Twenty years ago, a group of science fiction fans in Portland -- all members of the Portland Science Fiction Society (PorSFiS) -- put on a one-day event called the "PorSFiS Symposium". This one-day event was expanded the next year to an entire weekend and became "OryCon".
This year, we're producing OryCon 20 -- celebrating 20 years of OryCon. We have a great cast: we're bringing back two of our favorite previous Guests of Honor, David Langford and Howard Waldrop. Robert Lionel Fanthorpe is joining us as a special guest, and former Susan Petrey scholarship winner Kathe Koja is our Susan Petrey Fund Special Guest. And this year's Guests of Honor are outstanding: multiple-Hugo-winner (and darn nice person) Lois McMaster Bujold is our Writer GOH. Our Artist GOH is Alan Clark, who has producing some spectacular (and often quite disturbing!) art work. And anyone who grew up on the offerings from the Science Fiction Book Club knows of the work of our Editor GOH, Ellen Asher, who has been with the SFBC since "pretty much the beginning".
Along with these fine people, the cast includes a large, hard-working committee -- many of whom were working on that Symposium some 20 years ago.
Everyone is working hard to produce another fun OryCon (Who's Line Is It? will definitely be moving to a larger room this year). We'll see you in November.
Writer: Lois McMaster Bujold
The Hugo and Nebula-winning author of the immensely popular "Miles Vorkosigan" novels, most recently Komarr. (The rumors that she will be transported around the hotel in a sedan chair by adoring native bearers, er, fans, have not been substantiated.)
Editor: Ellen Asher
One of SF's most eminent and influential editors, Ellen Asher has been Editor for the Science Fiction Book Club "since almost before there was a book club".
Artist: Alan Clark
His work graces the cover of this Progress Report through the twin wonders of E-mail and high-resolution graphics software. Need we say more? Well, possibly. Presently a Eugene resident, Alan was born in Nashville, is a 1979 graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, and has been a full-time professional illustrator since 1985. Besides gracing numerous magazine and book covers, his illustrations also appear in The Pain Doctors of Suture Self General, which he co-authored. (Ouch!)
Returning: David Langford & Howard Waldrop
Besides being legends of OryCons past (1989 and 1990 respectively), David and Howard are legends of SF as well.
David is the Babe Ruth (or possibly the Ben Yalow) of British fandom, having received a basketful of Hugos for his fan writing, in his own Ansible and elsewhere. Silence of the Langford collects a sampling of his work, and was itself nominated for a Hugo in 1996.
Howard is one of SF's most original literary voices, in all senses of the word. (Listen to one of his readings sometime.) His collections include Howard Who?, All About Strange Monsters, Strange Things in Close-Up, Night of the Cooters and Going Home Again.
Special Guest: Robert Lionel Fanthorpe
Another perennial OryCon favorite, and the all-time master of writing to strict deadlines and stricter word-counts.
Susan C. Petrey Guest: Kathe Koja
A 1984 recipient of the Susan C. Petrey Scholarship, Kathe has published five powerful novels and over 50 shorter works.
Special Friends of Filk Guest: Michael Longcor
A favorite with Northwest audiences and filkers, Michael's repertoire ranges from the sentimental to the absurd, with special emphasis on Kipling and other stirring balladeers.Anne Peck & Debra Stansbury
We have (surprise) lots and lots of members....
Seriously: as has happened for the past several years, we are selling more memberships earlier than ever before. While we don't expect to reach our membership cap before the con itself, we do anticipate doing so at the con, probably sometime Friday night. Moral: be safe, and reserve those memberships now.
Memberships are, however, still available at $35 through Oct. 15. After that date, the at-the-door rate of $45 takes effect. Children 5 and under are admitted at no charge; those ages 6 through 12 are half price. All children must be accompanied and supervised by an adult attending member of the convention.
Note: Remember that anyone who has attended all 19 previous Orycons is automatically entitled to a free membership to OryCon 20.
We limit OryCon membership to 1600 people, and we reach that limit sooner every year. We will not sell one-day memberships! We will, however, process transfers of memberships if you find you can't come and want to pass the membership on to someone else. If you transfer a membership, be sure to provide us with full information about who you are (so we can find you in the computer) and who the new member is (so we can add that person to the database). We require a signed note from the original purchaser before we will accept the transfer.
We will also extend membership refunds on a limited basis. If you contact us before Oct. 15, we will refund your membership fee less a $5 handling charge to cover our costs (previously mailed progress reports, for example).
If you need to change or add any information regarding your membership (for example, your badge name or the name of your guest-member), please let us know before the convention, preferably via E-mail or streetmail. If you must leave a phone message, please spell all changes. This will enable you to bypass the inevitable long lines at Registration.
Your Progress Report mailing label includes your name, address, badge name (if you asked for one), and membership number. A /T indicates that your membership is attached to a dealers' table; a /G indicates that you are the guest of another member.JT (John) Baldwin
The hotel registration form is on the inside back cover of this Progress Report, and as always, we urge you to reserve your room early--OryCon members can be counted on to fill up our reserved room block, which now includes 50 rooms at the "other hotel" (the Doubletree Hotel Portland/Jantzen Beach, across the parking lot).
Calling the local Portland reservation number [(503) 283-2111] is the best way to contact either hotel, but mailing in the registration form also works, as does Doubletree's toll-free 800 number [(800) 733-5466]. Our $88 room rate covers up to four people in a room; each additional person adds $15. Note that while the OryCon rate is guaranteed even after our room block expires on Oct. 22, we can't ensure that there will actually be rooms available in either hotel after that date. If, and only if, you specifically ask for a river-view room (not the Riverview Ballroom, just a view of the river), you'll pay $10 extra. Again, this assumes there are river-view rooms to be had--make those reservations early!
Parties: The Interstate Wing, and only the Interstate Wing, is designated as a "party wing"--if you plan to hold a party, you need to make sure your room is reserved there. As before, the hotel will charge a $100 deposit against damage/cleaning for open parties (they do this for all groups, not just OryCon). To date, however, all such deposits have been completely refunded and the hotel has been very happy with us. Open parties also need to be registered in the convention office, so that we can coordinate with the hotel and help you get needed trash bags and cleaning supplies from the hotel.
Suites: This one is easy--we are using every suite in the hotel for function space, so there aren't any available for parties (or honeymoons, or what have you). We keep asking the hotel to add more rooms, but they haven't figured out where they'd put another wing....
Coffee Garden: Hours and menus were not available at press time, but rest assured that we did hear the many comments last year, and we have been discussing solutions with the hotel. Be sure to keep us informed of your experiences, and to let your servers know that you appreciate their efforts.