Westercon 54

Portland, Oregon
July 5-8, 2001

Progress Report One

Usher in the new millennium by taking a Westercon Odyssey to Portland, Oregon!
July 5-8, 2001

Doubletree Jantzen Beach Hotel
Doubletree Columbia River Hotel

Guests of Honor

Tim Powers: Author Guest of Honor
Mike Glyer: Fan Guest of Honor
Terri Windling: Editor Guest of Honor
Frank Lurz: Artist Guest of Honor

Contact information:

Westercon 54
PO Box 5901
Portland, Oregon 97228-5901
(360) 993-2001

Notes From the Chairs

Robert Verde and Dean Koenig
Co-Chairs of Westercon 54

Looking back to the fall of 1997 when Dean Koenig and I first decided to organize a bid for Westercon 54, I never imagined how fulfilling the entire process of organizing a Westercon can be. We had a successful bid campaign, made much easier for us by the warm memories people have of the last Westercon held in Portland. We are in the same hotels and have many of the same people involved and on our committee.

Westercon 54 is proud to have such wonderful guests for our convention. Tim Powers has created his own genre of literature that goes beyond the normal boundaries of science-fiction and fantasy, while still having strong ties to both. Mike Glyer has been active in fandom for many years, organizing and running conventions, editing the science fiction fan newzine “File 770”, while always keeping a sense of humor about him! Terri Windling is as well known for her work as a writer and artist as she is for her role as an editor. She is the founder of the Endicott Studio and continues to redefine the mythic arts in her life and work. Frank Lurz provides as a (partial) list of his past jobs as: "autopsy assistant, security guard, ambulance attendant, zoo keeper, orthopedic technician, reference librarian, phlebotomist, and lab instructor". He can add to that list: artist and Italian fencing master. (A side note: Tim Powers and his wife Serena have been taking fencing lessons for over a decade now.) Since Frank Lurz is the Maestro of La Sala d'Arme, a school of fencing in the Italian style, I think I can safely say we will be seeing some interesting programming events.

As with any large convention, we always have a need for people to help run the show. If you have ever been accused of being a ring-leader or have to put on dog-and-pony shows as part of your daily job, we want you! In order to put on an event for 2000-plus people, we need substantial staffing to make sure everything runs smoothly. Although we are located in Portland, Oregon, we have many jobs which do not mandate a local address or presence. We are web and e-mail savvy, and I would like to encourage everyone reading this to consider volunteering. There are many openings on committee and even if a name or two is listed by a specific department in the contact section, rest assured that we will need many more people before July of 2001!

From the Registrar

Membership rates for Westercon 54:
Attending - $40.00 until 7-15-00
Attending - $45.00 from 7-15-00 to 12-31-00
Supporting memberships are always $20.00
The membership rate for children 6 to 12 is half of the current adult membership. Children 5 and under are free. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian with an attending membership.

Special note: A full adult attending membership purchased for a child includes free child care throughout the convention, space permitting.

Please take a moment right now to check the label on your progress report. This has your real name, address and badge name if you have requested one. We send out progress and regress reports to convention members and, from time to time, special mailings to the people who have attended one of our conventions. Unfortunately, if we don’t have your correct name and address, the mailing will not get to you. If you move during the year or want to make any other changes, please drop us a postcard.

If you need to transfer your membership, please let us know in advance so we can have the correct badge ready at the convention. All we need is a signed note from the original member.

Westercon Hotels

Patty Wells and Melanie Schaber

Same hotels, different millennium, different chain. Since our last Portland Westercon, the Red Lions have become Doubletrees and Doubletree has been purchased by the Hilton Hotel chain, but will remain Doubletrees. Not to worry, they're still the Columbia River and the Jantzen Beach. Those of you who attend OryCons will be very familiar with the Columbia River. Betsy Peluso, our sales manager for the two properties, has asked us to pass along their delight at hosting another Westercon. They hope to make it an enjoyable convention for us all. At this point, our convention has not yet been picked up by their computer radar. This happens within a year of the con, and we don't have an exact date at this time. So it is too early to worry about booking hotel rooms. This information will follow in a future PR and will include information on booking suites directly through the committee, so that bidders for future Westercons and other cons are situated correctly.


Westercon 54 is a weapon-free convention. This means the carrying and wearing of weapons will not be permitted, except as part of a designated event, and then only during the event, or in transit to and from the event. Prior to any such designated event, the Special Events department must approve the use of a weapon as part of the event. Failure to do so is grounds for immediate expulsion from the convention.

In addition to the prohibitions in the Oregon Revised Statutes, the Convention Committee defines as weapons any object designed to cause bodily harm, or any replica of such an object and any other object the Committee determines to be dangerous. However the Committee reserves the right to amend this definition of a weapon, and the right to impound weapons for the duration of the convention.

Any weapons purchased in the Dealer's Room must be securely wrapped before they are taken out of the room.

The committee realizes that most people who would like to carry and wear weapons are sensible and careful individuals. However, because of the present liability laws, the risk of weapons causing accident or distress, and to preserve relationships with convention hotels we have had to adopt this policy. The safety of convention members has to be our overriding consideration.

Smoking is not allowed in any convention space during Westercon 54. Posted restaurant and/or bar smoking areas are exempt from this policy, as are private sleeping rooms.

No animals are allowed on hotel property except ADA compliant working animals.

All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who has a Westercon 54 membership.

Things to do in Portland when you’re not dead

Portland offers many attractions to our visitors: indoor attractions such as brew pubs, wineries, book stores (including the famous Powell’s City of Books as well as many others), and restaurants. Outdoor attractions include the nearby Mt. Hood (snowboard year-round on Palmer Glacier) and Mt. St. Helens (tour the volcano!), Columbia Gorge’s scenic waterfalls, coastal beaches, the only extinct volcano within a US city's limits (Mt. Tabor -- we built a park on it, go figure...). The Japanese Gardens and the International Rose Test Gardens at Washington Park (the roses will be in full bloom by July), with their stunning views of downtown Portland are also places not to be missed.


Ruth Sachter

While we're in the midst of figuring out what's going to be in which Doubletree, it's a sure bet that there will be programming in both hotels. With Tim Powers and Terri Windling as our literary Guests of Honor, it's another sure bet that the core programming will have a strong fantasy component. Westercon 54 will have an integrated, inclusive program with a variety of formats: panels, slide shows, workshops, demonstrations, readings, concerts, presentations, and discussion groups. We're readers and so written science fiction, fantasy, and horror are primary. However, just as "man" does not live by bread alone, science, gaming, anime, media, art, costuming, fandom, comics, convention management, music and filk will all be well represented (and not tracked). Since we want our children to share our enthusiasms, children's programming is very important to us and will have its own area.

You can expect to see such mainstays familiar to attendees of OryCon and the last two Portland Westercons. These will include our very own inimitable Opening Ceremonies presented by an ever-changing subset* of the Not Ready for Sidereal Time Players, a Susan C. Petrey Clarion Scholarship Fund Auction, morning Tai Chi with Steve Barnes, side-splitting "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" and midnight horror readings. There will be such traditional Westercon features (which are, of course, not mandatory or obligatory) as Regency dancing, the Locus Awards Banquet and the Westercon Business meeting with, in all likelihood, the continuing Roberts vs Sturgis debate (it may need a Slayer yet).

Westercon 54 program development will be a team effort and there's room for plenty of folks. We need your ideas and suggestions for items and people to invite. Program participant invitations will be mailed early next year so there's time to get on the list (it already includes the people being invited for OryCon). As usual for OryCons and Portland Westercons, invited program participants and their guests will receive complimentary memberships.

*There is absolutely no truth to the allegations that some former members have sought refuge in the federal witness protection program.

Tim Powers - Author Guest of Honor

Tim Powers is a two-time winner of the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award. He is known for his intricately plotted stories filled with well-rounded and often outlandish characters, as well as his penchant for exploring the darker and horrific sides of fantasy and science fiction.

In addition to his Phillip K. Dick Memorial Awards for The Anubis Gates in 1984 and Dinner at Deviant's Palace in 1985, he has also been honored with the 1993 World Fantasy Award for Last Call, and most recently received the 1996 Locus Award for Best Dark Fantasy/Horror Novel for Expiration Date. He is also a writer-in-residence for the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop.

Set during the cold war, his newest novel, Declare, is due out from Avon Books in late 2000.

Mike Glyer - Fan Guest of Honor

Mike Glyer has published fanzines for 30 years, including the fannish newzine File 770. His writing and ‘zine have won six Hugo Awards. Mike co-chaired Westercon 31 in 1978, which was inspired by its Baskin-Robbins-esque number to create the first “Ice Cream Social” at a convention. He also chaired the 1996 Worldcon, L.A.Con III. But, along the way, he’s also been assigned to the “really fun” jobs at conventions -- running the Green Room at the 1989 Westercon and editing the Worldcon daily newzine 1980 to 1984. He’s been a member of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society almost as long as he’s been in fandom. His one professional fiction sale appeared in Alternate Worldcons. Mike is married to Diana Glyer, an English professor at Azusa Pacific University, chair of the 1997 Mythcon, and a scholar interested in C.S. Lewis and the Inklings.

Terri Windling - Editor Guest of Honor

Terri Windling can do it all. A renowned editor, illustrator, book publisher, and writer, her passion for the fairy tale contributed to a recent revival and reassessment of the field. Becoming an editor at Ace Books in 1979, she produced the Elsewhere trilogy of anthologies and Faery! These projects showed her wide knowledge of fantasy beyond standard fantasy genre boundaries. Before leaving Ace, she also developed the Ace Fantasy line of books, as well as establishing the Fairy Tales series, which showcased the early work of such authors as Steven R. Boyett, Emma Bull, and Charles DeLint.

Moving to Tor Books in 1987, she began collaborating with Ellen Datlow to develop Tor's fantasy line, the result of which was The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror series of anthologies. Also with Datlow, she has edited a series of modern revisionist fairy tales with a strong element of feminism.

Terri's first novel, The Wood Wife, was published in 1996. It was awarded the 1997 Mythopoeic Award for Best Novel of the Year. Terri is currently working on a collaboration with Wendy Froud called A Midwinter's Faery Tale (forthcoming in October 2000). Her newest solo effort, The Moon Wife, is also due for release in 2000.

To read more about Terri Windling's work, visit www.endicott-studio.com.

Frank Lurz - Artist Guest of Honor

Born in 1942, Frank Lurz has sketched and painted since childhood, but never pursued art seriously until he left his career in medical research in 1989. As a young boy, his life was changed forever when he saw the art of Chesley Bonestell featured on the big screen in the Robert Heinlein film, “Destination Moon.” In his teens, he became an amateur astronomer, spending his daylight hours reading science fiction. Not surprisingly, astronomical art and spacecraft are common themes of his paintings. Pursuing a career in medical research at U.C. San Francisco, Frank often used painting as a means of tension release after long hours in the operating room. His wife, Fay, finally grew tired of his 4:15 a.m. wake up calls and demanded he “get a life,” so in 1989, he showed his art at his first Con. He has appeared as Artist Guest of Honor at BayCon ‘95, Starquest 1 and OryCon 19.

In addition to his career as an artist, Lurz is also a certified fencing master of the Italian School. He runs a fencing school in Marin County, California, and during the academic year, he serves as assistant director of the Fencing Masters’ Training Program at San Jose State University. At science fiction conventions, he frequently gives lectures on dueling and demonstrations of the theory and technique of classical Italian swordplay.

Election Results

               by mail   at-con   total

Portland OR      14        142     156

Chico, CA         0         13      13

Both (Portland
and Chico)        0         28      28

Gnome of
the above         0          2       2

Los Angeles       1          0       1

Votes with
preference       15        185     200

Votes needed
to elect 
(majority)        0          0     101

No preference     0          2       2

Spoiled ballots   0          1       1

Total ballots    15        188     203

Progress Report Ad Rates and Deadlines

Full Page $60.00           Half Page $40.00

        Content/Ad Deadline   Mailing Deadline

PR 2    July 15, 2000         August 4, 2000
PR 3    January 10, 2001      January 30, 2001
PR 4    March 30, 2001        May 1, 2001
Each page will be in “half size” - 5 1/2 by 8 1/2 inches. Ad rates for the program book will be decided at a later date. Due to Post Office requirements, we are only accepting ads from non-profit groups for the Progress Reports only.

Masquerade/Variety Show

Janet Borkowski and Barbara Hoffert

It's a Masquerade!
It's a Variety Show!
It's a Masquerade!
It's a Variety Show!
It's Two, Two, Two shows in one!
Westercon 54 is proud to present the first ever combined Masquerade/Variety Show in the history of Westercon. So If you have a costume entry or a snappy act (baton twirling, belly dancing, snake charming, filking, etc), you can share it with the convention. The Masquerade will be a formal presentation with all the usual rules for judging. However, while the judges are out, the variety acts will take to the stage to amaze and amuse you.

If you are interested in participating in either portion of our show, please contact:

Janet Borkowski: norcia@spiritone.com
Barbara Hoffert: arniesmom@aol.com

Dealers’ Room

Paul Wrigley

A mailing to all who have requested information about the Westercon Dealers' Room will be mailed no later than August of 2000. To receive the mailing, please write to: Westercon, P.O. Box 5901, Portland, OR, 97228-5901 or e-mail Paul Wrigley at wrigcros@teleport.com. If you are on the OryCon mailing list for Dealers, you will automatically receive a copy of the mailing.

Art Show

Lacey Axmaker

It is still too early to give any real details about the Art Show. Our Artist Guest of Honor is Frank Lurz. He is a wonderful artist and a very charming man. He was the Artist Guest of Honor for Orycon 19. There will be a mailing for the Art Show with more details around January 2001. If you are on the OryCon list for Art Show, you will automatically receive a copy of the mailing. If you change your address, please send the new information to the Westercon 54 P.O. Box. You may also contact me at laceyax@bigfoot.com.


Simone Cooper

It is not too early to start thinking about possible role-playing and board game tracks to go along with the open gaming. Examples might include things like panels (game development, scenario development, the game market, writing games professionally, etc.), tournaments (official and unofficial for board and role-playing games), and specific game info tracks (WotC lines and gaming worlds, various independent lines and gaming worlds, etc.). I'd really be grateful for ideas and suggestions, especially if you also have contacts that would be useful in your suggested track.

My main goal for the gaming committee is to develop a suite of gaming events that can appeal to a broad spectrum of fans. Seminar tracks, LARPs and free-forms in many systems, table-top role-playing, tournament and casual board-gaming, and learner's events are among the few I can think of just off the top of my head. For these we will need GM or moderator volunteers who will commit to making the Westercon gaming track educational and fun for everyone. So, if anyone has contacts or interests in specific gaming areas or with specific clubs, publishers, or other organizations, please let me know. I'd also be pleased to meet enthusiastic GM's of all stripes - let's start recruiting! Contact me at: simone@wyrdrune.com.


Food. Drink. Cameradie. As with OryCons and Westercons past, we will have an excellent Hospitality Suite. At this time, it is too early for specifics, but this department eats volunteers for lunch. Like “Soylent Green”, Hospitality IS people and we will need many volunteers to make it successful. If you are interested in working this department, please contact the Westercon Chairs.

Club House

Dick Pilz, and Roz Malin and Evan Pilz

The Club House is a quiet Hospitality. We will be serving high quality food and beverages. Either Friday or Saturday, there will be a "tasting" of main courses and beverages. There will be a small fee for those who attend the "tasting" (similar to the "When in Doubt..." chocolate tasting).

As with all of the other departments, we will need volunteers. Those volunteers that spend five hours helping in the Club House will receive a copy of our new cookbook! The cookbook will showcase some of the recipes that will be served over the course of the Westercon weekend. Those who volunteer to help us with the "tasting" will also receive a limited edition chef's apron!

For those fans who enjoy puttering in the kitchen, please come help in the Club House. We would be honored to work with you. Contact us at: dickpilz@gurudyne.com.


Blood. Sweat. Volunteers. Hey, you knew that was coming, didn't you? I mean, it wouldn't be a true convention without uttering that predictable yet oh-so-important plea. All conventions are successful due to the tireless efforts and sacrifices of volunteers, both on committees as well as on site at the convention itself. There are several committee positions for Westercon 54 still open. If you are interested in contributing your time and talents for the convention, please contact Robert Verde at rv@1v.net, or attend a future Westercon meeting.


This progress report is Copyright © 2000 Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc. It was edited by Ann Hoffert and Tracy Bailey. We are not taking credit for the cover.

Westercon 54 is sponsored by Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc., a tax-exempt and non-profit corporation.

Westercon is a service mark of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society.

OSFCI is the sponsor of OryCon, CON, Westercons 37, 43 and 48, CascadeCon, Smofcon 8, Potlatchs 5 and 8, 1996 World Horror Convention, the Clayton Memorial Medical Fund, the Endeavour Award, and the Susan C. Petrey Clarion Scholarship Fund.

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