Noreascon Four

Address inquiries to
Noreascon Four
P.O. Box 1010
Framingham, MA 01701

617-776-3243 (fax)


Long ago and far away (or, even before MCFI won its bid to host the 62nd World Science Fiction Convention), we registered a number of Internet domains for ourselves.

Little did we know that the Mayor of Boston also had it in mind to host a convention in the summer of 2004…or that he'd win his bid, too. And political parties, like science fiction conventions, have heard of the Internet. So they registered a domain, too. points to the Democrats ... and point to us.

You can see where confusion might occur …

Since that time, we've occasionally gotten email (and even volunteer forms!) from people who have confused us with that other convention that'll be in town this summer.

To help them, and you, we've begun to compile our very own list of why (and how) Noreascon 4 will not be like a major political convention.

Ideally, we'd be able to list 2004 reasons and ways that we're different. But since most of us are really busy (reason number 1 we're different: nobody's getting paid to work on Noreascon Four!), we thought we'd ask you for some help, too. Tell us (at how to distinguish between the two. We'll award "Boston in 2004" t-shirts to our favorites.

2004 Reasons Why ...

  1. We're not $10 million over budget. We don't even have a $10 million budget.
  2. Our promises for the future are supposed to be fiction.
  3. You don't have to donate thousands of dollars to us (though we wouldn't complain)—we'll give you a high-level appointment to work for us for free!
  4. The media will not outnumber the attendees.
  5. Thoats and banthas are more interesting animals than donkeys and elephants.
  6. The folks wandering around with walkie-talkies are likely to be helpful and friendly.
  7. The slogans on our buttons are actually funny, and many of them are about cats.
  8. No one will be kissing babies except their immediate families and friends.
  9. When we talk about "skull and bones" it's probably in a discussion about paleontology.
  10. When we sling mud, it's probably in a workshop on making alien pottery.
  11. There may be a few folks wearing helmets with strange antennas sticking out, but they won't be roving news reporters.
  12. You didn't know the results of our voting last March.
  13. We won't be dropping thousands of balloons after the Hugo winners are announced.
  14. We won't be preempting your favorite television shows.
  15. Protest groups are not planning to picket our convention.
  16. If you wander into our facilities, alert Secret Service agents will not wrestle you to the floor.
  17. Three of our Guests of Honor are not eligible to be President of the U.S.
  18. The people asking you to vote for them will give you chocolate.
  19. We aren't putting it on with your money, unless you bought a membership.
  20. Our speakers are actually entertaining.
  21. The Secret Service has no plans to shut down major highways for us.
  22. You can still get hotel rooms for under $2,000 for Noreascon Four, and you don't have to stay in New Hampshire.
  23. Nobody from Noreascon Four will be sleeping in university gymnasiums.
  24. Traffic copters won't be grounded during our convention (so you can get Boston traffic information, which refers to places that used to be there).
  25. Businesses will be open all their usual hours.
  26. You'll be able to get a seat in your favorite restaurant.
  27. Noreascon 4 will have lots more than one party to have fun with.
  28. When someone tries to sell you something, it's because they are a dealer in the dealers' room.
  29. We have members from around the world.
  30. Nobody ever won a Hugo by starting a sentence with, "If you vote for me, then I promise to...".
  31. Pictures from our convention won't always include Faneuil Hall.
  32. Discworld is carried on elephants, not donkeys.
  33. Filkers know more songs than just "Happy Days Are Here Again" and "Don't Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)".
  34. Rather than making you wander the city to find art, music, and shopping, we provide it all on-site!
  35. If we rewrite history we label it as fiction or "alternative history".
  36. The Australian ballot system is easier to understand than the Electoral College system.
  37. At least some of our funny hats have propellers on them.
  38. It'll be easy to see where a person's from by reading his/her badge, so nobody has to listen to speeches beginning with five minutes of things like, "Mr. Chairman, Montana, where the mountains are high, the skies are clear, the sheep are nervous..."
  39. In a word-association test, we respond to "Fahrenheit" with "451."
  40. We are allowed to accept donations from non-resident aliens…but our aliens may have tentacles and extra feet.
  41. Nobody we've nominated for anything is about to be handed millions of dollars by the Federal Elections Commission.
  42. Our scheduling doesn't put all our activities during "prime" time to take advantage of network broadcasting…exciting things will be going on all day long.
  43. Neither Time nor Newsweek will be featuring us on their covers.
  44. Their celebrities are politicians and Hollywood actors. Our celebrities are writers, editors, artists, and musicians.
  45. Local residents will be able to get to work instead of being trapped at home by security grid lock.
  46. Once on site at Noreascon 4, you can come and go at will. No metal-detector screening!
  47. Our convention has programming for children. Theirs…
  48. Some of our attendees have written books about ghosts. Some of theirs have had books written by ghosts.
  49. Our attendees are likely to be wearing tee-shirts listing the reasons we're not like a major political convention.
  50. Our convention organizers weren't so provincial as to choose a "local boy" for Guest of Honor.
  51. At our convention, "Star Wars" has a rather different meaning than at theirs—as perhaps does, "undocumented aliens".
  52. Our Guests of Honor write their own speeches.
  53. 100% greater chance of men openly wearing tights at Noreascon 4.
  54. Our attendees often swear in forms unrecognizable to the FCC.
  55. At Noreascon 4, bloodsuckers are identifiable by the fangs and sunglasses rather than microphones and cameras.
  56. Some of our founding fathers are still around.
  57. People at the other convention probably don't copyedit their signage in real time.
  58. People in Boston won't need to indulge in blizzard-style shopping patterns during our convention.
  59. People at our convention are more likely to think that "spin control" refers to the Hubble Space Telescope's gyros.
  60. At our convention, none of the reading matter is likely to be redacted.
  61. There's much conversation about "character" at both conventions, but we've got a lot more to say about "plot" and "setting", too.
  62. One of the best parties at our convention is for the (Hugo) losers.
  63. When our guests of honor make immodest proposals they tell you that up front.
  64. A larger percentage of people at our convention know Jon Singer.
  65. People like to play fast and loose with numbers. At Noreascon, this is called "world building". At any major political convention, it would be called an economics platform.
  66. At any major political convention, much hot air will be spent on the gay marriage issue. At Noreascon, the discussion will be on clone siblings, line marriage, and familial visitation rights for noncorporeal clade members.
  67. Corollary of the 100% greater chance of men in tights: 100% greater odds of seeing a man in a kilt, a girl in a bunny fur (or chainmail) bikini, or a security detail in Stormtrooper armor.
  68. At N4, discussions on the security threats imposed by weapons of mass destruction will include paranomaisiacs, watching the sky for inbound meteors, and gamma ray bursters.
  69. At Noreascon, people complaining about the President's Mars program will agree that the US government shouldn't be doing it—they'll just want the funds allocated to something like the X-Prize as an incentive for someone COMPETENT to do it.
  70. Both Noreascon and major political conventions may have protestors bearing "ORION NOW! NUKES FOR PEACE!" placards. One of them will have attendees who actually know what it means...

With our thanks to Chris Almy, Ken Burnside, Todd Dashoff, Elka Tovah Davidoff, Bruce Davis, Amelia Edwards, Carl Frederick, Toby Fredrickson, Richard N. Freedman, Pam Fremon, Lisa Hertel, Chip Hitchcock, Tom Galloway, Chris Galvin, Glenn Glazer, Jordin Kare, Dan Kimmel, Grant Kruger, Alexis Layton, Tony Lewis, Laurie Mann, Elise Matthesen, Gary McGath, Fred C. Moulton, C.E. Petit, Esq., Keith Sherman, Theresa Renner Smith, Robert Sneddon, Sheila Strickland, Alex von Thorn & Jody Zolli.