Norwescon 24 Progress Report
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A Sense of Wonder
April 12-15, 2001
Annual Northwest Regional Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention
Chairman of Norwescon Seen With March Hare
(Or how Pat likes to mix her metaphors and stories)
by Pat Booze, Chairman
Planning a convention can seem at times like a Mad Tea Party. So much to do, so little time and all so wondrous. But we would like to keep you up to speed on where we’re at with Norwescon. The executive team and concom have been busy getting things up and running. A lot of committees have been formed since September. For example there is the Budget Committee, the committee to investigate becoming a 501(c)3, and the Norwescon 25 Anniversary Committee. One committee that has been ongoing since last year is our Policy Committee headed by the tea master himself, Michael Citrak. It’s taken us a lot longer than we thought dusting off the corners of people’s brains and looking down rabbit holes, but this process is almost completed and in the end we should have a very comprehensive document for this and future committees to work with.
The biggest news that I want to share with you, having to do with the day-to-day planning of the convention, is that Norwescon will be bringing the Art Show back in-house. The out-sourcing of the art show has been one of the most controversial things that we have done in the last few years. Without having to go into the long and boring business details, and the reasons for out-sourcing in the first place, the circumstances have changed and we are able to bring it home. Unfortunately, like many things that happen in the planning of a big convention, this is coming at the ninth hour. Our most wonderful and hard working Vice Chair, Betty Claar, is taking on the job of putting together a team of people, and, with help from some good friends, we are hoping that this first year back in-house will come off with as few difficulties as possible. I want to thank Betty here a now for taking this all on and for her hard work. All Chairmen should be as lucky as I am to have a Vice Chair as dedicated as I do.
There are three ingredients that are needed to put on a convention or a Mad Tea Party. The first is volunteers. At our first meeting in September we had over 30 people attend the meeting, but we have 80 positions available on the concom. Since then, many have been filled but we have lots of room at the table for anyone who would like to join us. Please check our web site for meeting dates and available positions. You may contact Shawn Marier or any of the executive team to see which positions are open. If you don’t have time to volunteer prior to the convention please consider giving us some of your valuable time at the convention. Without volunteers we truly can not make it happen. This is going to be another very fun and exciting year for Norwescon. Please consider being a part of the camaraderie, and sometimes lunacy, that makes it all worthwhile.
The second ingredient is Guests of Honor. We could hardly have a better lineup of guests than we do this year. These guests are just the spices that will keep the tea party hopping. Our writer GoH is Connie Willis. Connie is a prolific writer and has won so many awards that it spins my head—8 Locus Awards, 6 Nebula Awards, and 7 Hugo Awards. Her works span the gambit of science fiction literature. This will be a memorable experience for Norwescon. The Art Show once again will be a highlight of the convention. Our Artist GoH this year is Bob Eggleton and I, for one, am very excited to see what he will be sharing with us. Bob has a trunk full of awards too. Charles Brown of Locus magazine will be our Fan GoH. It is a great honor for Norwescon to have a man of this caliber share his time and knowledge with us. This year’s Spotlighted Publisher is the Bantam/Dell Publishing Group. They have brought us many outstanding books that have feed our sense of wonder. Anne Groell will be representing Bantam/Dell and panels featuring her are going to be a must for all writer’s and fans alike. We are also proud to announce James P. Hogan and Dragon as Special Guests.
The last ingredient is the attendees. Mickey Rooney said “I have a barn. Let’s put on a show.” Kevin Costner said “...and they will come.” Neither Mickey nor Kevin will be attending this year’s convention, but it is that sense of wonder that their characters had that will make Norwescon very special. So, tell all your friends because we think the barn is going to be full.
This year Norwescon is going to be full of fun, lunacy and a sense of wonder. Don’t miss being part of our Mad Tea Party. And if you happen to see me talking to myself, it’s just me and my invisible white rabbit having a very good time.
Check your mailing label!
If your name is followed by (24), you are pre-registered for Norwescon 24.
If it’s followed by (23), then hurry up and use the enclosed membership form! If you have moved, or if there are other members of Norwescon 23 that you know have moved, or we have your name or address wrong, please send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include both what is on the label and the correct information. If you don't have e-mail, you can send your corrections to Address Changes, [omitted]. Thank you!
A Sense of Wonder
by Robert J. Grieve
There is a never ending debate about what book belongs to what genre. Many stories blur the distinction between one style of fiction and something that is arguably completely different. Some noted authors resent being pigeonholed into one category and take umbrage at their works being cast into any category. Often, it is the definition of what is this or that that can make it difficult to sum up a literary work as being colored with any particular hue from the reading rainbow.
Still, the pulse of a novel can be pounding so dominantly in a specific rhythm that it can only be called by that one characteristic heartbeat. Westerns and war novels are action-packed books with guns blazing or weapons clashing. The setting can make the distinction between the two: one is in the wild American West and one is in an armed conflict between opposing factions. Boots, saddles, and a ten gallon hat are so typical of a western it would be hard to imagine a story without them. Could someone write a western without cowboys or gunslingers or other such stereotypical features? Of course, but it will still be a western as long as the author captures the essence of life in the 19th century American West. Put enough home-on-the-range into your novel and you can rival Louis L’Amoure. With sagebrush and sidewinders in your story, it won’t make a difference if your main character is a bumbershoot-toting gentleman from Oxford—it will still be called a western.
So what is the essence that makes science fiction and fantasy works what they are? What is it about these novels and stories that captured our attention so long ago? What was it that the authors put into their tale that made this the genre of choice for us? Was it the rockets and spaceships? Aliens and strange planets? Elves and fairies? Magic and heroism? Nope. It was a Sense of Wonder.
Without this key ingredient, what you’re reading is not sf&f. Not really. Oh, some may peg it as being in this genre, but all the classics, and the best there is out there, provide the reader with a sense of wonder. All fiction has some common denominators but sf&f has that jaw dropping, mesmerizing, mind boggling sense of wonder that adjusts your reality better than any TV show or movie ever made. Time can stand still and the mundane world shrinks into oblivion when you are reading a book that has captured your sense of wonder. It is the single most important essence of sf&f that allows you to suspend disbelief, open your mind to strange concepts, and accept the improbable.
A sense of wonder allows the reader to not only hear the roar of the dragon but feel it as well. You can smell the brimstone on its breath and the stench of death from its lair. You may be curled up on the couch with a book, but your hand automatically smooths back your hair as the wind from those gigantic bat wings swirls it around your head. Dragon scales and talons scrape across the rocky ground. You feel the malevolent gaze of its evil eye. The author has taken you into his tale through your sense of wonder.
This year at Norwescon we present programming with a sense of wonder. Be it gaming, writing, costuming, or art; we hope to inspire a little sense of wonder in you.
Norwescon 24 Guests of Honor
Writer Guest of Honor Connie Willis
Connie Willis has won seven Nebula Awards and six Hugo Awards (more than any other science fiction writer) and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for her first novel, Lincoln’s Dreams. She is the only writer in the history of the Hugo Award to win in each fiction writing category. Her novel, Doomsday Book, won both the Nebula and Hugo Awards, and her first short-story collection, Fire Watch, was a New York Times Notable Book. Connie was born on December 31, 1945 in Denver, Colorado. She married physicist Courtney Willis in 1967, and has one daughter, Cordelia. They live in Greeley, Colorado.
Artist Guest of Honor Bob Eggleton
Bob Eggleton is a successful science fiction, fantasy and landscape artist. Winner of five Hugo Awards and 11 Chesley Awards, his art can be seen on covers of magazines and books. He has also worked as a conceptual illustrator for movies and thrill rides. Of late, Bob has worked more on private commissions and self-commissioned work. He has been elected as a Fellow of The International Association of Astronomical Artists (FIAAA), and is a Fellow of the New England Science Fiction Association (NESFA). His work has appeared on professional publications and books in the world of sf, fantasy & horror across the world.
Fan Guest of Honor Charles N. Brown
It is hard to imagine anyone who is serious about sf/f who has not heard of Charles N. Brown. For over 30 years, he has been the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of Locus, The Newspaper of the Science Fiction Field. Locus is a with monthly publication with articles covering news about the science fiction, fantasy, and horror publishing field; stories about writers, publishers, awards, conferences, author signings; interviews with the well-known to the up-and-coming writers; full-length book reviews of new and forthcoming books, reports from around the world about the sf scene in various countries; comprehensive listings of books and magazines published, bestsellers, upcoming conventions, forthcoming books; coverage of major conventions and a whole lot more. It is also hard to imagine anyone who would know more about the sf/ f genre than Charles N. Brown.
Special Guest James P. Hogan
James P. Hogan was born in London in 1941, his father Irish and his mother German. After studying general electrical and mechanical engineering, he graduated as an electronics engineer specializing in digital systems. Later, he became a sales executive in the electronics and computer industries with such companies as ITT, Honeywell, and Digital Equipment Corporation, and eventually a Sales Training Consultant with DEC’s scientific computing group at Marlborough, Massachusetts.
To date, his published work includes 17 novels, two mixed collections of short fiction, nonfiction, and biographical anecdotes entitled Minds, Machines and Evolution and Rockets, Redheads and Revolution, and other articles and short fiction.
Special Guest Dragon Dronet
Dragon Dronet started in costume contests at Norwescon 5 and ended up in Hollywood. His work has been seen in Terminator 2, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman & Robin. He has also acted in films. On Robo Warriors he worked on the robots and then played the two bad guy robots. He made a 25 foot long Enterprise for the Star Trek: The Experience hotel in Las Vegas. Dragon lives in California and is currently working on Planet of the Apes.
Spotlighted Publisher The Bantam/Dell Publishing Group Featuring Senior Editor Anne Groell
Our Spotlighted Publisher should be no stranger to anyone who reads sf/f. The books published from this house range from such diverse writers as Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, David Brin, Raymond Feist, William Gibson, Robin Hobb, Ursula K. LeGuin, George R.R. Martin, Kim Stanley Robinson, Bruce Sterling, Sheri S. Tepper, and our Writer GoH, Connie Willis. Senior Editor Anne Groell will be with us representing this giant in the publishing field.
by Robert J. Grieve
Norwescon 24 will have a little bit of something for just about everyone. Numerous tracks of panels will present a variety of ideas, notions, and opinions as well as ample opportunity for our members to get some hands-on experience. From basket weaving to origami to sword fighting to writing to costumes to singing to who knows what. Norwescon 24 will have it all. Just to highlight a few things:
There will be numerous ways to improve your writing talent this year. From straight how-to panels to inspirational discussions of the literature of sf&f, a member of the convention will have a delectable amount of chances to discover new techniques, hone those skills they already have, or seek guidance in problem areas.
Filking will be back with a vengeance. OK, how about with a song in their voice? Open filk circles, concerts, drum circles (two!), and how-to panels will all be happening at this year’s con. If you have never filked before, this year is the year for you to join the chorus!
Costuming will be as spectacular as ever. The panels will address ideas and issues at every competitive level. There will also be events for the novice and those who want to join in on the fun for the first time. The $1.98 Costume Competition even has a monetary award! And don’t forget the Impromptu Costume Contest.
Gaming will be having numerous tournaments as well as panels on how-to and what’s it all about. Some of the tournament sponsors will be new to Norwescon.
Special Events will present those programming items that Norwescon is known for (Masquerade, Laser Tag, Dances, P.K. Dick Award Ceremony, Autograph Party, and Opening and Closing Ceremonies) as well as some things that are relatively new to Norwescon such as the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Norwescon Honors, and the Great Norwescon Science Debate.
The Elan will be back at court during Norwescon. Emperor Adrian and Empress Shareestra will welcome one and all to this gala occasion.
In addition to all that, we have people hard at work bringing back the Norwescon Fannish Olympics! That’s right. After a hiatus of several years, the Fannish Olympics will be back at the con! Read the details elsewhere in this report.
So there you have it. It should be a fun, educational, and interesting weekend of science fiction and fantasy. Check out the programming grid at the Norwescon website. It will be changing weekly as the con gets closer and event planning solidifies. Norwescon 24 will be the place to be for fen this Easter.
The DoubleTree Seattle Airport Hotel is the site of Norwescon 24.
The hotel is located at 18740 International Boulevard in SeaTac, Washington. Room rates are $90.00 per for up to 4 people. There is a $10.00 charge for each additional person. These rates are available for up to 3 days before and after the convention. Parking is complimentary for 1 vehicle per room, $5.00 per day for all other vehicles. Call (206) 246-8600 for reservations.
South from Seattle on I-5: Take the S. 188th - Orillia Road exit, exit number 152. Keep to the right and drive west 1.2miles.
North toward Seattle on I-5: Take the Seattle Tacoma Airport - S. 188th exit, exit number 152. Turn left at the bottom of the ramp and drive 1.4 miles.
The DoubleTree is on the north side of the street and has entrances on both 188th and International Boulevard (Pacific Highway South). The DoubleTree offers shuttle service from the airport.
A Few Words About Tipping
InflectedForm(s): plural -ities
Date: 1540: Something given voluntarily or beyond obligation usually for some service; especially: TIP
Date: 1755: A gift or a sum of money tendered for a service performed or anticipated: GRATUITY
Tipping is a custom based on the generosity of an appreciative customer and is subject to no concrete rules. But here are a few suggestions:
Bartenders: $1 per round for parties of two to four; more for larger groups. Buffet Servers: $1, if they are helpful and get your drinks. Cocktail Waitresses: $1 a round for parties of two; more for larger groups. Servers: 15% - 20%. Bellmen: $1 - $2 per bag. (Additional tips should be provided for special services and information.) Doormen: $1 a bag if you are helped; $1 for whistling a cab. Maids/Housekeepers: $1 - $2 per day or $10 per week. (More if additional services are provided.) Room Service Waiters: 15% - 20%.
This information is intended as a guide. One may tip more, if the service warrants.
Blood Drive & Food Drive
Every year we make arrangements for the Puget Sound Blood Bank to come by to accept your donation. This is usually held on Friday between 10am and 4pm. Plan your Friday to include time to donate blood in our Becky Fallis Memorial Blood Drive.
We also collect canned and other nonperishable food for Northwest Harvest. Please bring a can or two to put into the donation bins. You can also make monetary donations at the Registration desk anytime during the convention. We’ll even give you a receipt for your taxes.
by Ben Schreiber
Ben “the whirlwind” Schreiber here. I’ll be running the Member Services department again this year. Why “whirlwind?” Because apparently I never stayed in one place long enough for folks to catch up with me last year. I’ll try to do better about that...
What is Member Services? We handle all (or most, anyway) of the stuff that you, our members, expect from the convention that isn’t part of the convention programming. So let’s get down to details:
Mike Orosz will again be running the show, assisted by a team of shift managers.
Last year’s switch to the computerized registration system seemed to go quite well, and we’ll be continuing to use that system with some improvements that I’m sure you will all like! Things should run faster this year, now that we’ve got everybody’s information in the computers already.
Last year’s success was due to the great team of volunteers that we had, but also to the long hours put in by a few dedicated folks. To help even things out, we’re going to need more volunteers! We will be holding training sessions (not yet scheduled) starting soon. Please let us know if you’d like to help out. Remember, you don’t have to commit to working for the entire convention—a few hours will help!
The good news is we already have 379 members signed up for Norwescon 24. If you have any questions about your registration status, or would like to volunteer, please contact us at email@example.com. Not sure whether you preregistered for next year? Check your mailing label. If your name is followed by (24), you’re all set. If it’s followed by (23), then, well, what are you waiting for?
This department handles a number of the services provided to you, our members, in the hotel lobby (and hallways). This includes the Cloakroom/Lost & Found (Carolyn Palms, firstname.lastname@example.org), Peacebonding (Nancy Brown), the Information Table (Patrick M. Nash), the Voodoo Message Board (Lisa Woodings), Club Tables and Corporate Display Tables (Sally Woehrle, email@example.com). Lobby Services is headed again by Beth Allen.
Child and Teen Services
Counter to rumors last year, KidKon will continue unchanged this year. It is headed by Shannon Hillinger.
Last year KidKon was understaffed, so they need volunteers! Parents are especially encouraged to volunteer. While you are volunteering at KidKon, your kids get to participate for free, and you will get a discount on any time they spend later in the con. If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eric Weber heads this department coordinating the Dealers Room (Tracy Knoedler, email@example.com), Hospitality, Gaming (Robert Moshell, firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Fanzine Lounge (Dar Kor’ati).
So there you have it! Comments and suggestions are always welcome, and I will be happy to answer any questions. If you think you might be interested in helping out with any of the positions I mentioned, feel free to ask for more details. Remember, we always need more volunteers. I can be reached directly by e-mail at [omitted].
Free Training for Registration Volunteers!
The Registration computer program just keeps getting better and better. Volunteer your time at the happiest place at the convention! Pre-convention training will be held starting in March 2001. Dates and Places are still to be determined. To reserve your spot for training, please e-mail email@example.com. We will email you when locations, dates, and times are known. Volunteer where every member gets their convention experience started. Help them on their way to a fantastic time, volunteer for registration!
by Judy Suryan and Elizabeth Warren
This year's convention theme of A Sense of Wonder will certainly be true for Hospital- ity. “Hey, Wheezy, we're movin' on up to the east side, to some deluxe digs in the sky.” (Well, OK, the second floor anyway.)
That's right! Hospitality is moving to a new location. We will be in Cascade 11 and 12 on the second floor of the tower. This new locale will offer us possibilities we didn't have last year. The number one thing is more room and plans are afoot to fill that space. Kitty Canterbury will be providing games and toys for the kid in you; Mark Pringle, promising to be outfitted in a sexy little leather ensemble, will be hosting a Hospitality dance; and, of course, Hospitality would not be complete without a round or two of Klingon Karaoke (with prizes) and a spot of star gazing. Check your pocket program and postings at Hospitality for days and times. A bigger balcony will provide a place, hopefully enclosed to keep out the wind and cold, for our smoking fen to partake of the evil weed (no, not that evil weed, just the tobacco-type evil weed) and still feel part of the gang.
The Hospitality bar will be up and running in the evening with both new and old favorites along with usual all day soda pop, coffee and tea.
We are planning a few new treats we hope will take the edge off a busy fan's appetite. Check out the Dogs Days of Norwescon. Please remember, however, for “the full meal deal,” visit one of the restaurants in the hotel and/or around the local area.
As always, we can use a few extra hands, fins, flippers, claws, limbs or whatever appendage applies to you, volunteering in Hospitality. Think of it this way—not only are you helping to support your convention, you get the gratitude of your fellow Hospitality staff and 2500 or so of your closest and dearest friends. You also get first crack at the food. Contact us at [omitted] or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last, but not least, we would like to acknowledge all of the positive feedback we received for last year's Hospitality. It helps us to feel appreciated for make many long hours of hard work. Thanks to you all.
by Shawn Marier
Head of Personnel
Welcome to another addition of the “volunteer beg-a-thon.” If you didn’t know, Norwescon is a completely volunteer run event. So what does that mean to you? The more volunteers we have, the better event we can put on.
We are always looking for new people who wish to help us put on this convention. There are many ways one can volunteer to help the convention; the most important way would be to join the convention committee. The committee is the group of people who work all year to put on Norwescon. There are still many positions on the committee which are open, and we always need talented people to fill them. There are positions where most of the work is done before the convention, as well as jobs that require very little pre- convention work.
The committee normally meets the second Saturday of every month for about 3 hours. (Don’t worry, you don’t need to stay the whole time. But you may want to if you want to hear all sorts of gossip.) A list of when and where the committee meeting are held is posted on our website at www.norwescon.org. After each concom meeting we try and have some sort of social event, this can be anything from going out to dinner as a group to activities to a party at one of our member’s house. These outings are a great ways to meet new and interesting people.
For those of you who do not have the time to join the committee but still want to help, there are many other ways you can help Norwescon. The convention actually moves into the hotel Wednesday night, and we are always looking for people who will show up to help us set up the art show, registration and many other areas. On Sunday night and Monday morning we need to tear down the convention and put it into storage. So, you can help by showing up early or staying late and pitching in.
Of course, the way most people help Norwescon is by volunteering during the convention. The more volunteers that we get during the weekend the better a convention we can throw. If we can’t find enough volunteers, we tend to trim down on the events in following years. Currently only about 1 in 10 people volunteer at Norwescon. Think of all the wonderful events Norwescon could have if we could double or triple this number. The work is usually easy and can be fun. How much laughter and camaraderie can a person take?
Last year we tried something new to make it easier to sign up to volunteer: we put a volunteer table in the convention lobby. The idea was good, but the location didn’t work for us. So, we are going to try a new location to see if it helps. This year the table will be near the entry into wing 7 in the walkway going to wings 5-7. So, stop by and see what jobs we need help with. Don’t be discouraged if we have nothing for you at the time. Check back often. We’re bound to need you at one point or another.
Another place to look for at-the-con jobs is the Volunteer Lounge. This room is provided to give volunteers a place where they can get a drink or a bite of food and put their feet up for awhile. We also have a few special events in the lounge. We have arranged to have some of the Guests of Honor make a special visit for a private meeting with our volunteers. We will also be having a party on Sunday for the volunteers. For those of you who have never been to our Sunday event we have plenty of great door prizes and food. Volunteers are also admitted first into some of our major events, such as the Masquerade.
The big thank you for volunteers this year will be a limited addition T-shirt. After you have volunteered for a certain number of hours (still not determined) we will give you a free Norwescon Volunteer T-shirt. There will be a limited number of these, so make sure to get your volunteer hours in early. If you wait until the last minute to volunteer, we may not have any left.
If you have any questions about volunteering at Norwescon, please send me e-mail at email@example.com.
by Rebecca Lowry
A Sense of Wonder! Ever wonder how all that stuff got to the panel you just attended? Or how the Art Show works? Or where all the back hallways in the hotel are? Join the volunteers and see the convention!
Norwescon is run by its fans and this year is no different! But...”Wonder-ous” things are afoot! As Volunteer head for Norwescon 24 I am looking forward to offering you all excellent opportunities to fulfill that child-like curiosity about how we run Norwescon and what you can do to help ensure it remains the great event it is.
So visit the web site and explore the Volunteers page. You will find some of the job descriptions, prize opportunities and a way to earn “extra credit”. Feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Fannish Olympics II: Around the Con in 80 Hours!
A zany new twist on an old Norwescon tradition where the fun is in participating. Grab a passport and go wild! Score points for attending events, parties, panels and volunteering. Score extra points in our scavenger hunt by deciphering the clues and discovering the identity of some of your favorite con personalities and obtaining their autographs. Wonderful prizes will be awarded for the top 3 passports with the highest scores.
Child and Teen Services
by Shannon Hillinger
Child and Teen Services would like everyone to know that there is a curfew in effect for the SeaTac area. From 11pm to 5am on Sunday—Thursday and 12pm to 5am on Friday and Saturday no one under the age of 18 may be in any public place unless they are in the presence of a parent or guardian over the age of 18. Please keep this in mind.
KidKon will be operating this year under the guidance of Shannon Hillinger. KidKon will be open Thursday 7-11pm, Friday 12-4pm and 7-11pm, Saturday 12- 4pm and 9-11pm, and Sunday 12-4pm. There will also be the KidKon Masquerade, so, if your children are interested, bring their costume!
We are in desperate need of volunteers to staff KidKon. If you are interested and can commit to a two hour shift or if you can help with set up or tear down, please call Shannon at [omitted], or e-mail her at: [omitted].
If you have a good idea for a KidKon panel, and are willing to run it, you can contact Shannon or the programming department.
The Quiet Room will be open again this year. If you are a parent or guardian with small children, or anyone who needs a little break, feel free to use this room to take a nap or just have some quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of the convention. We will also have a very limited supply of diapers, formula, baby food, and extra bottle and pacifiers in case you misplace yours.
There will be no formal Teen Runners this year but if you are a teen and are interested in volunteering, head on down to the Volunteer Lounge and they will hook you up.
KidKon has special rates for volunteers. If you volunteer to work in KidKon, your child can attend KidKon for free while you are there and you will get $1 off the fee per child, per hour for the rest of the convention. If you volunteer anywhere else in the convention and show us your volunteer card you will receive $.50 off per hour for the time you volunteered.
by Betty Claar
For the last few years, other conventions and groups have run the art show at Norwescon. Norwescon did this as a way to support conventions and organizations in the fannish community. After several months of discussion, Norwescon has elected to bring the art show back in-house starting with Norwescon 24.
Let me take this opportunity to introduce the Norwescon Art Show Team. My name is Betty Claar and I am the Vice Chairman for Norwescon 24. The Art Show has been place under my department. I have asked Tiffany Putman, who ran the art show last year, to help to provide a smooth transition and continuity. Others will be joining our group, as we get closer to the convention.
The Art Show policies and registration forms can be found at the Norwescon web site (www.norwescon.org) or obtained by writing to the con P.O. box. We have made changes from past years, so we ask that you review the documents before sending in your registration forms. Norwescon must receive both registration forms along with your payment (either check or money order in US funds only) by April 1st. Make checks payable to Norwescon. Registrations need to be mailed to: [omitted].
The panels/tables/floor space will be filled in the order that we receive the requests. If the art show sells out, you may request to be on a standby list. This list will be used to fill panels in case of can- cellations or no shows.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at the Norwescon e-mail address email@example.com.
We all look forward to seeing you at the convention.
by Pat Booze
In the course of planning a convention you always seem to have strange happenings. Most of the time these kinds of things just make you shake your head, talk with your committee, and fix it if you can. Then you move on. They’re usually just little things or things that just effect the concom. However, in some cases we need to share with you.
In December, Norwescon received an e-mail. The e-mail was sent to the address for our Masquerade and was in the nature of a threat of violence to the Masquerade. This isn’t the first time that Norwescon has had a threat of violence. A few years back we received a bomb threat. Like then, we have taken steps to ensure that Norwescon will be a safe place for our membership.
We have contacted local authorities and the hotel. We have received good advice about this kind of situation from them and how to deal with threats. Basically, you always need to take threats seriously, but take them in context and don’t overreact. One of the things you don’t want to do is give these people the satisfaction of causing an overreaction, which is what they are looking for. We will be adding extra security before and during the Masquerade and taking some other steps as well. Something we want you to keep in mind is that there has been only one e-mail and is likely just a hoax, as 99.9% of these kinds of thing are. One thing you hear a lot these days is that “The Internet has empowered....” Well, that’s true, for the good and the bad, and I personally am saddened that Norwescon has to deal with this kind of situation.
We hope that this will not darken your experience at Norwescon, but we felt that you should know. We take your safety serious and always have. The Masquerade will happen and Peggy and her staff will ensure that it’s one of the highlights of the convention as it always has been. We hope that you won’t let this keep you away. If you have any concern or question, feel free to contact our Security department or me though our website at www.norwescon.org or you can call me at [omitted], please no calls after 10p.m. The chairman needs her sleep.
Norwescon needs your help!
by Shawn Marier
Head of Personnel
Do you want to see Norwescon become an even better convention? The best way for you to do this is to join the convention committee. This is a group of about 80 people who organize and help run the convention. We are always looking for new people to join our happy fanish family.
A common misconception is that the committee gets paid to put on the convention. This is wrong. Norwescon is a completely volunteer-run convention. None of the committee gets paid. The committee puts their blood, sweat and tears in to Norwescon because they care about the convention. The problem is we are getting less and less people wanting to help us put on the convention each year.
The committee meets each month to keep each other up to date on what’s going on and to see how we can help one another. After the meeting, we usually have some sort of social event so we can all talk and socialize with one another.
If this sounds like something you would like to take part in, then take a look at our website (www.norwescon.org) to see when the next meeting is. You can also join the convention committee mailing list at: [omitted].
Norwescon Volunteer T-shirt
Norwescon’s volunteer department will be giving away T-shirts to our volunteers this year. You will earn this special T-shirt once you have put in 8 hours of volunteer time. We have a limited number (300) of the shirts and once they are gone, they are gone. So, make sure you register your volunteer hours in the volunteer lounge (Wing 7) as soon as possible.
Earn a Discount to Norwescon 25 by Volunteering
Besides the T-shirt, the convention is going to try an experiment this year in offering a $20 discount to Norwescon 25 to those of you who put in 20 hours of volunteer time at this year’s convention. This is just another way we can thank you for the time you put in to help us put on our convention.
To qualify for the discount you will need to make sure that your hours get registered in the volunteer office. Then at the end of the convention we will give a list of volunteers who put in enough hours to the registration department. When you register for the next year make sure you have keep track of your badge number so they can easily look up your records in the database so they can give you your discount.
Earn Double Time When We Need People Most
To help make it easier for you to earn the T- shirt and discount we will be giving you double time when you help us during the times we need volunteers the most. Setup on Wednesday evening and teardown on Sunday night and Monday morning. You can also check with the volunteer office to see if there are any other times that we need extra help.
Volunteer Want Ads
If you are interested in volunteering for Norwescon 24, here are some positions that we would like to bring to your attention.
(all take place on Saturday*)
If you like to wear black and be sneaky then this is the position for you. Ninjas hover around the edges of the stage and entrances on to the stage and make sure the contestants don’t fall. They also place any props that are needed on the stage. You will get an up close and personal look at the stage performance and the contestants.
If you are the nurturing and or calming type and like to see things close up then this position is for you. Den parents stay behind the stage with the contestants the whole time. They work with them to calm them down, offer food and drink and help with any last minute costume problems or tweaking. This is as close as you will get to the costumes unless you are in one.
If you have experience with costuming, performance, or otherwise feel that you would make a great judge contact the Masquerade Director stating why you think you would be right for the job. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you like telling people what to do—or better yet, where to go—then this position is for you. Before the Masquerade starts, we need people to guard the front doors to ensure privacy for the contestants and to allow entrance to those who are supposed to be there. We will give you great, up close, seating for the Masquerade as a perk.
Want to see the Masquerade but have a hard time sitting still? Then this job is for you. You will work under the direction of the house manager.
- There will be a meeting on Saturday from 11-11:30am in Grande 3 for all people interested in any of these positions. You will meet the person(s) in charge of your area or become that person and you will learn the rest of the time requirements your volunteer position requires. If you can not make the meeting but are interested, please contact the Masquerade Director prior to the 11am meeting.
Load In/Set Up/ Tear Down
Thursday evening and you have checked into your room. Now, off to the convention. Er, um... where is it? Where is everything? It’s in the storage area 'cause we didn't have enough bodies to haul it in and set it up! So, come on Wednesday and help tote that barge. Or stay on Monday and help us put it away. The hotel likes it when we put away our toys.
(4 and 6-hour shifts, but we will take you longer!)
So, you want to volunteer but none of the job descriptions immediately catches your eye? Well here is an opportunity to do a little bit of everything. Your chance to be in the right place at the right time. As a Floater, you will be on call in the Volunteer Office awaiting the next big thing to occur. Last minute jobs or needs come up frequently, which is why you are here. From KidKon to Stage Management, Staff Support to Registration, you will be a jack-of- all-trades.
Are you the perfect host or hostess? Do you like working with snacks and the people who love them, but don't like the way your carrots were trimmed? Get your hands on some kitchenware and join in the action of Hospitality. A great way to see who is at the con and still accumulate vol unteer time!
If you want to play Robocop this is not the job for you. If, on the other hand, you don't mind making sure that little kids are not unaccompanied, folks are not vandalizing the hotel property and mayhem (outside of the scheduled kind) is not occurring than this may be just what you are looking for. Mandatory training session required.
It all starts somewhere and for most of us it is right here! Assist Norwescon members in purchasing or picking up their memberships, collecting their goody bags and just figuring out who the heck they are! Pre-convention training is encouraged. At the con training is available. Either way, training is required. Contact email@example.com.
(2 to 4-hour shifts requested)
Are you good at using computers? Solving problems? Enjoy helping others get the job done? Then you may be cut out to be a Supervisor. Pre-convention training required.
Volunteer by attending panels! Didn’t think it was possible? Well, it is in Stage Management! You’ll be responsible for making sure the panels run smoothly, that the panelists (even Guests of Honor) are supported in their needs for smooth panels, and that we have good reporting on what went well and what didn’t. If you want to fulfill this very, very important role (our panelists always remember the Stage Managers), talk to Gene Romaine, Head Stage Manager, or Alyxx Feltser, his lovely assistant.
KidKon volunteers need to be energetic and good with children. We ask that you commit to a 2-hour shift when you volunteer with us. Duties will consist of playing with the children and upholding the two basic KidKon rules.
- No fighting of any kind
- Have fun.
The following requirements apply for full staff positions in KidKon: Each staff member must have previous experience with children and an ability to commit to a 2-hour shift by March 10th. There is a mandatory half hour training before the start of your shift.
The Intergalactic Zen Druid Performance Troupe is calling!
A vital part of Norwescon, the Stardance Opening Number, is eagerly seeking thespians (and others) for it’s next presentation at Norwescon 24.
What is the Opening Number? A tradition since NWC 5, these funny, short bits of inspired lunacy premier for a one-time only performance at the start of the Stardance on Friday night. In the past we’ve incorporated such elements as togas, old musicals, magic, even Halloween. Working on it with others is a whole lot of fun, a great deal of silliness, with just a little work.
For this years theme, A Sense of Wonder, we’re taking our inspiration from the French-Canadian Cirque Du Soleil. This troup features grand feats of human skill presented in a fanciful universe of color.
We’re looking for folks with any type of talent—actors, dancers, jugglers, costumers—even folks with no particular talent to speak of (which often make up the bulk of our performers). If you’re interested in the comeraderie and fun this type of “let’s put on a show” atmosphere specializes in, and especially if you have even the slightest hint of performer in you, you’re the type of person we’re looking for.
If you're interested, want more information, or need an address or driving directions, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can phone us at [omitted] till 9:30pm.
The Intergalactic Zen Druids (the name of our hardy band) await you!
TV Show Volunteers Needed!
Volunteers are needed for the Norwescon TV show production which airs on public access cable. About 10-15 people are needed to help with taping shows at the convention. They will need to take three classess at the public access channel before the convention. To sign up for classes, contact John Schlick at the cable access studio at [omitted] or e-mail him at: [omitted].
Staff Support needed
We are looking for people to help in the Staff Support department. This is the group of people who make and deliver food and drinks to all our hard working staff and volunteers. Most of the food preparation is simple—making sandwiches and cutting up veggies. Then, on a regular basis (every hour or two), they need to push a cart around to all the major areas of the convention and drop off food and drink. This is a good po- sition if you like to work with people, as you get to wander the convention making our staff/volunteers very happy. Contact email@example.com for more information.
by Cheryl Ferguson
Hello. It’s time to look ahead to Norwescon and the wonderful events our Programming Director has planned for us. I’m excited. I enjoy this time of year. We’re getting ready for a wonderful show and I’m not yet stressed out by all the little crises that always arrive with a event of this size.
The theme of our convention this year echoes how my favorite science fiction has always made me feel—filled with a sense of wonder.
Convention Services is like directing live theater. We get the actors on stage at the right times. We move sets as the actors are giving their performances. We hand them their props and make sure the curtain goes up on time. All this activity comes together seamlessly to create a smooth running show. My staff excels at their jobs. Let me introduce you to the departments and ask you to join us in producing our show.
Transportation starts the ball rolling. Eric Pawtowski and his crew picks up our equipment, brings it to the hotel and moves it to the correct places. Then they take it all back and organize it for next year. They are our super stagehands.
Our Tech crews are the wizards of special effects. They set up those slide projectors, microphones and power cords, so the actors can give their performances.
Our Stage Management department is our continuity director. They get the actors to the stage and off the stage at the appropriate times, with the correct props in hand.
For intermission, Media Services will again broadcast our favorite sf cinema on the hotel television system.
Site Services has the goal of making sure the audience is able to get to the show and enjoy it safely. We have our communications hub, Dispatch, keeping us all in contact by radio. Security makes sure we can give the show in a safe environment.
The organization hub of the show is the Office. Information is gathered and sent to the proper departments. All the little odds and ends needed to get the show on the road, like signs, the Daily ’Zine and such come from this area.
Connie Willis, A Brief Introduction
by Lisa Woodings
Connie Willis has received six Nebula Awards, eight Hugo Awards, and eight Locus Awards. She has also won each of those Awards in each of the four standard fiction categories (short story, novel- ette, novella, novel). The Nebulas are selected by members of the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA); the Hugos are selected by members of the World Science Fiction Society (WSFA); the Locus awards are selected by readers of Locus magazine. Willis can write award-winning fiction of any length. Very few writers have come close to this record.
Connie Willis writes fiction set in the past, present and future. She writes characters it is hard not to take to heart, and she writes stories where science is the center of the theme, but she never quite writes hard science fiction, where the hardware is the point of the story. She writes science fiction, and fiction that is remarkably close to fantasy, but no high fantasy. She writes time travel stories, stories set in some distant future, stories set in our own history, and stories that could be taking place today. She sets stories on Earth, on space stations, and on far distant planets. The word versatile comes to mind.
Connie Willis’ time travel stories are set in a consistent future England where time travel has been made possible. But, like any of Willis’s story backgrounds, nothing is that simple. This future is only accessible after a mega-plague that wiped out a large portion of the population, and the extinction of the domestic cat. There is also an explosive device available in a small package that has been used by terrorists to blow up historical treasures. The boon of time travel has its downside. It is not a mine of riches because it has intrinsic limits. No historically significant item can be taken through the time machine or it refuses to operate. A theft of the Mona Lisa is not possible. People cannot be sent back to certain times and places that are critical to history: the Battle of Waterloo, for example. Thus no significant changes can be effected in history. The forces of the time stream correct the effects of small changes, such as a young man missing the passengers he was supposed to meet at the train. Thus significant temporal paradoxes in the long run are not possible. The effect of the limitations is that time travel has significant historical interest, but very little financial payoff. Of course, they do figure out a loophole in the rules by the end of To Say Nothing of the Dog, but I won’t give that away.
History, and the people caught in the greater forces of history, is a favorite Willis subject. She especially seems to like the Blitz in London, and generally the Battle of Britain. Her time travel characters are regularly visiting, and dealing with rations, blackouts, and Air Raids. In the short story “Jack”, which does not include any time travel characters, there is a different type of unusual character drawn to the London of the Blitz.
Two other themes reoccur regularly. One, I will call the synchronicity theme. In these stories, the world somehow becomes a representation of the scientific theme at the center of the story. In “Schwartzchild Radius”, we see a world of inescapable misery on the German Eastern Front in W.W.II, as we hear about the development of the theory of the black hole and the Schwartzchild radius. This is the radius within which nothing can escape the gravity of the black hole. In “At the Rialto”, Hollywood is the setting for a convention of quantum physicists. As the story progresses, Hollywood somehow begins to resemble a model for the entire field of quantum physics, with random factors and larger predictable phenomenon. There does also seem to be a bit of chaos theory sneaked in with strange attractors, but maybe that’s just my physics background speaking.
The second theme is what leads into most of Willis’ comedy. Nothing ever happens as intended. In “Spice Pogrom”, one of the main characters is concerned that a mistranslation will cause the newly contacted aliens to provide humanity with something that is not quite the space program requested, but something more like a spice pogrom, if there is such a thing. In Doomsday Book, the time–traveling historian gets sent to another time than was meant. In “Blued Moon”, of course, absolutely nothing goes as expected. But then, that is the point.
A Connie Willis Bibliography
as compiled by Lisa Woodings
by Cynthia Felice and Connie Willis novel - Ace paperback 1982, reissued 1996, currently unavailable or out of orint, ISBN: 0441873790, 216pages A young woman, raised as a con artist in a future distant planet, finds that her fake magic has something to it after all.
novel - Bantam Spectra hardback 1987 (first solo novel), paperback 1988, reissued 1992, ISBN: 0553270257, 228 pages - Cambell Award, Mythopoeic Nominee A historical researcher finds himself having dream that put him in the middle of the Civil War era.
by Connie Willis and Cynthia Felice novel - Ace; paperback 1996 Historians- time-travel-world.
Doomsday Book novel - Bantam Spectra; hardback 1992, paperback 1993, ISBN: 0553562738, 578 pages - Nebula, Hugo, and Locus Awards, Mythopoeic Nominee Set in the Historians time-travel-world based in Cambridge, a character travels to England in the time of the Black Death. The history is good, and the story and characters are too. On the other hand, lots of people die.
novelette - Bantam Spectra; paperback 1994, ISBN: 0553562940, 149 pages Two explorers on a foreign world. Of course, nothing goes as planned.
novella - Bantam Spectra; trade paperback 1995, paperback 1996, ISBN: 0553574418, 140 pages - Locus Award, Hugo Award Nominee In a future Hollywood, our hero makes his living re-cutting and remaking old classic movies. Anything is possible with computer graphic manipulation. You can change any ending.
novella - Bantam Spectra; hardback 1996, paperback 1997, ISBN: 0553562967, 247 pages - Locus Award, Nebula Award Nominee More fiction about science than science fiction, but it’s modelled on one of the classic fairy tale themes. The main character is a social scientist studying the origin of fads for a think tank. Then things get complicated.
by Connie Willis and Cynthia Felice novel - Ace; hardcover 1997, paperback 1998, ISBN: 0441005438, 362 pages In a future, on a distant planet, a fashionable young woman, coming to claim an inheritance, finds more than she bargained for.
To Say Nothing of the Dog, or How We Found the Bishop’s Bird Stump at Last
novel - Bantam; hardback 1998, paperback 1998, ISBN: 0553575384, 493 pages - Hugo and Locus Awards, Nebula Award Nominee Set in the Historians-time-travel- world. This is mostly farce, but the history, story and characters are wonderful. The title, believe it or not, is a good warning for the book. You’ll have to read it to understand. The explanation is almost as long as the book, but if you know Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat, to Say Nothing of the Dog you might realize what delight you have in store for you.
Collected Short Stories
short story collection – Bluejay Books hard- cover, 1985; Bantam Spectra paperback, 271 pages, 1986, reissued 1998, ISBN: 0553260456, 271 pages — A cross section of Willis stories published from 1979 to 1985. One time–travel–world story included.
“Samaritan”, “And Come From Miles Around”, “Daisy in the Sun”, “Lost and Found”, “Fire Watch”, “The Father of the Bride”, “A Letter from the Clearys”, “Mail– Order Clone”, “Service for the Burial of the Dead”, “The Sidon in the Mirror”, “Blued Moon”, “All My Darling Daughters”
short story collection – Bantam Spectra paperback, © 1994, ISBN: 0553564366, 461 pages – Locus Award — A cross section of Willis stories published from 1986 to 1992. No time-travel-world stories, but one London–blitz story included.
“Chance”, “Spice Pogrom”, “Winter’s Tale”, “Schwarzchild Radius”, “Ado”, “The Last of the Winnebagos”, “Time Out”, “At the Rialto”, “Jack”, “In the Late Cretaceous”, “Even the Queen”,
Miracle and Other Christmas Stories
short story collection – Bantam Spectra hardback 1999, paperback 2000, ISBN: 0553580484, 298 pages — Christmas stories published from 1985 to 1999. These are not all happily–ever–after stories, in fact one has a touch of horror, but everyone seems to get what they deserve in the end. There is a theme of old stories somehow coning true. Willis also includes two lists of what she considers the best Christmas stories and movies of all time.
“The Pony”, “Miracle”, “Inn”,“Adaptation”, “In Coppelius’s Toyshop”, “Newsletter”, “Epiphany”, “Cat’s Paw”,
“The Secret of Santa Titicaca”
short story – Worlds of Fantasy, Winter 1970–71.
short story – The Missouri Review, v.7 n.20 1984.
short story – Whispers V, 1985.
“The Curse of Kings”
novella – IAsfm, March 1985.
“Land of Hosts”
short story – OMNI, June 1987.
short story – IAsfm, Mid–December 1989.
short story, – IAsfm, December 1990 – The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Eighth Annual Collection, 1991.
short story – 1993 – Locus Award – Finally! “An explanation of the talk show phenomenon, hospitals, bad hair days and aliens.”
“Death on the Nile”
short story – 1993 – Hugo Award — “[This] isn’t like death anywhere else. In the tradi- tion of The Twilight Zone, a strange tale of travel, death, and final judgment.”
“The Soul Selects Her Own Society...”
short story – 1996 – Hugo Award.
“The Winds of Marble Arch”
novella – IAsfm, October–November 1999 – Hugo Award.
“Why the World Didn’t End Last Tuesday”
short story — “Reports the actual facts behind the End of the World, and, of course, why it didn’t all end last Tuesday.”
by Peggy Stewart
Come one, come all to the marvelous, the stupendous, the mind-bending world of Cirque de Norwescon, also known as The Norwescon 24 Masquerade. Come and either just experience the sense of wonder created by our fantastic contestants or help to create the sense of wonder by competing in the Masquerade.
For those who wish to join the Cirque de Norwescon, there will be a special award given to the entrant(s) who best illustrates the theme A Sense of Wonder in performance and workmanship in the opinion of the judges. There are many opportunities for all under the big top to win and division levels to make it more equitable for all.
The contestant divisions for performers will be:
Rising Star — age 13 and under (if not part of a group).
Novice — anyone who is an amateur and has not previously won a major award (i.e. Best in Show or Best in Class) at a world class competition (i.e. Worldcon or Costumecon) and has won no more than two regional competitions (i.e. Norwescon or Westercon) at the Novice level.
Journeyman — anyone who no longer qualifies as a Novice, but had not yet won three regional competitions at the Journeyman level.
Master — this division is open to any one, but anyone who has more than three wins at the Journeyman level, has won Best in Show at a world class competition, has won as a Master at a regional competition, or is a professional costumer must compete at the Master Level.
The Norwescon Masquerade is open to all members of Norwescon and participation by all costumers will be greatly encouraged. We will be following the International Costumer's Guild guidelines. The Masquerade will be on Saturday night with the doors opening at 6:30pm and the show starting at 7pm. Those individuals or groups wishing to participate will observe the following rules:
No purchased, rented, or commercial costumes. Credit must be given for all make-up and costume construction.
No pyrotechnics, fog machines, or other such devices.
No real firearms. Handle realisticlooking firearms with care. No weapons will be pointed at the judges, and the Director must approve any weapon play at the rehearsal. This rule is subject to change up to and at the con.
No messy substances. Anything, which will ruin another’s costume or make the stage dangerous for other contestants.
No throwing things. If you plan to toss something at the judges or into the audience, the Director must approve it at rehearsal.
No hall costume which has been worn for more than one day may be entered in the Masquerade. No costume that has been entered in previous Norwescons may be entered for competition.
This Masquerade is rated PG-13. Lack of costume is not a costume.
No live microphones! If you presentation includes dialog, please pre-record it on a tape so it will be heard. Label your tape clearly with your name and “play this side” and “wrong side” on the appropriate sides. We prefer CRO2 tapes, recorded in Stereo, with Dolby B or C noise reduction. If you’d like help with your taped presentation, our resident sound expert, Keith Johnson, offers a free taping service. Give him a call at [omitted] (not after 9:30pm).
Presentation time limits: One minute for a group of 1-4 people, two minutes for a group of 5-8, and three minutes for a group of 9 or more. The Director may grant additional time on a case-by-case basis.
No flash photography of contestant(s) on stage. There will be an official photography area in the lobby where friends and family can take your picture after your stage presentation.
Contestants must attend either the Friday meeting (8pm in Olympic 1) or the Saturday meeting (10am in Grand 3). Registration forms must be turned in by 11:30am Saturday. (Forms may be obtained before Saturday, check the website, the information tables, or request a copy from the Director.)
Last but not least, the Masquerade Director (Peggy Stewart) has the final say.
Those people interested in competing under the bright lights in the Cirque De Norwescon, aka the Norwescon 24 Masquerade should check the website for updated information. Or, if there are specific questions, the Director may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact the Director via snail mail. Send it to Norwescon, [omitted] Attn.: Masquerade Director. If you would like to volunteer to assist, not compete, we have openings for stage ninjas, den parents, ushers, door guards, and Judges (include pertinent credentials).