Progress Report #1

From the Editor
From the Chair
Guests of Honor
Commemorative CD-ROM
Dealers' Room
Masque Ball

OryCon 25 Progress Report #1 ©2003 Oregon Scicnce Fiction Conventions, Inc. All rights reserved. Cover art ©1999 Mats Öhrman. Used by permission; consult the artist’s Web site for further information.

About the Web Version

If you compare this Web version of Progress Report #1 to the printed edition, you'll find that it's -- well, different.  In most cases, what that means is that portions of the PR have been omitted because they duplicate information already available on the Web.  Specifically, the Hotel Reservation Form isn't here  because we have a link to the hotel's online reservation system, and the Writers' Workshop material in the printed PR was condensed from that already here on the OryCon Web site..

From the Editor

John C. Bunnell

Another year, another OryCon, another Progress Report . . . but be sure to read this one all the way through, because there really are a few new wrinkles this time -- it isn’t every year we celebrate a silver anniversary.

A few words about OryCon publications -- to be overseen this year by yours truly -- are in order. Ray Collett will design another stunning Souvenir Book for us, which should include the usual stunning artwork and a special surprise or two. The Pocket Program will be fine-tuned a bit, but will retain the popular sideways format introduced last year. And you’ll see one more of these Progress Reports sometime in September.

In addition to the named department heads attached to the various sections, special credit is due Patty Wells, Linda Pilcher and Aaron Curtis for their contributions to this report, without which Ye Editor would have had much more work to do.

And of course, for the most up-to-date information about anything con-related, be sure to check the main OryCon 25 Web page, overseen by the estimable David D. Levine (how many cons can claim a Webmaster with a chance at the John W. Campbell Award?).

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From the Chair

Patty Wells

We’re so glad you’re going to join us for OryCon 25. As our group started with a one-day symposium the year before the first OryCon, O25 marks a quarter century of organized fannish events in Portland. It is a record of fannish celebration in which I take great pride. In that time, we in fandom have built a community, and honored writers, artists, costumers, filkers, gamers, and all the other folk who make up fandom. We take pride in offering a generalist SF con, and hope you’ll find O25 an enjoyable continuation of the tradition.

We’re planning several special events to mark the occasion. A hotel salesperson’s regrettable error (the salesperson is no longer with the hotel) forced us to shift dates to Nov. 14-16. In return for the inconvenience, the hotel has offered to throw us quite a nice reception, which will serve as OryCon’s silver anniversary party. Longtime fan Debbie Cross, whose elegance always astounds me, will help ensure it’s appropriately festive. 25 years seems a fitting time to collect our memories together; the estimable John Lorentz is developing a CD-ROM commemorating OryCon fannish history. And while it’s a pleasure to have some of my oldest friends helping out, it’s also wonderful to see solid numbers of new committee members coming in to carry on the tradition.

We’ve also had an item I believe people should evaluate individually. On the OryCon-L list we received the following intelligence regarding Hilton (who owns the Doubletrees):

An article in the Wall Street Journal (Thursday, May 8, 2003, p. D4) reported on Hilton’s new customer system called OnQ, which is designed to improve customer service by retaining details of hotel-customer interactions and making that information available to the front desk of every hotel in the chain.

Here is a more in-depth article on this system.

There’s been some discussion as to what that means to us as attendees of an event at the Doubletree. This is what I think, given my background on how hotel chains work. I don’t believe a local hotel can opt out of collecting this information because it’s built into the system and is among the mandated duties that "corporate" directs them to fulfill. I don’t think anyone at any individual property is even being trained on how to turn off the data collection. I know each property has collected this kind of information for years on any "regular" customers (though I don’t know exactly how they decided who a "regular" was). The real change is that they’re now putting the whole database together. Nothing’s changed in the information they have on us.

Complaining to an individual hotel or employee doesn’t make a statement for privacy rights; Hilton’s actions, like those of other corporations (Comcast, for example) reflect nationwide trends toward decreased privacy. I suggest that individuals concerned about these information-sharing practices should read the above Web article, then write Hilton’s corporate offices (see

While we may be heading for a record number of laid off OryCon concom members by the time the convention rolls around, the bad times have made us appreciate the camaraderie of a convention all the more. While we’re volunteers and infinitely fallible (and as chair, I am surely most fallible) we hope to bring you a con to remember.

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Guests of Honor

As befits a silver-anniversary convention, we have a sterling roundup of Guests of Honor. (Yes, you may groan now. Fortunately, the quality of the guests is much better than the quality of the Editor’s puns.) The list to date includes:

Writer: Nina Kiriki Hoffman

We’re very honored to have longtime OryCon friend Nina Kiriki Hoffman as Writer GOH. Her solid shelf of fiction proves the truth of Damon Knight’s 1984 prediction: "There is no way you are not going to hear more of Nina Hoffman, unless God zaps her with a lightning bolt tomorrow." Luckily, God didn’t, and Nina keeps writing fabulous books such as A Red Heart of Memories (1999), Past the Size of Dreaming (2001), The Silent Strength of Stones (1995), and A Fistful of Sky (2002), Her short stories are easily as wonderful, with power to enchant and scare you witless in equal measure.

Science/Writer: Ken Goddard

We can’t begin to describe everything Ken has done, so our first recommendation is to go to his home page and look at the keen photo of him nuzzling a 120 lb. cougar. Then read to find out that he’s an author, police crime scene investigator, wildlife crime lab director, and many, many other things. To us he is a special GOH for his books and an amazing science background completely unlike any other GOH we’ve ever had.

Editor: Toni Weisskopf

Toni Weisskopf is Executive Editor at Baen Books, overseeing such luminaries as David Weber ("Honor Harrington") and Lois McMaster Bujold ("Miles Vorkosigan"). She’s also a longtime fan, the writer of the definitive history of the Southern Fandom Conferation, and a mommy. We also know she throws some of the greatest parties ever hosted by a publisher. Since we greatly admire all these skills, we are very pleased that Toni has agreed to appear at OryCon.

Special Editor Guest: Martin H. Greenberg

He may be a year late -- due to an unexpected last-minute crisis last November -- but we’re still incredibly pleased and honored to welcome world-champion anthologist Marty Greenberg to OryCon. An editor and packager whose credentials date from SF’s Golden Age right up to the 21st century, Marty is an institution, and a treasure.

Artist: Gail Butler

It’s an absolute pleasure to have Gail back as our featured artist. Her artistic vision is compelling and brilliant. She has given us a look at that vision through a body of work that includes her best-known "The Embassy" series of fantasy paintings, and a couple of my personal favorites — a painting of Einstein and an exquisitely rendered ancient sea. Her work has been published in Analog and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine. She is considered a treasure amongst much of the Pacific Northwest art fandom. As well as attending, displaying and selling with OryCon, Norwescon, Rustycon, Westercon and other events, she has been a Powerful Influence for Good in Pacific Northwest art shows and mentored many a grateful art show director.

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Commemorative CD-ROM

John Lorentz

To celebrate 25 years of OryCon, we’ll be producing a CD-ROM that will be distributed free to each member of OryCon 25. Items planned for this CD (which will be both PC- and Mac-compatible) include history articles, program book cover scans and other information from each of the 25 years. In addition, we also hope to include personal memories and anecdotes from OryCon attendees from over the years, as well as fanzine reviews and newspaper articles. If there’s anything you’d like to see included, or if you have materials you’d like to contribute to this project (including photos—we can scan them and return them to you), please contact me either via email or through the OryCon PO box.

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Dealers' Room

Mary Olsen & Lea Rush

The Dealers’ Room is filling up fast. We have some of our favorite vendors returning and a few new faces as well. Space is getting limited; at of the moment of this report, we’re down to only four unclaimed booths. There are a few book dealers that we will be contacting specifically to round out the mix.

Here’s the list so far:

Crystal Costumes
Dancing Muse
Everett Comics
Express Yourself
Fantasy Art Resources
Friends of Filk

Games Plus
Lady Jayne’s Books
Little Toad Designs
Mohr Realities Games
Mon Droit Studio
Quicksilver Fantasies
Realm of Regalia

SDL Designs
The Dragon’s Lair
The Fur Connection
The Magickal Aardvark, Ltd.
The Stag and The Griffith
To The Wind
Wrigley-Cross Books

Once the room is full, we’ll start a first-come, first-served waiting list. Vendors whose registration fees accompany their application receive preference over those not.

The usual mix of merchandise will be there for your perusing (and purchasing!) pleasure. Rare and out-of-print science fiction, graphic novels, costuming supplies, gaming supplies and beautiful and exotic jewelry* are some of the wonders that await in the Dealers’ Room! See you at O25!

*Can anyone guess what the authors’ favorite part is? ;)

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Gaming at OryCon is once again sponsored by Game Storm, our sister OSFCI-sponsored event that takes place each March. We’ll have a full schedule of planned events, several tables for open gaming, our famous game library (with over 100 games for you to check out and play) and game experts to teach you how to play something new. Whether you want to spend the whole weekend playing games or just kill some time between panels, Gaming is a fun place to be.

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Masque Ball

Due to the immensely popular reception last year’s event received, we’re opting to throw another one this year. We looked up "masque" in Merriam-Webster, and found this definition: a short allegorical dramatic entertainment of the 16th and 17th centuries performed by masked actors. So consider yourself the actors, and the Riverview Ballroom your stage. The proposed theme is the time and space embassy ball. Look in your closet for your fancy time and dressy space evening wear, and join us for the fun.

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Sheryl Hunter

Everything is coming along fine for volunteers so far, as what we do doesn’t really start until con time. I have had a few queries into volunteering for this year’s con already (we can always use more!). For any questions, comments, or details about volunteer information please e-mail me at the address above.

Linda Pilcher

Do you need more out of your Science Fiction Convention? Curious about what’s happening in the background? Want the ego-boosting pleasure of helping create a great convention? Looking for the skinny on other people’s cons? Always wanted to meet science fiction professionals? Desiring to learn how to run a top-notch SF con from the experts? We have an opportunity for you! Join us on Sunday, August 17 at 1:00 pm (location TBA) for the next OryCon 25 Committee Meeting. (Watch the Web site for dates, times and locations or email the address above for information.)

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