaches of the galaxy, the best place for you to be over Labor Day weekend is Boston, for the 62nd World Science Fiction Convention, Noreascon Four.

Do you only have time for dinner at the restaurant at the end of the universe? We've got you covered: we're pleased to announce our one-day and at-the-door full, attending rates for Noreascon Four:

One-day rates:

       Thursday, Sept. 2:  $50 adult; $25 child
       Friday, Sept. 3:      $75 adult; $35 child
       Saturday, Sept. 4:  $80 adult; $40 child
       Sunday, Sept. 5:     $80 adult; $40 child
       Monday, Sept. 6:    $50 adult; $25 child

Full, attending, at-the-door rate (all 5 days):

       $200 adult; $100 child's admission (includes 6 hours of daycare)

All convention activities (or activities for the day purchased in the case of one-day admissions) are included in the price, including access to hundreds of program items, films, anime, exhibits, special events, convention hospitality suite, art show, and dealers room.

Please note that one-day children's admissions include access to children's programming and activities but do not include supervised day care. All children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian who also attends the convention. For more information about children at Noreascon Four, see our web site.

July 18, 2004

Pizza and Chinese!

Food that's Inexpensive, portable and close to the Hynes Convention Center.

Pizza! The perfect food!

It's a cheap meal for people on a budget. Covers all the major food groups, depending on what toppings that are on it. Here is a listing of some pizza places close to the Hynes.

Boston House Of Pizza, 305 Huntington Ave Boston, MA
Despina's Place 47A Massachusetts Avenue Boston, MA
Domino’s Pizza, 1314 Boylston St, Boston, MA
Elia's Pizza Cafe 405 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA
Pizza Pie-R III Inc 182 Massachusetts Avenue Boston, MA
Pizzeria Uno Chicago Bar & Grill 280 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA
Pizzaria Regina, The Shops at the Prudential Center, 800 Boylston Street, Boston, MA
Supreme Pizza & Subs of Boston 177B Massachusetts Avenue Boston, MA
University House of Pizza 452 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA

Chinese! Another Fannish Favorite!

Also inexpensive, portable and close to the Hynes.

Brigham Circle Chinese Food 728 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA
Island Hopper 91 Massachusetts Avenue Boston, MA
Nan Ling Chinese Restaurant 179 Massachusetts Avenue Boston, MA
Panda Express, The Shops at the Prudential Center, 800 Boylston Street, Boston, MA

Boston’s Chinatown is located between Boston Common and South Station. That is the place to go for great Chinese food, as seen in this listing from the Boston Phoenix.

July 17, 2004

Hugo Voting Deadline Approaching

This is a reminder that the deadline for voting on the 2004 Hugo and Retro Hugo Awards is fast approaching. Paper ballots must be postmarked no later than July 31, 2004, and online balloting will close at midnight (in the Eastern U.S. time zone, because that's where we are) on that day.

Detailed instructions for mail-in and online voting can be found at our website, at If you have questions, you can send mail to

July 15, 2004

Harvard Square Bookshops

At Harvard Square (MBTA Red Line Stop: Harvard) you can find books, books, and more books (and comics too!) With a vast variety of bookstores (14, according to, Harvard Square is a book lover's place to be.

Bentley Publishers, publishes a wide variety of automotive enthusiast's books and automotive repair manuals.

Curious George Goes To Wordsworth. Children's books and games and lots more,
including a ton of things other then books.

Grolier Poetry Book Shop, the oldest continuous poetry book shop in the
United States.

Harnetts is a "non-drug store” offering the best in alternative products and

Harvard Book Store, new and used books.

The Harvard Coop, general books as well as textbooks.

Harvard Book and Binding Service, used books brought and sold.

Hedberg Maps. Just what it says, maps.

Million Year Picnic. Comics, including European comics

Newbury Comics. Comics, music, and a wicked good time.

Out of Town News. Newspapers and magazines from around the world.

Pandemonium Books and Games. Science fiction books and games.

Schoenhofs Foreign Books, the oldest foreign language bookstore in the
United States.

Wordsworth Books, 100,000 titles, all at discount prices.

July 14, 2004

Special offer on Noreascon Four books

Noreascon Four, in cooperation with NESFA Press, is publishing four souvenir books by our Guests of Honor. We are pleased to be able to make this special offer of 20% off if you order the set of all four books in advance. The books are:

  • Once More* with Footnotes, by Terry Pratchett
  • Dancing Naked: The Unexpurgated William Tenn, by William Tenn
  • With Stars in My Eyes: My Adventures in British Fandom, by Peter Weston
  • Fancestral Voices, by Jack Speer
With this offer, all four books will be $79 (including 5% Massachusetts sales tax); at the convention the same books will cost you $98.70 (tax included) for the set. Books must be paid for in advance and picked up at Noreascon Four.

Masquerade form is now online

The masquerade registration form is now online. If you are thinking of participating, even if you don't know all the details of your presentation yet, the masquerade staff would appreciate hearing from you.

July 12, 2004

Your Funny! Places to Make You Laugh in Boston

Tickle your funny bones at the comedic antics at:

Beantown Madness, Dick's Beantown Comedy Vault, 124 Boylston Street, Boston.
Beantown Madness offers a dinner variety show with comedy, variety, juggling, magic, music and dancing. Rated PG, the show should be acceptable for ages 13+. The performances change nightly and are adapted to the audience. Show times and Prices: Thurs. 9pm, Fri. 9pm, Sat. 8 & 10:30pm. $29.95 dinner & show, $15.00 show only.

Comedy Connection, 245 Quincy Marketplace (Faneuil Hall), Boston.
Voted "Best Comedy Club in the Country" by USA Today, The Comedy Connection presents the best in stand-up comedy seven nights a week (two shows on Friday and Saturday). Showtime & prices: Sunday, 7pm $10, Monday-Wednesday, 8pm $10, Thursday, 8:30pm $12, Friday & Saturday, 8pm & 10:15pm prices vary.

Improv Asylum, 216 Hanover Street, Boston.
The funniest show you'll ever be part of! Voted "Best Comedy Club in Boston" for four years running, the mainstage performances offer a unique blend of improvisation and sketch comedy. Cast members take suggestions from the audience and turn them into hilarious scenes right on the spot. No two shows are ever the same! Show times & Prices: Wednesdays 8pm $15, Thursdays 8pm $15, Fridays 9pm $20 ~ starting June 4th, Saturdays 8pm and 10pm $20.

Jest for the Fun of It, Medieval Manor Theatre Restaurant, 246 East Berkeley
Street, Boston.
2-1/2 hour bawdy musical spoof of the Middle Ages. Also available is a six-course dinner eaten with your hands. Meal/show packages $20-36. Reservations are required. Daily (except Tuesdays), Show times and prices: Mon. - Fri. at 8pm, Sat. at 5 & 9:30pm, Sun. at 6pm., $20-36.

Shear Madness, Charles Playhouse, Stage II, 74 Warrenton Street, Boston.
America’s longest-running whodunit comedy, now in its 24th season at Boston's historic Charles Playhouse Show times and Prices: Tues.-Fri at 8pm, Sat. at 6:30pm & 9:30pm, Sun at 3pm & 7:30pm $34.


Some people have been confused about the differences between Noreascon Four and the Democratic National Convention. We offer suggestions on ways to identify which major Boston summer convention is us.

Trivia Contest Announced

Traditionally, Worldcons hold at-con trivia contests, sometimes between competing teams, sometimes between competing individuals. Noreascon is taking this a step further by posting a trivia contest on its website. The questions are more difficult than those asked at an at-con trivia contest since anyone who chooses to participate will be able to spend time looking up the answers.

All entries must be turned in no later than 6:00 PM on Saturday September 4, at the Info Desk in the ConCourse. The winners will be announced in the at-con newsletter on Sunday, September 5 with prizes awarded on Sunday.