Looking Back at Norwescon 3

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Looking Back at Norwescon 3

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Don Glover

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Norwescon 3 was held March 28-30, 1980 at the Hyatt House in SeaTac. Because of the amount of convention space available at the venue, there were no more then 3 rooms of programming running at one time, with the occasional panel tucked into an odd space. At our current location, we have over 15 regularly used programming rooms, and multiple areas used as fill in space, like the rotunda between the Cascades and the Evergreen rooms. This doesn’t include the Art Show, Dealer’s Room, or the space up at Maxis.

In the Norwescon 3 film room there were movies played on a projector with actual film. We also hosted a premier of the George C Scott movie Changeling. Radio Shack donated 10 TRS-80’s to go along with fan donated systems for the computer gaming room.

The Chair for Norwescon 3 was Stephen T Bard. He found a notice in a comic book shop from Gregory Bennett looking for people to start a science fiction club, and was one of the people who helped start Norwescon. His son, Damon Bard, got his start as a teenager in the Norwescon Art Show and now works designing and sculpting characters for animated films.

The Guest of Honor was Alfred Bester, an author and scriptwriter born in Manhattan to Austrian immigrant parents. He is best known for his Hugo award winning novel The Demolished Man, a crime novel set in 2301 where the world is policed by psychics. Bester has a large legacy in our culture, most notably in the pseudonymous Psi Cop, Alfred Bester on Babylon 5. He’s also been referenced on Firefly, The Simpsons and by Stephen King in his novel Lisey’s Story. Speaking of Stephen King, he was a pro at Norwescon 3. This was before his career had really taken off, when he attended a number of Norwescons as both a pro and a regular attendee.

The FGoh was Frederik Pohl who wrote under multiple pseudonyms until the early 50’s, although he used a few different psuedonyms until the early 60’s even after he had begun writing under his own name. He is the only person who has won a Hugo award for both writing and editing, he has also won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writing for his blog, The Way the Future Blogs, where he writes about his memories in SF fandom and his political opinions.

The Toastmaster was Theodore Sturgeon, who was GoH at Norwescon 1. I don’t have anything new to say about his work, but I would like to direct your attention to the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, awarded at the University of Kansas each year for best short science fiction. The winner for 2010 was James Morrow’s Shambling Towards Hiroshima. The awards committee is looking for serious SF readers who are willing to offer a fresh perspective in their nominations process, just contact Chris McKitterick if you are interested in learning more.

The art for the Program Book cover was created by Victoria (Poyser) Lisi. She lived in Olympia at the time, and has been awarded two fan Hugos for her book cover work. Currently she lives in Colorado with her husband James Lisi, a landscape artist. They collaborate on fine art and she teaches art at Aims Community College.

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“Looking Back at Norwescon 3,” Norwescon History, accessed June 27, 2017, http://history.norwescon.org/items/show/9.